Palette

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
Albert Einstein

 Just as we do with clouds
We see nebulae as shapes and designs
Name them in the familiar—

 Helix, Boomerang, Red Rectangle
Tarantula, Butterfly, Eagle
Hourglass, Cat’s Eye, Rosetta—

 Such swirls, veils, ripple-bursts of energy
Incandescent pillars, Catherine Wheels
Flickering lattices, florid spumes

 Chameleon whirlpools of wavelengths
Captured and composed with colour:
Orangefor starlight, blue for dust

 Green for hot gases, red for hot light
Furnaces of radiation and matter
Cosmic Rorschach tests, mirages

 Of galaxies, planets, moons, life itself
Woven into and out of existence
Millennia before we and our machines

 Could trap their scattered signals
Seek to unravel their snake-skin fate
Keep naming in the face of absence

Earl Livings

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