Necklace of Silence
(Tylos Veriniai)

pure water poured —
but muddied
on the ground there were
drops — a few — of memory


beautiful one that returns
from far away journeys
from unfamiliar cities

smiling to yourself
mysteriously silent

beautiful one, that only just
before utterance


it’s already desolate,
already dawn
already morning twilight
some thoughts all of a sudden
some pulses of light sowing
time, hands, bodies

sweet disturbance
melting city
necklace of silence


from all of my lives
I remember one autumn
in the memory of that autumn
I peer through a rivery window
in that window
I see an open stretch of road
on that road
I find a footprint
in that footprint
I build a house
in that house
I plant my childhood fern
in that fern
I dream of a shining blossom
on that blossom
I see a fallen drop
in that drop
I recognize an old face
in that face —
I hear my own voice

Birute Mar

A poet and actress, Birute Mar’s poetry collections include Neissiusti Laiskai (VPU Press, 1995), Kokoro (Vaga, 1999) and Solo (Strofa, 2001). A member of the ensemble of the prestigious Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, she has traveled across Europe and to South America and the United States giving award-winning solo performances of her adaptations of “The Lover,” “Antigone,” and “Words in the Sand” under the stage name of Birute Marcinkevicuite. This is her first publication in the United States.

Works by Birute Mar

Poetry: Necklace of Silence

J. C. Todd

J. C. Todd, winner of the 2016 International Literary Award’s Rita Dove Poetry Prize and a Pew Fellow in the Arts, is author of three collections of poetry, What Space This Body, Nightshade, and Entering Pisces, as well as FUBAR, a limited edition artist book created in collaboration with visual artist MaryAnn L. Miller (Lucia Press, 2016). Other awards include finalist for the Robert H. Winner Award and for the Lucille Medwick Lyric Poetry Award, both from the Poetry Society of America.

Todd is the 2016 Pew Fellow at the Ucross Foundation, a Fellow of the Ragdale Foundation, and has been a Virginia Center for Creative Arts international exchange artist at Schloss Wiepersdorf in Germany. Other residencies include those at VCCA, the Hambidge Center, and the Baltic Center for Artists and Translators in Sweden. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Big Bridge, and elsewhere. She is a faculty member of the Creative Writing Program at Bryn Mawr College and the MFA Program at Rosemont, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.