Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Golden Cell

The Golden Cell

Here there is gold:
not the far sparks of stars in the darkness
but the coursing golden rivers of my veins
so wide that were you to stand on one bank
you would not see to the farther shore.

For here in the alchemy of my cell
distance is unexpected:
reaching outwards
then curving back inwards upon itself
only to extend outwards once more
to far night-blue horizons:
an ebb and flow of infinite space.

I wait in the stillness of my being
I wait in silence for her approach
I know that she will find me.
For in spite of everything
nothing to her is ever lost.

I wait, silent and unmoving.
I wait with eyes closed
against the golden dark
knowing that I must not see her.
For in spite of everything
I know that she is shy.

I wait with lips closed in silence
I wait to hear the soft rustle
of approaching wings
in the golden darkness
journeying from beyond
the night-blue horizons
of my closed eyes

I wait to feel
the merest breath of wings unfolded
upon my face.

Then I will know that she is close:
close enough quietly to whisper
that all is well
and all shall be well
on the night-blue horizons
of my golden cell.

Painting: The Golden Cell by Odilon Redon


  1. This poem is sublime! It is a poem to keep and to be read again and again. The words whisper quietly and take us to secret places where thoughts cannot go! The poem describes the richness and infinite vastness of the inner dimension within us, and shows a dimension beyond the mind. The poem seems to describe someone who is in deep contemplation, of finding that inner stillness. Who is the "she" that the subject is waiting for? Perhaps it is Truth or Wisdom. Or perhaps someone or something else? I love how the poem is so touching and yet open and ethereal. For the "she" to approach one must be so still and become so attentive, and only then can one feel her approach. This poem is truly exquisite. And the painting of the blue lady seems to add to the contemplative and meditative aura of the poem.

  2. Thank you, Charles for your heartfelt appreciation, and thank you too, Joseph, for such a perceptive response. It was Redon's beautiful painting, which hangs here in Rotterdam, that inspired my words. I find it intriguing that each viewer of this painting seems to see either a man or a woman, which would seem to indicate the androgynous nature of Redon's spiritual vision.