A Love Poem in Six Parts

by Mary Lu Brandwein

Teach me about growing in the sun
About rain and
What to do when there is not enough.
Teach me about strength in the face of the wind.


Sing to me about the first bamboo
Still surging alive in you.
Tell me about the beginning of time
And the history of the universe
As it still resonates within you.
I have heard you moan and grow
And whisper and sigh
I have felt you change beneath my fingers
Swell and contract.
Sing high and low.

Sing to me your being
And give voice to me.


We sing together, you and I.

You, not only bamboo...
I, not only I...

Bamboo without my breath: no sound;
My body without bamboo: no song.

Bamboo and body:
One shakuhachi,
One energy-shape,
One trembling, warm sound.

Struggling with you
I do fierce combat with myself.


Through your seed-sound
You give me life.

Through your birth canal
I am being born.


Outside, male;
Inside, female.
Uniting the two in your bamboo body,

One bamboo body,
You resonate with the crazy, love dance:
Pulsating "Tsuido."*


Sing to me.
I touch you and warm you, resonate with me.
I ply your body, respond to me.
As I caress you, sing to me.
As I roam your bambooscape,
Let me sound you,
And as you receive my energy, sing me.

Dance with me, Hassun;
Take me into your pulsating sound color, your singing shapes
And let your bamboo wind strength be in me.

*"Tsuido" is the name of a shakuhachi duet composed by Yamamoto Hozan and translated means "Paired or Entwined Movement."

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Copyright © 2000 - Mary Lu Brandwein