Hen’s Wings


              A pair of blue wings is hovering
              against the inky black covering
              within ‘Little Fox’ constellation
              of Vulpecula designation,

              portrayed with stipple sidereal
              in Hubble image ethereal,
              ‘Hen two dash four three seven’ labeled.
              A hen with fox is Aesop fabled,

              except it was really a crow
              in that apologue still apropos
              where pride overcame the bird’s good sense,
              so fox got the food through the pretense

              of disparaging its corvine caw;
              thus the crow dropped the cheese from its jaw.
              There are many stories much the same.
              In Middle Ages the bird became

              chanticleer; Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury
              Tales’ has one that warns to be wary
              of flattery false and specious praise,
              since fox on inflated ego plays

              with rooster to hear his special cry,
              hence to distract and snatch him thereby.
              Yet fox falls prey to his own conceit,
              and chanticleer flees to tree retreat.

              But coming back to high-flying hen
              which Hubble’s scope brought within our ken,
              this nebula with glowing surround
              was by stargazer Minkowski found

              then by Henize later catalogued
              as nebula with the name befogged
              in misleading term planetary,
              for that title is quite contrary

              to remnant of an imploded star,
              which is indeed what those objects are.
              As shown by the wings, it’s bipolar,
              cast off from a star like ours solar

              which nearing end of its astral span
              swelled to red giant’s flash in the pan
              then sent forth its layers into space,
              as a white dwarf for core took its place…

              And yet my inspiration’s essence
              came from the alae’s luminescence
              seen in this vast stelliferous sight
              against the canvas of cosmic night.

              Still, one might fancy those whizzing wings
              borne by empyreal bird that sings
              melodies wafted amidst the spheres
              only a starry-eyed poet hears.

              Besides what an artist’s vision yields
              there’s more to explore than far-off fields
              of the heavens, for within us dwell
              great realms unfathomable as well.

              Withal, undreamed-of wisdom with time
              will come for those who persist to climb
              enlightenment’s mountain thus to know
              wonders of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo…

              ~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * * *

Some sources of inspiration were the following…

‘Aesop’s Fables’ ~ ‘The Fox and the Crow’

‘Chanticleer and the Fox’ ~ Wikipedia

‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’, from ‘The Canterbury Tales’, by Geoffrey Chaucer

Image and info ~ Hubble Watches the Icy Blue Wings of Hen 2-437

Image and info ~ The icy blue wings of Hen 2-437

Image and info ~ Hubble Sees Young Bipolar Planetary Nebula

Image Wikipedia ~ The icy blue wings of Hen 2-437

Further inspiration derived from the teachings of Nichiren Daishōnin…

Continue your practice [of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō] without backsliding until the final moment of your life, and when that time comes, behold! When you climb the mountain of perfect enlightenment and gaze around you in all directions, then to your amazement you will see that the entire realm of phenomena is the Land of Tranquil Light. The ground will be of lapis lazuli, and the eight paths will be set apart by golden ropes. Four kinds of flowers will fall from the heavens, and music will resound in the air. All Buddhas and bodhisattvas will be present in complete joy, caressed by the breezes of eternity, happiness, true self, and purity. The time is fast approaching when we too will count ourselves among their number. But if we are weak in faith, we will never reach that wonderful place. If you still have questions, I am waiting to hear them.


The ninth day of the twelfth month in the second year of Kenji (1276), cyclical sign hinoe-ne

From “The Fourteen Slanders”, Reply to Matsuno (1276) ~ translated by the SGI

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 ~ In this cosmic snapshot, the spectacularly symmetrical wings of Hen 2-437 show up in a magnificent icy blue hue. Hen 2-437 is a planetary nebula, one of around 3000 such objects known to reside within the Milky Way. This image of Hen 2-437 includes optical and infrared observations from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

The icy blue wings of Hen 2-437

Credit: ESA (European Space Agency)/Hubble & NASA,
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

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