Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009

"I find myself
sickened by the above 
blather and 
dissociate myself with 
immediate effect from it"

Art is subjective.  What one dislikes, another likes. The tanka poem above is not a tanka but a comment made by a reader that I made to look like a tanka.  When I was in high school, I painted paintings that garnered attention and won awards.  My parents, however, didn't share the same enthusiasm, and told me what I was painting was ugly and not real art.  It wasn't long after that I quit painting.  I'll never forget the day when I received a letter from my parents while stationed in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta that read:  "Your mother and I visited an art museum today and saw many works on display that resemble what you did a few years ago.  I wish we'd encouraged you. . ."  My father's words made me angry and I felt like writing him back and saying: "Thanks for nothing!"  I'm glad I didn't.

I am an individual in an insecure world that values the herd instinct and one-up-man-ship.
As a child I tried hard to fit in, but never could; I believed in fighting for the under dog, wasn't afraid to march to a different drummer.  When you have a high IQ, aren't one of the crowd, do and wear things others don't, and know how to organize and get things done, there is a prize to pay.

You are misunderstood, misjudged, attacked behind your back, rarely to your face, and it's usually by the same kind of people.  Recently a person I considered a friend called me a tyrant and a bully, and said I brought about the downfall of something valued through the world.  I realized at that moment, that he didn't know me at all, and therefore, could never have been the friend I thought him to be. I'm a damned good organizer but I am not the best leader.  It's hard for me to be mean or to fire someone, or to criticize another's work.  I usually let people do their own thing and empower them to do so. Many times people took advantage of me and I let them do it.  I didn't want to rock the boat. Vietnam and the life I brought home to the U.S. and back to Southeast Asia to the Philippines affected me greatly.  I am no longer the Robert I was in high school who was an athlete, weight lifter, award winning dancer, and eccentric individualist. Going through a marriage with a monster that tortured me and my children for eight long years, in addition to my advancing age, 60, has weakened me.  The guy who posed as my friend, never saw me in action, the person who wrote the criticism above never heard an adverse word from me, my life dedicated to a journal I co-founded and steared to success the past 7 years.

The Wonderland Amusement Park, where things are never what they're supposed to be, where all is changing, the truth hurts, and from this hurt, we grow or torment ourselves. The poems you'll read, the haiga you see, are my diary for the past few days. All are my compositions.  I hope they inspire you to open up more in your writings, to be faithful to your muse, and to encourage you to take chances, regardless of what the herd says.  A strange place, this park, hiding under the dragon's shadow.  Enter at your own risk.  It'll repulse or inspire you . . . the infamous, "either or."

robert d. wilson

Dedicated to Moira Richards and Ray Rasmussen

taal, do
you too feel mayon's
beneath the earth
a catfish swallowed?

this mist,
like orion, waiting . . .

little girl,
today a nymph
selling fruit . . .
tomorrow, a canvas
painted violet

comes the light
of tomorrow . . .
breathing darts

your eyes
fill with blossoms
that wither
when the moon has
no place to hide

does she breathe,
this cone nesting
in the lake?

rundown streets,
buildings, the make-do
of people
embarrassed to invite
you into their homes

you'll never
again talk to walls . . .
the stars!

should i make
my home behind a
that dries up
when summer sighs?

to sit beside the
alley's dance

jeepney's weave
the traffic on pasay
into tight
knots a sailor'd
have trouble untying

ask me,
when i'm hungry, if
the moon

continuing her jump
into chasms . . .
filled with rainbows
made of cotton

restless clouds . . .
an angler hurries to
untie his line

fast, as the sky
prepares to
water the earth for
another spring

mute still, the
egret balanced on
two sticks

a cadence,
the morning song
of laborers . . .
the chorus of
nearby rivers

light breeze
soften the tree's limbs . . .

what to do
when i'm caught between
the dragon's legs,
and pretence has no
power to cover lies?

walk with me
in a moment layered
with now

fly me above
the tears of those feigning
sorrow . . .
through moonlit dreams
layered with coffee beans

not the star
but the light, posing
as a gem

sly rat!
at night, invisible,
mutely behind
the flight of words

the eels burrowing
inside words

i've learned to
trust no one, their
a bangus eating
another fish's eggs

it is true,
santa,you love
salted eggs?

the greedy
man volunteers
to help . . .
a snake stealing
a hen's eggs

a priest mocks
celibacy  in his office . . .

quiet, she
slips into her
rocky hole
at dawn, digesting
yesterdy's kill

what do i do
when jackels leave me

why, dog, did
you stop on front
of our car?
did you know it
was christmas day?

wearing new
smiles on christmas day . . .
the new year?

you can laugh
at me now, but the
day will come
when i'll dance with
elephants like a king

and you,
hiding behind words . . .
winter waits

did you hear,
wonderland, idiots
mock you . . .
pounding plastic gavels
in empty courtrooms!

between your
words and pen , a
snowless yawn

between your
words and the pen
you write with . . .
a jealous moon looking
for cloud cover

what is
surrealism to
a mindless sheep?

fading tears?
koi jumping over
paper moons?
how can i explain
this to a lizard?

arthritic hands . . .
plant her garden in
melting snow

pablo listened
to no one, followed
his heart, if
he had one, to the
tips of bull's horns

the dog she
hit this morning . . .
gasping air

some day you'll
fall, and when you reach
up for help . . .
an asp will bite
you on the hand

who beats who,
the sower or
the cabbage?

they take the
moon i painted on a
paper lantern,
and call it theirs . . .
thinking windmills can't fight

am i not
supposed to dream?
trout shaped leaves

poor snake, he's
blamed for what you
do, as if . . .
he forced you to eat
the apple and run

bent over,
she chews betal nuts
with what was

you call me
the tyrant you see
in your mirror . . .
can a mouse be
a caribao?

christmas night . .
the color it

a dunce hat?
you with mean words . . .
bouncing off
walls papered with

o, to be
a farmer sowing
fertile ground!

the tide came
in tonight, washing
away dreams
of a christmas . . .
lasting forever

come back, dream . . .
let the blossoms come
in spring!

i feel the
tears running down
your cheeks . . .
and wish i could give
you want we want

just hold me
tonight, nothing else . . .
winter rain

another try;
the tug-o-war of
clouds and guilt . . .
a wonderland
without rabbits

the dream my
ex-wife stole from me . . .
with lies!

like rust, can slowly
eat away
what you tried to hide
when the tide came in

and now . . .
the weight of a
thousand leaves

what causes a
woman i've never
met, to treat
me like a husband
who battered her?

calm the
angry woman feeding
her shadow!

robert d. wilson