These 55 poems represent the impressions of the author during his 4-year stay in Jena, Germany, whilst working as a research biologist. They will strike a chord with anyone interested in the town and its people, as well as the surrounding countryside and wildlife, and who cherish this, and wish to conserve it for future generations to enjoy.
Welcome to (Jena) Paradies, The Linden Tree, The New Day, Meeting of Minds, The Word, Must we have more concrete?, Haiku for Late March, Coots on the Saale, Pink Tulips, Ode to Spring, The Pink Azalea, Forward to the Place of the Owl, The Earthly Bird, The Best & Worst Songsters, Crows, The Zigzag Mountain, In Memory of Joan, The Thirtieth of May, Orchid City, The loss of a clonal aphid, The Lepidopterist, The Great Orange Monster, Can you hear the dinosaurs?, Nightingales, Mayflies of the Dornburger Schlösser, A day on the Jenzig, Lady’s Slippers, She smiled, I hear the Swifts screeching overhead, Who is an Ausländer?, Spotted Flycatcher, The Fuchsturm, A Morning Like No Other, The Deadly Game, The Three Graces, Away…with the Birds, What I would do for you, Dialogue with a Mosquito, The Hornet and the Bottle, The Beach, High Summer, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Bavarian Pebbles, Moments of Solace and Solitude, Bee Queen and Queen Bees, Who am I?, Sailboat, September Rains, Advice on growing old, There are many meetings, The Creatures of Mondsee, Is it Too Late?, The Turning of the Tide, The New Beginning, Land of our Birth
“What a pleasure it was to read through the book. This morning I was laughing while reading one of the poems and Winnie [Dr. Winfried Voigt, PhD, Institute of Ecology, Jena] realized while he was eating his breakfast that it was you Hugh who made me laugh. You managed to capture and put into words not only your adventure of the last few years but mine as well. I felt the book was written for me, a person who could never express so clearly and beautifully what it is like to move from my English speaking world to Jena. You share the same appreciation for this wonderful city as I do. I believe the natives could never see the highlights with the same bright clarity as us.....as you said, welcome to Paradies...... Yet the work is so uniquely you Hugh. I guess that goes without saying but I believe I am seeing Jena through your eyes as well as mine." Mary Voigt, née Gizzie, English Language Teacher, Jena, Germany
“On receiving The Jena Poems, which Schnase was given on his 50th birthday, he became aware of the English lyricist Hugh D. Loxdale and was so enthusiastic about these poems in English that the idea matured in him some of the texts to record." Michael A. Schnase, composer, musician and leader of the contemporary German rock band 'Radio Mellingtone'
So that’s what you look like,
So that’s where you are.
Indeed you are unworldly,
Surrealistic almost, but truly a star…
In your large yellow slippers
And delicate three-pronged, burgundy hat…
You exceed all my expectations,
I’m certain of that…
You are much bigger for a start,
Growing on steep wooded hillsides…
Whilst for my part,
I can only stare in awe, consider the natural law
That, by chance, framed your personality,
Shaped your subtle colour, style, your fire…
The most exotic being of the plant world I have ever seen…
Magnificent I should say…
And I doubt that another meeting
Would be so fine as this, our first…
Here amongst the solitary, sunlit woods,
And the red-barked pines that point to the sky…
Yet protect your tenderness and beauty,
One so rare, as you are shy…
This first day of June…
Surely a day… to inspire.
Though sad at learning that her marks were poor,
She stood like a storm-tossed ship in treacherous seas,
Whilst tears filled up in those dark, beguiling eyes,
And promised to break hard on an unforgiving shore...
Yet still that vessel held and not a drop was spilled,
So that resolution became her well,
And resisted that heavy, tortured swell
Till at last, it did subside,
The clouds parted, the sun came out once more,
And slowly, ever so slowly, she smiled.
Land of our birth,
The beautiful blue-green Earth,
Floating like a jewel in dark endless space,
But to us, our home, our heavenly place.
Where dolphins leap in turquoise seas
And gaudy butterflies do what they please,
Birds of iridescent plume
Sing bright notes through the woodland gloom…
As sunlit shafts cut the mist,
Where tree trunks rot and fungi resist
That view of permanence…
Yet even so persist.
Bees travel from flower to flower
During each and every sunlit hour,
And leaves absorb that precious gift
Of light and purest air,
Their branches upwards they do uplift.
And meanwhile, the old silvery Moon,
Full ripe and fancy free,
Stares down as it has always done…
Upon tranquil hills and valleys,
Streams and rivulets,
Coasts, plain and forest too –
Where dappled tigers still roam…
As they prefer to do.
Confirming that this place,
For which there is no price,
Indeed, has worth…
And that we should think well of her….
And thus treat her kindly…
Our unique, most lovely Earth.