Gamelan I

A Meditation


Listen, for a gong has been struck.

Gather an offering of lilies and jasmine,

For this is a summons:  Obey.


Enter a circular, white-walled room.

Dew makes a star on the oculus above,

The cloudless sky beyond, an even hue.


Sit on the ebony floor and be still.

Behold, on a mantle carved from alabaster,

The ebony statue of a man sitting utterly inert.


His head bows forward into his hands,

As if the mind is extinguished,

The heart fire quenched,

Gone cold as the hearth beneath him.


Bow the head;

Shape the hands into a lotus;

Breathe, to be lost from thought.


Faintly, a hidden choir of chimes marks the hour,

And in heaven, the moon eclipses the sun.

Occultation completes.

Face this face entombed by its hands.


Something remains.  There is a presence,

Like a sense of the gamelan’s glory

At the close, when its instruments are stilled.


Now, remember the gamelan cued,

The potent pause before it blooms,

And that awe in the pavilion,

As a beat-keeper strikes his beat anew.


Pause, then ponder with confidence

On the terrible emptiness

Of the rest of your days.


Renew the search for a lost, fabled love.

Track its signs

Through every waste of the world.

Do not be deterred by an elusiveness,


Or the sabotage of others,

For this is your purpose,

And when finally embraced, your paradise.


See how a zodiac is shining

Through an indigo penumbra.

The ancient man-child

Cradles his head in his hands,



By the infinite



Listen to the gong.

This is the essence of song,

This golden note that slowly resonates,


Refusing a surrender to silence.

It signals an end to the interval.



Steven Golden

March – October 2007

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