Robert Kralapp Mar 2013
i
In all this white and grey
the world dissolves,
first flakes gone slanting
to the folding river,
gathering at last in grey velvet
streets. Wet snow
laying on the reaching trees,
the waking trees - yellow-haired willow
waiting in a field of white.

ii
Something wild stands alone
in a rift of open water.
Spindle legs, body white as
simplicity, serpent neck and jaws
narrowing to a fine point. How still!
He dreams the snowy land.
Robert Kralapp Dec 2012
Hear that barking gabble coming across the land.
The people of the air shout Remember,
Remember the closing of the season, and going
somewhere we remembered only in our being,
that we announce in this great song of departure,
this song of approaching cold and the moon's velvet breath.

See how gray gathers on the harvested land and in the south
the moon anchors an archipelago of orange smoke-cloud.

So here they come around again, shouting,
guided in single-hearted delirium,
gliding through the long slow turns that
lead at last to the final letting go. See them
stringing now across the the evening sky,
beating their wild hearts across the smooth, blurred horizon.
Robert Kralapp Nov 2012
The car runs rough today, labors over
low hills that lay between me and the city.
Clouds like enormous white feathers
fan across the watery blue. The sun's
warmth has lifted a rime of frost
from the land. The farmer who owns
this field has gone mad it seems,
has taken his tractor on a joy ride
leaving behind a rough arabesque of
dark earth, an unintended and fugitive art.
What moved him to this rash act?
Was it a bitter phone call?
Did he sell the land for enough cash to break even this year?
Robert Kralapp Sep 2012
The wheels on either side his chair
blaze morning light. Rusted cars
and trucks rattle along the street.

Mustard yellow buses slow and
stop to let children in. From the patchy
sidewalks women and infants wave.

Evenly he examines all of this, indifferent,
wide awake. It is the spotless way in which he
lifts and sets his cigarette against his mouth

that suggests a lifetime of practice.
A wild, white wreath, a silk dragon
streams around his slick cranium -

smoke in the mouth, in the eyes.
Robert Kralapp Aug 2012
The West End wanders in my recollection
like a quiet madman. All the times we were
reminded of the War, pointed out the bullet-riddled
walls of the Old Tate, the Arch, guided through the
rooms where Churchill walked. All that aside,
we looked to keep homesickness in its box with strong
black beer or red, by wandering Regent's Park strewn with
fallen gold, or the Garden's rioting roar of flowers, apples, oranges, potatoes and
all of it turning to the ceaseless industry of men and women.
Mystery was the grey-haired Underground men, grey clothes
stuffed with crumpled paper. Once, I stumbled on a scrap
of unreclaimed, timeless London: shattered glass and rubble
carpeting the dull ceramic tile. Ghosts and dusk entered
where ceiling once had been, the silence of a grainy,
blackandwhite Blitz echoing.
Memories of a semester in London.
Robert Kralapp Aug 2012
Back of a barn along these frozen roads,
a month of scrap and splintered wood
falters to ash in irresistible flames
that rage and lick the passing afternoon
into sustaining dark. The lantern moon
lingers just above bare, sweeping trees.
Robert Kralapp Aug 2012
Some hawk-nosed dude in a blue bandana
is laying down his shaggy, reckless legend
for a woman who has surely heard it all before.
She leans back in her chair, and eggs him on
with an easy smile, a word or two, and he is off,
laying down his tale like so much smoking rubber,
and the speed limit does not apply. Even so,
you have to give him credit for the way he floors
the same old stories, makes them sing again,
or maybe something else that he's just recalled
or fishtailed into. That's fine, though, with the blonde
sitting in the chair across the table from him. Notice how she
cradles her cup of tepid coffee and chuckles easily from time to time.
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