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Diana Paklonskaitė

I was born on September 3, 1970, in Kaunas and raised in Dzūkija. From 1989 to 1993, I studied at the Kaunas Higher School of Art (formerly known as the Stepas Žukas Technical College). When I came back to Druskininkai, I worked as an artist at the city’s bus park and later as a conductor. I lived in Ireland for 18 years. I currently live in Druskininkai and work at gift and jewelry shops. In my spare time I do pottery, making cups, plates, little cats, and other cute knickknacks out of clay. My poetry has been published in various cultural magazines and anthologies. I have published the poetry books Gilaus mėlynumo (Deep Blue, 2006), Lakštingalų Airijoj nėr (No Nightingales in Ireland, 2014), and Gėlės kaip šunys (Flowers Like Dogs, 2023).

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reflections on belonging

a palmers chronicle right bw

Graphic Novels

Antanas Gudaitis, Woman with birds,1967. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. From the MO Museum collection.

Poems from the poetry book „Flowers Like Dogs“

Translated by Markas Aurelijus Piesinas

 

 

 

Earthworm Satsanga

 

it is said that we owe a debt of gratitude

to worms for the beauty of all vegetation

and the harvest it brings us

- quoted from the press -

 

while looking up the definition of satsanga

in dictionaries and wikipedia

on my phone

and youtube

i suddenly remembered my earthworms –

 

how they

loosen the soil

in our meadow

between the roots of my fragrant Rozamina

for a modest fee:

 

don’t harm the dandelions, thistles

nettles and fleaworts

leave the clumps of moss intact

don’t spray any herbicides

and scatter some ash

so the lawn would be more lush…

 

it is said that worms regenerate

the tails of memories

they’re quick to unravel

the small knots of dreams

 

it is said that five little hearts

throb in the earthworm

so that tiny seeds of life

might hatch with more ease

 

it is said by those who know

those who understand the satsanga of worms

 

***

sweet peas

you remind me of

a lone captain

on the shore of

a dwindling lake

near the ramshackle ship

that he keeps mending mending

and mending…

he doesn’t shave

he stopped writing letters

and dreaming of home

he doesn’t visit his children

but when he strolls into the mountains

slowly fading into the verdure

with a knapsack on his back

a little snow

on his gray wavy hair

clasping an issue

of National Geographic

from a flea market –

the common crane – the sentry

flutters its wings

and rises

from a stone bridge

the cows flare their nostrils

and moo

as they follow him

while the whole valley lights up

with sweet peas

it lights up – and that’s it

 

***

from early morning

the bumblebee works the nasturtiums

 

and why did that Japanese poet say

in italics that sunrises are cruel?

 

oh, the strange Japanese!

 

they look at blooming sakuras, yet they think

of ivory factories

 

(daughter, don’t go to Japan!)

 

but maybe that poet knows

why swallows choose dingy days

to patch up the nets in the sky

 

the bumblebee drones like a distant

faraway highway - - -

 

who knows, when I become really old

will I need a cane to help me walk

into the sunset?

 

my grandfather had a cane the color of buckwheat

with a curved handle

but I never asked him where he got it

 

***

like this, slowly, bit by bit

i push the world away

mark it off

my passion is to keep looking at

that one singular

barn swallow

it’s foolish, i know

unfair, i know

like clutching a handful of acorns

like clutching a handful of people

when i can barely breathe

balled up in a fist

so small

i try escaping and running

i try adapting and smiling

nodding and saying yes

doing my makeup

and not worrying or arguing

having breakfast with everyone

not complaining about how cold it is

or that they cut down those trees

or that the pheasant was hit

by that stupid shiny

red car

like this, slowly, bit by bit

i embrace the world

but wish it was

just one person

on the bus platform

when the driver is eyeing you, but waits

before closing the doors –

he knows there’s no traffic at night

they’ll arrive at point B

on schedule

 

from the series “Dancing Rowan Trees”


1

i’m sweeping rowanberries

away from the sidewalk

so the neighbors in my building

stop complaining about the tree:

once planted by a crazy woman

two meters away from the window

just branches and leaves

flowers and bees

cats and birds

up to the fifth floor

berries exploding under your feet

frightening the tips of your shoes

so many this year

it rains and it pours

all september

imagine you only leave the apartment

if you have to

you sit

at the kitchen table

wrapped in a shawl

and when the sun is out

the wet rowanberries

the rowan wine

the rowan soil

all in a pink bucket - - -

just sweeping and sweeping

and that’s your life

 

7

do many poets

in Mexico

wipe drops of worry

from their foreheads

with the cuffs

of rowan-colored shirts,

Gerardo?

 

8

from a conversation with a poem by

Liudvikas Jakimavičius

 

a time when people were

not afraid of each other?

 

must be a bad joke

 

ask any rowan

by the road

 

9

when I flew back from Ireland

the bees also returned

to the rowan blossoms

 

10

this picture is dated

September 15, 2021:

Diana, Ričardas, Ana, Patrikas, Nojus

a Dog

and

a Rowan Tree

 

18

softer and softer

from the dense leaves

of the rowan tree

 

ever more tender

and dark –

 

I’ll make my bed

and I’ll sleep in it

 

summer’s gone

but I must rest

 

before a new journey

 

- - - - - - - - - - - -

 

when I get up

the road will be bare

 

rowanberries will be

piercingly red

 

but right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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