Theme: Observation

Flying Bamboo

In my father's old house
in the other town
there was a compound
squared by walls
in all four directions.

The east allowed the sun
to fall on to the west;
winds came whistling in
through a conduit
from south to north.

We had planted a bamboo tree
right in the middle
to harness winds, and
mellow the sun.
It grew beyond the house

in leaps and bounds
feeding on my mother's singing
every morning -
catching up with sounds
and the poignant words.

Its old shoots steadied on earth
like mature matrons;
the new ones were restless -
always shaking
like indignant perverts.

I feared if they grew above
the roof they would fly -
their long, spiny leaves
hanging from tapering shoots
like fledglings without wings.

But I liked their spirit -
absorbent, segmented and hollowed.
I took some tender cuttings
trimmed to size, and
potted them as bonsai.

Now they were
not so demanding.
I could still hear old tunes
from their hollows,
and I sang to them sometimes.

I saw to it, they grew up with a fear of flying.


More By  : Dr. Uma Asopa

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