Bamboos by Stella M. Turk MBE

Bamboos are evergreen

Adding beauty to any scene.

Some are always very small:

Others are exceptionally tall*.

They are true grasses just like corn,

Reeds and the green of every lawn,

But with stems both woody and hard

That can be very delicately carved.

In an Indian state in the north-east

Bamboo** seeds give rats a big feast

So they grow very quickly and then breed

On this nutritious and plentiful seed.

They then compete for the rice and maize

That the forest people are trying to raise.

Desperate attempts made to arrest

The ravages of this ravenous pest

That swarms and then prodigiously breeds

Every 48 years when the bamboo seeds,

The rats bring desperation and frustration

To the devastated local human population.

Stella M Turk MBE

November 2008

Stellas notes:

*Bamboo can reach heights of 30-35 metres with an occasional specimen of over 40 metres. *This the Black Rattus rattus. Rigorous conditions at our ports prevent it re-colonising the British isles. In a talk given on BBC World Service on 31 10 2008, it was suggested that (ironically) the ‘slash and burn’ methods used by these people when they destroy the forest to grow their crops, encourages the bamboos.


See more verses by Stella



Adverts by Google