Haiku + Senryu

Haiku is a seasonal, reverent celebration of a subject (nature or people) trying to make a feeling.
Senryu tends to have a victim and may be humorous or irreverant trying to make a point.
- paraphrased from Michael Dylan Welch's Graceguts

Monday, 21 January 2013


View of Melbourne across the Yarra River

It's bamboo city 
And the sugar cane grows tall
Seasonal harvest

Are bamboo and sugar cane related?
Yes. They're about as close as humans are to orangutans, or domestic cats to leopards: same family, different subfamilies. Both are members of the grass family (Poaceae). Bamboos comprise the tribe Bambuseae in the subfamily Bambusoideae; sugar cane makes up the genus Saccharum in the subfamily Andropogoneae.
- Ref: HERE
The Baby Panda Bamboo (Pogonatherum paniceum) is an interesting grass from the rainforests of south-east Asia. It is like a dwarf bamboo but is not a true bamboo and is more closely related to sugar cane. It can be used as a pot plant inside well-lit houses, balconies or as an interesting feature plant around ponds, steps or bordering gardens. It likes lots of moisture and will take filtered light to full sun.
- Ref: HERE

The poem, on the surface, is about the bamboo and sugar cane connection.
But behind the idyllic description lurks the expression "bamboo city".
For me, the city is like alluring bamboo pan pipes, like sweet opportunities to make a fortune.
The sugar cane = skyscrapers growing tall, like reaching for that elusive wealth.
The last line is a final, wry comment.
Fortunes may be made, but like the fickle stockmarket, like the changing seasons, fortunes change and fall.
But these are just my thoughts behind the reason for the haiku.
(Like an extended metaphor perhaps!)
If they are not there for you, they are not there.

Linking to:
Carpe Diem ~ A Daily Haiku Meme ~ Bamboo


Mark M. Redfearn said...

Since palm "trees" are a variety of grass, I guess they're related to bamboo and sugar cane too! (Thanks for the new info!)

When the Bamboo Sings

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great imagery and the lesson. You'd think I'd have known that being in Queensland :)

Anonymous said...

shame on me, i'm from the Philippines --a land of bamboo and sugar cane, and i didn't know that.lol very informative. thank you

Managua Gunn said...

Very interesting! I know many skyscrapers in Hong Kong started as bamboo structures....

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Now THAT'S an interesting fact, Managua Gunn!

Lamps on Bamboo Poles

Anonymous said...

Great haiku. The picture brought back memories of my visit to Melbourne 4 years ago, we watched the fireworks on New Year's Eve along the bank of the Yarra.
Here in South East Spain sugar cane was grown as a major crop about two centuries ago and some of the towers of the chimneys of the processing works still remain under protection. The cane has mostly disappeared but you still find it growing near the old wash houses that remain or in the bend of a river bed where they find water. In the country the cane is cut and used for training tomatoes or supporting new trees. Tigerbrite

joanne said...

thanx for the 'lesson' and unique haiku

Brudberg said...

Unique take and great facts along.

Lolly said...

love the haiku and the information at the end.

Anonymous said...

Green plants...Melbourne...harvests............ I'm dreaming of summer! Thanks for the botany lesson and the lovely haiku and photo to remind us of warm weather!

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