Echos im Garten

Die Einladung zum Kunstprojekt „Porträt 100“ in der Gartenstadt Hellerau kommt für mich zur richtigen Zeit.

Es hat sich in den letzten Jahren so entwickelt, dass ich mich aus unterschiedlichen Gründen mehr und mehr für Gärten und Blumen interessiere. In Dionysos’ Reich male ich seit einem Jahr unter freiem Himmel auf einem Weinberg bei Meißen. Davor komponierte ich im Auftrag einer Wohngenossenschaft einen Jahreszyklus von Bildern über gigantische Innenhöfe und Gärten und das Leben darin. Parallel zu diesen bildnerischen Arbeiten habe ich mich über längere Zeit mit dem überlieferten Wissen von Naturreligionen bechäftigt, dank solcher Bücher wie Frazer’s „The golden Bough“. Meine blumige Faszination kam aber zuerst auf musikalischen Weg durch Opern wie Rameaus „La Guirlande“ oder Mozarts „Apollo et Hyacinthus“ .

Wie eine Blume wächst mein Wissen auch um die Farbe. Eines Wochenendes bei Freunden in dem dunklen Thüringischen Wald bin ich zufällig gestoßen auf den Text „Wie Farbe in die Welt kam“ in einer Ausgabe der National Geographic. Diesen Text sollte man parallel lesen und wahrlich im Auge behalten mit Reinhold Sölchs „Die Evolution der Farben“, in dem Goethes Farbenlehre „rehabilitiert“ wird anhand entwicklungsgeschichtlicher Theorien.

Im letzten Zusammenhang scheint der griechisch/römische Mythos von Iris und Somnus von höchster Bedeutung. Im Reich Floras anzukommen muß also keine naive Angelegenheit sein.


Hier im Garten bei Mantheys male ich also; mit Peter mache ich „Hausmusik“ - „Annie’s song“ zum Beispiel; die Kinder spielen und backen blaue Vergiß-Mein-Nicht Waffeln für die Gäste; und mit Christina dichte ich über die Blumen.  

So sah es im Garten aus: Und hier sind vier der fünf entstandenen Bilder:


Here are the first thought’s I had about painting the garden, preliminary thoughts before even having begun, addressed to my Muse or else about hoping to continue being in tune with “Mother Nature”.


She’s Happy Echo – I’m her brother


It is enough for me to be an echo

As innocent reflection to grow

To commune with what she knows,

Be in tune with what she shows,

From dainty fingertips to tapping toes.


Sie ist das glückliche Echo – ich bin Ihr Bruder

(Versuch einer Übersetzung)


Es genügt auch Echo zu sein,

Als Spiegelung zu wachsen rein.

In Kommunion mit Ihr Wissen

Musizieren’d Ihr Ton zu treffen,

Mit leichtfüß’gen Fingerspitzen, tappsenden Zehen.


Here are the poems which I wrote directly in the garden


First of all, for me a rare, english/german composition about the Dandylion


Dandy-lion, your hearts not made of iron

Du hast keine fürchterlichen Klauen.

Jedoch erschreckst Du die Welt,

Verbreitest Dich, bist dominant,

Wohl unter’m ganzen Himmelszelt. Sollten wir erschauern?


Afterthoughts came to me on the 24th August


Dandy-lion, your heart is made of iron,

Small supernova, most divine,

Once blown out of exploding stars,

Your ferric seeds have outlived years,

Become our blood's most potent ion.


Thus out of all catastrophes,

Time's roaring jaws which never tease,

May spring a higher order,

Beyond our conscious border,

And Dandy-lion philosophies.

(Deserving of apostrophes!)


These poems lead a little later to another version


Dandy-lion! You have no terrible claws,

But you have sprung out of Time’s jaws;

Dandy-lion, Dandy-lion,

You know our hearts are made of iron,

And our love strong, which pain endures.


A similiar idea in a solely english poem


I begin by painting the Dandy-lion

With bright yellow face and mane so fine;

As a child his name and numbers scared me,

With his bright yellow army in all fields around me.

Now I fear his rule no more, soft fluffy, roaring companion.


About the dandy-lion clock or “Pusteblume”


You never hear it go tick-tock,

This quiet time-keeper that ne’er stops.

Its arms are blown by childrens lips,

The seasons’ change it softens, crisp.

From tickling spring to summer breeze – tick-tock.

A poem inspired by different Dandy-lions


My Inspiration develops in contrasts

She repulses, draws me on, thus her attraction lasts;

I saw a small dandy-lion clock,

Then a tall one with a graceful kneck

Which beckoned - and the garden grew into the forest.


(She’s like “Mary, Mary quite contrary” of the children’s rhyme whose garden doth grow!)


Now for a silly limerick intermezzo about a Dandy-lion called Desmond


His name was Desmond Dandylion

His yellow mane looked mighty fine.

He did not roar about the place,

Or scratch with his sharp leaves a pretty face,

Ne’erless become the ruler, o’er the wood and field and plane.



I have decided to paint you forget-me-not,

As you lie on the ground. Is this good art?

To paint a blossom tragic,

As it perishes, loses its magic?

Thus may your transcient beauty be ever caught in thought.


Your name delights children


Your name always delights children.

Once caught, it’s never dropped, though always hidden

The first one who named you,

Made your petals ever blue-

There are five of them, their heart star-laden.


About Forget-me-nots and flower pots


Your pretty name’s Forget-me-not,

A sky blue face with yellow star you’ve got.

Albeit rarely seen inside a household pot,

You choose to grow beside the stream a lot

In great abundance, which means you’ll never be forgot!


This I think is the best poem I’ve writ, to’wit, about it. (About what?)


The giver of your name seems now forgot,

Lost in time, and run to nought.

All perished souls in silence caught,

See you as the mirror, spirit once wrought;

To which they spoke “Forget-me-not”.

Poems composed for a “Flieder” from an untrue and scatter-brained lover


(You see I’d forgotten Frau Flieder’s name in english, which gave rise to the following rhymes, in pursuit of her. What a fickle suitor, who forgets the name of a supposed true love!)


Oh fair Honeysuckle,

My memory was fickle,

I’d forgotten your name,

Oh what a shame.

Then it came back to me again – sweet Honeysuckle.


But the name Honeysuckle

Did not seem to tickle you.

You turned your nose up.

I had to shut up.

My conscience was thus prickled.


Pale violet bloom, I was wrong,

To praise you with false tongue.

You snubbed, you swore at me,

For I’d rhymed much haphazardly.

You said without words; “Now be-gone.”


Witless and fretting I felt now alone,

I search in the dictionary on reaching home.

It is here I discover

Your name known to lovers,

Once sung down the lane in a happy strain;


“We’ll gather lilacs in the spring again,

And walk together down an english lane…”


I recognise you, lilac of the spring again,

Your song once sung down all the english lanes.

Wrote by Ivor Novello

His voice e’er so mellow,

May your music and me ne’er be sundered again.

A new Daisy Garland


(inspired by the melody of that old Harry Dacre song “Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do…”)


Daisy, Daisy I’m ever crazy about you,

What pretty garlands on all the lawns you strew;

From early age I loved you,

And still today I’m true,

But now I make my daisy chains from rhymes to praise you new.


Not from your piercèd, dying stems,

Do I now weave my wind borne garlands,

But with musical strains,

And faithful hand veins,

Daisy, Daisy I’m ever crazy about you.

Fair Daisy, do you understand?


The philosophical Daisy


We are strewn like endless daisies on the lawns

With pretty heads, all carefree in the dawn

Of budding childhood.

And if we could

We’d beg the mower “Oh spare me please my spirit’s grown”.


Alas ! We are strewn like endless daisies on the grass

Pathetic single blooms amidst an endless mass,

Thus it has come to pass.

But freedom of a kind

We shall always find

Or head bob in the winds of time, no less.

(Here’s a poem metaphorically related to the last, not written in the garden or looking at daisies, but about a flowering, and overcoming spirit)


Thus we once suffered time in which our selves were revealed,

The next page ordained, though as yet still sealed,

Then a pained but brave man appealed

Sick of the ordeal,

His owns hands (still full of wields), and words now willed.

He awoke in a whirl in the endless free world.


Now we enjoy time in which our selves are revealed,

The future’s like a mystery thriller, the next page as yet-sealed.

And somehow we can steer the outcome,

Even kneeling ‘neath the Summer sun,

Win the great race before it’s over and done,

Make a twist in the story, our wishes unreeled.

Tulips? There are no tulips in the garden, but this is a poem expressing such a wish, a tulip wish (should I blush?) which I wrote there.


It seems to me that you have tulip hips,

There fine to hold or twirl with my strong fingers tips;

And tulips decorate your pretty dress,

Their varied hues my roving eyes impress,

Regardless if they’re orange, pink or red just like your sweet wet lips.


Here’s a light-hearted poem about another mood which came to me in the garden


She’s like a musical fragrance,

A fine atmosphere of great radiance.

She is perfumed light,

And feelings bright,

She embraces all dimensions in abundance.


She’s a harp-player with beautiful voice

Who plucks the strings with all her grace.

She sits near the river,

Where the swans never shiver,

And her melodies fill outer space.


Noch eine noch unkorrigierte limerick intermezzo über Norweger in Norwich die nach Dahlien suchen.


In Norwich waren die Leute genervt von eine norwegische Familie

Unterwegs auf der Suche nach eine Dahlie.

Nicht norgelig sondern neugierige Botaniker

Gedüldig, nüchtern waren sie und kein Hysteriker,

Doch die Dahlien waren selten, unbeholfen die Familie.


Warum blos hulfen die Norwicher die Norweger nicht?


Other poems composed in the garden, inspired by the life therein


Who could fail to be happy? (Composed while painting a dandelion)


Who could fail to be cheerful on such a day?

The birds sing quickly, sweetly, ‘tis the third of May;

I sit in the shadow,

The leaves as they follow

My thoughts with my curly hairs play.


Who could fail to be happy on such a day,

E’en the cruel blinding sun has come down to play;

On flowers’ faces he softly glances,

And with the light shadows he gaily dances,

Transformed like a lover who lightsteps in May.

A modern poem composed in thankfulness to Flora


Oh Flora my fair lassie!You shield us from the elements,

You clothe the barren earth green grassy, bring nutriments!

Without your embroidered coat,

The planet would be nought,

All naked, but covered o’er by many detriments.


Now do you see Flora how we heed you?

No longer shall our foolishness impede you.

Industrial generals

Once without morals,

Mechanical, maniacal – they even need you.


Mother Nature


Mother Nature, ‘tis sunny, I believe in you,

Out of the Father’s grey and careworn cities do I flee to

Your wide, brilliant, open green fields,

With their open boughs and shady leafy shields.

Ach such fine forests, with cooling streams and pools, there to linger true!


About apples


All things consist of light, even bright red apples,

Which turn sunbeams into taste of sweetness. And nipples

On a woman’s breast like cherries

Which may inspire nervous kisses, in flurries.

Proves light’s transformed to softness, suffers, feels.

Das Schönste was es gibt


Das schönste was es auf Erden gibt, bist

Du, wachsendes Kind. Die irdische Frist

Ist kurz, darum fragst du schnelles Kind so sehr,

Damit Dein Geist wächst heller umsomehr,

Die schönste Blume ist ein kindlicher Geist, der wächst.


Das Schönste was es auf Erden gibt, sind

Wachsenden Blumen, sie ziehen nämlich Bienen an, und Mann und Kind.

Wie Neutron und Elektron,

Führen sie auch zum Zentrum,

Wo Iris Somnus weckte, er war doch vorher blind!


Das Schönste was es auf Erden gibt, ist

Eine liebende Mutter. Wenn Du so was hast

Ist das Leben niemals bitter.

Sie umarmt dich, küßt dich sicher,

Trocknet Deine Tränen. Warst Du gefallen, sie gibt Trost.


Das Schönste was es auf Erden gibt, ist

Ein umsorgender Vater; er trägt Dich durch die Wüst’,

Hält Dich über’s Wasser im stürmischen Meer,

Du hast Angst, er lacht aber, sogar sehr.

Es macht ihm Spaß das Kind zu retten, so ist’s.


Das wertvollste was es auf Erden gibt, ist

Das Am-Geringsten-Geschätzte,

Also gar nicht das Teuerste wonach es die größte Hetze

Gibt beeindrückt mich oder zieht meine Blicke in seinen Bann,

Sondern der dreckige Staub zieht meine höchste Achtung an.

Gäb’s kein Staub, gäb’s gar nichts worauf alles gestützt wäre.

Here’s a sonnet about a scruffy, playful boy, inspired by Hans Manthey, though Hans is’nt scruffy!


Ach Muse, why do you make me write sketchy, scruffy,

Would it not be best to carve your rhymes in wood or stone

‘Stead of in scribbled lines all airy-fairy, huffy-puffy?

I guess your impulsive, interruptive, like a child who plays at home.


Yes, you’re raw and mild, the happiest child,

Who sports about but has not learnt to write as yet.

You bubble with ideas, play war games wild,

But noone ever loses, for you conjure outcomes sweet.


I guess it’s ‘cos you’re ever lost in play,

Each afternoon and on the following day,

You seem heedless of the rushing time as it ups and tries to run away,

And expend yourself in strange ideas, which sprout up along the way,

No wonder, scruffy childish one, you cannot me exhaust,

You are a peerless, tireless playfriend, kindred of the Holy Ghost.

An attempt to write a poem in German about colour


Mit Schwarz und Weiß würden wir eigentlich auskommen,

Bei Manchen sind die Farben zwar nett, aber wie Hopfen und Malz, verloren;

Der bunte Kreis zeigt Wert-an-sich,

Eröffnet Spektren innerlich,

Erinnert uns an Lebenssinn aus Unterschied geboren.


A poem about human beings as catchers of light


Wir sind Fänger des Lichts,

Seelenprismen wo das Transparente bricht,

Wir sind Feinstoffliches, nun fühlbar,

Das Flüchtige wird durch uns erklärbar,

Da ohne uns es gäbe einfach Nichts.


A poem about the highly charged value of feelings


Wir sind Magneten für Gefühle

Angezogen durch die Seele,

Gedankenblitze flitzen zwischen solchen Wechselpolen.

Verschwinden sie, dann gibt’s kein Funken Wiederholung!

In stumme Fragmente zerfallend dann, das Reale.




Wir sind Magneten für Gefühle

Angezogen durch die Seele,

Zwischen solchen Wechselpolen flitzen Gedankenblitze.

Verschwinden sie, dann gibt’s kein Funken, kein Erhitzen!

In kalte Fragmente zerfallend dann, das Reale.

A poem about a strange seductive  German Muse


Die Inspirationswellen meine Muse verwirren

Mich, aber die genieße ich, sie schwirren

Wie Schwalben und singen

Um mich und den Bäumen,

Und von Liebesnächten mit Ihr muß ich träumen.


I thought she was gone and then she returned


Sie kommt zurück zu mir, Sie ist das Glück!

Irgendwie schleicht Sie sich wieder ein – ein schöner Trick!

Gestern war ich traurig und verlassen

Von Ihr fühlte ich mich. Heute entschlossen

Hat sie sich, zu wiederkehren plötzlich! - mit all ihre Mystique.


Sie hat sich heute offensichtlich plötzlich entschlossen zu mir zurückzukehren – endlich bin ich glücklich! (Leider ist das Glück auch endlich.)

Andere Blumen Gedichte /Other Flower Poems composed in April, May and June 2009


Two poems about Flora’s seen and unseen work


Flora, your beautiful thin roots are riches

Hid in the ground, like silver knecklaces.

The ground is your jewelry chest,

Your seeds concealed there best,

Now slumbering but ever growing in all places.


Flora your beautifully green and tender lacework

Is now everywhere. You do not shirk

Any artistic pains

In varying your fine green strains,

Which flower for the birds and other beasts who sing. Hark!


On meeting Flora in Hellerau, and Dresden


Naturgleich wächst sie hier in schönen Arabesken,

Versteht sich, Grün und Naive, mit Fibonacci bestens,

So bleibt sie blumig und ganz schief,

Wächst planlos, dennoch reich,

Überall in diesem Garten, Flora von Dresden.


Meine Muse wächst wie die Blumen,

Ihr Wesen ist zärtlich,

Schön und verschieden,

Farbig, eigenartig,

Sie heißt Flora, oder Imeneo

Sie ist unberührbar.


My Muse will not be pruned


My Muse shows me beautiful budding openness,

She will not be pruned, she’s all ripeness.

She is open possibility,

Lyric adaptability,

In my daily life enthroned as “Royal Highness”.

The lily


You can think of the time funnel like a champagne glass,

Whose thin kneck formed ‘fore all things came to pass;

Which grew and was filled with froth of light and galaxies,

Stars, Planets, seas and forests, beasts and heresies;

So when we think we drink of the great glass.


But I think of the time cone as a flower,

A dark rose e’er growing, opening at each hour;

I do not fear times great explosion,

But breathe it’s fragrance – stilled emotion.

Thus I think of the time cone as a flower.


I think of sweet emotion as nectar,

That which bird and bee seek in the flower.

The busy soul flies near and far,

A-buzz in the world but never sour,

Has it drunk of the honey’d symbol, sweet and clear.


Comparable ideas I expressed in the following poem, but chose the name “Muse”. I might just as well have written “Blume” instead of  “Muse”. This poem came to me as I rode up to Hellerau on my bicycle.


Sie ist der Mutter Muse Zeit und Raum,

Sie kann gemessen werden, gefaßt wohl kaum;

Ich bin Ihr Sohn aus Fleisch und Traum,

Wie eine Mohnblume, vorübergehend schön

Mein buntes Leben. Bald liege ich gepflückt am Waldessaum.


Sie ist der Mutter Muse Zeit und Raum,

Ich bin verwirrtes Fleisch, Sie schenkt den Traum

Von Lebenssinn.

Das Ziel von Anbeginn,

So sieht meine Liebesgöttin aus, geboren aus dem Schaum!


Mein Leben scheint mir wie ein Pfeil im Flug,

Es rauscht an mir vorbei, warum? Bin ich unklug?

Nur die Schönheit fängt mein Aug’

Sieht zu das ich nicht traurig

Werde, daß die Seele ruht obwohl geschwind’g.


On the Seasons


Springtime is the sweet still growing green princess,

Who becomes the stately Summer Monarchess,

Golden adorned in Autumn, harvest Empress,

Wintertime’s the Snow Queen who deposes,

She usurps in white and hides the crown in ice.


Two sonnets composed in June


The first Muse


She’s the first Muse who wrought the idea of beauty,

Who wrote the words down which I use today.

As a child, this worthy soul taught me to be naughty,

She also put the ink into the pen with which I play.


Thus the most useful things she’s laid before me,

Ne’er commence could I, had she not cared.

Before the next day dawns she makes the world all ready,

Wakes me softly with a whisper: “All’s prepared.”


I need not fear if she leaves the door ajar,

Though she roams far, yet she is ever near,

At any hour I want, I may sense her very clear.

You see it’s in my heart she does appear,

To me alone her breast and spirit bare,

She comes to kiss me now and everywhere.


The Iris


If you look close inside the iris in your eye,

You’ll see yourself reflected tiny in the pupil;

Breathtaking, to creep up to the edge and pry.

But don’t get too close, lest you feel the chill,


Or fall into the One, devoid of will and die.

Also strange how deep inside can hide the eye

Of evil shallowness, of all Man’s ill,

In darkness swathed, to dupe the bright blue sky.


Dark will enough’s concealed to build a horrid mountain tall,

Look inside the cunning pupil, wonder how and why?

Not just the lense, inside the enigmatic hole,

Is there to focus on all things both bright and small,

But the sweetest symbol, loving, great and beautiful,

Dancing lifelong, e’er forgiving, heart of the true soul.




Alternative ending…


(Dancing lifelong, e’er forgiving, heart of one and all.)