Deposit # 28

The poetry you see here reflects
over three decades of work. I have
changed over the years as you have.
If you want to see what I write
currently, visit:

I love and appreciate you all.

Robert D. Wilson

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Lousy Mirror, Part 3

A Lousy Mirror
a depository of poetry, art, haibun, photography
and haiga by robert d. wilson

what did she
dream as a child
the carrion 
scented woman
across from me?

        shantytown . . . 
playing in a typhoon's 


annie-eyed and dead
the gray haired
beggar laying in the
stairway gulping blanks

 wading through
the palengke . . .  

heavy rain 

we don't
waste rice she said
between bites
with a coolness i
hadn't seen before

twilight. . .
lapping winter with
the dogs

     giving birth . . . 
the spent look in
her face
sowing stars from
a far away field

            twilight dawn . . .  . . . 
pouring vinegar in
plastic bags

lola sleeps 
on the sidewalk in 
a cardboard
coffin waiting for 
the night to eat her

seeing you
without make-up . . . 
morning glory 

    a long day . . . 
field laborers 
fasten stars
to the under belly of
a snail shaped moon

        night blossoms . . . 
watching a bargirl 

a part of
the fly, my eyes,
darkness for
pockets of mist

soldiers clutch
stillness in an elephant 
grass whisper

my friend's spouse
goes out for a smoke
the moment 
she was told their 
baby has down's syndrome

a mad woman
teasing vendors on the
back of a giraffe!

talk to one another
on the 
shoreline like women
in a public restroom

try another
song, cicada,
punk rock's out!

this is heat
when rivers become
tiny strings
wrapped around a
an old man's waist

The Palengke
A haibun

late noon . . .
brother rat gives thanks to
god for the
meal many people
here can't afford

The Palengke (open wet market) is the hub of the shantytown I lived in for over a year in Metro Manila. Dozens of people looking for the best fruit, the cheapest price, the right cut of this or that . . . a circus without benches

It's always summer here, hot and humid, refrigeration, a rich man's dream. Nothing stays fresh for long. Live fish die, their odor, rancid. Beef, chicken, and pork go bad.

late night . . .
the charcoal seller,
a starless sky

The palengke's cement slab floors are covered with fish scales, blood, meat drippings, signaling rats and stray cats to make their moves

I lived in and most Filipinos live in poverty without flush toilets and sewage; the water, thick with ecoli . . .The smell of disease staggering like a monitor lizard after swallowing a small cat.

Poverty has taught Filipinos to eat every part of an animal, including the blood of the carabao and cows, which they use to make an ink black entree called blood stew (dinagong).

Our unborn
baby, a dream she
will erase . . .
her dress sewn from
shattered mirrors

When it rains, it rains. Last year, during a typhoon, my mother in-law's shanty was flooded with three feet of putrid smelling water that ruined her furniture. When the average income here is approximately $75 - $100 monthly, replenishing furniture can take years.

Living in a shanty town is like living in a dream Dali couldn't conceive of, or a Hell Dante would be unable to describe. . . a hell Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski, the survivors of the genocide of Serbians by American supported troops, and the refugees from Africa's Congo region know too well . . .

a plastic
manger set on fire
by circus
clowns in SM's
mall of asia

 Children here die from sicknesses easily curable in Western Europe and North America. Old women without relatives, sleep on sidewalks like winos on skid row, and students in school, if they can afford a uniform, stare at the lucky ones during noon break who can afford to eat a lunch.

the island
i've exiled myself on
a pyre
fueled by coconut husks
and hand carved gods

Overdose on LSD, experience hallucinations that talk, scream, taunt and echo . . . a world where your sense of reality is turned inside out. Sleep with cockroaches and rats, wake up to dengue carrying mosquito bites spread over your arms and legs . . . babies having babies, people dying in their fifties and sixties, dreams confined to television sets that families in the slums share; 17 to 18 year old daughters selling their souls to overweight, demanding white men aged 50, 60, and over 70, to support their families . . . many never seeing their homeland again.

Jimi, play
a concerto for me . . .
dry leaves

"Take me for a trip upon your magic sailing ship, " sang the Byrds in the 60's, but please, not to a Hell the press or the church wont talk about for fear of embarrassing corrupt politicians, the rich who buy them off, and the lazy, graft loving police (pulis) who tell motorists to pay them a bribe or lose their license.

death poem?
add it to a pile
of leaves


without his
plumes, the peacock
too would sleep 
alone in a
bed above the mud

   eternity . . . 
the distance between
two mirrors

she weaves
anger into
her headband
jousting clouds and
paper dragons

      high noon . . . 
a peacock passing

my lithe wife . . . 
what does this tell 
me about 
the buddha's broom?
twilight autumn

would moths chase
you, moon, if the light
you sing . . .  
fell short of syllables 
and night became day?

in the space
between moons, a 
shadow tracing stars

the fly who 
thinks she's a carabao
on the roses placed
above my headstone

The following is a haibun excerpted
from my chapbook, Tanka Fields, 
about one of the most poignant 
moments in my life, the day I left
for Vietnam.

she whispers to me,
this winter night,
from sallow pools
left on the runway of that
could have been

I’ll never forget the first time I saw my mother 
cry. I’d received orders to fly to Saigon, the 
capital city of the Republic of South Vietnam.
My tour of duty was for one year. I would be
in the heart of the war that was sending sol-
diers home in pine boxes on a daily basis.
Some of them we knew. In January of 1968,
I boarded a commuter plane in Long Beach,
California, near where I’d lived most of my
life, on the first leg of the journey. I turned 
around to wave to my mother. She was 
standing on the runway, weeping, wav-
ing halfheartedly, hoping and praying that I
would come back to her alive in one piece. I
never doubted my mother’s love from that
day on. When she passed away in 1997, at 
the age of 70, I was holding her hand,
returning the tears.

Dedicated to my mother, 
Mrs. Barbara Helaine Wilson

he lays in
his own vomit, dead 
to the world 
he thought he could 
paint with closed eyes

robert d. wilson

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