An Illusion is an Illusion.

Outside of being an Optician, I spend a good chunk of my free time writing. It used to be more short stories and journal entries, but I’m currently a whole FIVE classes away from a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing with a Concentration in Poetry so lately I’ve been focused on my poetry. 

When I was a child, my dream was to be either a magician or a writer – which is funny to me because Opticianry is a little magical in a way. There are “magic tricks” in the trade when fitting people with exactly what they want – as well as the magic it can take to put someone’s massacred frame back together! As an adult I’ve let my dream of being an actual magician go – I’m less interested in the illusion itself and more interested in why our eyes deceive us.

For my most recent poem, I found inspiration after reading an article on called “How Your Eyes Trick Your Mind”. I’ve spent far too much time staring at the “rotating snakes” (pictured above) optical illusion and learning about the role of saccades in eye-trickery. Saccades are lightning rapid movements of your eyes that change your fixation.  When viewing an optical illusion like the rotating snakes, our eyes aren’t focusing in any one place and the entire group of stimuli is way too overwhelming for the visual cortex, thus your brain believes the image is moving when it really isn’t. 

Below is my illusion-inspired poem. I write regularly on a plethora of topics (many personal and confessional) and post regularly on my own website: for those interested.




My eyes are ballistic—darting

about too fast for my brain

to accept that this is not

a moving picture,

when I swear

that the movement

is so erratically cyclical

that the rhythm sours my stomach. 

I’ve always been a little astigmatically

near-sighted so I’m used to

counterfeit information

that one’s eyes tells

one’s eager brain. 

The trick is to choke

down the puke and hold

still—specific focus makes

the jerking frenzy gain control of itself.

-Heather B. Stearns