Villages and Plains the Streams Flow Through Poem by Jonas Mekas

Villages and Plains the Streams Flow Through



You too return, along with days gone,
and flow again, my blue rivers,

to carry on the songs of washerwomen,
fishermen's nets and grey wooden bridges.
Clear blue nights, smelling warm,
streams of thin mist off the meadow drift in
with distinct hoof-stomps from a fettered horse.

To carry off rioting spring thaws,
willows torn loose and yellow lily cups,
with children's shrill riots.
The summer heat, its midday simmer:
lillypads crowd, where a riverbed's narrowed,
while mud in the heat smells
of fish and rock-studded shallows.

And even at the peak, when the heat
locked in with no wind appears to shiver and burn,
and barn siding cracks in the sun, even then
this water touches shade, down in the reeds,
so you can feel the pull and crawl,
one cool blue current through your fingers,
and bending over its clear blue flow
make out field smells, shimmering meadows,
other villages passed on the way here,
remote unfamiliar homesteads,
the heavy oakwood tables
heaped with bread, meat, and a soup of cold greens,
the women waiting for the reapers to return.

Translated by Vyt Bakaitis

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Jonas Mekas

Lithuanian-American
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