. Anew Whisk me away to the mountainside. __Spirit me far to the glen. For I long to find that secret place __Where I can begin again. All of us long at least once in our lives __To flee from all that is known. But most of us die with this wish on our lips, __Meeting each change with a groan. Yet I would die young if it meant that this place __Should to me be granted or shown; And if I, by some fate, must relinquish the rest, __Then I’ll travel that pathway alone. Throw me to tumult from order and peace. __Unroot me right down to my core. For in that place I’ll rebuild once again— __Until I can do so no more. . . On the Coal-Daughter’s Hill Sitting atop of the Coal-Daughter’s Hill, Packed earth, long dry, after weeks of no rain. Pebbles before me are scattered and still, Back damp with sweat from the path-going strain. The road passes out of all sight. Thinking I hear the slow wheels of a wain, Laden and straining beneath the black rock, Pulled by two hands always bearing the stain— And me only here at the end of a walk. It soon passes out of my sight, Leaving me musing on sturdier stock, The people who shaped my soft world and the still- Used, yet abandoned route that I walk. Easing back down from the Coal-Daughter’s Hill, At length, I pass out of its sight. . . At Walden Pond Your book, for me, is a touchstone; For others, a thin broth of old bone And nettles to be taken only In dire need, or when lonely Enough that reading again has some charm. Your life, for some, is a beacon Which stands against that which would weaken Our strength and native capacity For solitude and audacity, And atrophy the reach of our arm. Your project, for others, rings fake (No matter how well you write of a lake). When rustic going got tough, You simply packed up all your stuff And left to avoid buying the farm. Now sitting, my feet in your pond, A realization’s finally dawned: Some things are easy to overrate, And easier yet to groundlessly hate— Yet hardest of all to appreciate By gathering a thing’s honest weight. . . Talbot Hook is a PhD student and occasional writer currently living in Connecticut.