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, February 4, 2011

Deposit #10

robert d. wilson's

A depository of over 3 decades of poetry, haibun, and haiga

what is light
to the laborer
planting rice
in an ocean
made of mirrors?

autumn rain . . .
the jigsaw puzzle of
falling leaves

will he vote,
the man living
in this tin
shack politicians
call a better life?

       light rain . . .
they sleep inches
above water

what will 
he do when a
hurries through his
shanty laughing?

cool morning . . . 
a cemetery full of

i like to
stay awake until
dawn when
artists have no
time to sculpt me

        twilight dawn . . . 
a sigh between

the absence
of echo when
roosters crow . . . 
and the stillness of
a young child's ashes

brother cock, 
we all have our

your footsteps
leap across clouds
into the
temple you dreamed
of as a child

deep winter . . . 
trading a tin roof
for lilies

i prefer 
shadows that for 
years gave me
solace when bullets
pierced my dreams

empty streets . . .
stars in a videoke
bar drinking beer

this child
kneels in dirt 
drawing with
a stick the dreams
he'll soon forget

who does 
okra bow to, on a
windy night?

lily leaves
adrift in a bay
without light . . .
a laborer's bucket
full of snails

he skips stones
across a pond that
won't talk

sauce on
broken rice, sauce
on broken
rice; an echo sealed 
inside a brass bell

rainless night . . .
wives wait outside the
barangay hall

i sit with
you in a jeepney
which passersby
has a rifle

in a field 
of lush grass,a broken
spear head

the mind of me
a blossom
floats words across
star struck lovers

my heart,
peanut vendor?
stale air

starless night . . .  
fish writing haiku 
in the foul
river's bowels

the absence 
of bells on a candle
lit morning

i forget
the words to the
poems i write . . . 
an autumn wind
chasing winter

it is rain?
a passerby asks me
to text her

is there
someone to care
for the old
woman waddling past
me like a wind-up doll?

you return like
a leaf longing for
the limb it left

teach me
bamboo, the song
you sing
when moonlight flutters
like a shy virgin

sundown . . . 
no trace of last night's

deep into
morning, clouds weave
through words
you thought i'd buy
into like a lotto ticket

sand, i wrote dreams
with sticks

Every Evening

Sad, the gangly bakla, a gay hershey bar staring here and there from the same spot every night with the sad Emmet Kelly look i've seen on the faces of lonely, lost, angry, socially dysfunctional beings people despise and talk about behind their backs in prayer circles and over dinner. 

look, a frog
pretending to be
someone's pet!

No one's in the market for a skinny, homely hershey bar inside a man's body dressed like the girl he thinks she is.   Her eyes; neon lights in an all night diner talking to walls between dreams no one remembers.  I want to touch him, tell her to take the moon out of his purse.  What to do ?

it's hard
being a puzzle 
no one wants
to put together . . . 
a child of walls

Some baklas are pretty, fun to be around, with a self-deprecating humor that endears you to them.  They are they, you are you, no line to cross in the non- homophobic Philippines. On stage, in comedy clubs, co-hosting family talk shows, unafraid of being strung up by insecure men on a crucifix made of barbed wire. 

A pick-up queen without takers, the hershey bar doesn't sing, tell jokes, and isn't pretty. When she talks to someone, it's to wallflowers like her,  stuck to walls at night where the moon seldom appears thanks to an abundance of rain clouds. I know the loneliness she feels, having been to hell and back and forgetful of who I used to be before I went to Vietnam, lost my virginity, watched live horror movies that never turned off, smoking opium and weed, trying hard to be incapable of thinking, walking through the wonderland amusement park with a glass filled with marbles I hadn't played with since I was a child who thought he was a princess from Venus.

Poor hershey bar, far removed from what was and wasn't, hoping she'll see the light which like the moon, hides behind clouds chasing stars..

you didn't ask
to be caught between
in a painting
dali refused to paint

Robert D. Wilson

End of Tet -
the marks on her back, a letter
Iʼd rather not read

At the conclusion of the Tet Offensive in 1968, a girl who worked as
a laundrywoman on our base returned after a three week absence. Her
back was covered with hideous burns. Her family had been tortured
and murdered. It was a reprisal by the Viet Cong for her working on
our base. She, of course, was an innocent. She worked for us to help
support her economically strapped family. Her alliance was to her
family, not to a political belief. Like many living in the rural provinces
of Vietnam, she wanted to live a simple life free from anotherʼs

on the waterʼs surface  . . .
a house of mirrors

Standing guard in the wee hours of the morning on the bow of
the repair boat barge I was stationed on, was eerie, to say the
least. You could never relax. Stories were told in the chow hall of
Viet Cong frogmen who traveled across the small bay we were
moored in, using hollow bamboo reeds to breathe through. Like
ghosts, they appeared when a soldierʼs guard was down. The only
sound during this watch was the faint lapping of waves against
the bargeʼs hull and the steady thump thump thump of my heart.
In the distance, gunships sprayed the horizon with machine gun
shells laced with tracers that lit up the sky. More than once, I saw
my refl ection in the water. At that time of the morning, at nineteen
years of age, a variety of thoughts and questions danced in and out
of my mind.

sunrise . . .
tiny dark clouds hover
over the jungle floor

Life went on as usual during the daylight hours. People worked.
People played. People rested. The hot sun caressed our faces
like a jealous lover. For the most part, it was the only time many
of us could relax, let our thoughts wonder to better times back
home where jungles and mortars didnʼt exist. In Dong Tam, the
war was fought at night when jeeps and baskets were replaced
with automatic weapons and hand grenades. Water Buffalo were
tied up. Candles were dowsed. . . the quiet, pierced by flashes of
light, pops of air, and sickening thuds. In the morning, the jungle
floor was harvested by blowflies.

Not little monkeys
or beasts of burden  . . .
Human beings! Human beings!

Many American soldiers called the Vietnamese, “gooks”. It was
a degrading term, in the same league as “nigger” or “chink”. We
knew so little about the Vietnamese. We saw everything through
our own eyes, our own plane of experience. The Vietnamese are
smaller in stature. Many were uneducated. A humble people,
they would smile and bow when they didnʼt understand what
an American soldier was saying to them. I remember vividly, a
couple of GIs spouting gross obscenities and derogatory remarks
at a young Vietnamese man. The man didnʼt understand what the
soldiers were saying . He bowed and smiled, over and over again.
All the while, the two GIs laughed at him.

The above haibun excerpted from
Vietnam Ruminations
By Robert D. Wilson

i too
have lived
coney island
the mind
as if
a single thread
a high wire artist
a thin rope
seeking equilibrium
a word gone
i too
the orient
a time of war
saw teacups float by
lost innocence
i too
marched in demonstrations
with billyclubs
tear gas
a faded memory
as if
a single thread
i too
have dropped acid
turned on
the inner light
have it
short circuited
religious potluck suppers
on a platter
i too
have shook hands
the important
generation's heroes
finding them
to be
interested in
promoting themselves
as if
a single thread
unaware of
God's interest
the matter
i too
lived a coney island
the mind
traveled the orient
a time of war
in demonstrations
dropped acid
become religious/irreligious
shook hands
with heroes
watched america
a facelift with
as if
a single thread
a chasm
nuclear destruction
. . . and sanity scurried

robert d. wilson
Excerpted from my chapbook:
And Sanity Scurried
Non-existent Press

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robert d. wilson

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