The Poetic Hill

When Ed McManus retired he traveled to Hamburg to continue his study of the German language. Prior to his departure he got a call from an old friend who was dying. At his final visit his friend took his hand and hugged him heartily for the last time. In Hamburg McManus immersed himself in the language and culture. One day for homework the teacher asked the students to write a poem “auf Deutsch.” While he had never written a poem before and wasn’t consciously thinking of his friend in Washington, he believes that this poem was inspired by transitions, both in his life and his friend’s. It was conceived in German, but a translation is provided.

 

Der Weg ist Klar

Der Grund ist Grün
die Luft so frisch
der Wind sehr stark
 
Dein Herz ist hitzig
unschuldig bist du 
Dein Körper willig
 
Die Zeit ist jetzt
der Weg ist Klar
 
Der Weizen ist hoch
der Himmel so blau
der wind sehr stark
 
Dein Magen ist voll
Weißt du mehr
Dein Körper sonnengebräunt
 
Die Zeit ist jetzt
Der Weg ist Klar
 
Die Blatter der Bäume flämmen
die Tiere beschäftigt
der Wind sehr stark
 
Dein Herz ist warm
dein Geist ist ruhig
dein Körper eschöpft
 
Die Zeit ist jetzt
der Weg ist Klar
 
Der Schnee ist tief
die luft so kalt
der wind sehr stark
 
Dein Herz ist kühl
dein Gewissen Frei
Dein Körper still
 
Die Zeit ist jetzt
der Weg ist klar

 

The Way Is Clear

The ground is green
the air so fresh
the wind so strong
 
Your heart is eager
Innocent are you
your body is willing
 
The time is now
the way is clear
 
The wheat is high
the sky so blue
the wind so strong
 
Your stomach is full
You are wiser
your body is tanned by the sun
 
The time is now
the way is clear
 
The leaves of the trees are aflame
the animals are busy
the wind so strong
 
Your heart is warm
your spirit is still
your body is drained
 
The time is now
the way is clear
 
The snow is deep
the air so cold
the wind so strong
 
Your heart is cool
your conscience free
your body still
 
The time is now
the way is clear

If you would like to have your poem considered for publication please send it to klyon@literaryhillbookfest.org. (There is no remuneration.)