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 22, 2011

Issue 8

robert d. wilson's 
over decades of poetry and haiga

humid, the
waiting room in a
marmot's dream

a tempest,
this unstable cloud . . .
carefully tapping the air
with a bamboo cane

summer clothes . . . 
the dull sheen of
green water

wiping feet
in a jeepney,
this young boy
people swat away
like a mosquito

sipping quiet
from a c-ration can . . . 
winter night

i listen
to words
whispered from a 
girl friend's urn

twilight . . . 
fighting madness in a
pool of vomit

courts me with walls 
to the echo of a
make-believe god

   all saints eve . . .
a nation praying
to candles

no emperor
the naked boy
matter of factly
to throw-away kids

the monsoon . . .
babies on the backs 
of laborers

i tiptoe
inside your larynx
like a wren
singing songs at your
father's funeral

they live with
rain every day
walking on 
driftwood causeways
over sewage

too late
this leathery woman
without leaves

the smell of
roasted corn lures 
me into 
thoughts far from the 
calliope's laughter

on the sidewalk,
a beggar scrapping

the dance
between us sorts
darkness like
cards in a rigged
game of poker

late night . . .
outlining memories
in red

if i could
fly like a moth
i'd soar
above the moon
into undressed dreams

who will eat
these molded rolls?
autumn cold

God cut the
strings to the 
i convinced myself
was a mirror

fish, wind, bugs
drawing calligraphy
in pond phlegm?

women passing 
one dream to 
another in a 
race between moons


 thunder . . .
a leaf touching
soft loam

if i were
your ancestor, would
you stay after
the rain to watch 
a cloud turn tricks? 

sea urchins
wait for high tide . . . 
autumn monks

what will i
do if your roots
shrivel, and
branches become
chunks of charcoal

     incoming tide . . .
villagers run from
the dog catcher

how can i
forget you lying
on your side
with an outstretched cup
sleeping through winter

     humid morning . . . 
my wife's lolo
eating dilis 

dismantle your
tent and move into
the dream
you dreamt for us
polishing lilies

# for bill higginson

i flush the
mouse i killed . . . 
day moon

after noon
when heat reminds me
of the path
i chose for you . . . 
a lily bearing dew

does it bother
you, the repetition?
october squash

sadness crawls
like a maimed man
clutching a
buddy's dog tags . . .
the river that was

filling empty
vessels with air . . . 
October dawn 

eyes watch me
from a field turned
inside out . . . 
black pajamas
ancestral ashes


Dali painted me
into someone elseʼs dream
that Spring and walked away

The Spanish Surrealist, Salvadore Dali, is noted for his wild dreamlike
paintings that fl irt with madness. Nothing in his paintings are like they
seem. On closer look, the viewer sees pictures within pictures, some of
them shocking. I was not prepared for what I experienced in Vietnam
as a teenager just out of high school. I had no idea what the Vietnamese
people believed or how they thought. My only realm of experience
was my own from back home. As servicemen, we were taught nothing
about the Vietnamese. In high school, we learned nothing about
their history. Most of us originally didnʼt come to Vietnam to help the
Vietnamese people. We knew nothing about them. We came because
we were told that communism was knocking at our door and had to
be stopped to avoid a domino effect. I went, I saw, and got my mind

crossing the Mytho River,
a sampan with
two kinds of eggs

A sampan chugging across a brown water river
fueled by a diesel engine was a common sight.
Taxis, they ferried people and cargo from one
village to another. Passengers sat beside stacked
wooden crates laden with produce and poultry.
The Viet Cong used the space below the cargo to
smuggle in hand grenades, ammunition, mortars,
and guns.

Autumn dusk -
clinging to the sailorʼs shadow,
an orphan

We looked forward to the weekends. This was our time to go into
Mytho for a little rest and relaxation. Mytho is the nearest port city.
Just a few miles from our base.  It was a half hourʼs cruise by
patrol boat up the polluted Mytho River, a tributary of the
Mekong River. Ashore, we behaved as typical
sailors, visiting the bars, brothels, restaurants, dance halls,
and curio shops. In our wake was a cloud of children, hoping
for handouts of gum and candy. In a way, we were their
entertainment for the weekend. I remember one child well.
She was a nine year old orphan with a bowl shaped hairdo. And
what a mouth! She cussed like a sailor and possessed a cocky
personality. She also spoke good English. Whenever a certain
noncommissioned officer came ashore, sheʼd cling to him
like glue to paper. The NCO was the consummate drunk;
weaving in and out of the red light district with a bottle of
Crown Royal whiskey in his hand. She served dutifully as
his protector, negotiator, and interpreter. Where he was, she
was. In return, he gave her special attention, made her feel important,
and provided her with food and money. It was as if she had a father.
Then the man was shipped Stateside.

Excerpted from Vietnam Ruminations
If you would like a free pdf copy of
this 172 page book. e-mail me at

The following free verse performance poem was written
in 1984 while I was sitting in a dentist's chair waiting for
the dentist to see me.


where o where
are those thatched roof shacks
I visited a few years back
seems like a dream/distant far-off
covered with mist/smelling of
diesel fuel/churning engines
patrol boats/fluttering of hearts
joss sticks burning/ancestors burning
ashes in ceramic urns
worshipped, remembered, venerated
talked to, questioned
separated from sons/soldiers
listening and hoping
for no war/no ash
reign of buddha
mama san on matted floor
children calling papa, papa
in ashes somewhere
to be gathered, collected
no more

robert d. wilson

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