Death Be Eternity

I stand
feet solid upon this earth.
What then
when ashes float
upon ocean’s tide?

What of my spirit
my energy
my soul,
clamoring for release
from embers’ dust?

Shall my essence
melt amongst the stars?
Dissolve into tincture of dawn?
Swirl within some galaxy
unknown to earthly man?

Mingle through generations,
welcome those yet to come?
Somewhere beyond this realm,
somewhere
out there beyond?

Perhaps this earthen home
is but a way station
weighed down by skin and bone,
awaiting release into a dominion
of absolute timelessness.

An otherworldly universe,
glimpsed only by the dreamers,
those who peer
beyond this spatial dwelling place.

A perfect storm of turbulent gases

Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble;  European Space AgencyNASA, and J. Hester (Arizona State University)

Posted for dVerse where I’m delighted to host Tuesday Poetics, asking everyone to look up!  Write a poem inspired by one of four photos, taken and released by the Hubble telescope, included in the prompt. Jump into the photo, imagine its world; write about space or not. Simply be inspired by the image and see where it takes you!

dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

NOTE:  I emailed the Hubble site from which the four available images come. Permission was given for this prompt, providing each poet includes the exact photo credit as listed on the site and thus copied to my prompt. 

 

60 thoughts on “Death Be Eternity

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Truly appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) November 7, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I have not managed to believe that there is anything for me after death, but the big universe surrounding us is still something that I can love. The image seems to indicate the shadow of a man in that cloud…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Wow….did not see that shadow until you pointed it out! Amazing photo, right?

      Like

    • Truedessa November 7, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      I saw that too and thought it was just me.

      Like

  2. X November 7, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    Really some intriguing thoughts on eternity…and hard not to think on it when staring into the depth and beauty of the pictures you selected.

    I like the though of what is left of us seeding the coming generations…a bit of legacy.

    Dont think i will be joining in but thank you. I saw you on the trail last night leaving significant messages in the comments. Dont lose that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment. Sorry you won’t be joining in….do know that the prompt will be active until Thursday at about 1 PM so if you change your mind, come on back 🙂
      I do so enjoy reading all the posts and so many times, they strike a chord with me. I type about 80 words a minute so my fingers fly almost as fast as the conversation in my brain…so it’s easier for me to add conversational comments! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Dougherty November 7, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I look at the fantastic extent and beauty of the universe and I ask myself those questions too, and the answer I hear is always, I doubt it. We are so small, so insignificant and so boorish that we don’t deserve immortality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      It is a fantastic universe…..but I truly hope we do meld into those stars or that far aways galaxy. We are small….but then so is some of that solar dust out there 🙂

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty November 7, 2017 / 4:21 pm

        It’s a beautiful thought. Even if it is a bit presumptuous. I mean, why should we? All that huge universe exists just as a gorgeous human cemetery? Maybe on some distant planet there are creatures thinking the same thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • lillian November 7, 2017 / 6:16 pm

        Who’s to say it’s only a “human cemetery?” “Cemetery” — perhaps we should call it a repository if it is somewhere in the galaxy…a “living place” rather than a resting place 🙂

        Like

  4. alisonhankinson November 7, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    I really enjoyed this but the cosmos is so vast…I would be so lost…a tiny grain of sand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 6:17 pm

      Ah…I think that is perhaps the point…that we become one with the vastness? And thus we are not a tiny grain of sand but a part of a larger swath of light?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Victoria C. Slotto November 7, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    I have a feeling if I can get it together and work this prompt, I too will be shrouded in mystery. The cosmos just screams that. I love the prompt and expect it will generate some pretty significant responses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      Oh my yes. The cosmos….the universe….the mystery that surrounds us on a much larger sphere. I often wrote of “scrims.” Those canopies with holes cut in them through which the light shone, of various colors, onto a stage. In some ways, I think of the universe in that way….a greater shining in which we can all take a place 🙂 LOVING the mystery of all this…as you say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Victoria C. Slotto November 7, 2017 / 7:54 pm

        As Brian said in a complement to you on someone’s blog–you put so much into your comments, Lillian. That means a lot.

        Like

  6. Frank Hubeny November 7, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    I see it as a way station as you mention in the second to last stanza. The skin and bone gives us a limited perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      A “weigh” station whose weight is the skin and bone that shall become dust.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Vivian Zems November 7, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    Love the reference to “this earthen home” to “absolute timelessness “. You were waxing lyrical with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 7, 2017 / 6:20 pm

      Ah yes….how can one help but wax lyrical when looking at these gorgeous facts, these incredible magic photos taken of the world outside of us? 🙂 Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. jaybluepoems November 7, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Beautiful Lillian! “awaiting release into a dominion of absolute timelessness. An otherworldly universe, glimpsed only by the dreamers,” love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:11 am

      Thank you! And I must say, I was THRILLED to see your response to this prompt. It was absolutely beautiful to read silently…and gaze at the image and then read aloud. So very glad you participated in the prompt. The Hubble site has pages and pages of incredulous and beautiful images. I thought the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, the indescribable blue waters of Bermuda, the stars atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island, Hawaii…were awesome. WOW what lies beyond is even more breathtaking! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • jaybluepoems November 8, 2017 / 2:01 pm

        Indeed! I couldn’t agree with you more. My heart is in these Rocky Mountains, but my soul dreams of travelling through the distant expanse of the infinite, surrounded by unimaginable wonders!

        Like

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Thank you, Frank. So glad you enjoyed. I absolutely loved looking through the Hubble site….really hard to just pick four images for the prompt….and then hard to limit myself to just one for my post! 🙂 Truly awesome what’s out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Truedessa November 7, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    I think the dreamers see beyond limited space as they search for the deeper meaning of life. I like the questions that you asked, it leaves the reader pondering their own thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Ah yes………when I went to the Hubble site and saw all the amazing images, it can’t help but start you “wondering” — they are magical! It is so astounding to think that this magical cosmic dust, explosion of gases into awesome beauty, stars and planets…are really out there! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed my poem and so glad you participated in the prompt!

      Like

  10. adda November 7, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    I was captivated by your fifth stanza and very much enjoyed your play of words. It is hard to believe that this is it. Wonderfully written. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:06 am

      Well….I for one have always refused to believe that this is it! 🙂 I like to think of our essence somehow becoming a part of that incredible “out there” — a cosmic dust waiting to happen 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed this one. ❤

      Like

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:05 am

      Hi Candy. Many thanks!
      I just left a comment on your About on your website. When I clicked on your name in MrLinky for your post to this prompt, I got an Oops message. Scrolled around on your site and found your Hubble poem so copied the URL for it, went into MrLinky and edited it so that now, on the MR Linky list, when folks click on your name, they’ll come to your wonderful post….an eye looking back! 🙂
      PS: probably just me…but I couldn’t find a place to add a comment to your poem?
      Glad you participated and oooooh yes….that hour glass nebula is eerily like an eye staring back!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary (tqhousecat) November 7, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    I love your fifth stanza. Weighed down by skin and bones. Our soul is, isn’t it? And I get weary of waiting sometimes. Love how your words paint pictures. Someday I hope to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Oh my….thank you for your lovely comment here, Mary. Well…..somehow words can be our pastels or our oils or our clay to shape, right? I just started writing poetry three years ago…rejuvenated (never say “retired”), I decided to do something very different and so I enrolled in an online poetry class. Wow! It opened doors I never knew were even in me….words just started to tumble out! 🙂 I do enjoy my writing time in the early morning…with a hot cup of coffee nearby. Sometimes I just write gobbledygook, and other times, I look down and say, “wow!” where did that come from?” I’ve loved being with dVerse as I almost always learn something new each week. I will say this, I’ve learned I’m a free verse kind of writer and I really really struggle with rhyme and particular forms…feel like a straight-jacket and I really have to work to get a sense out rather than the rhyme sounding like “roses are red, violets are blue etc.” Silly me! I was shocked to learn of RhymeZone and other sites on the web that are easy resources as we write! 🙂 Long winded here…but only to say…keep writing.! I enjoy seeing what you write…and many thanks again for reading my post and participating too! 🙂 Happy Wednesday to you!

      Like

  12. peterfrankiswrites November 7, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Lovely verse Lillian, and who better to speculate on eternity and our place in it, than the poets – that’s our bread and butter after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:57 am

      So glad you enjoyed Peter. Hah….my bread and butter is simply a loaf in the fridge and a stick on a glass plate on our cupboard….homepoet says it all. 🙂 But oh yes, I do agree….when we write, we put to words our wonder, right?

      Like

  13. Feelings and Freedom November 8, 2017 / 1:41 am

    What a beautiful poem to solve the mysteries of death. I often wonder about after life, if there’s any..Your poem took me to another world. Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:56 am

      So very glad you enjoyed. I do find comfort thinking about possibly joining the world “out there” in some form….it is wondrous is it not, when you see images like these? “another world” — yes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Feelings and Freedom November 9, 2017 / 2:11 am

        “Another world” certainly brings out curiosity …to know what is out there..There’s a TV series called “Doctor Who”, if you’ve see it. When you watch that series, you feel like transported to another world. There must be so much to explore and witness…if only we could do it!

        Like

  14. rosemawrites November 8, 2017 / 1:58 am

    Shall my essence
    melt amongst the stars?
    Dissolve into tincture of dawn?

    these lines are moving. the poem exquisite. i love that we picked the same photo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:54 am

      So glad you enjoyed! It was really hard for me to limit the prompt to just four photos from the site…if you click on one of the links below one of the photos in the prompt itself, it will take you to the Hubble site…pages and pages of images, one more wondrous than the next! 🙂 I LOVED this particular photo and then was amazed when Bjorn pointed out that you can make out the image of a human face in it…the profile of a face…shape of the nose etc. Perhaps there is life in other places out there. In some ways, perhaps we are egotistical to think we are “it!” 🙂

      Like

  15. kim881 November 8, 2017 / 3:39 am

    Your words immediately brought to mind the Chris Cornell song, ‘Preaching the End of the World’, Lill.
    I especially like the lines:
    ‘Shall my essence
    melt amongst the stars?
    Dissolve into tincture of dawn?’
    and
    ‘Perhaps this earthen home
    is but a way station
    weighed down by skin and bone’.
    Full of cosmic beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Not familiar with that song, Kim…will have to Google it. I always learn something new at dVerse be it hearing a new song, learning about a form, or the measure and workings of the Hubble! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Colin Lee November 8, 2017 / 6:42 am

    Stanzas 5 and 6 are pure gold to me. Such a vast and encompassing musing upon the cosmos and beyond. An awesome, awesome piece of magnificent poetics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:51 am

      Thank you so much for your comment here. Perhaps you’ve found, in stanzas 5 and 6, what my recent poetry online-teacher said is the “poem within the poem” — urging us to write more concisely. 🙂 So very glad you liked this one….and enjoyed the prompt as well. So many wonderful responses to these amazing images…but they are wondrous in and of themselves, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Colin Lee November 8, 2017 / 7:26 pm

        Indeed, the cosmos is, literally, the greatest wonder of this world. “Poem within the poem”; world beyond world. How transcendent!

        Like

  17. annell4 November 8, 2017 / 9:57 am

    “Only the dreamers”! Yes, a lovely poem! Your use of words is very charming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 8, 2017 / 10:49 am

      Thank you, Anell. So very glad you enjoyed it! Amazing photos that Hubble collects…simply spiritual and inspiring looking at them! 🙂

      Like

    • lillian November 9, 2017 / 9:38 am

      Aren’t they just incredibly beautiful and at the same time mysterious images? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. jazzytower November 8, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    I really enjoyed this poem. Much to wonder about. I can see this happening while gazing at these photos. The question of what comes next is someting that always gets my mind wondering. Who is to say what happens when we leave this space? One thing is for sure, we all get to wait and see.

    Pat

    Like

    • lillian November 9, 2017 / 9:39 am

      That is so true, Pat. So glad you enjoyed. I think just looking at a starry night with the naked eye is pretty special; or seeing the Grand Canyon; or the ocean. But these images are really and truly beautiful and at the same time so awe-inspiring and mysterious too!

      Like

      • jazzytower November 9, 2017 / 4:29 pm

        Absolutely. There’s nothing like a clear starry night when I could just sit and gaze at it all. I e of my favorite things to do. ☺

        Like

  19. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) November 9, 2017 / 10:05 am

    An otherworldly universe,
    glimpsed only by the dreamers,

    It rightly gives an impression that there are lots of unchartered ‘territories’ to be yet discovered

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 9, 2017 / 2:07 pm

      Oh yes!!!! And someone else wrote of a unicorn we could hitch a ride on who would wing us through all those galaxies — wouldn’t that be marvelous?
      So glad you posted, Hank. Happy Thursday!

      Like

  20. Ruthie Rose November 18, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    Pure magic, so glad I came across this page! Beautiful xx

    Like

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