Galactic Painting


             Pointillist patterns embellish the night,
             which follows farewell of the sun-long day,
             as journeys the moon’s mercurial light
             across the vast panoramic display.

             There’s a distant region of outer space,
             in terms of our optic observation,
             where a galaxy group with ancient face
             helps fill in the picture of creation.

             One that’s amongst them is believed to be
             an extremely primeval formation
             of the universe, as perceived to be
             in most scientific contemplation.

             Hubble has brought us another great pic
             from its decades of photos historic
             by means of a radiance bending trick
             which appears even phantasmagoric.

             On the cosmic canvas this cluster grand
             of galaxies stipples the ebon black,
             gravitational-lensed through sleight of hand
             celestial, by Einstein foreseen way back.

             The enormous structure is so remote
             that about seven billion light-years passed
             before its effulgence managed to float
             to where we could somehow see it at last.

             Like a painting of astronomic art
             with brushstrokes on intergalactic skies,
             it shows the magnitude of worlds apart
             for humankind’s limited mortal eyes.

             ‘Tis within ‘Pictor’ as commonly known,
             though by lengthier sobriquet christened
             in the eighteenth-century for the zone
             where bright star Alpha Pictoris glistened.

             ‘Pictor’ means painter, an artist with paint
             in Latin, by French astronomer named
             for a southern sky constellation faint,
             cut from ‘painter’s easel’ as first proclaimed.

             The assemblage, while small, resemblance bears
             to apparatus plus palette with hues
             for daubers engaged in fine arts affairs
             inspired by creative calling or muse.

             I’m reminded of works with that device
             as a prominent feature in their scheme.
             ‘Las Meninas’, comes to mind in a trice,
             by Velázquez, a masterpiece supreme

             though often considered mystifying.
             The artist gazes, at left of the scene,
             outward from behind his easel, eyeing
             the tableau perhaps in a mirrored mien.

             Of course there was also Vincent van Gogh,
             belatedly viewed as one of a kind.
             In a famed self-portrait the colors glow
             with his name on the easel boldly signed.

             Chagall carried on this portraiture theme,
             depicting himself with seven fingers.
             He saw his works as ‘humanity’s dream’,
             with an art ‘surnaturel’ that lingers

             on in the realms of imagination.
             Norman Rockwell too got into the act
             with paint illustration combination,
             to wit, a ‘Triple Self Portrait’ in fact,

             which exposes his manner ironic
             through the characteristics risible,
             in this final example iconic
             of portrayals with easel visible.

             To return to our galaxy cluster,
             called SPT O Six One Five, for short,
             it’s extremely high red-shifted luster
             would make it an oldster among this sort.

             Pictor’s an aggregate designated
             for instrument of art pictorial.
             If literature were celebrated,
             Shakespeare, bard nonpareil authorial,

             would take his position on center stage
             for me as ceaseless wellspring of wonder
             with ageless lines found on page after page
             that resound like the echoing thunder.

             Sentient beings are curious creatures
             who pursue all cosmological roots,
             seeking to study unfathomed features
             whatever the cost of their labors’ fruits.

             And yet there is so much more to explore,
             immense inner depths within us to plumb,
             not to mention ‘the great beyond’ in store,
             expressed in Prince Hamlet’s ‘what dreams may come?’…

             Is it easier to look to the skies,
             survey the spectacular starry vaults,
             than search for where true enlightenment lies
             or the origin of our human faults?

             The various arts can vision uplift
             and stelliferous vistas overhead.
             Still, closer to home is the priceless gift
             of life to be lived while the earth we tread…

             For the worth of each day to recognize,
             let wisdom of Nichiren always flow,
             thus awakened to self that never dies,
             through practicing Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

             ~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * * *

Some sources of inspiration were the following…

Hubble Peers at an Ancient Galaxy Cluster...

Distant and ancient...

‘Las Meninas’, Spanish for ‘The Ladies-in-waiting’, is a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, by Diego Velázquez…

‘Self-Portrait in Front of the Easel’, Vincent van Gogh, Paris, early, 1888…

‘Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers’ is an oil painting by Belarusian painter Marc Chagall, painted in 1913 in France…

‘Triple Self Portrait’ is an oil painting by Belarusian painter Marc Chagall, painted in 1913 in France…

Works by William Shakespeare…

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 ~ Dotted across the sky in the constellation of Pictor (the Painter’s Easel) is the galaxy cluster highlighted here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope: SPT-CL J0615-5746, or SPT0615 for short.

Hubble Peers at an Ancient Galaxy Cluster

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, I. Karachentsev et al., F. High et al.

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