Warten ist der Winter

Warten ist der Winter

Warten ist der Winter, Warten
auf den endlich wieder starken
Glanz, der sanft ins Leben küßt,
was vor Gram verblichen ist.

Einsam ist der kleine Garten,
während Garben aller Farben
unter altem Laub und Moos
schlummern im verdorrten Schoß.

Hilflos ist das lange Darben
für den unbemerkten Garten:
hilflos, doch nicht hoffnungslos,
denn der Himmel ist sein Trost.

Christina Egan © 2012

My City Calls (Grey Roofs Grey Walls)

My City Calls

Grey roofs grey walls
Make up this place
A rough and kind
Familiar face

The spires chimneys
Market stalls
Suspended bridges
Station halls

Oh face of walls
So great so mild
My city calls
Come here my child

My city calls
With golden chime:
While winter falls
Stay here some time

The sky is full
Of rain and snow
Of miracles
To fall and grow

So many faces
In the street
Yet far away
The one I need

Far is my dear
So far away
But I am here
Just day to day

My city calls
Me with her charms
My heartbeat falls
into her arms

Christina Egan © 1995 / 2012


 

Like in Heimkehr nach Köln, the big city is seen as a mother. There are other poems or songs where I describe it as a person — man or woman, although I feel that a city is female. It is a personal relationship: my heart beats for the city, as I claim in Geflecht / Geflechte.

Winter Sunrise in Morocco / in England

Winter Sunrise in Morocco

Orange tree full of fruit and rose tree with large roses in front of high pink wallsthe rainbow scarf of the sky
stretched out above the battlements

awesome and unnoticed
by the markets which never sleep

and millions of golden roses
rolled out along the highways

in the carved and inlaid caskets
of the powdery-pink courtyards

strings of peach-coloured roses
clusters of orange-blossom and fruit

Christina Egan © 2012

Photograph: Christina Egan © 2012

You can read a German poem about a Moroccan city at In Marrakesch. The buildings and walls of Marrakesh are pink by law!

Around the turn of the year, I found it warm and sunny by day and pleasantly mild by night. In fact, people were hoping for some rain…

Winter sunrise in England

at the edge of the orb of the earth
a mighty web of finest twigs

painted onto leaf gold
by a master’s hand

and then the blob of molten gold
so bright that it seems to melt them too

like a favour from the heavens
like the face of a god

as if life were possible
one more day one more winter

Christina Egan © 2012

In northern Europe, the winter is so hard that by the beginning of spring, you may feel, even if you are not at all old, that it was the last one you reached.

In Germany, it is cold by day and by night for many months, there is snow and ice, and above all, the nights are long and the days often dull so that you may not see the face of the sun for days; in England, the cold is less bitter, but — which is worse it reaches indoors…

In Praise of Darkness / Lob des Dunkels

In Praise of Darkness

This winter, when the day shrinks
like a lake swallowed by desert,
my lyre shall not praise the light
but the darkness.

When I rise before the sun
and a candle dazzles the eyes,
I will give it space,
watch it dance, entranced.

We have switched on the bright light
and the non-stop stereo sound:
we have switched off the darkness,
the silence, the peace.

Christina Egan © 2015

Lob des Dunkels

Diesen Winter, wenn der Tag schrumpft
wie ein See, von Wüste verschlungen,
lobe meine Leier nicht das Licht,
sondern das Dunkel.

Wenn ich mich vor der Sonne erhebe
und eine Kerze das Auge blendet,
werde ich ihr Raum gewähren,
wie sie tanzt, entzückt betrachten.

Eingeschaltet hat man das helle Licht
und den unablässigen Stereoton;
ausgeschaltet hat man das Dunkel,
die Stille, den Frieden.

Christina Egan © 2015

Much of my work  praises light: sunshine,
summer, solstice; sunrise, noon, sunset…

Yet we need darkness, too: to make the light
shine brighter, to make other sources of light
visible, to gain inner peace.

My previous post, Januarsonne, rejoices in
sunshine in midwinter!

Spätherbst (Feuer der Erde)

Spätherbst

Feuer der Erde
trieft aus den Früchten,
fließt aus dem Efeu,
sprüht aus den Dahlien,
fächert in Blättern,
schießt in Raketen,
fällt in Gestirnen,
tropft in Laternen.

Dann wandert die Sonne
nach innen,
in kerzenverzauberte Kirchen,
in wundererwartende Mienen,
in goldbestickte Musik.

Christina Egan © 2010

These lines refer to German winter customs,
which actually go far beyond Christmas:
after the fiery glow of autumn leaves, berries,
and flowers has gone, at certain times between
November and February
paper lanterns, real
candles, fireworks,
and bonfires are summoned
to dispel the gloom and cold!

November (Im dunkelblauen Nebel)

November

Im dunkelblauen Nebel liegen
gelöst mein Haus und Park.
Mein Herz hat einen Traum erstiegen
und hebt sich still und stark.

Der Herbst hat Gold um Gold gewonnen
mit schmerzloser Gewalt.
Das Mondlicht ist für mich geronnen
zu lieblicher Gestalt.

Christina Egan © 2010

This must be one of the happiest late-autumn poems ever:
exuding peace, evoking beauty, steeped in blue and gold!

Green Blood

The plant on the window-sill

Lush Christmas cactus on window sill, appearing to reach out to the viewer, with little cacti around.

It is shining, it is glowing,
while the sun is rising high!
It is stretching, it is growing,
so am I, oh, so am I!

It is breathing, it is throbbing,
full of blossom, full of birth!
It is floating, it is bobbing
on the bubble of the earth!

Christina Egan © 2015


Fist-sized cactus with large star-like flower on long firm stalk. Palm-tree shaped red plant in background mirroring the flower's shape; white rose petals on ground mirroring its colour.Die Macht der Königin der Nacht

In der Mittsommermitternacht
ist ein schneeweißer Stern mir erwacht,
eine bebende Blütenblattüte:
Mit heimlicher Königsmacht
hat ein Kaktus den Funken entfacht,
eine klare Trompetenblüte!

Christina Egan © 2013

 


The Tree at the Corner

Shiny reddish bark, paper-thin and frayed, on a straight round tree-trunk.I gather air and light,
I filter drop on drop,
till there is liquid life:
my waving hands’ green blood.

I give you air and shade
with my bright canopy,
till there is solid gold
through age-old alchemy!

Christina Egan © 2015


 

Was der Baum im Winter tut

Bare branches against sunset in mauve and apricot; high mountains along horizon.Mit tausend nackten Zweigen hält der Baum
gleich einem gläsernen gewölbten Kelch
die Gänserufe und den Amselsang,
das gleißend hingegossne letzte Gold
und dann das Pfauenblau der frühen Nacht…
Und jene Stille wie ein Geigenklang.

Christina Egan © 2013

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2013/2014/2016


These lines portray plants as living creatures and active participants in this universe.

The non-descript pot-plant stays in its place, yet it gives and takes, grows and procreates — and presumably enjoys life, particularly in spring.

Around summer solstice, the humble cactus suddenly pushes out an unlikely flower, shaped like a trumpet and dazzling like a star: it has revealed itself as a Queen of the Night!

The everyday tree turns the inanimate elements into living matter; and it brings forth beauty even while that life turns towards death again in autumn.

Around winter solstice, the bare tree perceives the beauty of this earth — sunset and dusk, birdsong and silence — or at least, it forms part of this array for us.