Monday, December 17, 2012

those men of war, with big cigars and cars

From the NASA Space Advent Calendar which is HERE.

 Resembling a nightmarish beast rearing its head from a crimson sea, this celestial object is actually just a pillar of gas and dust. Called the Cone Nebula (in NGC 2264) -- so named because in ground-based images it has a conical shape - this monstrous pillar resides in a turbulent star-forming region. This picture shows the upper 2.5 light-years of the Cone. The entire pillar is seven light-years long. 
(NASA, Holland Ford (JHU), the ACS Science Team and ESA)

O the Lord is good
To the steady man
He is good
To the man of peace.

But I stumbled, I stumbled in my mind
Over those men
I did not understand
Rich and fat
With big cigars and cars
They seem to have no trouble
Know no pain
I do not understand those men of war
Strong and proud
Rich and fat
The more they have
The more they hate
And hate rolls down their skin
Like drops of sweat.

I stumbled, I stumbled in my mind
Over those men of war

Full of power
Rich and fat
The more they have, the more they hate
And they jeered
At my people
Showed their power
Rolled their pile of fat
And my people
Listened to their threat
My people was afraid

Of those men of war
When hate rolled down their skin
Like drops of sweat.

My heart was sore
Seeing their success
"Does God care?
Has He forgotten us?"
Lord, I nearly fell
Stumbling in my mind
About those men of war
It was hard to see
Till you showed me
How like a dream
Those phantoms pass away.

-Thomas Merton, "The Lord is Good", (Psalm 71) Collected Poems, pp 775-776 


  1. In some inexplicable way the photo of the cone nebula evokes the men of war with their big cigars. Comforting to know that they are phantoms which will pass away like so much space gas. Sandy Baran

  2. I wondered what you'd make of this amazing image - but once again you have surpassed my expectations...

    1. still got 8 or 9 more days to go, J. Not sure what is coming!


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