! Tagore And The Cobra Of Illusion
Yes – we read the world wrong,
and say that it deceives us,
just imagine, if the snake said,
you can’t see me… no, I’m just
a stick of rotting wood,
a length of old rope thrown away,
mouldering in the undergrowth…
or the rope said, I’m reborn!
I’m now a snake, I’ve risen in intelligence
and consciousness – watch out, all those
who treated me so harshly as a rope...
or the shell said, how beautiful I am!
I’m mirrored all like silver;
once I was a humble shell,
content to be myself; now -
how precious now I am!
Or the silver coin said,
I’ll hide here in the sand
and look like mother-of-pearl, nacreous,
and wait to give myself
to some delighted beggar…
how virtuous I am; and how
rewarded I shall be!
no, Nature, prakriti, has never learned
from Man, how to deceive…
ah, but mankind… how we deceive
our mother, Nature… we promised her
we would look after her in her old age…
but all we did was steal her wealth,
cast her into a filthy wilderness,
pretend to others that
she never was of our family
but an untouchable who works for us…
oh Rabindranath, what would you think
of the behaviour of your grand-children…
oh Rabindranath, you never guessed
how we’ve deceived our world…