Volume 48, No.3 - Fall 2002
Editors of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 2002 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.



If I seek one word from you 
all others would collapse 
in jealousy

"Linguist-envy" would become 
a treatment term 
for abandoned words 
lying wasted and wanting 
to be a word 
for you

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: 


Two travelers
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.