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…

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

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.

Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8)

Credit: NASA, ESA

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