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

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


*This library is in no way connected to the HSA

Robert D. Wilson's

Over 3 decades of
Haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, and free verse Performance Poetry unlike anything you've read before.

Uplift Svetlana Marislov
as she battles an aggressive
brain cancer.
Her name means LIGHT
and we need more light in
this world.

the softness 
of petals treading

robert d. wilson

 teach me,
nature, the dance
of echoes . . . 
the song of silence
painting canyons

share with me
a breath speaking

where to sit
in a storefront window
mannequins on
leave from their senses

       stupid duck . . .
sitting on a tree limb
with wrens

a tree sculpted
        with words . . .
waiting for leaves
placed between pages 

      a hard rain . . . 
the hollow song of
bamboo flutes

is this the
song the wind sings
when waves crash . . .
and dreams fill a
young girl's pail?

       and you . . . 
painting umbrellas
with noah

rise child,
from mother's womb;
     breathe deeply . . . 
grasp the light reaching
into your heart

from a small
hut, a loom spinning

         cement blocks . . . 
a spring i'm not
quite sure of

I too 
have lived alone, 
speaking to 
the inanimate 
like good friends

     red moon . . . 
sharing my walk
with a dragon

      morning walk . . . 
i look for snipers
in a world
lit by candles
always burning

my wife's
afraid of you, mouse . . . 

for hours
she stared at a 
grave stone
talking to bones
that whispered

i look for 
her outside my head . . . 
sipping spring

this morning
a gravestone asked
me to find
its rightful place
in a daydream

     floating trash . . .  
push bubbles under
a vendor's store

i felt safe this
morning walking 
past gravestones . . . 
the morning sky
half gray, half blue

mother, was 
that you last night,
patching clouds?

like the wine
i can't drink, your
breath speeds past
me, leaving words
i reach out for

my wife sleeps,
swimming in the
echo of water

       long journey . . . 
ashes of the
 burning hut
clasp hands with those
who lived there before

upside down,
star gazing between
your legs

the smell of
a dead mouse in 
our room; the 
faerie tale i
dreamt in 3-d

the dirt on
my feet write haiku . . .
spring dreams

the flat sound 
of a bargirl cursing . . . 
in the
echoes caught between
heavy traffic

take me, leaf,
above the wheat grass
smile of autumn

i forgot
the leaves floating
past me 
are only dreams 
painting memories

bright fish?
am i too only
a winter dream?

like a wren
beating dawn with
her wings . . .
your song an odd
one smoothing stones 

the scent of
darkness between a
wintry dream

she sees spring
weave itself through
      gray clouds . . .
pink baby rats waiting
for the lizard's tongue

rose petals struggle . . .
sunday morning

is it time
for me to give back
to the earth
the clouds in my chest
dancing with words?

can spring paint dreams
on a young boy's chest?
muddied feet

how can it
be, darkness sculpting
dreams into
into tin dragons
dipped in sewage?

like human
candles, the stars scraping

robert d. wilson

      cherry blossoms . . .
their little ones!
their little ones!

When I was in Vietnam in 1968, widows of fallen soldiers came into Saigon to
work as bargirls.

It is one of the poorest countries on earth, both then and now. Earning a living is very difficult, especially for a single mother. One bargirl I met, went to the University of Saigon during the day majoring in Economics. It was her dream to one day be self-supportive and to give her children 
and extended family a good life.

Boating upriver
into a dream saved
for nights like this,
when alice sets
fire to wonderland

All of us stationed in Dong Tam at some time or another were assigned to river patrol. This entailed navigating narrow, brown water river ways in Vietnamʼs Mekong Delta through dense vegetation, partially obscured villages, and blind turns. We knew we being watched. If we passed it was impossible to ascertain if the villagers we were for or against us. The enemy didnʼt wear uniforms. Most of the time, these forays were uneventful. Sometimes, when we least expected it to, all hell would break loose, tossing us into the bowels of a dragon mirroring Danteʼs Inferno. Flame throwers belching fire; flashes of light; tracers; automatic gunfire, mortars; shrapnel; blood; out-of-control heartbeats, interwoven with the scent of death. While some of my friends in America were living the good life: cruising the boulevard, surfing, attending concerts, dancing, dating, and working towards goals, was in a jungle on the other side of the planet dancing with Alice 
in the Wonderland Amusement Park.

elephant grass . . .
a gnat whispering,
“youʼre next”

I remember the wisps of air shooting past me
like gnats as if it were yesterday. Only it was
38 years ago and I was an 18 year old sailor
serving my country on a small base in the
Mekong Delta region of the former Republic of
South Vietnam in a war that would change my
life forever.

endless summer 
a shadow pretending 
to be a god

We fought a war in a country we knew 
little to nothing about. South Vietnam 
was not in our high school textbooks. 
And there was no Discovery Channel 
 my peers and I to exotic cultures. We
were, in essence, the personification 
of Robert Hienleinʼs A Stranger in A 
Strange Land, introducing a poor 
country ravaged by a thousand years 
of war, corruption, and military 
dictatorships, the people of this 
Southeast Asian country wanted to 
be saved and delivered to the promise 
land theyʼd heard abouts in the news 
and entertainment media.

American soldiers were looked upon 
as saviors by many Vietnamese people. 
 were the embodiment of the life theyʼd 
dreamed of. Many naively thought 
weʼd win the war and turn their country 
into a miniature United States. We 
were not saviors, however, and we 
did not transform their countryʼs 
economy into one like ours. And we did not 
win the war. 

Bowing to political pressure in America, 
our Armed Forces deserted the South 
Vietnamese people, leaving in their 
wake a bloodbath for those who 
supported our country and the 
dictatorship weʼd helped place into 
power and supported.

We returned
home from the dragon to
      a new war . . .
students killed by men
trained for vietnam

How can i forget the day I disembarked from an airliner at Travis Air Force Base, seeing the U.S.A. for the first time in almost a year. Vietnam was behind me now, or so I thought. My buddies and I were given 48 hours of shore leave before we had to return to Treasure Island Naval Base below the Oakland Bay Bridge.

We went to the cheapest hotel we could find in one of the roughest neighborhoods in San Francisco. We headed for a bar
that was darker than hell, or perhaps, it was the regurgitation of Dante who'd had his filled of hell.  A man was beating a woman on the floor and I was advised
tomind my own business or risked being stabbed, It was a Black bar and I was the only White guy.  I didn't drink back then, which was an embarrassment to my buddies, and ordered a soda. Eyes rolled. If they'd sold opium, hash,or weed, I would have partaken in a microsecond.

That night we checked into our rooms. Rated triple ZZZ. The rooms smelled of urine and a cheap ammonia spray.  We smoked a joint (we'd pirated some home) and fell asleep for 25 hours.

We rarely slept a full night in Nam, and when we did, it was a light sleep, never knowing when we'd be attacked.  Unless you've been in a war, you have no idea what a soldier experiences even if you watch every was movie made. War is reality. Screens face seats and boxes of popcorn smothered with butter.

Later that night, we went to the Fillmore Auditorium, where we heard was the place to for good music and a hip time.
Before I shipped over to the Mekong Delta, Nancy Sinatra was singing, These Boots Are Made For Walking. 

The Fillmore was Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, a circus of this and that
emceed by the Phantom of the Opera.
Walls were melting, people were melting,
a thousand silent movies draped over Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company, jugs of red mountain wine passed from hand to hand laced liberally with LSD, weaving through a
crowd that looked like toons trying on outfits in a movie studio costume room on speed.

Girls were dancing ecstatically, some without tops, Dali's brush dripping like a young stud's wet dream, in and out of the chards of lights going this way and that, undulating satyrs in an asylum, the cha cha cha of Hidy Hidy Hi, Hidy Hidy Ho,
and the cops stood by, enhaling the thick cloud of cannabis.

America had changed. It'd be a couple of days before we discovered how much.

Pray for Svetlana, Lisa, and Kirsten

*This library is in no way affiliated with the Haiku Society of America