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Three poems by Norbert Krapf article


 In the Joie de Vivre Café

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana


We are sitting in the Joie de Vivre Café

in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana sipping

chamomile tea and eating the day’s

moist oatmeal and raisin cookies


in Saturday afternoon sunlight.

I’m gazing into a photo

by Greg Girard of morning sunlight

settling onto young cypress trees


inCocodrie Swamp and drift

back to decades ago when Sid

and Sonja Dupois floated us

by boat into the Atchafalaya.


In this afternoon and morning

light I feel Sid’s presence once again

and he returns out of the dark

strumming his Gibson guitar


at the next table over. He sings,

“My love, she speaks like silence”

and shows me his new painting

of the glowing old white Cajun


house next door to their neo-Cajun

one and we sip beer and I hum

along. He compliments me

“for cultivating your better side


in writing poems about Indiana.”

He’s glad we are back in his Louisiana.

This sunlight I feel coming in through

the window mingles with the sunlight


on those young swamp cypress

in Greg’s magical realism photograph

and I close my eyes and know you

can taste sunlight in different ways


depending on the direction from

which it slants and you can sip it

hot or warm and in the rays

you ingest it brings back the spirits


of those gone who live in us

wherever we sit and reflect opening

ourselves to what light brings back

and wherever it wants to take us.



Horses Munching Grass, Blue Field, Evening


A brown and a black horse 

munch grass close together

in a field below mountains


as the evening turns shades

of blue. The mountains are dark blue.

The sky stretched above is pale blue.


The only sound is the ripping of grass

by the horses' teeth. I am not close

enough to hear this sound now,


but it resounds in my head because

two days ago these same two horses

came up to this casita right


across the fence as I stood watching

and happily listening on a balcony 

as they ripped and munched grass.


The sound of brown and black horses

munching green grass in a blue field

below mountains with a thin strip


of white clouds skimming the top

of the mountains and white-blossoming

weeds in the foreground is a painting


framed in my mind which I will carry away

with me when I drive down from the mountains

where a part of me remains as eye and ear.



Northern New Mexico Night

   for Katherine


You come into the presence

of this place so remote

in its quiet beauty, 

a voice gentle in its insistence


on what is right but not obtrusive,

like one of the countless stars

in the northern New Mexico night

that sends its delayed light


toward me, as I look out the window,

from millions of years ago

but nonetheless fully present

in ways I do not fathom.


Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate and emeritus prof. of English at Long Island Univ., is married to Katherine Trahan of Lafayette , LA and has been in love with New Mexico also since they first visited there in 1975. His latest of eleven poetry collections is Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing. For info on that collection about child abuse and his other work visit


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