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Butterfly Dream

I had a dream that I was a butterfly winged iridescent; my life would flutter by as I was dreaming a dream of a dream of my own lepidopteron being above. Hither and thither I flightily flitted, or so it seemed, as illusion befitted, with troubles, eidolons, and nebulous fears. And thus it continued for one hundred years. In the Nymphalidae family was I, akin to the nebula high in the sky with beauty Cithaerial shimmering bright in colors that cover the spectrum of light. Knots and shells detailed in this Hubble capture glow in light show that can bring about rapture, cause soulful poets to sing about gladly (seeing a butterfly wing about madly) or brood over sadly with soft doleful sighs the ultimate stages before its demise. Stargazers perceive it with scientists’ eyes and give facts and figures astronomer-wise. The lobes of Twin Jet PN M Two Dash Nine expand ever outward in pinion design from central star system, in gaseous streams of splendorous rainbows pellucid in gleams. The binary stars at the nebula’s heart go round one another in luminous art, spending a century in this rotation, and form the wings through their stellar gyration. But let us return to the classical theme of the Chinese philosopher’s famous dream (which these rhyming stanzas have sought to extol), where I found myself playing a starring role. Diaphanous butterfly wings had I then in the long-lived dream that I dreamed ten by ten decades lastingly onward in cosmic time, as did Sleeping Beauty in legend sublime. Yet when I awakened, no alae had I. No longer was I slender winged butterfly, but veritably was a human once more, with life to engage in, encounter, explore, or just suffer through in a sentient state. How would I create my tellurian fate? Still I wondered if this was ‘reality’. Could I be a butterfly dreaming of me? To die, perchance dream; ay, indeed that’s the rub that makes us endure the heartache and hubbub. For death claims all beings as part of its sum. And in sleep of death, who knows what dreams may come? ~ Harley White < September 3, 2015 > ______________________________________________ Inspiration for the poem was from the article, “The wings of the butterfly ~ New Hubble image of the Twin Jet Nebula”, of August 25, 2015, on the Hubble Space Telescope Org website.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015




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Date: 9/12/2015 8:59:00 AM
About the poem: The shimmering colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula (PN M2-9). The new image highlights the nebula’s shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometers per hour.
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Date: 9/12/2015 8:59:00 AM
Further inspiration for the poem derives from the following butterfly dream mentioned in philosophic and Buddhist writings: During the Chou Dynasty 370 B.C., Chuang Tzu (or Zhuang Zhou) once dreamed he was a butterfly. When he awoke after a period of a hundred years, he no longer knew if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man, or a man who had dreamed he was a butterfly.
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