Midst photographs that ‘changed the world’
I spied the Nebula Pencil
with linear shape wooden burled
evoking writing utensil.
This filament cloud far-ranging
in Vela ‘Sails’ constellation,
said the caption, showed ‘world changing’
since explosive star creation.
But as more pictures were perused
I grew disheartened with sadness
sinking into despair, bemused
by our species’ ways of madness.
of deeds historic or horrid
depicted human relations
shockingly callous to torrid.
My spirits plunged in grief profound
when I saw a starving child slumped
emaciated to the ground
where nearby vulture waited humped.
The awful vision held me tranced
in tragedy of that being
immortalized by shutter’s glance
for future beholders’ seeing.
Still by atrocity haunted
I turned my attention away
from those impressions that taunted
what flowery words I would say.
As tears welled up, I raised my gaze
to the firmament overhead
whelming myself in cosmic maze
where starry splendors round me spread.
An author’s tool seemed apropos
for scripting sidereal piece
of an empyrean tableau,
granting troubles a brief surcease.
Pencils enjoy a cherished place
as symbol of creative muse.
Thus, finding one in outer space
was lyric task I had to choose.
Part of supernova shock wave,
NGC Two Seven Three Six
has remnants from the burst that gave
it wispy aspect to transfix
of a rippled gaseous sheet
that’s undulating threadily
and from the blast’s initial heat
has been cooling down steadily.
A picture’s worth a thousand words
while the pen is mighty as well,
whether one minds the ‘rule of thirds’
or composes a villanelle.
As poets may versify thought,
photographs images capture.
Both arts our humanness have wrought
from deepest despair to rapture.
This glowing formation highlights,
in my view, an essential goal
I wish to keep within my sights—
to awaken the heart and soul.
The heavens enhance awareness
plus make us perceive our smallness,
perchance in grasping life’s rareness
or sensing the utter allness.
We’re lent this earth to wander on
through mortal lives whence home is based.
Wisdom abounds to ponder on
yet our surroundings we lay waste,
where trills the wondrous whippoorwill
from sunsets gold to coral dawns
and blushing lady’s slippers still
enchant the afternoons of fauns.
How can good fortune’s smile remain
on land and sea, o’er hill and dale,
when mankind loses touch humane,
with appetites beyond the pale?
Neither can I be reconciled
by mollifying phrases mild
to damage done in nature’s wild,
nor evermore forget that child.
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * * * *
Inspiration from the following articles plus other sources: ~
The Pencil Nebula: Remnants of an Exploded Star (NGC 2736) with image for downloading,
~ Pencil Nebula Scribbles Notes from Past,
~ NGC 2736 in Wikipedia,
~ image of Pencil Nebula in Wikipedia,
~ video Zooming in on the Pencil Nebula.
The Pencil Nebula was last in a series called LIFE [Magazine] 100 Photographs That Changed the World.
Information not included in the LIFE series is in Wikipedia article
The vulture and the little girl.
“The vulture and the little girl is a noted photograph by Kevin Carter which was sold to and appeared (for the first time) in The New York Times on 26 March 1993. It is a photograph of a frail famine-stricken girl collapsed in the foreground with a vulture eyeing her from nearby…”
~ Rule of Thirds.
~ L’après-midi d’un faune (or “The Afternoon of a Faun”), final text published in 1876, is a poem by the French author Stéphane Mallarmé.
~ Translation by A. S. Kline of L’après-midi d’un faune.
Inspiration also derived from “The Prologue to Bertrand Russell’s Autobiography” ~ “What I Have Lived For”.
“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair…”
~ Bertrand Russell
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
Remnants from a star that exploded thousands of years ago created a celestial abstract portrait, as captured in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Pencil Nebula.
Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA);
Acknowledgment: W. Blair (JHU) and D. Malin (David Malin Images)
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