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.

Seven things you don’t know about Bay Sweetwater

Strawberry Singh recently proposed an intriguing Seven Facts Meme, in which Second Life bloggers reveal seven little-known facts about themselves. Here are mine.

SL Fact #1. If I’m in a sticky or confusing situation IRL, I often find myself asking: What would Bay do? Or I’ll log into SL and ask Bay herself. She usually has good ideas. I think of her as my moral compass. Continue Reading “Seven things you don’t know about Bay Sweetwater”

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.

Spirits is a relaxing online game

Here’s something new: an online game that will help you relax, even fall asleep at night. Its images are as beautiful as candlelight, with delicate music playing in the background. Just what I need by this time at night when I’m looking for things to calm me down to sleep – tea, a book, or . . .  an online game? Well, an online game wouldn’t normally be my choice for relaxation. But Spirits is different. Continue Reading “Spirits is a relaxing online game”

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”

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.

Conversation with an Autumn Leaf

A fallen leaf has a lot to say, if you catch it at the right moment. This moment was a rainy autumn day, when the linden trees still shimmered gold, and I watched one leaf come tumbling down. I wondered what it would be like to be a leaf and fall away from everything you’ve ever known.

Continue Reading “Conversation with an Autumn Leaf”

Falling Leaf

One autumn day I noticed a leaf hanging all afternoon by a thread of a bygone spider’s web, until finally the wind swept it away. I sympathized with the little leaf and wrote this poem as an ode to its bravery.

Continue Reading “Falling Leaf”