Petronia petronia jyekundensis / Rock Sparrow /  Steinsperling [collected September 4 1935]

if it was a hunt i wouldn’t have known he blocked light from my body with a new name stoneshot to the skull there was wind in the cypress smell of pepper and pine rigged in my hammerthroat ein grüner wind in the cypress my feather-mess falling ein grüner wind in den bäumen he preened my skin from the bones now black crown now body-less night what did you say night cliffs were there pepper and pine cliff-face black black black crown of my head pfeffer und kiefer my cliffs were there crownless wet rock-face what blood faced my schwarze felsen felsen waren da green wind in the cypress pfeffer und kiefer fer ein grüner wind stößt die felsen black rock burst my body from the green-knit cypress when cliffs were if black cliff if if if felsen waren da if cliff if felsen da da kalt läuft das wasser den stein hinunter washed my cliff my cliff-face cold er riss meinen dunklen körper nieder







In the 1930s, Ernst Schäfer, a German SS officer and zoologist, participated in three natural-history expeditions to Tibet and Sikkim. Despite a hunting prohibition from the Tibetan government, Schäfer and his team killed roughly seven thousand birds over the course of these trips using primarily a homemade slingshot. The majority of the birds, including newly discovered species and subspecies, were then transported back to Germany and housed in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. These poems are part of the series “Bird Bodies of Ernst Schäfer.”