Drum Roll

The giant drum head
stands tall in the vast chamber
in the heart of the temple.
Grey robed priests
chant to Buddha
on his May Day birthday.

The senior priest
grasps the mighty beater
with outstretched arms.
In graceful dance
he sweeps it around
the vast drum skin
in swinging arcs
raising and lowering notes
to sound out their hymn
to Buddha on his birthday.

The sea of cross legged worshippers
on their tiny cushions
fill the vast room
around the drum,
silent, still,
in contemplative state
absorbing the rhythms
of the song to Buddha
on his birthday.

The priest sweeps
the beater around the drum head
in the final coda.
He mops his bald head.
The worshippers come out of
their collective trance,
applaud the man
who caused the drum
to sing to Buddha
on his birthday.

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Drum Roll

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