Two Haiku for the Heavens

Black velvet night falls,

    dusty with points of small light.

I wonder who's there?

Through the lens I look

seeing the unseen, so far

the universe there.
                                                                                 Doug Starwalt  1997


When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and

        measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much

        applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

                                                                    Walt Whitman  1865

A pastor, Luke Rasmussen, at Christ the Redeemer in Clemson impressed me with a heavenly quote from the theologian John Calvin which I am sharing with you:

 "Where ever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of God's glory. You cannot in one glance survey this most beautiful system of the universe, in its wide expanse, without being completely overwhelmed by the boundless force of its brightness. The reason why the author of the letter to the Hebrews elegantly calls the universe the appearance of things invisible (Heb. 11:3) is that this skillful ordering of the universe is for us a sort of mirror in which we can contemplate God who is otherwise invisible."

Father Rasmussen further suggested  a devotional on Psalm 19 before a total solar eclipse:

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

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