Frisbees and Pinwheels

For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words dangle, abnormal, lavish. Also submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight. 
Arp 188 and the Tadpole’s Tail 
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy ArchiveESANASAProcessing – Bill Snyder (Heavens Mirror Observatory)

Frisbees & Pinwheels
After all, what does it matter, this troubled
hour, when whole worlds dangle overhead,
prodded into existence by who knows
what evasive Power? I’ve seen a picture
of the Tadpole Galaxy, so called for its
abnormal gaseous tail stretched out
280 thousand light years,
caused by some celestial near miss.
In the background other spiral galaxies
are scattered lavishly about. Some lay
flat, like frisbees flung over the roof, sent
flying just to see where they might land;
others stand on edge, like sparkling pinwheels
we used to clench in our plump childish hands,
running. What if God is but a laughing child
spinning pinwheels?

42 thoughts on “Frisbees and Pinwheels

  1. haha..perhaps sHe is….its pretty awe inspiring to look at the cosmos and see some of the wonder that are there…and then to think as well all the little factors that make this a viable planet even to sustain life….humbling…


  2. And this sets in play as many questions as there are galaxies in the universe. Beautifully said and illustrated. I often think it's all a game – why else would we stay somewhat in a child's mind set all our lives. Being grown up just isn't all that much fun.


  3. When I look into up at the night sky it is as though we are being told the truth but it is so overpowering that when daylight comes again and we fall back into our complacency forgetful of the secret that has been revealed. Thanks for the nudge in the ribs.


  4. Thanks Gavin. Ancient thinkers proposed the idea that stars' motion produced harmony–maybe not scientifically accurate (as Aristotle belabored the point) but poetically true.


  5. Hmmmm, lots of wondering.
    In your first stanza when you say “What does it matter?” I am wondering about what “troubled hour” you are talking about. Certainly “troubled hours” are always present since the beginning of time.

    So are you saying, “Why do we worry about anything when we see how insignificant we are?” ? I don't think you'd ask that, because the answer is obvious — who cares about our insignificance, we only care about our own situation. Every animal is the same on that account.

    Also, in the first stanza, why is the “Power” evasive? (I think there is no 'Power', of course, as you know — well, no intervening Power) — But I don't know what you mean.

    I love your verbal painting of the sky.

    Finally, is God a child just spinning stuff? — a mischievous Deist [non-interventionist, creation-only] god — well, at least that seems mildly reasonable to assume. 😉

    Is that what you are wondering?


  6. Hi Nico,

    A fascinating write. I have been thinking…I haven't seen the playful side of God, but I am hoping it exists. If we were created in the image of God and WE have a sense of humor, I would hope that humor exists somewhere in God as well.


  7. Thanks Sabio–yes, lots of wondering. I'll try to answer your questions.

    The troubled hour is just that–a moment when cares, anxiety, doubt, pain, whatever, causes a reevaluation. Sometimes I think we take ourselves too seriously, and while that may be obvious to some people, others really struggle with attempts to prove their significance, to themselves or to others.

    The Power is evasive, or I assume it is evasive, because in spite of dogmatic assertions (from both theists and non-theists) we cannot seem to come to terms with exactly what it is, or even IF it is. In other words, in my opinion God has not made it easy on us by providing unequivocal, undeniable, empirical proof. I don't think this necessarily means he doesn't exist (the proof is lacking on both sides!); but if he exists, he certainly evades our definitions.

    I see something playful in the arrangement of the universe. Of course, Tennyson was also right: Nature is “red in tooth and claw,” but there is a random lightheartedness as well. For me, seeing God as a playing child is a way of poetically acknowledging this. I also think it is a way of resisting the hell-fire and brimstone, vengeful God as some religions define him.

    After all of that, I see I haven't really answered your questions very well. So I suppose it is right to think that I'm OK with asking questions, exploring, wondering, living in the gray areas where definitions are hard to come by.


  8. Thanks Mary–as I mentioned to Claudia, we are in big trouble if God doesn't have a sense of humor! I just don't like the idea of a big ol' frowny God, I suppose.


  9. I agree that living comfortable in the “gray areas” is important. And I am just fine with that — no need to have Krishna, Allah, or Elvis floating around to make the greyness better for me. I am comfortable with just grey. 🙂

    I feel your open-theism is healthy — of course.


  10. hey Nico

    i really like the energy that moves your poem and the tone is great for tackling this massive subject matter(light and dark)it
    brings it all down to earth, as it were (ahem!) . . . the closing
    especially . . . i would not be surprised somehow if this were the truth.

    thanks nico


  11. God as a child would also account for the mean streak that seems to be woven through life. I spent many glorious childhood hours burning ants and other of God's little creatures–thanks for bringing up this precious memory, you brought a tear to my eye!


  12. Contemplating the Heavens is just about the most thought provoking exercise there is. The idea of a frivolous, playful God is rather attractive. The late, great astronomer Sir Patrick Moore could also be puzzled at times. He said: 'I'm only a four dimensional creature. I haven't got a clue how to visualise infinity. Even Einstein didn't – I know because I asked him.'


  13. Thank you, RMP. I receive NASA's astronomy picture of the day in my feeds, and this shot was one a few weeks back. Couldn't get it out of my mind, so there you go!


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