Empyrean Pipe

Nov 15
By Harley White

HarleyWhite PipeNebula 600

René Magritte wrote on his painting famed,
expressed in English, ‘This is not a pipe’,
a work by the artist formally named
‘The Treachery of Images’, a swipe

perhaps at tension existing between
the representations and things portrayed,
as well as words to describe what they mean,
suggesting so-called realities laid

before us in literature or art
can never be other than semblance seems,
for depictions and things are worlds apart
though forged through illusion as if in dreams.

The image is that of a pipe indeed
albeit what’s written says it is not.
While more might be mentioned, let us proceed
to Nebula Pipe in the spatial shot.

This place, for astronomer Barnard termed,
near center of galaxy Milky Way
isn’t empty of stars research confirmed
but the dense dust conceals their bright array.

Ophiuchus Constellation where lies
the Pipe is called Serpent Bearer in Greek.
There celestial beams beyond its pipe guise
cannot even dare to play hide-and-seek.

Cold gas and dust clouds together as group
fashion the nebula, giving the cast
of bowl on the left with curling smoke loop
and stem on the right to form a pipe vast.

The clouds of dust interstellar in front
have blocked out any sidereal shine
through ‘sleight of hand’ cosmic magician stunt
which only allows for a dark design

to be silhouetted as cloudy shape
of a pipe that’s seen as picturesque lane
since the gleam from stars behind can’t escape
the murkiness thick emboldened to reign.

No, it’s not a pipe smoking up the sky
regardless of how its mien may impress,
as on earth when fleeting storm clouds outvie
the light of the sun which shines nonetheless…


~ Harley White


* * * * * * * *


Some sources of inspiration were the following…

‘The Treachery of Images’ (French: La Trahison des images) is a 1929 painting by surrealist painter René Magritte.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images

Article ~ Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe ~ Curious dark nebula seen as never before…
https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1233/

Info ~ Pipe Nebula ~ Star Date (with Podcast)…
https://stardate.org/radio/program/2018-06-06

Article and image ~ The Pipe Nebula…
http://www.nightskyinfo.com/archive/pipe_nebula/

Article and image ~ The Pipe Nebula…
https://www.eso.org/public/images/yb/

Portrayed in this image is a picturesque dust lane obscuring some of the Milky Way stars, usually referred to as the Pipe Nebula due to its curious shape. Also known under the more technical names Barnard 59, Barnard 65-67, and Barnard 78, this dark spot is visible to the naked eye in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Snake Holder.

Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky

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