Andrew Schelling

A condor burial in Larkspur

A condor burial in Larkspur
bones of 100 grizzly & black bear
sea otter bones
a California village that dates back to the Pyramids
tools musical instruments harpoon tips spears
bones of a puma
The ceremonial way we bury things,
dab paint on the condor’s wing feathers
but who in California has
heard of the old ones?
Today is total solar eclipse
11:45 a.m. smoky & cool
Clark’s nutcracker going west released
a loud craaaawk
small birds perch unalarmed
you can walk right up to them in the grey air
flutes bone-awls hairpins game pieces
What raga to sing
when the sun goes into eclipse?
“the holy shit raga!”
day moves to dawn to
dusk and back

Driving home from “King Lear”

Driving home from “King Lear”
county road under repair
four years ago floods tore it to pieces
this year the West

is afire

Lear has gone the medicine path
burdock, nettle, hemlock, cuckoo flow’rs
in his hair

we all bite on something
madness or farther out
I like “rank fumiter” for its sound—
swept by a torrent, smoked flat
on a rock

Buddhists call it duhkha
someone always has it worse though
and the perigee-syzygy moon
yellow as
a sweet potato

sends out blessings of love

these vexéd
mountain peaks

water and fire

Struggling with the Sanskrit
of a poem
1400 years old,
keyaṃ tvarā means what?
Something like, why the big hurry.
So I go get coffee at the Blue Owl.
Banana bread’s fresh this morning,
guy with a beard tells me.
It’s his mother’s recipe.
A firefighter too—last month
got called with his truck out to Paradise.
The worst he’s ever seen.
That’s California but it sure could happen here.
We in this world living are water
the old poet says controlling her grief,
we trickle from the mouth
of a clay pot.
Fire, though, and I put a few dollars
in the tip jar,
that’s something else.


Untrained the poet
churns inside his own mind.
The poem’s forced.
Words feel like shackles.
Speaking at a salon he goes adrift—
a clown
stranded downtown
where the foreign streets
get weird.

Kavika,,hābharara 5.1


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