Gamelan II

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 occulus 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 that shimmering melos

When the gamelan blooms,

And that joy in the pavilion

As a poised singer listens for her cue.


Such is the joy of recognition

As a question from the heart demands an answer.

Your voice finally admits, “It is true.”


This truth, it is a summons

That echoes with a deity’s thunder.

Continents are no obstruction;

Oceans are no impediment.


Assent, and the grip of the embrace

Grows stronger than stone

That is quarried for tombs.


See how a zodiac is shining

Thru 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 – September 2007



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