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Sonnet XXXI

Oddly Off-Kilter NGC 2442

Sonnet XXXI

Even a galaxy may be off kilter ―
not shaped like a pristine bilateral
spiral. Light streaks outward through a filter,
it seems, when snatched by a collateral
body. Free-floating hydrogen was drawn
into tangible streamer vanes of gas;
dust yanked like taffy, with endless brawn,
from the main arm. Clusters of stars surpass
a single bright light in beauty, but can’t
match up to a more exquisite rival,
like Andromeda or Whirlpool; the scant
are ripped by those larger and more frightful.
Cosmic layouts shaped like feathers and tails:
mind-numbing forces, energies and scales.


This comes from “The delicate aftermath of cosmic violence” , on @badastronomer’s Discover Magazine blog.

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