Warrior of the jade stem

Bangladesh the vile ordeal
Of working in the forests where
Bamboo grows tall to the sky
We warriors cut it
Which is why

The jade stem green and verdant
Is carried by us and we
Put it on the river to float
Precariously

100 kilos thereabouts
Nobody is in any doubts
On the shoulders take the weight
And carry them down to the river
The fate

Of all the warriors working there
Is one of living just to share
The small reward of getting it to
Dacca which is hard to do

Some have done this for ten years
And each time a lot of tears
300 kilometres is a long way
With the levels lowering every day
Rapids bends and banks all there
To cause the convoy some despair
The dangers for these rolling poles
Is getting crushed your significant roles
Are needed really to just stay calm
And keep each other away from harm

As the river levels drop thats when
You must walk the rafts and pull perhaps
Ten
Or so, are driving the raft along
You really have to be so strong
And there are bandits about who will try
And threaten you snd the reason why
They want your bamboo and they want it bad
So your wits you need you must not be had

Fishing nets can hamper you
Your poles may actually cut through
That when they just might expect you pay
For their losses on any given day
Its a dangerous business all along
And Really anything can go wrong
There is no insurance so they have to pray
That really everything goes their way

Some get injured a damaged knee
Or rope burned hands
Whereever you be
infections spread
And you have to try
And just carry on
And wonder why
It happened to you
And you have to be
Able to accept it and want to see
An outcome really to get you through
To earning your wage otherwise you do
Lose out completely so needs must
Otherwise it would not be just

By the time Dacca is in sight
The buyers swarmon in on the morning light
300 poles 300 euros
Used on construction such which shows
are taken by rickshaw
Through the streets some will ignore
The lengthy bendy pole that hang
Off the carts as they bang and clang
So much work for so little wage
And the profit really is hard to guage

So many man hours and risk as well
Exhaustion too,it is such hell
Guiding those poles down rapids white
Or preventing them hitting the banks at night
All these dangers can cost a lot
And every team has got a lot
Of worries commitments and utter stress
And all this work without redress
They make a little and work a lot
And a really hard life they have all got

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