Reintroducing The Andean Condor By Eveline Pye

andean condor flying peru

Photo by Jmarti20


An abandoned egg, hatched in the shadow
of sailcloth wings, fed by a surrogate;
a dark-hooded man with a wooden beak.


A bird too heavy to survive in the Andes
without mastering the movement of air
taming thermals in soaring flight.


A hang glider, crafted with a ten foot span,
black as its mother, a simulation of wind
on feathers of a condor’s pinion.


For months, Angelo guides the fledgeling:
they circle inside columns of hot air,
rise like a corkscrew in the Peruvian sky.


The condor, with its regal ruff of white,
is blessed by a shaman under a full moon,
released into the sacred Urubamba valley.


Angelo watches over him for a few days
then slides along the earth on four wheels
follows the road back home to his children.



Eveline Pye has an international reputation for mathematical and scientific poetry. She was mentored by Liz Lochhead under the Clydebuilt scheme. Her collection, Smoke That Thunders, was published by Mariscat Press (2015) and, from it, the poem Mosi-Oa-Tunya was chosen for the 20 Best Scottish Poems of that Year.

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