Poetry by Thomas Warmbrodt
By Thomas Warmbrodt
Falling From The Ground Up
the sky swung low, a mismanaged tangle of pigeons and seagulls,
the moon leaned over, picking its teeth with a boisterous pine tree.
I was making my way home, making it difficult, the making was
difficult I should say, that is a way home into my head.
The stop lights wooed each other, a red blush cascading down the street.
The night cuddled close around, the fireflies found god.
A cloud made waves in the sky, made applause with its bluster.
I made my way home, made my way quietly, made quiet my going.
I apologize for the repetition, but I have been here before, I have been
here when the tremors took root, and they have proven a pernicious weed.
The stars are coming out, some in pairs, some peeking lonely through
the glass pane of sky. Above me the universe enacts a barnyard dance
the milky way special swinging each of us round. I’m climbing
the stairs, each step yawning like a tiger. The house is painfully dark
full of all the shades of who I was, all the shadows of who I tried to be.
I throw myself to sleep on the cold current of air, the train groans
outside my window, a lone vein grinding into life, grinding life
across a countryside dreaming of the thunder of bison hooves.
The Dream and The Dreamer
Finding himself amid the quiet of Dream’s dominion
a young man wandered by the grace of his feet, stumbling
over the hunger of his thoughts. Gradually a forest bloomed
from the wasteland, from which strode a weary gentleman
his great beard dragging serpentine behind him. He yawned
wide like a cat, gesturing to the young man as would a teacher
long awaiting an answer to some such trivial question.
“Where am I?” asked the young man.
“You are in a dream” spoke the old man, rubbing his eyes.
“Then who are you?” asked the young man.
The old man looked at him, disappointment crawling
from the corners of his eyes. He bade him walk with him
through the sprawling trees, so the time passed unnoticed.
“Tell me what you see, and I will tell you who I am.”
The young man looked and saw the trees, the creatures
that scurried about through bush and brush, saw the moon
watching their progress with a distant drooping stare.
“I see life.” the young man remarked.
“No, you see the life that was.” the old man said.
The forest blossomed with fire and in mere moments
all that remained was a sea of ash, islands of cracked bones
rising starkly in the cold moonlight. The old man gestured
to the vast smoldering sea as if it had always been there,
as if it were as obvious as the sun’s cartwheeling across the sky.
“But...this is my dream. You said so.” said the young man
falling to his knees, burying his hand in the ruin.
“No, I said you were in a dream. My dream to be exact.”
the old man said, resting a hand on the young man’s shoulder.
He watched as the memory dawned on the young man’s face,
watched as he withered with age, his hair turning to snow.
The old men watched the tears flood behind each other’s eyes.
They held each other, broke against each other, until at last
there was no more grief left to shed. Then the old man
turned to ash, then he woke, and he remembered, and he forgot.
Thomas Warmbrodt is a MFA student at the University of Minnesota, Mankato. There he spends his time wandering through the wilderness, missing the big beautiful body of Lake Erie.