n. (fr. L homo human being)
expression of high regard; praise;
tribute; respect; acknowledgment;
reverence; honor; devotion;
ancient; artistic; admirable
durable; delightful; delicious
elegant; enchanting; exquisite
fastest growing plant on earth
healing hope for the earth; honorable
musical; mysterious; magickal
peaceful; poetic; playful
sacred; spiritual; sensual
x-quisite; x-pressive; x-otic
about “to bamboo! ...”
this anthology of
90 poems about bamboo,
written throughout the ages has been a compelling & joyful process of treasure-hunting & gathering.
about 25 years ago, knowing of my attraction to bamboo, a friend gave me a poem about bamboo that she found in a gardening magazine. it was to become the very first of this collection, which has grown & manifested over the years from diverse & sometimes surprisingly obscure sources.
This lovingly chosen collection of poems about bamboo is presented in an ancient to early to later to contemporary time sequence. each piece is its own unique offering contributing to a mixture of simplicity, depth, wisdom, humor, uplifting inspiration & quiet meditation...all time-less & time-ly variations on the theme of “homage”
to this exquisite
grass of grace & grit.
i am grateful for the strong yet gentle nudgings from the many “spirits of bamboo”
with their continued playful insistence that this collection be collected &
given birth in a creatively loving way.
each book is a hand-made piece of art, bound with hemp in the traditional japanese stab-binding method, embellished with a small bamboo branch.
bamboo is indeed one of the most important sustainable, healing & hopeful plants on our fragile & sacred mother earth. gaia, goddess of the earth, knows this to be true!
thus, this timely gift to the world, this impressive collection of poems about bamboo,
this poetic tribute, this celebration,
this homage... to bamboo!
i trace my love for bamboo back to outings with my parents to the japanese tea garden in san francisco's golden gate park, as a little girl of about five years old. i smile nostalgically as i recall wandering off by myself into those magickal & seemingly huge bamboo groves, crouching down & listening to the leaves rustling & the culms knocking against each other around me. i really loved hiding in there amidst the lacey green pointed ‘paint brushes’ listening to the percussion of the culms that looked like flutes & sounded like claves & sometimes like xylophones. i also enjoyed skipping around the funny little low fences made of bamboo & tied with black cord. these memories are very strong & happy ones of times that were the genesis of my life-long ‘attraction-become-passion’ for this beloved plant.
as soon as i moved into the first home-of-my-own & started landscaping & growing gardens, i began to surround myself with bamboo plantings, many in large containers. they became very dear family members & friends. wherever i moved they came with me & i was always adding more where space allowed. i have also always enjoyed introducing them to friends, spreading the essence of their beauty & intrinsic value to the earth.
during a chapter of living in big sur, california i became inspired to design simple gates & fences similar to the ones i remembered from the japanese tea garden. i have allowed ideas & projects to playfully germinate & expand ever since over the years.
when ‘the book of bamboo’ by david farrelly was presented to me as a gift by a friend back in the late eighties,
i was both amazed & greatly inspired by the vast amount of information, as well as the incredible creative
explorations, one after another,
that mr. farrelly has presented.
one definition of religion is: something we believe in & follow devotedly.
one definition of bible is: the sacred writings of any religion.
farrelly’s masterpiece, ‘a comprehensive guide to this remarkable plant...’, has indeed become my bamboo bible. his poems about bamboo, so delightfully tucked in here & there within his book, are each such eclectic gems. i am honored to include them in my collection.
the american bamboo society is a most important body of bambuseros, nurseryfolk, gardeners, scientists, ecologists, perpetrators of green consciousness & sustainability, artists, musicians, writers, educators, architects, designers, builders, bamboo-smiths, landscape architects, devoted enthusiasts & playful characters. i am happy to be a member & very grateful to be a recipient of their annual arts awards in 2004 & 2008.
in 1999, i traveled solo to bali with the intention of learning as much as possible about bamboo
& altho' i was only there, in & around the wonderful town of ubud, for about 3 weeks,
i did indeed learn a lot. i was fortunate to connect with linda garland (the "queen of bamboo"),
to visit her amazing bamboo home & to be able to spend time with some of her
very bamboo-knowledgeable balinese staff. i was grateful to be driven
(on motor scooters)
around the ubud area viewing many groves & beautiful examples
of old & new architectural structures built of bamboo.
the best part of my journey there was connecting with musicians who
the various traditional bamboo instruments, taking a few music lessons
& coming back home with some treasured bamboo instruments.
both before & after my trip to bali, i had the pleasure of meeting up with
architect gale beth goldberg in santa barbara, who had traveled to bali as well & was in the process of writing her wonderful book, 'bamboo style'.
as recently-retired resident manager/office choreographer for the past 14+ years of the
white lotus yoga foundation, a yoga retreat center in santa barbara, california, i am now embarking on a more full-time focus of my bamboo work. in addition to my book of bamboo poems, i design & create a variety of functional objects of art for home & garden as well as bamboo jewelry. these items will soon be pictured & available to order.
my intimate kinship with the aesthetics & spirituality of bamboo has evolved into a deep knowing
that its essence is & always will be sweetly imbued
in my bones, brain, mind, heart, spirit & soul.
& forever shall i be
the bamboo messenger woman.
“...nothing between last eyes & april sunlight but bamboo leaves...”
- david farrelly (from bamboo messenger: in green memory of mcclure)