Cosmic Lens - Poem by Harley White
There’s a smiley face in space
that’s beaming from above
at our mindless human race
on Earth we say we love.
Yet we mortals trash our planet
and with weaponry we man it,
dream up lucrative devotions,
scheme up profiteering notions.
(If it’s good for us, we ban it.)
We pour poisons in the oceans,
putrefy the air we’re breathing,
spew out gases foul that interfere
with shield of ozone wreathing
in the upper atmosphere–
one of the stratospheric layers
necessary for us here–
which greedy corporate players
have been making disappear.
How they vie for prominence,
cry for global dominance,
in their lethal games
with avaricious aims
that strive for power, to possess
more and more and more and more,
all in the name of ‘progress’,
in a doom where we’ll be done for!
Way out in that spatial place,
there we see that ‘happy face’
(anyhow at least ‘so-called’)
with arcs in lensing guise
that across its look are sprawled,
plus galaxies for eyes.
This strong gravitational
Einstein lensing ring
shows a quite sensational
though misleading thing
that has caused this warped spacetime
to evoke my Hubble rhyme
for its kisser countenance
born from massive mountenance
(which is a word that can be seen
in Edmund Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”) .
How will our folk tale end up?
Could that grinning gal or guy
be a parodic send-up,
satirizing us on high?
We’re drowning in excessive stuff
at a fast and frenzied pace…
When will people shout, “Enough! ”?
Man can wreak havoc, in worst case,
with single pull of lever.
Still and all, we think we’re clever…
I’ve a wish, in medias res–
but better late than never:
May human beings life embrace,
before our hopes we sever
to find an earthly state of grace–
in truth, the great endeavor…
So, smile upon us, smiley face!
We need it more than ever!
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Astronomers have since found many examples of this phenomenon, known as “gravitational lensing.” More than just a cosmic illusion, gravitational lensing provides astronomers with a way of probing extremely distant galaxies and groups of galaxies in ways that would otherwise be impossible even with the most powerful telescopes.
Inspiration for poem came from Hubble Image and article, “A Smiling Lens” < spacetelescope.org/images/potw1506a/ >
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Credit: ~ NASA & ESA
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