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, January 17, 2011

Issue #7

robert d. wilson's

A depository of
over three decades of
haiku, tanka, haibun, 
haiga, and free verse
performance poetry

The man in the haiga above, is
my father, Robert Dean Wilson,
the man who made poetry for me
a spokesperson of the soul.
1925 - 1991

I dedicate this issue to
Professor Micheal F. Marra
whose research into Japanese
Hermeneutics and aesthetics
are second to none. Sadly, he
sent me an e-mail last week telling
me he is in much pain and has 
approximately six months to live.

"The willow tree has been traditionally associated with tears, fragility, instability (a reflection).  It is also the tree to which an Imperial concubine hung her robe before drowning herself in a pond  in the ancient Capital Nara as soon as she had lost the Emperor's favor.  There are so many stories associated with willow trees that a poet and a reader of waka [today, called tanka] must know in order to appreciate and understand the meaning of willows  If one understands all these implications, he/she is bound to be moved by the willow, and will never look at them with inattentive eyes."

Michael F. Marra
Excerpted from my interview with for Simply Haiku
which also  comprises Chapter 20 in one of two
final books, 
Essays on Japan
Between Aesthetics and Literature
Published by Brill

can i stay still
sipping stars from
a cup of moon?

breathe me
like a trumpet solo
full of
pauses, interludes
and stretched notes

she makes our
bed at midnight
birthing winter

children squat
in mud under a
cardboard roof
befriended by 
a need to sleep

my breath sings 
stillness into an 
egret's prayer

the floating world
i sip tea
with an egret
standing in shit

tea blossoms . . .
at the river washing 

the egret, standing
in mirrors

would it
be rape to pick 
petals from 
the blossom of 
an okra plant?

the moon and i
have nothing better to do . . . 
lizard song

you sleep on 
a makeshift cot 
above the 
mud in a canvas
too painful to paint

lucky catfish 
he doesn't have to
live in a shanty

what the mud,
the stench, holding
a candle
to dreams stolen from 
a barangay captain's soul

on stilts . . .
watching sewage pass
beneath us

where do 
butterflies sleep 
at night 
when the typhoon
floods our homes with water?

heavy rain . . .
my reflection covered
with sewage

we all
have memories . . . 
our lines
searching for the
big one that got away

learning stillness
from an egret's eyes . . . 
october dawn

am i
crazy, the walls
are speaking
in tongues in a
cathedral without God?

    autumn night . . . 
i trace the stars
with your finger

peanuts, i take my 
walk in the
hoping it doesn't rain

on his back,
a casuality of war . . . 
the cockroach

the stilt house
is too dangerous 
to visit at 
night; a hundred
drunken dragons 

       sleepless night . . .
october rain

i breathe with
tonight's tide on
planks stretched
across thatched roof huts
fastened to heartbeats

a gaggle 
of stars and
longer nights

a giant
sunflower, the
setting sun

what does she
do when her child
is hungry
and a white ghost
offers her the world?

rain follows
us home to the
lizard's lair

what is my
daughter thinking
tonight when 
the dragon blows smoke
rings around the moon?

    deep morning . . . 
a cockroach covered
with ants

like an owl 
in flight, the mute
thrust of
a knife into
another mother's son


petals replaced
with skin

What a difference a morning can make. The night
before, a couple friends and I partied in Mytho City, 
an urban center 13 miles west of our duty station in 
Dong Tam. We drank, smoked dope, and caroused with
prostitutes, our way of coping with a war we were
ill equipped to handle.

The morning after, all hell broke loose. Rockets
bombarded the base. The sky rained shrapnel. Mortars 
came from all directions. The enemy attacked when we 
least expected them to. Soldiers and base workers ran
in all directions, unsure of where to go, a path of
adrenaline in their wakes. To their battle stations 
or the nearest bunker. Our lives, for a moment, a crap 
shoot without dice.

Excerpted from Vietnam Ruminations

i could 
hold you again 
i think of you 
at night 
when wind 
beckons me 
to enter 
a dream 
we shared 
a time 
my hand 
your breast 
pulled me 
into a 
that stubbornly 
to dry


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