Arts & Culture · Poetry

Poetry Sunday: A Poet Without Place Understands a Land Without Time

For nearly two decades, Therése Halscheid has lived simply as an itinerant writer who makes her way by housesitting. This simplicity brings with it an intensity—a need to be hyper-sensitive to the topographic and cultural braille that each new locale requires. Here we see that Halscheid is fully conversant in the language of the natural world. She has created art by forgoing the measurements that so many of us rely on to get our bearings.


Land of No Time
   the northern interior, Alaska

In a place of always light or always dark, in the arctic north,
there are no required hours, no hurry for the future
and little thought of the past

the present is one continuing moment —
the body moves to natural rhythms, is fluid with seasons,
living the way a river does

how it carries what comes to it
returns to land, what it was tossed

or think of it this way, choosing when to wake, when to sleep
think of the summer when the sun is constant
all during the summer, when day ends
the light does not
and it is like that
living without the clock

you cannot schedule this part of the earth
there is no passage of time, only change
in the coming and going of moon, in the wind that blows freely
from the cold outer edge
of the world.

                  From Frozen Latitudes, Press 53 © 2014. Printed with the poet’s permission.


wvfc thereseTherése Halscheid’s new poetry collection is Frozen Latitudes (Press 53). Her other collections are Uncommon Geography, Without Home, and Powertalk. She received a Greatest Hits chapbook award by Pudding House Publications. Her poetry and essays have appeared in such magazines as The Gettysburg Review, Tampa Review, Sou’wester, and Natural Bridge. Since 1993, she has been an itinerant writer, by way of house-sitting. Simplicity has connected her to the natural world and has been the focus of many poems. Her photography chronicling her nomadic lifestyle has appeared in juried shows. She teaches for Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey, and has taught in such unusual locales as the territory of an Inupiaq tribe in the far north of Alaska, and the Ural Mountains of Russia. To learn more about this poet/photographer, visit:  

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger March 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Gosh, this is a fabulous piece of work! Thank you for making Sunday glorious. E