‘108 Moons’ – Jurga Ivanauskaitë

translation from the Lithuanian by Ruta Suchodolskyte and Paul Perry.

I live as if swinging
on the tongue of a bell
sometimes hating myself loudly
sometimes loving myself quietly


108 moons stiffen in a rosary
falling stars stick in the snow
on a dazzled night at the foot of Kailash
time is not passing not passing not passing not passing not passing


I often wake up rooted
in the middle of an endless circle
I can feel the horror
there is no place to go


A shadow of a butterfly
flies over the earth
I am coming back
as if into mother’s womb
into suddenly opening emptiness


Asked by an old Master
I am singing  about my favourite mountain
he interrupts me:
your love will not be answered


I am climbing and climbing
then stop to catch my breath
Kailash yogi is whispering:
I envy the mountain
who made you breathe
with such passion


Foaming wine of the sky
in a blue mountain cup
on the New Year morning
while warming hands by the fire


In the fog at sunrise
a yak shepherd said to me:
darling if you are looking for enemies
your wish
is an order for everyone


On the night of the full moon
on the  way to Tingri
the messenger
who passed me by
didn’t cast a shadow


White Kailash mountain
the egg of the  universe
I fall to your feet
I am the one obsessed by lust


Butchers’ laughter
Lambs’ blood
soaking into the first snow
I am leaving Lhasa


Skies flow into me
while meditating
I embrace the earth
melt in ecstacy
but you are not here

Jurga Ivanauskaitë (14 November 1961, Vilnius – 17 February 2007, Vilnius) was a prose writer, essayist, poet, playwright and painter and was probably the most widely read writer in Lithuania. Her most recent books, ‘Gone with the Dreams’ and ‘Placebo’ became national bestsellers. In 1994 Ivanauskaitë took her first trip to India and studied Buddhism at Dharamsala, gaining impetus to start a new page in her literary work. Her paintings and photographs, which, like her books, underwent a complete transformation after her travels, always drew crowds when exhibited.

Ruta Suchodolskyte is a Lithuanian writer and translator based in Vilnius. She writes for the Veidas Periodical Press and has published her own poetry and translations in a variety of journals in Europe. A graduate of Vilnius Pedagogical University, she also holds a Masters Degree from the University of Ulster.

Paul Perry is the author, editor and translator of several books including ‘The Drowning of the Saints’, ‘Goldsmith’s Ghost’, and ‘The Orchid Keeper’. ‘The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance’ appeared from The Dedalus Press in 2010. Based in Dublin, he teaches for the Creative Writing Programme at Kingston University, London.


About thefiendjournal

I was born in Blackpool, England and am currently based in Lancashire. Poems have been published in magazines in the U.K, Ireland, France, New Zealand, Canada, U.S.A and South Korea. A pamphlet; "MMV", was published in 2008. Hundreds of poems have been written in draft form, and multiple books are being planned and edited for future release. As well as editing 'The Fiend' I translate, paint and dabble in photography (images of which have occasionally been used here).
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