Monday, March 19, 2007

to the coast, to Nida

We travel to Nida, where the amber river meets the Baltic.

For Liudvikus

Amber in alcohol a resiny
sting on the tongue,
vodka on the run,
coke in the strip bar,
downtown, rivers run
out of Russia,
to the sea sand of Nida.
Drinking with your father,
fifteen years in Siberia he
hands me a glass,
Dusk, and it looks like rain.

Lithuanian Prophecy

Maybe he said we were going
to Kaunas, or Klepeda.
Maybe we had had
too much to drink.
Maybe we ended up
on sand beaches in Nida.
Maybe the river will stop flowing.
Maybe there will be amber.
Maybe the storks will come.
Maybe we were never
really here at all.

Stork sky amber river

Inside the bear
there is snow and cold water.
Outside, storks fly north,
from the desert,
bringing good luck.
Everything comes to the river,
following a map of amber,
ancient pine forest resin flow
rivermouth lagoon.
I will return, encased in amber,
when the black storks
fly home.

We have driven for miles, away from the city (Vilnius), forty odd poets in a bus, to the farm of the man who makes the best beer in Lithuania. We are on his lawn, drinking beer, and eating strips of smoked pig's ears, which I find delicious. I remember the feed store at home, where I buy grain and shavings. They sell pigs' ears as chew toys for dogs, not knowing how well they go with beer. I am in a new place, and always learning.
When it comes time to go, the bus is stuck in the sand driveway. We cannot push it out. Drunken poets throw themselves in front of the bus, not wanting to leave. Local tractors are sent for, and pickup trucks come to take us to another farm, where there is grilled sausage and beer. We eat. We drink. The night grows darker.

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