Astronomic Guest Star


              In the dynasty Han Chinese
              nearly two thousand years ago,
              sky-watchers could witness with ease
              a guest star’s empyreal show.

              Believed the first documented
              supernova in astro-lore,
              it may have been represented
              too in Roman writings of yore.

              That sidereal mystery
              by virtue of sudden debut
              was called “guest star” in history
              and for eight months lingered in view.

              Having characteristic peak
              luminosity steady, it
              began like a solar death bleak
              which shrank to white dwarf bit by bit,

              then devoured a fellow star’s mass,
              thus to burst in nuclear way
              when that vast event came to pass
              in a hugely brilliant display

              as bright as a galaxy whole
              ere it faded from earthly eyes,
              slowly losing the shining role
              it had played in the ancient skies.

              Some fresh observations have shown
              that the Milky Way remnant grew
              so immense so fast on its own
              due to inner winds the dwarf blew,

              creating a cavity great
              before the explosion took place
              followed by swift expansion rate
              when it burst in the hollow space.

              The occurrence seemingly rare
              that infrared scrutiny saw
              causing early gazers to stare
              brought new knowledge on which to draw.

              In colorful multi-wave scene
              this celestial image contains
              a gaseous shell with bright sheen
              of type one-a astral remains.

              Four space scopes combined to evoke
              a profiled feline head for me,
              though not the look of pet to stroke,
              but rather cat with eyes that see

              with clarity of cosmic sight
              how stellar orbs were born and died
              plus whether multiverses might
              have other poets starry-eyed.

              (While for now those bards are quiet,
              or at least not yet detected,
              would M-theorists deny it
              ‘mongst the bubble branes suspected?)

              To paraphrase an ode sublime
              addressed to Grecian urn, by Keats,
              whose works endure in timeless time
              as dazzling literary feats—

              penned in his interrupted prime,
              giddy sensuous oasis,
              lyric ekphrasis, passioned rhyme,
              versus paradoxic stasis.

              ‘Silent forms, tease us out of thought
              as doth eternity’ when mused
              upon; still both in poem wrought
              within these stanzas have been fused.

              The closing quote, much debated,
              by each Keatsian scholar sleuth,
              finds live beauty elevated
              over lifeless artistic truth—

              so it has come to me to seem
              after immersions myriad
              oftentimes in a trancelike dream
              for a long-lasting period…

              Albeit the critics defend
              divergent interpretations
              nonetheless this ode, in the end,
              will remain for generations.

              “Love is my religion,” Keats said,
              in a letter to Fanny Brawne.
              Sadly, soon after, he was dead,
              though his poetry shall live on.

              An epitaph engraved for his
              tombstone at site of final rest
              makes no mention of who he is
              at the poet’s precise request.

              “Here lies One,” it affirms, “Whose Name
              was writ in Water”— such magic
              in that vision which conjures fame
              grand as oceans, yet so tragic!

              The questions that he raised persist
              as our gaze to the heavens flies
              to far-off wonders that exist,
              and a million reveries rise.

              For those beauteous shapes, in fact,
              of stellary whereabouts strange
              seem fixed in space, caught in the act,
              yet they’ve already gone through change

              by the time we see the traces
              in a temporal depiction
              of their distant cosmic faces,
              plus astronomers’ description…

              In reality beauty lies
              with enlightenment’s golden glow,
              the only truth that never dies,
              which is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

              ~ Harley White


* * * * * * * * * *

Inspiration derived from the following sources…

John Keats ~ his life, Ode on a Grecian Urn (see also here) and reflections on the poem...

RCW 86: All Eyes on Oldest Recorded Supernova...

SN 185...

NASA Telescopes Help Solve Ancient Supernova Mystery...

2,000-Year-Old Supernova Mystery Solved By NASA Telescopes...

RCW 86, a supernova remnant between Circinus and Centaurus...

RCW 86: Historical Supernova Remnant

Further inspiration derived from the teachings and writings of Nichiren Daishōnin…

Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas [which is every possible psychological wavelength] (Kyō).

The reason that we continually recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō

Infrared images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and WISE are combined with X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton Observatory in this image of RCW 86.

image of RCW 86

Credit: X-ray: XMM-Newton, Chandra / IR: WISE, Spitzer

Table of Contents