It is Not Indigenous

My friend Ace told me he was afraid
for the first time in his life.

I said, “Welcome to the world.”

There we were, me with my heart
(every day severed) with the fear
of losing wild, overgrown beauty.

And him, wanting to tame the bamboo,
thinking it would make him brave…
“Cut it out!” (but it keeps growing)

Bamboo grows everywhere, especially in areas
its not supposed to grow.
It is not indigenous around here.

However, it is still quite lovely.
And I told him that maybe being afraid

is okay.

But he said he wanted to burn down the bamboo
forest.

BIO
Holly Dunlap has a M.A. in CW from CU, and is going to be teaching a class in the fall called “Writing Children’s Literature” for UGA Continuing Ed. She’s excited to no end about it…oh, and scared:)
Holly can be found blogging here.

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8 Responses to It is Not Indigenous

  1. nathan1313 says:

    This really gets to the heart of it — the fear of “wild. overgrown beauty.” You could have just made it that and that would’ve been good, but I like the way you introduce the fear of losing this beauty.

  2. Noah says:

    I really like this. Perhaps, if I hadn’t woke up a few minutes ago, I could put what I want to say to you in words.

  3. ybonesy says:

    Nice. We have bamboo that grows around here, also not indigenous, and there is something kind of wild and out of control about it.

  4. First of all, the title rocks! Okay, I know that sounds silly, but I have trouble with titles. So, I’m impressed. It’s a perfect fit. And indigenous could point to the bamboo or the people, at least in my interpretation. And I like that.

    And now for the entire poem. I love the beauty and the music of the words. Nice, clean lines. Also, your take on the Bukowski poem is excellent. People always want to cut down the wild beauty, don’t they? Often out of fear of what is different. But this poem stands alone, even without knowing that it references Bukowski. Sweet.

    Send it out! Congrats on a fine poem & on your new class.

  5. Holly D says:

    Thanks to all of you for the kind words, and Julie, interesting what you said. It reminds me of a picture I took recently and posted on my myspace. It is a picture of a dead bird on the sidewalk, and I found something beautiful in it. I guess just the nature of life and death. I find it fascinating. Anyway, a friend of mine posted a comment on the pic that said “gross,” but it really wasn’t. The bird was still very beautiful with the small feathers on its belly, and the beak small quiet and still.

  6. Scot says:

    many levels for his one, Holly–liked it very much

  7. Holly D says:

    thanks so much Scot…

  8. kimtblogger says:

    being afraid is ok… and fear often grows at the speed of bamboo. I agree it can be interpreted in so many ways. I read it a few days ago but had to come back to it.

    Even the indigenous thread is interesting one to explore – wanting to get rid of things because they don’t belong.

    hmmmm much to think about!

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