Some things we can say
about Eta Carinae:
It was catalogued by Halley.
The Chinese knew it as Tseen She
meaning Heaven’s Alter.
It likely a binary, a pair
of supergiants, the smaller
hugged and tugged by the larger.
It is four or five million
times brighter than our sun.
It is around eight thousand light years
distant, so really quite near,
just a couple of doors
down our galactic avenue, our neighbours
are apparently blowing their tops
and won’t stop
until, in some already ancient tomorrow,
their whole house, finally, blows
(so, next Tuesday, a blue burn in the night sky
bright enough to read by,
or, if our luck’s out, a gamma ray
might come glancing this way).
The universe is a blast
and stars far from steadfast
as they know well, those avid watchers
in their burnished towers
who might murmur: twinkle, twinkle
luminous blue variable