Where the Land Meets the Sky

Etienne White

In honor of National Poetry Month, Etienne White’s column features some of her poetry and poetic images. To enjoy more of her poetic voice, follow Driftlesspoet on Instagram.

Moon on Point
Meet me 
Where the full moon rises like peaches and cream 
Little hill town all awash in her amber glow 
The air chilled clouds that cannot coalesce 
Stay separate around her gleaming glare 
She will radiate ever and anon
She must keep on
She won’t let up
There is too much at stake
She will ebb and flow
She will wax and wane
But she will not go
A beacon in our darkness
A porch light for our souls
Filling hill town hearts with fractals
Beaming perseverance like pivot points
Until the soaked-black sky shines

All Is Liminal
Comes the Winter
Great clarifier of the clouds we carry
Blowing translucency in gusts upon us
Bringing unceasing silence and solitudes 
Snow to bury our broken dreams in
Blazing fires to hurl our hurt in
Ashes to rise anew from

Comes the Thaw
Precious and precarious
The sun slow-strengthening 
And days long-lengthening
Drum beats drop
From gutters to ground
Gulping in the air
Tasting birdsong and 
Hope is a sound

Comes the Spring
We rise to it clean
All lithe and leanly
Yearning for a yielding
Craving the greening
Hungry to gorge on life
And so full of the wanting

I am rarely punctual 
And much like me
Winter keeps arriving late this season
Such that this place that routinely displaces me
Feels strangely like home
Suddenly warm with rain 
And a distinct lack of snow
Yet all that water still has somewhere it needs to go
They tell me I need to lead by example
I declare instead I lead by necessity
For I shall surely fall
Whether as ice crystals or water drops 
It matters not
The medium I choose to arrive in 
What matters most is that I get here
Making the journey 
Deep into the ground
Finding the roots that nourish me as I nourish them
Reciprocity is the immigrant’s gift
Whether you welcome the (ex)change or not
The blending and deep-root-watering will occur nonetheless 
Embrace me then
For in your acceptance you scatter sacred seeds of belonging
Through fields of time and place
Falling betwixt surfeit and scarcity
We find ourselves standing each to each
And there is enough 
For us all
For each of us
Is Enough

Etienne White lives where the land meets the sky on a farm in Iowa County where she raises grass-fed, Old English Babydoll sheep, as well as pastured chickens, a happy farm dog, a wily barn cat and her two spirited children. She runs a consulting business working at the intersection of sustainability and marketing, and is a sought-after speaker on sustainability in the United States and Europe.