Cosmic Cat’s Gaze


             The cats here on earth we’ve befriended
             live round about us nearby.
             Yet above, unblinkingly splendid,
             is the nebula ‘Cat’s Eye’

             which leaves stargazers a bit bemused,
             as do felines kept as pets,
             seen in pictures on the net perused
             or tenderly told vignettes.

             Domestic cats have night sight superb
             and can focus bright light too,
             with unruffled stance that might perturb
             those who pass before their view.

             Oftentimes a cat will look askance,
             not deigning to even mew,
             or may give deserved approving glance.
             Is that why they’re known as ‘true’?

             Such seems the case with an eye in space,
             called NGC sixty-five
             forty-three, staring, devoid of face,
             from star in its fatal drive.

             Concentric rings in a bulls-eye form,
             eleven or maybe more,
             were deemed a variance from the norm,
             since pulsations from the core

             of mass ejections would all appear
             fifteen hundred years apart,
             each hoop, the edge of a bubble sphere,
             in a pattern off the chart,

             plus every tremor creating shell
             of dust with its mass as big
             as sum of planets on carousel
             in our solar whirligig.

             The constellation Draco is where
             William Herschel saw a blob,
             to him like a globe, in Dragon lair,
             that blue-green thingamabob.

             Back then, in seventeen eighty-six,
             he gave it the faulty term
             of planet, which still is in name mix,
             making astronomers squirm,

             although William Huggins later on,
             who worked along with his wife,
             while peering skyward hither and yon
             at celestial heavens, rife

             with gaseous splotches, recognized
             through his spectroscopic lamp
             that it could not be characterized
             by a planetary stamp.

             Due to semblance elliptical green
             when by backyard watchers spied,
             to ‘Cat’s Eye’ of mysterious mien
             its title came to be tied.

             The double bubble that overlaps
             is a puzzling aspect still.
             Are there more stars at the hub perhaps
             which shrug off layers at will?

             Whatever the cosmic thrusts at play
             that lie in the gripping gaze,
             this stellar system’s dying away
             with quite a glorious blaze.

             Some hedonists ‘carpe diem’ say
             with no thought for tomorrow,
             yet lack of foresight may heavy weigh
             on future present sorrow.

             So let that feline stare remind us
             midst our mortal struts and frets
             that headlong heedlessness could find us
             with a fate of great regrets…

             But I cannot end this ekphrastic
             verse without praise for creatures
             felt by many to be fantastic
             in attributes and features

             that can claim vast eye beyond the dome
             of our welkin’s skyey blue,
             or convert a house into a home,
             as only a cat can do.

             ~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * * *

Some sources of poetic inspiration were the following…

Image and info ~ The Cat’s Eye Nebula...

Image and info ~ Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543)...

The Cat’s Eye Nebula...

Cat’s Eye Nebula ~ with video...

Various images and info ~ Cat’s Eye Nebula – NGC 6543...

Image and info ~ The Cat’s Eye Nebula from Hubble...

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

Image explanation ~ The Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), seen in detail by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is one of the most complex planetary nebulae ever seen in space.

The Cat’s Eye Nebula

Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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