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Friday, 5 November 2010



Boomerang Nebula in constellation Centaurus, 5000 light years from earth, the coldest object found in the universe so far, with a temperature of -272C (one degree above absolute zero): Hubble Space Telescope image, 1998 (ESA/NASA)

The ghosts who have returned

from a wide wilderness of stars, unrecompensed

for all that tiresome interstellar

rushing about, that iterative treading of

the endless colorless galactic dust

lanes, may well lament, from great sky-sized porches,

the unreality of a wished-for heaven.

Now they are lost, now they are no longer alive.

But the truth is, they had their chance.

They would have wept and been happy, perhaps,

if they had it all back to do over again.

Then again, maybe not, with those thin,

withered hearts, lacking in so much of everything.

What right have they now to expect more?

Who do they think they are, these nagging,

demanding ancestors? Our coevals?

NGC 7049 in constellation Indus, with a family of globular clusters appearing as glittering spots dusted around the galaxy halo: the halo is made up of diffuse stars, and the faint points of light are globular clusters, densely packed groups of stars that orbit the galactic core, some of which are among the first stars born in the galaxy: Hubble Space telescope image by W. Harris, 1998 (NASA/ESA)


phaneronoemikon said...

great one Tom!

but I guess in one sense
you do want people to see the

camel headed snake gods
with long beatles' haircuts
from ancient romania
and stuff

TC said...

You are right Lanny.

And even as you say that, I can feel their breathing, and visualize your avatar.


phaneronoemikon said...

Right back at you Boss!

TC said...

We are but Glycon's hand puppets.

Julia said...

Beautiful poem, harsh truth.

"But the truth is, they had their chance. They would have wept and been happy, perhaps, if they had it all back to do over again."

Una de las cosas que más temo es arrepentirme de lo hecho y peor aún de lo NO hecho.

TC said...

También sufren de esta enfermedad de arrepentimiento, que sólo empeora con el paso del tiempo.

Manda said...

Beautiful choice of pictures for your words.



Yes, thanks for this one, from one who has "returned from a wide wilderness of stars". . . .


pink-orange light in clouds above black
plane of ridge, red-tailed hawk calling
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

therefore transformed, such
a way that particular

light, passing a body, that
is on the side toward

grey-white clouds against top of ridge,
wingspan of gull flapping toward point

TC said...


Many thanks -- and welcome.


Yes, the night is very large out there... thank you as ever for bringing us back to earth, and morning.