From the archives — Ramble of the Bygone Mind by James Uppstad

Ramble of the Bygone Mind

So we see more partings
than returns. So we are old. So the wrinkles do not make
a workman, but a crippling,
a reed or weed on lawn. So cattails bend, unbend, at this lean
hour. It means nothing
but the wind is strong today. I shuffle by marsh-
mires: here no reed
stand strong to take hold of and lift me, dirty but just-
dry against the wind, that
which beats me. Clouds cross like ships, fire ammo
the sound of
thunder and shape of lightning. My clothes swell
in the wind and in the rain
that shape it into breathings, shapes without shape.
I haven’t told of the dream
in which a Greek boy hunched beneath the shelter of trees,
but he dripped and shivered
like me. In the wind, by daybreak, each leaf a grape
pulled up by the stem,
as from somewhere a force had come, they rustled
and bowed like that
as the cattails bend, unbend, at this lean hour.

by James Uppstad

from Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 7, December 2007

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim