one haiku day

December 24, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

I joined the online “virtual world” called There about three years ago. Even though there were plenty of dune buggies, “hoverbikes”, teleport hubs, and other ways of getting around very quickly, I walked most everywhere I went. For me, online or off, the best way to appreciate a place is close at hand, by touch almost, hearing every footstep. So as a Christmas Eve gift to myself this year, I spent the day revisiting a few of my earliest favorite There places and let the memories inspire some new haiku poems.

(nada grotto)
theater of one:
seagulls’ cries, waves’ growls echo
while tikis look on

When I was new to There, the other islands seemed so vast and disorienting, while Nada Island was small enough to grasp. I made it my first home base, and it is still my sentimental favorite. One of the hidden treasures of There is a little natural amphitheater up in the hills, just out of sight of the seashore below.

(nene peak)
thorn trees cling to life
by lonely scattered boulders
as the cold wind blows

The desolate upper shoulders of Nene Peak on Caldera Island are very near to the popular hot-spots of Karuna Plaza and Zephyr, but might as well be in a different world. The stark beauty of this place moves me in a way difficult to express.

(burojo coast)
necklace of shark’s teeth
overlooking pounding surf,
falling forever

This island’s coast is unique, with three seacliff areas of extreme sharp peaks and deep ravines. Be careful not to fall in: your avatar can get trapped in these holes! A virtual reminder that beauty sometimes hides danger.

(tyr)
canyons dark with fear,
even the moon is afraid
to show his cold face

Many people dislike Tyr Island because it is so dark. But I really enjoy it, especially on foot in the remote dark canyons.

(egypt)
palm grove, desert sun,
i muse on distant ruins
while my puppy plays

Just as we have a virtual Dave and virtual Nancy in There, we’ve also created virtual Hank and Maggie, who just like the real ones love to chase after thrown balls :-)

(little cangrejo)
sunset purples, reds
silhouette distant mountains:
one day – one moment

In the northwest corner of this small island is one of the most peaceful, beautiful spots in There. I can easily lose track of time sitting on the fallen log in a grove of trees, admiring the deep shadowed outline of far Motu-motu island.

(wordgrove)
water sky trees stones,
silent words unfold themselves
into flaming hearths

It still seems miraculous to me, when cold words on a page evoke the warmth of real emotion, and computer bits travelling through fiber-optic cables enable real human connections, touch, and community.

But in life, real and virtual, all hellos of meeting new people and new places must be balanced with the occasional goodbye — as now, with the recent loss of our friend bettina6953.

still water, small stone:
the pond remembers as the
ripples continue

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