Celestial Clouds


              Nebulae make for magnificent views,
              like one in Archer at Milky Way’s heart,
              a wispy pastiche lit with vibrant hues
              in which ultraviolet rays take part

              from newly-born stars that shine on the skies
              nearby, in quasi sidereal tides
              ever ebbing and flowing, with their rise
              forming breakers a stellar surfer rides.

              Waves undulating on cosmic lagoon
              in this region of Sagittarius
              on colossal canvas seem to be strewn
              in billowy strokes multifarious.

              Still all’s an illusion of gas and dust,
              fashioned in delicate sculptural casts
              over which a great artist might have fussed
              with finesse for astral enthusiasts.

              It’s four to five thousand light-years from us
              and stretches one hundred light-years across,
              as collapsing hydrogen vapors thus
              fabricate infant stars aglow with gloss

              along dusty lanes traversing the gas.
              Such fanciful scenes defy portrayals
              and send astronomic gazers en masse
              on cosmic quests for stelliferous grails…

              There’s no end to wonders beyond our range
              of vision that science can scrutinize.
              Nonetheless, many marvels just as strange
              exist on this planet before our eyes.

              Seeking to fathom the heavens is grand
              if it stirs a sense of the precious worth
              of living beings in seas or on land—
              for we must look after what’s here on earth!

              Some regard erudite scholars as gods
              along with academic successes,
              but knowledge and wisdom can be at odds
              when facts are all a person possesses.

              Myriad volumes may cover our shelves
              on subjects extending to outer space,
              yet we’ve learned next to nothing of ourselves
              for want of clear mirror to see our face.

              Minds that are clouded, like tarnished mirrors,
              cannot reflect reality truly—
              Nichiren told his devoted hearers—
              and should be thoroughly polished duly.

              Hence what we need is the title and theme
              of the utterly uttermost Dharma
              which awakens us from our mortal dream
              and creates the most fortunate karma.

              Let us burn the fire of earthly desire
              as fuel for the all-embracing flame
              of enlightenment, with phrase we acquire
              of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to declaim.

              ~ Harley White


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Inspiration for the poem came from article ~ Breaking waves in the stellar Lagoon...

More information “Breaking waves in the stellar lagoon” with video is here...

In addition, inspiration derived from the teachings and writings of Nichiren Daishōnin…

The reason that we continually recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō

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).

Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8)

This close-up shot of the center of the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) clearly shows the delicate structures formed when the powerful radiation of young stars interacts with the hydrogen cloud they formed from. This image was created from exposures taken with the Wide Field Channel of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble. Light from glowing hydrogen (through the F658N filter) is colored red. Light from ionized nitrogen (through the F660N filter) is colored green and light through a yellow filter (F550M) is colored blue. The exposure times through each filter are 1560 s, 1600 s and 400 s respectively. The blue-white flare at the upper-left of the image is scattered light from a bright star just outside the field of view. The field of view is about 3.3 by 1.7 arcminutes.

Credit: NASA, ESA

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