LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 48, No.3 - Fall 2002
Editors of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
Copyright © 2002 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
If I seek one word from you
all others would collapse
"Linguist-envy" would become
a treatment term
for abandoned words
lying wasted and wanting
to be a word
If I must choose one, and
such noble descriptives do exist:
joy and peace and happiness
(no shabby fodder among them).
Sièmpre would call itself
to the bidding table
ask for fair consideration.
It has, after all, been
reliable and true for centuries.
But l'amour would lie
kicking and screaming
crying for justice
(a piece of the action, really)
the hopeless romantic that it is.
If I allow one word
one solitary, strong and meaningful word
steeped in tradition
weary but not worn
sought but not readily attained
a word that stands alone
but can balance all others
capable of anything
one word for you:
LIETUVIS IR LIETUVĖ
return from the parched shore of Ozymandias
No stone icon to greet them but a winding road
framed with dotted farmsteads
lily, mint and peony spiral
through the atmosphere
intoxicating their flinging spirits
Travelers: Lietuvis and Lietuvė
Seeking a place to lay their bodies down
battered minds and dreams of freedom
have dissipated into jocular memory
have entered the vocabulary of "past"
"We must find a hayloft where swallows breed," says Lietuvis.
"'Near woods of baravykai," replies Lietuvė.
Long they travel, each step savored
like honey-flavored cheese on Whitsunday
that feast of flaming tongues
where language was no barrier
and spirit was most holy
"There/' points Lietuvis.
Two storks lay nesting in the cartwheel of a sturdy oak.
He takes a sprig of rue and gently places it in Lietuvė's hair s
he brushes her hand lightly against his strong fingers.
today she is a maiden chaste
aglow with possibility
his love will fill her empty longing
"Lietuva," he calls out in his excitement
And from the birch-lined barn house Lietuva emerges
smiles and waves them in
the wicker fence-gate has been unlatched
to greet them home.