Galactic Bird


             There’s a bird aloft ‘mongst astral array,
             too distant to hear any songs it sings,
             although ESO shows in vivid display

             hummingbird colors and albatross wings,
             the latter the size of our Milky Way
             extending through space in tidal tail flings.

             Or could it be Tinker Bell holding sway
             while she sprinkles celestial fairy dust
             in a dazzling neverland star ballet?

             Nowadays large telescopes are a must
             so as such depictions to manifest,
             when, urged by sidereal wanderlust,

             astronomers take up a willing quest
             for stunning galactic images new
             and stellary queries to be addressed.

             The triple galactic merger in view
             composes the pixie or bird we see,
             a surprising disclosure through and through

             of this scarce formation revealed to be
             interacting system in triad team,
             heart, body, and head making up the three.

             A legion of light-years remote, this scheme,
             six hundred fifty million in effect,
             ere being observed with optics supreme

             which saw through the clouds with vision correct,
             had been thought of as a galactic pair
             but was a trio, in every respect.

             The third one atop this bird-like affair,
             clearly identified later by far,
             while frenziedly forging stars in its lair

             not calmly as its two companions are,
             is smallest, though infrared light source main,
             a further aspect considered bizarre.

             In the future this shape will not pertain
             to avian creature or fancied sprite,
             still that loss may be great creation’s gain,

             for separate galaxies will unite,
             where hitherto unheard-of worlds might lie,
             with single elliptic coming to light.

             Yea, the bird or pixie away must fly
             as to merging forces the three succumb,
             midst the vast dramatic pageant on high,

             in accord with the cosmic rule of thumb,
             of which we’re a tiny part of the sum…

             ~ Harley White


* * * * * * * * * *

The poem is in the form of terza rima. Terza rima is a three-line stanza using chain rhyme in the pattern ABA BCB CDC DED. There is no limit to the number of lines, but poems or sections of poems written in terza rima end with either a single line or couplet repeating the rhyme of the middle line of the final tercet.

Some sources of poetic inspiration were the following...

Image and info ~ Anatomy of a Bird ~ VLT’s NACO instrument reveals a triple cosmic collision...

Image and info ~ The Tinker Bell triplet...

Image and info ~ Colliding galaxies, ‘The Bird’...

Info ~ Universe Today ~ It’s a Bird! It’s Tinker Bell! It’s Three Galaxies!...

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 and info...

Image ~ Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed ‘The Bird’ - although it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy… In this image, a 30-min VLT/NACO K-band exposure has been combined with archive HST/ACS B and I-band images to produce a three-color image of the ‘Bird’ interacting galaxy system. The NACO image has allowed astronomers to not only see the two previously known galaxies, but to identify a third, clearly separate component, an irregular, yet fairly massive galaxy that seems to form stars at a frantic rate.

The Tinker Bell Triplet

Credit: ESO

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