the clamber

after Tomas Butkus

eyes cleared by muteness
to the mist-driven wind
in a snatched cold
this side of an arctic town
i saw in the ice
of the frozen pond
on its snow-covered surface
footprints skittering outwards –
the language of all the quick of the world –
bulrushes and a carpet frame’s
dismal metallic shadow
four black circles in that place
where another kind of vision starts
words sunken already
into the pond’s black eye
wading on four legs into the time of suppression
(it’s clear now – the loss of memory) –
red rectangles of objects cleaned in the snow
tongue frozen on the metal of syllables

Translated as part of a Literature Across Frontiers Poetry Translation Workshop in Druskininkai Poetic Fall, Lithuania 2009