Do You See?
Activist and poet Dustin Brookshire‘s Project Verse gave us this assignment in the initial round — “your first poet”. This was my contribution, tell me about yours:
My Years With Rabindranath Tagore
Little Boy Courage. The Old Banyan tree.
You came to me Rabindranath
(tough name for a kid)
as playmate Rabi
On a horseback through our
childish woods of romance
mixing the monsoon rains with tunes
of leaf floats making off to the Seven Seas
between homework of grammar and spelling.
Here, Rabi, hold my hand
write that stanza
I’d read even years later
for every year the drummers are out
(still underpaid, they now sell
fake branded accessories)
teasing absent-minded autumn clouds.
Tall palm with winged-desire. Camelia my Girl.
So who said he wore a solemn beard?
Not on my book cover!
Duping the elders we must remain green –
exactly the way he called out:
My little greens, my little young shoots
and those lines are still the first to ring
the way it once did
candle-blowing sleepiness on
a power-outed summer night.
Reading Tagore in bed, living inside
the crumpled book leaves
I frolicked with my playmate Rabi
soared above static and din
(father loved Tchaikovsky
on old Radio Moscow)
also cried when
the Pilgrims drowned at sea.
Here, Rabi, take this line
let my first eyes remember that time
A drop of water. The leaf shivers.
Image from the Internet: Tagore and Einstein