At the Heart


             ‘Perspective is everything’, so it’s said,
             which might seem a truism true.
             Or is there reality too instead
             not dependent on point of view?

             Two galaxies in collision appear
             although this discernment misleads
             from seeing each in its different sphere
             which the chance alignment impedes.

             While they have millions of light-years between
             and aren’t at all tangibly tied,
             I saw a heart shape at once in the scene
             where parts overlapped coincide.

             Indeed that’s the image which served to stir
             my creative poetry muse,
             albeit erroneous, as it were,
             yet with force enough to enthuse.

             The duo in Hydra assemblage lies
             with mythology all its own,
             a constellation of very large size,
             as ‘water snake’ frequently shown,

             Single termed NGC three three one four
             is a pair, with ‘A’ in the front
             plus ‘B’ further back with seeming rapport,
             for this optic illusion stunt.

             Through how these two galaxies are aligned
             astronomers have a unique
             occasion to measure features they find
             in dust interstellar oblique

             of the face-on foreground system of stars
             that’s making its barred spiral mark,
             as surveyed behind our perspective bars
             which cause the dust lanes to look dark.

             Outer arms of the one in nearer place
             appear to change from bright to dim,
             for first they’re projected before deep space
             then against B on background scrim

             whose dust lanes in disk are lightened by haze
             of stars that are closer to us,
             whereas A’s are backlit by astral rays
             from B silhouetting them thus.

             The larger lenticular in the rear,
             seventy thousand light-years wide,
             is dominated by its pinwheel peer,
             fifty-five thousand, side to side,

             from our own perceptual earthly spot,
             which means the smaller seems as big,
             or just about, but is really not…
             as round we go in solar jig

             on this singular planetary ship
             in the precious Goldilocks zone,
             where mortals take their precarious trip,
             whatever their titular throne,

             from cradle to grave, in a life too brief,
             despite its endlessness in youth,
             till robbed of existence by death the thief
             we’ve no more time to seek the truth.

             Thus perspective perhaps is at the heart
             lest we regret with passing sigh
             a lifetime lost when the world we depart,
             having frittered the moments by…

             ~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * * *

Some sources of poetic inspiration were the following…

A trick of perspective — chance alignment mimics a cosmic collision...

NGC 3314, a pair of overlapping galaxies in Hydra...

Inspiration was derived from the following passage by Nichiren Daishōnin…

Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy? I pray that you will embrace the Mystic Law [Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō], which guarantees that people “will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences.” This is the only glory that you need seek in your present lifetime, and is the action that will draw you toward Buddhahood in your next existence. Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same; that will remain as the only memory of your present life in this human world. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

~ Nichiren (1263)

From ‘Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra (Dharma Flower Sutra)’ [SGI translation]…

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

Image explanation ~ The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced an incredibly detailed image of a pair of overlapping galaxies called NGC 3314. While the two galaxies look as if they are in the midst of a collision, this is in fact a trick of perspective: the two are in chance alignment from our vantage point.

NGC 3314

Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

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