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

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Issue 6

Robert D. Wilson's

A depository for Wilson's haiku, tanka,
haiga, haibun, and longer free verse
performance poetry.

a cluster
of vendors with
rotting teeth
wait out the rain . . .
snagging syllables

a short day . . .
a bald headed boy 
raking stars

i look up
from my bed at
the stars 
that are not there, 
a rat in the rafters

     deep morning . . .
arched backs eat
broken rice

the morning
the walls turned purple
God told me
to come back before
it was too late

     stagnant water . . . 
a bargirl drinks herself
to sleep

even here
in the rat's lair
a clump of
light to ride on
later in a dream

morning commute . . . 
a woman cutting
fish heads

patches of
moss where rain water
flowed into
the homes of squatters
eating broken rice

nearing spring
the cries of fish in
the wet market

a warm day
she walks under an
like the princess she
thought she'd become

the ulam 
vendor on her day off  . . . 
cooking ulam

squatters stand
in mud buying 
carrots for
tonight's topping 
over broken rice

   late afternoon . . .
and still no sun to
stay my dreams

it's like a
part of me took
and refused to 
come out and play

listening to
a miles davis tape  . . . 
autumn moon

forty years
later in asia
i still hear
quiet feet wading
across rice fields

   late night . . . 
a momo dressed
in fatigues

laundry girls
drinking water
in dreams . . .
old woman have 
between winters

       brother paper . . .
fold me into
an egret

of the dead, trees
bow to those
under candles
dancing with words

night . . .  a million
mute stars

is it right
for a male cat to
eat his young
in a back alley lit
with christmas lights? 

refusing to be
a kigo, this spring . . .
flower in autumn

on the 
river bottom,
fish fan
their eggs like sushi
chefs cooling rice

umbrellas slither
between vendors

the jeepney
driver buys a
from a spectre
with missing teeth

     autumn rain . . . 
in his sleep he
sells peanuts

my wife
washes my body
carefully . . . 
the moon tightening
her beaded belt

harvest moon . . . 
lola buys two eggs
from a vendor

men walk down
the street with towels
on their heads
like zombies in
a bad movie

i talk to my
stuffed animals at the
moon's behest

if you knew
i talk to stuffed
would you hang me
in an art gallery?

poor snail,
inching home to
be eaten

calm now
that her belly is
swollen, she
asks the stars to walk with 
her across the rope bridge

northeast wind . . .
boys skip stones into
the carp's mouth

it rains 
again like it does
every day . . .
your reflection
mixed with sewage

a bowl of 
soup stirred with
autumn rain

if only you 
were there to share 
it with me . .  .
the rain sculpting
clouds into egrets

    clumps of clouds .. .
inside them, a man
sculpting blossoms

on my way 
to the u.s. embassy,
i think of you
sleeping under a
table, chasing rabbits

    old woman . . . 
on your head, the path
of color 

a new year
running from the
dragon . . . 
my wife thinks
doesn't exist

a good friend . . .
quiet, reading
yam leaves

snakes peer
through dirty glass windows
at children . . . 
borrowed from the
path of color

      elm trees . . . 
and youth turning

it's as if
we'd never met . . .
and breast milk
was a cocktail
saved for circus clowns

my landlord 
for the night,walls 
that can't speak

across the
sea, my daughter
writes to
me about the 
wind she set free

      fresh mangos . . .
beside them, a woman
passed out

this street beggar
whose eyes stare
past me into the
fullness of nowhere

    anima . . . 
a change in
the wind

there is no 
room for anima
when the moon
sells peanuts on a 
crowded street corner

     moonless night . . . 
the christmas they'll
never have

i stepped out
of a keinholtz painting
that laughed at 
reality thinking 
i could save the world

craving batchoy . . .
in a neighborhood 
of none

i cannot
imagine buddha
kung fu to slaughter
jasmine petals

carry me
into a cloud dripping . . .
with dreams

i look up
at an eternity
painted with
stars, sprouting wings . . .
sensing a moth's lust

      a butterfly . . .
the blossom 
inside me

what to do
with the blossom 
inside my
head, fluttering
like a butterfly

     midnight slumber . . . 
sowing stars that leave
no footprints

candles are
lit for me when
i long to
hear their voices . . . 

typhoons are
light sleepers!

will loved ones
light candles and
      talk to me . . .
when i'm out of breath
on a starless night?

swallowed by the
dragon in a dream
that wasnʼt a dream

One day I was cruising the boulevard, doing what other
American teenage boys do on weekend nights, my libido
on overdrive, listening to Jefferson Airplane, no thought
for tomorrow; cool and invulnerable; living a life far removed
from the nightly news.

The next day, I am disembarking from an airliner in Saigon,
the capitol of South Vietnam, dressed in fatigues, surrounded
by soldiers holding M-16 assault rifl es, the air unbearably hot
and humid, a world unlike anything Iʼd experienced. I was in
hell. The dragonʼs belly. A nightmare that would haunt me
for the rest of my life.

robert d. wilson

A haibun from my e-book, Vietnam Ruminations
*Anyone wanting a free e-book copy
of this book can contact me via


In my last deposit, I announced that I'd include one of my longer free verse performance poems.  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in a personal letter to me which I still have, called this poem:

For decades, I, Terry Busch, and several others belonged to a group called The Wordsmiths. We published The Mindprint Review, and performed our poetry monthly on stage, at universities, in saloons, bars, coffee houses, bookstores, on radio, and cable access television.  It was a wonderful time in my life.  I'd go on stage, and literally become the poems I read, sometimes accompanying myself paying the blues harp, sometimes with Jazz, and once, my late wife, Ileta, sang Angel Baby in the background.  We were hot, we were cool and we had a blast!  I feel that we were as were other performing poets of that time, the forerunners of the Poetry Slams.


:Picasso's horse
writhes in agony
prophet of paint
for an end to war
an end
to women crying in
the streets
children dead or dying
soldiers dying
husbands stilled
forever with plowshare in hand
the innocent always
Guernica's horse
war torn prophet
Picasso's breast
warns of
fascist minotaurs
socialist minotaurs
mythological "American Express" minotaurs
sitting comfortably
Corona Del Mar luxury suites
watching on TV
the dead warrior
the woman in flight/her house in flames
the woman with a dead child in her
cry out in unmuted
terror and agony
Picasso's prophet
loan to the museum of modern art
cries out
New York
State of Liberty
faded and chaffed
blind from too many flashbulbs
Rockefeller's New York
Chase Manhattan's New York
Bank of America's New York
televised New York
Time/Life's New York
heed Guernica's cry
the quivering cries of a thousand Nagasaki
holding their lifeless
the frightened cry of
My Lai
the timeless cry
your heart cries if
you have one
dismembered children drained of life
float in your harbor on
cobalt telephone poles
apathy's making

robert d. wilson

"A strong poem!" Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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