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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Issue #9

Robert D. Wilson's

the aha with
oh yes . . .
the aha, a
cup of that was

the echo
of a thousand locusts . . .
sweeping song

the wind
between volcanos
scatters sound . . .
and in my ears,
a cattle egret
pecking notes

her maid's hands . . .
before dawn, the egg
seller's bark

when dawn
erases our
memories . . .
and dark clouds
stand over bridges

 without you . . .
an unclothed moon
weeping stars


from the grayness of

a crane's wings . . .
a memory
moored in thick mud

morning dew . . .
remembering long
ago rivers

this backstreet 
where lizards and men 
swap tales
over cheap brandy
and nowhere stars

kigo words? 
it's summer here 
all year long!

will the sun
have a place for me
under the log
i share with slugs and
newts, trying not to feel?

twilight dawn . . . 
a sigh between

late autumn
he follows the moon 
through clouds
into the darkness
children hide in closets 

an old egret,
that shanty on stilts
glued to mud

even the rain
cannot wash away
the hunger
of children hanging
on to another's dreams

without light, he
longs for the dawn
that swallows him

it's hard to
eat when crocodiles
chase you
away from the cart
your life depends on

dry wheat grass . . . 
the whiteness of
a child dying

the rats,
the cockroaches
the absence
of hope living under
a tin cathedral

a riot in front
of the barangay hall . . . 
blood moon!

with glazed eyes
a stroke victim
inches through
the memorial park
with an unlit torch

the moon and i . . . 
scattered clouds

in the
morning, rats take
their place
with children, scrounging
what dali left out

is this the gift
God gave man, a tin roof
in winter?

he picks up
coins left in front
of crypts
fearing his children's
hunger instead of God

rice pickers . . .
bridges above the
floating world

this could be
heaven, if the leaves
wrote poems
and the grass spoke
without whitman

stone, teach me
the calm of cold soil . . . 
on damp nights

look at me,
moth, i too will fly
into lights
                           fall to earth in
a poloroid snapshot

just days . . . 
turning the pages i
would've written

the road's cold,
kerouac, steamless
diesels  . . .
with a list of credits
nobody'll read

a thousand
toads, and no one
to eat them!

the dog's nose . . . 
a hundred dragons

smileless people
riding on bicycles
made somewhere else

The streets of old Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, were filled with
thousands of people riding to and from their existence on bicycles,
tricycles, and motorbikes. Almost everyone, male and female, wore a
white shirt or blouse. Cars were rare; saved for use by local military
personnel and high ranking offi cials. Vietnam is one of the poorest
nations on earth. The people were used and exploited by those in
power when I was there. They are today, as well. They hold on to
their memories, their faith, and their sense of family. It is what keeps
them going.

wearing a dragonʼs
skin, this overcast night .  .  .
the tiger!

Tet is the Vietnamese New Year. Normally, it is a time for celebration. In
1968, it was the eve of a mass offensive staged by the Viet Cong. I was
newly in country, walking with some buddies through the red light district
in downtown Saigon. It was a surreal evening. Almost dreamlike.
The weather was humid. Clouds kept the moonlight at bay. The street
was overfl owing with Vietnamese civilians and American servicemen.
Newbies, our sense of adventure was on overdrive. We wanted to see and
experience everything. No parents to tell us what we could or couldnʼt do.
There was also an intangible something in the air, like an electrical current.
Itʼs hard to describe. Something was about to come down. The calm before
the storm?

There were an unusual number of funeral processions that evening. Small
groups of Vietnamese citizens walking through the middle of the street
with a decorated casket, the deceasedʼs picture on top, carrying joss sticks
and playing indigenous instruments. Only later, after I was transferred to
my duty station in Dong Tam, did I learn the truth about the funeral processions.
They were used to transport arms and enemy soldiers into the
nationʼs capitol in preparation for the Tet Offensive.

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.

does she dream,
this girl picking rice
before the sun wakes up?

Water buffalos were the tractors of South Vietnam. Only the well
off could afford to buy one. Those who couldnʼt, plowed the fields
with their backs... Women carrying loads on their backs no American
woman would ever agree to carry. They had no choice. It was work
in the fi elds or starve to death. People starving to death in the villages
and cities of Vietnam were an everyday occurrence.

The above haibun are excerpted from my 172 e-book, Vietnam Ruminations.
contact me:

the chair
i am
sitting in
could have been
a granite rock
pushed up
from the
millions of years ago
lucky for me
ended up next to
a babbling brook
that doesn't babble
too much
except on
when i am at work
land on it
but then again
"could have"
isn't a reality show
or chinese take home
my chair isn't
a granite rock
i'm not sitting beside
a babbling brook
the computer in front of me
oddly enough
sounding like
on loan
school cafeteria


one rerun
after another
goes by
calling me to
a bed
i've slept in
too many

a star
born to squander
effervescent light
sedimentary waste
fossil fuels
within the bowels of
a mechanized monster
belching out
faithful obedience
cosmic puppeteers  D
american leaders on strings
of greed, and self
inflated ego . . .
a nagasaki howdy doody show
too many commercials  

Excerpted from my 1984 chapbook,


"Thanks for dropping. See you next with with a brand new upload
of poetry and haiga I've created in the past 3 plus decades."

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