Poems by Julia Giesen


My mind is as foggy as my village’s valleys,
My heart on fire like the Easter fires on my way up north, on the passenger seat the flowers you gave me before I left.
I cannot stay any longer in these narrow alleys.
The firewood’s smell sticks in my nose like your perfume,
My self esteem higher than the column of smoke rising up into the sky.
My soul as free as the gooses flying above my car.
The destination is not what you may presume.
Never to return doesn’t seem too bad.
I can’t think clear and I think
I like that.

Peonies in June

I will bloom with grace
Like the pink peony in my garden that I nourish.
Not right away in the first place,
But after a while on a hot summers day I’ll flourish.
Never again may I be shattered
I’ll blow so bright, past all recognition
My petals may seem scattered
But I’m growing with blind ambition.
I took me years to understand
Putting my faith in natures hand
Is the only way for me to grow
And finally I’m letting everything else go…

Cohen and Del Rey

You’ve taken away all my Cohen and Del Rey
and left me in the stove beside Plath

My home, my safe place 

The night was warm and everything was calm
Until you came in.
I’ve screamed, I’ve whispered, I’ve begged you “no”
But all of that didn’t convince you to go.
It only made your desire grow more and more and more and more.
Suddenly your love was not as it was before.
I’ve tried to close my eyes but all I could see was you.
My mind turned into a black hole,
swallowing up each kind of emotion while you took over the control
And the only colour being left in my life at this moment was blue.


Oh Aphrodite,
Beautiful daughter of the sea.
Golden curls,
Precious pearls,
White linen on your skin
Prettier than anyone has ever been.

Oh Aphrodite,
Perfection of beauty.
Wide hips,
Juicy lips,
Your curves so tempting
That everyone is staring.

Oh Aphrodite,
Look at me.
Seductive eyes,
Bonding ties,
With an insatiable desire
Burning like the hottest fire.

Oh Aphrodite,
Whisper to me slightly
And I’ll be on my way
Even though I know you won’t stay.

Author bio: Julia Giesen is studying special needs education at the UDE. Writing short poems has been her passion since her final years in Gymnasium. She is particularly inspired and impressed by the melancholy of the Romantic era.

Melodies of Bygone Memories

by Christina Brauer

My beloved winged lyricist

– Up there! in a nearby crown.

How sorely my grave heart has missed

Your tunes, light-hearted but profound.

There in the morning frost you sit,

Awaiting warmer days of spring.

Head held with pride and softly lit

When in the dusky light you sing.

But of what I cannot grasp.

I merely know what I perceive:

Sweet ballads of the times that passed,

Sound like home, lovely and bright,

Like bells that mark the end of night,

Fill me with sorrow,

Deep blue woe

When I think, I think of home.

And in my melancholia

I hear the voices from afar:

Children’s laughter

now so distant

Slips away

and now so foreign.

Fearful dread as life goes on:

Death of the past, oblivion.

– But that whistling sound so near,

This old familiar atmosphere

Ignites amongst the twilight grief

A spark of joy, so brief –

But leaves behind

Nostalgia of the cruellest kind

In that heartless certainty

That there is no rewind.

So I yearn and yearn in vain

For happiness, once so mundane.

And I’ve never understood

How something could

Be the cause of yearning

Of paralysing pain that’s burning

In my chest and all the while

also make me smile.

A glimpse of wisdom keeps me sound:

The present’s worth lies in the future,

In retrospective thoughts that nurture

And brace my loose roots in the ground.

Now in the grief that’s left behind

And in the remaining ache I find

Gratitude for what once was,

For value in moments, I believe,

Is measured in yearning, measured in grief.

So I’d rather feel this pain forever

Than to forget it altogether.

And though home is so far away,

You remind me every day.

So sing for me each morn and night.

‘cross from my window you’re in sight.

I’ll gladly listen, listen well

To anecdotes you seem to tell.

Oh beloved winged lyricist,

You fill my heavy heart with bliss.

How blessed I am you chose this spot

Right there on that bare tree top.

Author bio: Christina Brauer is a 4th-semester student who studies Anglophone Studies and Kommunikationswissenschaft and is fascinated by any kind of mythology; Greek, Norse, Celtic – you name it!

Sun Eater / Grandmother

by Corinna Schroll

Sun Eater

Icarus stands no chance
in the face of the sun eater.
Holy, white-hot
300 feet tall daughter,
no veil, no chain to suffocate her,
she walks not in the shadows of a master.
Weeping for dead dreams of the foremothers,
no bride, no mother, but a daughter of fury.
Tear her down from her pedestal,
to submit and serve
before she’ll eat the sun
to become omnipotent –
Better to burn out
submerged by flame
than to fade away.


Bride, mother, vanished,
a thousand eyes watching
have long abandoned her.
Remembered for her veil and womb,
but not her words or mind.
Loved alone by the moon,
unforgotten by celestial bodies
less uncaring than the passage of time
and the minds of men.
Past her prime, a life lived for others.
At least she HAD a husband.
Under the kings’ rule,
let me be king too and sit among them.
But they sneer and pat my head.
To them, I am another bride, mother,
forgotten daughter.
But the daughters remember.

Author bio: Corinna is a 4th-semester student who studies German and Anglophone Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Fascinated with exploring the latest technologies, she also likes to write and publish stories in her free time, and on occassion tries to express the inexpressible through poetry.

Poetry by Vyacheslav Konoval

The Marvel generation

Romanticism in the Majesty of the Suit,

mask, sword, batmobile,

thunder, iron gentlemen,

rats run to fight with them

and a cheeky white krill.

A fly-like red boy

skillfully jumps skyscrapers,

the spider saves,

his grandfather praises him,

a beautiful girl kisses the savior.

I played with these figurines,

the child was resting,

stickers, candy canes, felt happy,

heroes are in Bakhmut City,

heroes are sleeping under the mountains of Kruta,

heroes are sleeping on Mount Chernechiy.

Moped geraniums

An anti-aircraft missile roars in the night,

because the neighbor has a Russian special operation on his brain,

the engine hums and the wave pushes from the bed

of civilian women named Galya, Nina, and Nelya.

The anti-aircraft gun hits the propeller with a shot,

King’s bestseller will soon see the light of day,

how the Iranian gift burns,

the unmanned heart and stomach fly into the abyss.

There is no stop alarm,

thoughts and worries about parents,

about an acquaintance and neighbor’s friend.

Ukraine protects the whole world from evil

while he regretfully sympathizes with it.

The frowning Sun

The gray cat’s sleep was disturbed by anxiety,

the hosts are in a hurry,

walking distance to the metro,

the pet is carried to the subway shelter,

rockets to the capital are flying madly fast.

Relatives call the cat: «Chloe»,

and she wants to sleep

she frowned grumpily

to wait in the subway at night.

Fluffy gets nervous

by the excessive human attention,

purring under her breath,

she charms a spell curst for the Russian contagions,

the moon is full of attacks the city holds,

the little one fluffy complains that she can’t sleep.

Марвелівська генерація

Романтизм у величності костюма,
маска, шпага, бетмобіль,
грім, залізо джельтельменів,
біжать побитись з ними щур
й нахабний білий кріль.

Стрибає вміло хмарочосами,
мухоподібний червоний хлопчина
рятує паук, хвалить його дідуган,
цілує спасителя прекрасна дівчина.

Фігурками Вашими я грався,
безтуботна була  малеччя,
наклейки, фантики, щасливо почувався,
герої у Бахмуті, герої сплять під Кутами,
герої сплять на горі Чернеччі.

Мопедні Герані

Шумить у ночі ракета ПВО,
бо у сусіда в мізках російське СВО,
гуде двигун, штовхає хвиля із постелі
цивільну Галю, Ніну й Нелю.

Зенітка пострілом влучає у пропелер
побаче світ вже Кінговий бестселер,
як горить Іранський подарунок,
летить у прірву безпілотне серце й шлунок.

Відбою тривоги немає годину,
немає годину другу
думки й хвилювання про батьків,
про знайому і сусідську подругу.

Україна від зла увесь світ захищає
поки він із жалем їй співчуває.

Насуплене Сонечко

Сон сіренької киці порушила тривога,
квапляться господарі,
до метро ходьби дорога,
улюбленця із собою в укриття несуть
ракети у столицю шаленно швидко пруть.

Кицю рідні кличуть: «Хлоя»,
а вона хоче спати,
насупилась вередливо,
бо ніч в метро чекати.

Нервується пухнаста
надмірнній людській увазі,
під носа смерті бажає російській заразі,
місяць повний атаки місто тримає,
журиться маленька, що не доcипає.

Author bio: Vyacheslav Konoval is a Ukrainian poet whose works were translated into 6 languages. His poems have appeared in more than 60 literary magazines.

When I saw her

By Bharat Sharma

When I saw her,

I felt like

She is,

like a blooming rose,

Like a poet’s dream,

Like a shining ray of light,

like a full moon night

like a soft word,

in the temple,

like a burning candle,

When I saw her

I felt like

She is,

Like the beauty of the morning,

like a winter sun,

Like a note from my guitar,

Like life in all colours,

like a twining vine,

Like the play of the waves,

Like a fragrant cool wind,

When I saw her.

Happy prevails sad

By Kavin Pandya

The steps of life, some, where the sun shines

some, has shadows in front 

some truths hard to swallow 

some lies difficult to forget 

with each step there’s a new path;

a field uncharted horizons unexplored soil unkissed and air unbreathed 

and that’s where lies adventure on these fields open 

Where the heart throbs

and the mind works along,

to keep making the steps –

some happy, some sad

and trying the best,

when the dusk sets in 

and the sky brushes red,

it’s the happy one that prevails…

i killed myself

By Mio Kyiek

i killed myself out there
in one of april’s night
eyes up towards the heavens
asked myself, is this alright?

was this a worthy way to go
to let go of the old me?
of everything that people saw
to finally be ´he´?

as I sat there on the rooftop
i had so much to say to me
yet no word left my lips
so I sat humming, waiting, to finally just be

and in the morning
as sun kissed the walls
i smiled to myself upon realising
two boys now lived in these halls

finding out who you are
is a long road ahead
pack some snacks for the way
you’ll never be alone, they said

but what they didn’t know
what they didn’t get
finding yourself is often lonesome
will make you cry, mad and upset

but the truth is even though
this is your own way
there are many others
on the same track, even today

so be brave
be kind, reach out
to find friends
on lonely routes

i killed myself out there
in one of april’s nights
but with the help of others
we’re gonna reach new heights


By Victoria L. Koch

If time was but a maiden fair

            Of noble form and golden hair

            Would men, alike as women woo

            for her attention? Say, would you?

5          With scented flowers, chocolates sweet

            Would bow and kneel you at her feet

            For her to grace and grant to you

            A piece of her, if she chose to?

            For time, the greatest gift of all,

10        Is precious more than golden fall.

            More valuable, more swift and fleet

            Than many a man’s mighty deed.

            If time was but a maiden fair

            We’d only ever take from her

15        Would never give, not ever rest

            Until her presents we posessed.

            But time is fleet and time is swift

            And shall be treated as a gift,

            A fragile slipper made of glass,

20        Tread carefully as it doth pass!

Loki: Eternal Prince

By Victoria L. Koch

Rancour feeds the icy prince,

            Lingering upon the throne of gold

            The godly mischief dwells

            In solitude, his heart turned stone.

5          Betrayed. Deceived. Well-grounded rage

            Within the giant’s chest resides

            And – wroth upon his fellow kings –

            A coolly lordship he provides.

            In Asgard lies his wrongly home,

10        Defeated by the half-god’s will.

            Yet Jotunheim, his homeland true,

            Is bound under a ruthless chill.

            Eternal Prince of Asgard: cede

            And rest before thy lifetime fades!

15        A holy king thou’ll never be.

            Quite nothing but an heir of shades.

            ’t is in your hands to turn your fate

            Before the gods with anger rise,

            To take away your precious life

20        You rather live it in disguise.

            Yet is your destiny foregone.

            The younger one in mis’ry fails,

            Abandoned and alone becomes

            A phantom of the ancient tales.