Shall We Offer Flowers?

Andrew Schelling

© 2010 Frances Pelzman Liscoio/Punks and Roses Photography

Bitter buffaloberry
devil’s club, tangled dogtooth
narrowleaf arrowhead
What are the lineages of life?
ground water, radiant heat—
listen, they form the underlying beat
of the watershed,
gifts with no motive the way of the ancients
skyrocket chicory bluestem
few-flowered shooting star
Indian pipe
all the paradise you need’s outside your door
the medicine Buddha wears a lapis lazuli headdress
feathers & turquoise beads
can you give thanks with a pinch of
bear tobacco?
balms salves unguents poisons the mints
Earth puts forth her medicines
one day you’ll need a plant
a certain herb you’ve never met
step cautiously
yellow owl’s clover, prairie smoke
if you bend the yellow florets aside
you open an abyss

—Andrew Schelling

To hear Andrew Schelling read his poem aloud, click here.

Image: ©2010 Frances Pelzman Liscio/Punks and Roses Photography

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