Poetry From The Homestead

Poems by Renata Christen

Between 2011-2012, I spent time in Waldo County working alongside other avid young people interested in learning all they could about living off the land sustainably. Chop wood, cook all meals on a Clarion stove, and grow your own food were a few basics. The difficulty of wanting your own land, but not having the capital to attain it easily, is why I’ve since gone on to pursue 9-5 work. Hopefully, I don’t get stuck in the cycle of waiting for retirement before settling into a life connected more directly with nature again.


Helen + Scott:
active hideaways who,
sending transmissions,
from their parallel universe
- in a stone cave harbor,
wearing old flannel,
drinking rosehip tea.


little shelf mushroom,
dehydrate for the winter,
now we will hunt you.


flying grasshoppers
like quail
when startled.



Dinner at Bob & Kim’s:

avocado, sprouts, jack cheese sandwiches
nostalgia about functional Co-ops: “oh, the variety.
And everyone used them.”
put your money into tangible things: bibbed overalls. a loom.
homegrown blueberry cornbread and cream
tips for kidney and heart health?
little altars everywhere
sheer cotton curtains
no wireless, no cell phones
hand-pump water faucet in house
a tub you wash in, and an outhouse
worldly homes
“Mountain Ladies & Ewe” Walpole, VT knit hats
chimney flow liner bookshelves and jungle plants
millet, oats, a string of chiles and basket of unthreshed seed
“Intention is selfless. It’s not contrived or mental. You’re not showing intention by
rationalizing a personal gain from acting – it’s not an ego thing.
You help the bird out of your greenhouse, and in that moment, you are placed in time.”