Hope Will Find You

“Hope is the thing with feathers,” Emily Dickinson tells us, “that perches in the soul.” But what if you can’t see it, can’t see your soul even? Maybe it’s too dark, or maybe the soul is an overgrown thicket that surrounds the bird and camouflages her who, after all, looks exactly like the soul itself? I think then you have to take hope on faith, almost like a prayer. Or maybe it is a prayer: please let love through, let my beautiful soul shine out. If you can’t find hope, then you must have faith that hope will find you. I took this picture on the hillside above the house, and that little “thing with feathers” is there, and even though hard to see; yes, it sees you. Promise.

Bird in thicket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Is the Thing With Feathers
By Emily Dickinson
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Where the Trail Stops

Where the Trail Stops
by Bay Sweetwater

Where the trail stops in a stand of pines and birches,
and the breeze hurries home in the darkening afternoon,
there lies a lost and frozen lake,
framed by holly and persimmon trees.

A fallen tree limb makes a bench, I settle
and gaze at twilight dressing for the evening
in a gown of silver, ribboned in pink and blue,
waiting for her escort in the chariot of Selene.

Sudden as lightning, a crack fractures the lake,
so swift and dark and silent, you could miss it,
if you did not love this lake as much as I.
The leaden sky presses low and scatters snow.

(Photographed in A Dream of Snow sim, Second Life)

Castle in the Sand, a machinima for summer

My new machinima is Castle in the Sand. It’s a love story —  with a sand castle, waves crashing on the beach, a raging storm, poetry, romantic music… your basic summer flick. 🙂

This is my entry in the University of Western Australia MachinimUWA VI short animated film competition, with the theme “Reflections.” Continue Reading “Castle in the Sand, a machinima for summer”

Walk through Robert Frost’s snowy woods, in Second Life

I’ve built a snowy woods in Second Life where you can walk around inside Robert Frost’s much-loved poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”  Come visit! You can also get a sled to ride around on – and snowballs, skates, and hot chocolate too. It’s my Christmas present to all my blog readers and friends in Second Life. I think of it as a sort of 3D Christmas card.

In case you’re not familiar with Second Life, it’s a virtual world where you can make yourself an avatar and visit worlds of your and others’ imagination, for free. I have lived there now for four years in the sim of Farhaven, which is where I built this little woods. To visit my snowy woods, just register at Second Life, pick an avatar for yourself, then click here and choose “teleport.”

Snowy Woods

I first got the idea of building this woods when I was laid up with a foot injury four years ago and couldn’t walk. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to walk again, and it left me dismal and frightened. I had heard about Second Life, and I decided if I couldn’t walk in real life, I would build a snowy woods where I could walk virtually. I had always been fascinated with the idea of being able to walk around inside a masterpiece, be it a painting, a poem, or even an idea. So I built my woods four years ago, with painstaking attention to detail, which took my mind off myself.

My body healed, as bodies often do, and I am now fully recovered. I looked back on the memory of that little woods and decided to build it again this year. I have built other “Poem Parks” over the years, but it has always been my favorite. So I give you: Snowy Woods 2.0. It’s similar to the first one, but there are a few changes. Just as there are in me, and probably you as well.

Also, please don’t miss Farley Crabgrass’s wonderful video of the the woods four years ago, called A Second Life Winter’s Night. He filmed it in my little woods, and I was so incredibly moved by it. I loved my little snowy woods, but to have someone else say it was beautiful too, and then to put it in a movie, I was over the moon. I watched that video every day for quite awhile. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate and a moment of relaxation.

It is a rough time in the real world. Some people ask: How can you play around in a virtual world when there are so many problems to solve in the real world? I do it for relaxation and inspiration. Also, it awakens a soft poetic dreamy side of me I find so hard to touch in real life. It’s not a substitute for reality, it’s an accompaniment.

May all your holidays be merry and bright, and may the peace of the season accompany you.

Autumn poems and pumpkin chai

Pumpkin chai with your autumn poem

Here are my autumn poems. I admit it – I’m an autumn junkie. I love the falling leaves, a bit of sadness, hot cider, deep shadows, evening fires, long walks in the woods. All my autumn poems are in this category of my blog: Poems, Autumn

To get you in the mood for autumn poems, see my video below of a midnight walk through falling leaves in the virtual world of Second Life, and a recipe for pumpkin chai to keep away the autumn chill (recipe and pic from Club Dine-In).

Continue Reading “Autumn poems and pumpkin chai”

Among the Red and Gold, the autumn leaves

This poem was born one autumn day when I looked at a tree’s colorful leaves dancing in the wind and thought how much they looked like butterflies.

It was written from an unlikely assortment of “challenge words” which the writers of the Bardic Circle in the virtual world of Second Life choose at the end of our weekly gatherings:   Sweet; Princess; Butterfly, Lightning; Spigot.

Continue Reading “Among the Red and Gold, the autumn leaves”

I’ll Fly With Wild Pelicans

In a marsh near where I live, wild white pelicans come to roost. Their visits are almost magical, and never predictable. They are there one day and gone the next. I happened upon them a couple weeks ago. When I went back to see them the next day, sure enough, they were gone. They always fill me with awe and longing. Here’s a picture of them and a poem I wrote while watching them.


Continue Reading “I’ll Fly With Wild Pelicans”

What is it that we love, when we love an avatar?

Second Love

by Bay Sweetwater

What is it that we love, when we love an avatar?
Why is one star brighter than any other star?
What sets our heart aflutter when that one comes online,
And keeps us by the keyboard, waiting for a sign? 

It’s not the skin or anims, or all the fancy clothes.
These are bought in stores, as everybody knows.
It’s not the mystery scrivener who sits behind the screen.
Him (or her?) we barely know; we’ve often never seen.

I think it is the wordless soul, who beguiles as it dances,
Embodied in an avatar, whose mesmerizing glances,
Engulfs us in fond dreams this morning yet undreamed of,
Launching our small heart upon the boundless sea of love.

They say that eyes are windows that open on the soul,
That by gazing in the eyes, the inner lands behold;
Likewise, I think an avatar can be a sort of peephole,
Through which the heart can look, to spy upon the soul.

Summer’s Heart Lives in the Sunflower Patch

Summer’s Heart Lives in the Sunflower Patch
By Bay Sweetwater

Summer’s heart lives in the sunflower patch
Who hang about in my backyard and giggle
Like clusters of teenage girls crowding
Up against the fence, peeking over the top
For a split second, then ducking down
Hands over their mouths, stifling shrieks of laughter
As the boys go by on the other side.

Shipwreck Moon, my poem about a blue moon (or two)

Last night I went out near midnight in RL to look at the blue moon over California.

Then I came inside and looked at it in SL over the Farhaven Isles.

Here’s the poem that came out.