Thoreau in my Backpack

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
— Henry David Thoreau

discover a quiet hopeful mind
fishing in the stream of time
leave the rat race far behind
ground control’s got your back
pay bills, mail packages, feed the cat

forsake laying up treasures
to one day be consumed by moth & rust
surrender to the lure of white blazes
passing the days, hauling a crumpled house
while spending nights tight in a down cinch sack

i saw you, thoreau
illuminated by orange candlelight
scratching parchment with a pen
inside your cobbled wooden shack
on the meditative shores of walden

a busy life of desperation
exchanged for one of deliberation
solitude distilled in nature
one’s own company — a surprising find
leave no trace behind

to ponder the limits of simplicity
bread yeast — a luxury or necessity?
my burden, weighed out in grams
duct tape, water, mountain money
a morsel yogied from a stranger

katahdin slowly creeps into view
a thru-hiker’s dream come true
hike your own mind’s lush terrain
as the trail goes vertically insane
vitamin-i will ease the pain

as time meanders downstream
the experiment is bound to end
coxed out of splendid isolation
force march back to civilization
feeling the embrace of rising-back sensation

trail-angel magic lingers
quaffing rich amber barleywine
leavening walden far behind
fever comes early, every spring
life on the trail — comes beckoning

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    Arnold "bloodhound" Guzman : Jan 6th

    Nice poetry. Thoreau was one who understood the wilderness, among other things. I’m sure had he lived in our era, he’d be a thru hiker.
    Best wishes for your hike. I met a hiker once with double knee replacement that didn’t let it slow him down so I know you can do this.
    Hope to serve you trail magic when you get into the Smoky mountain region.
    Sincerely, Bloohound

  • Avatar
    Victor : Jan 6th

    Bloodhound, thanks for the kind words. I hope to run into you. I look forward to the Smokies. I backpacked there once a long time ago. As for Thoreau, I’d like to think he’d be a thru-hiker. His ideas on Nature were ahead of their time. 🙂


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