*Penjor – these beautifully decorated bamboo poles line the streets during the Balinese ceremony called Galungan and streets compete with each other for awards for the most finely decorated Penjor.

Did you know you can buy the softest clothing and bedding made from bamboo and I really have drunk wine from a bamboo goblet, eaten young bamboo shoots and played a bamboo instrument called a rindik.  It has been used as scaffolding for my new house and as the main building material for a whole school – a Greenschool!

Balinese Penjor – Decorated Bamboo Poles

By the way, this was the first poem I had published – in Bali Advertiser, June 2011

Bamboo ©

So much to offer
beautiful to behold
whether small, or tall
so versatile

Every inch light yet strong
whether build, wear or song
decorate, sit or climb
a musician’s friend
for to drink some wine

A transporter
of water
for healing the sick
a mat on which to lay
a dish for the day

My respect, good bamboo
your mighty penjor*
pleases my eye
when I see you reach towards the sky

A cluster of Bamboo in the morning light

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