Outside the City of Tranquil Light

Jan 02
by Harley White

HaleyWhiteSolarSystemKuiperBelt 800

The Kuiper belt with frozen realms
our eighth of planets overwhelms,
for if Neptune had not formed
that collection could have swarmed
into a body neophyte,
habitably considered quite
outside the city of tranquil light.

Suggestive of domains of ire
or hellish greed beyond desire,
those icy floating places
evoke the haunted faces
that feign affected smiles despite
their fears and tears alone at night,
outside the city of tranquil light.

We common mortals live and die
for trifles, never asking why,
asleep in mind’s delusion,
on pathways of confusion,
while cherished hopes and dreams take flight
although pursued with all our might,
outside the city of tranquil light.

None can escape the sting of strife
during the whole of earthly life;
storms of fortune fiercely rage
while the mind and body age,
albeit some achieve a height
of recognition shining bright
outside the city of tranquil light.

Our only constant being flux,
we strive yet fail to grasp the crux
and cling to this bubble world
adrift in dimensions curled,
regardless of the poet’s sleight
or savvy from the erudite,
outside the city of tranquil light.

As years go by in swift array
kaleidoscopic passions play,
till like fleeting spectral shades
the phantasmic pageant fades.
What history we choose to write
ensuing epochs may indict
outside the city of tranquil light.

In our search for instant pleasure,
have we lost the taste to treasure
sheer existence, seeming rare
in the universe out there?
Oftentimes at the brink of blight
sentient creatures awake in fright,
outside the city of tranquil light.

Happiness that will ever last
springs from essential wisdom vast
in the deepest inner states
where enlightenment awaits…
Will humankind reverse its plight
and learn to see with purer sight
to find the city of tranquil light?

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Article with video from Universe Today ~ What Is the Kuiper Belt?

“The Kuiper Belt is a collection of bodies outside the orbit of Neptune that, if nothing else had happened, if Neptune hadn’t formed or if things had gone a little bit better, maybe they could have gotten together themselves and formed the next planet out beyond Neptune. But instead, in the history of the solar system, when Neptune formed it led to these objects not being able to get together, so it’s just this belt of material out beyond Neptune.”

Universe Today ~ What Has the Kuiper Belt Taught Us About the Solar System?

Inspiration was derived from the following passage by Nichiren Daishōnin…

“Outside the city of Tranquil Light, everywhere is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there that can bring you joy?”

~ Nichiren (1263)

Quotation from the last paragraph of the writing: “Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra (Dharma Flower Sutra)”

This passage has also been translated as follows: “Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy?“

“Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra (Dharma Flower Sutra)”


* * * * * * * * *

Image: Solar System Kuiper Belt ~ Over 4 billion miles (6.7 billion km) from the Sun, the Kuiper Belt is a vast zone of frozen worlds we still know very little about.

(Artist’s conception of the Kuiper Belt, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)

Image to download ~ Solar System Kuiper Belt  …


Illustration of the Kuiper Belt ~ Image credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)


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