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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

All Issues
JUNE 2021 Issue
Poetry

five


Lapse into Recovery

But it’s not as if it should all be black
at least in the heart of the oval mirror


Stern refuge finer than flimsiest dust
in the unlanced somnolence of an airy bubble


How the brow overhangs your eyes as a shading
leaf leaves the tree with no singular claim


A sunkissed souvenir takes on the glow
drenched to accompany thunder


Lightning now cuts loose a shudder
of crushed foil to take away at eye level









Paraclete



In the land of enchantments,
everyone has a story


The arena we live in whispers collide
no dream without exaggeration is rumor-free


In the night it is always night and just because
no uncertified arguments ever set us free


So long as we keep worrying
guidelines we do so love reshaping


Planes have fallen from the sky
and our people were on them


Cars pile up a monument to distraction
to shake free of the least secret claim


Trucking in full regalia one small clean failure
pitching in and missing for a low-slung ozone









Votive



No mountain has stood as I have stood
in line for the cashier at the corner market
next to tubs cramped with flowers on ice


While birds are scarce this January
their agility outpacing each shadow
only a jetlagged pair of sparrows
keeps pondering the pavement


That yesterday maybe cleared a place
for us here though it may have been
before then the days began to lag


Long before a cold truth can assert itself
past the dawn when everything’s woven
into a vaguely significant distance


Small incentive
happenstance









Abiding Faith, at the Solstice



We don’t need a breeze to tell us
there’s life in the trees


All stand the test of time
alone with their pins or leaves


And need none of the names we give them
to do as they please


Acting like so many children
ignoring our pleas


Should the snows crowd in they’ll still
hold still and
remember not to freeze


And each has a reason to stay wherever
regardless how far from the sun


Given time each one keels over
with a hope the green will return









From the Lithuanian



Standing on top of a stump
I watched for stars


Cold wind kicked the dark
into my eyes


Sending the song of a gloomy pine grove
down to sleeping humankind


Could that be death come down to earth
along with the last gleam of light?


A boy wrote this
because he couldn’t sleep


Alone so lonely
dead to the world before he could dream
any future he’d claim was his


Now I think of him nearing death
so many years since
I wish I could sleep

Contributor

Vyt Bakaitis

Vyt Bakaitis, with three books of poems published and Refuge & Occasion due soon from Station Hill Press, is now wrapping up The Antigone Play, freely adapted from Sophocles by way of Hölderlin’s renowned German version.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

All Issues