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Unfit Gifts
by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

At sunrise, I cast my nets into the sea,
dredging up the strangest and most beautiful objects from the depths ...
some radiant like smiles, some glittering like tears, others flushed like brides’ cheeks.
When I returned, staggering under their weight, my love was relaxing in her garden, idly tearing leaves from flowers.
Hesitant, I placed all I had produced at her feet, silently awaiting her verdict.
She glanced down disdainfully, then pouted: "What are these bizarre things? I have no use for them!"
I bowed my head, humiliated, and thought:
"Truly, I did not contend for them; I did not purchase them in the marketplace; they are unfit gifts for her!"
That night I flung them, one by one, into the street, like refuse.
The next morning travelers came, picked them up and carted them off to exotic countries.

Keywords/Tags: Tagore, translation, Hindi, unfit, gifts, sunrise, nets, sea, depths, objects, smiles, tears, cheeks, love, lover, mistress, flowers, verdict, bizarre, refuse, trash, garbage, travelers, exotic
JM McCann Jun 2015
I remember when you were my friend, when we talked about the future
and our plans. I wanted to get one good dose of life and went to the mountains.
You wanted safety of your survival and went to exchange your rights
for extra harnesses.
You began to search for survival and found the highway.
The neon blue signs
advertising just that.
You will feel comfortable, very comfy cause when you see the same
things at 10mph at 100mph what’s the rush?
You will survive for a long time never too long what you claim,
happy to see where the world goes.
The bug on your windshield will be your biggest problem.
Your foot will begin to slip and you will turn off the highway.
Yet the bumps on the exit ramps will be more than bumps,
slowly flattening your tires, destroying the and you leave worse than when you
turned off.
Not the ramps fault it’s just things were designed this way you saywith a shrug.
Slowly your organs will start to show and you will survive for a long time
but nothing more.
You will see how ugly a heart really is, a blob of red keeping you alive.
You will see your mortality in the mirror.
You will feel the harnesses, once so comforting begin to dig into your skin.
The lines from the harness more clear than clothing.
You will have food, water and a place to hang your hat
but it will never be your home but you will survive for a long long time,
too long.  
The suicide nets prevent the last line of control and you will survive for
a very long time, far too long.
You will bounce off the nets and be gently be taken back to the highway.
Hope you enjoy and any feedback is more than welcome!
xoK Mar 2014
who needs tampons
and breath mints
and safety nets
if you're there to cradle my fall?
i'd jump out of a perfectly good airplane
from thousands of feet in the sky
without a parachute
because i know you'll be there
at the bottom
with open arms
LDR life.

— The End —