Second Life Landscape Initiative poetry

08Aug06

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Two of my poems were part of the Second Life Landscape Initiative at the Ars Virtua New Media Centre in Dowden (SLURL). (A very cool topographic representation of 4 sims in SL; my work was featured with the Neualtenburg and Dowden displays.)

Here they are:

Crash Hazard
(It had dropped from the void. This was her first memory.)

She saw to the edge of the world where before she could not see.
She felt the heat of the sun where before she could not feel.
She spread her wings and sailed across her land where before she had none.
She watched the trees grow and crests of rock emerge.
She watched as the men came.
(The armies and the peasants and the lords.)
She watched them carve the rocks into cobble and the trees into beams.
(Village upon village stood at her feet. Walls rose and fell and rose again. They were always the same. They were always the same.)
She hid, in times of turmoil, in the glowing rift at the edge of the land.
(There she had wonderful and terrible dreams.)
She found her land deserted, once, after an especially bloody dream.
She found all that remained was a fog.
She hated it. It obscured her sight and impeded her progress.
(The men returned. Their village became angular, bladed. Their churches soared with razor peaks. Fog-slicing.)
She called it the crash hazard.
She called it the crash hazard.
She sat atop the steeple and waited.

Looked Deeper
From so far above it gave me few clues as to its depth.
Upstream you could tell it was shallow, the water skipped over the spines of stones just visible.
Or perhaps it wasn’t shallow at all. Perhaps the rocks were pinnacles, being ground down by the river.

We had just met and were talking about that man we had encountered a few minutes ago.
He had a feral look and sodden clothes. He had frightened us.
Not paying attention, I slipped.
The sun was setting, the grass was wet, and at first I laughed.

The river was very, very cold.
At one point I was sucked below into a spectrum of icy blue suffocation.
The surface a mercuric flux, a long arm away.
From underwater, the river looked deeper.

The current cast me up and I was again flying down the slope of the river.
Grand manors threw fleeting shadows and dopplered gasps of balconied witnesses.
Steep banks hurtled to the vanishing sky.
The footing of a gargantuan bridge loomed like a crouching golem.
Then shot by with sickening nearness.

Salvation in an eddy. Backwater swirls of turbid hope.
She had found a way down. We had just met.

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