Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010

And Sanity Scurried!                                                                                                                                                                    

I was watching a segment of Francis Ford Cappola's Vietnam War movie, Apocalypse Now, two nights ago and it reminded me once more of the similarities between an LSD trip and being a serviceman in the
Vietnam War during the late 1960's.  Both are dreams dreamt awake; a life seasoned with flashbacks, hallucinations, sleeplessness, light shows, too long, too short, brownouts, blackouts, purple water, buffalos stampeding through mirrors and neon-lights,  the morning's red glare more than a line lifted from the American National Anthem  . . .

One minute I'm eating breakfast in the tin roofed chow hall  on the Navy side of Dong tam, yakking away between gulps, during gulps, downing helpings of  omelets with real eggs, real meat, when I hear the all too familiar whistle of an incoming rocket, the chow hall roof pelted with shrapnel, then another whistle, and another . . .    "It's wonderful to be here, it's certainly a thrill.  You're such a lovely audience, we'd like to take you home with us . . . " I belt out from under the table we took cover under, making an adrenaline dash with three shipmates to our duty stations, rockets falling in front of us, behind us . . . "I don't really want to stop the show, but I thought you might like to know, that the singer's going to sing a song and he wants you all to sing along . . ."

An officer in the bunker outside the chow hall orders us to seek shelter in the bunker, calls us crazy sonabitches. We ignore him, instinct tells us to report to our duty stations on the top secret  . . . our lucky talisman, but not today, a rocket hits the pontoons, another tears a whole into the . . . 's entrance . . . rockets behind us, nowhere to go but into the dragon's mouth . . . running past the bloodied bodies of two shipmates, the stench of metal, the stench of flesh . . ."They've been going in and out of style,but they're guaranteed to raise a smile . . . "

Ordered pandemonium, shocked faces, no time to think, to remember, instinct doing what it does when during times like this . . .  I don my flack jacket, helmet, M-16 (as if it can stop incoming rockets and mortars), running aft to my duty station . . . "General Quarters.  General Quarters.  All hands man their battle stations!"  Hyper-alert, not thinking, a  cleared headed buddha staring into a world that doesn't exist, is, or isn't.  A dream?  Hallucination?  Drowning out the dragon's roar; automatic ammo whizzing past me like gnats . . . no enemy to see, only sounds, a thousand Godzillas stomping through the muddy hole we call a bay bordering a base that used to be a rice field, the whispers of elders, soft ice cream cones without the ice cream, the world as we know it changed, altered, a section of Salvadore Dali's Hallucinogenic Toreador ?  A genesis taking place when least expected . . . thoughts other than chit chat" and omelets . . . "We hope you will enjoy the show . . . Sit back and let the evening go. "                                
This is just a glimpse into the hell only a Vietnam Veteran experiences . . . and remembers;  an experience that changes a 19 year old forever.  I counted the days until I went home, but  . . . what I came home to . . .  had changed. I went from one battlefield to another.

Welcome to The Wonderland Amusement Park, the subconscious and conscious diary of Robert D. Wilson, using haiku, senryu, haiga, and tanka as his means of expression.  Enter at your own risk.  And if you dare, become a member.  Who knows, one day I'll send you a news letter.

*The lyrics in parenthesis are excerpted from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club by the Beatles.

the smell of a 
carabao eating shade . . .
human candles 
swallowed by a
hundred dragons

robert d. wilson

she goes through
the moves to sustain
the charade
she thinks i've swallowed . . .
the actress's walk

stolen fruit . . .
anything to buy
a dream!

i sowed seed
n the moonlit fields of
too much loam . . .
tomorrow, a sprout,
suckling sunlight

through a brother's blood . . .
and for what?

even clouds
can't erase the ah
of my day . . .
dawn's breath fertilized
with a farmer's smile

blossoms . . .
hearing them

she told me she
liked me, then folded me
into a
paper airplane and
flew down the hall

5 days in
january . . .
dogs in heat!

she learned she was
in heat . . .
oddly hungry,
horny as hell!

the dance of
ducks on empty lines . . .
bathing summer

the smell of a
carabao eating shade . . .
human candles
swallowed by a
hundred dragons

moist eyes . . .
like the fog straddling
lake taal*

*pronounced ta-all . . . a volcano in the middle of a large lake
that once was connected to the sea.

we lost all
sense of time, swimming in
our own worlds . . .
jack-in-the -boxes
using the same key

feeling paints
a rainbow in her loins . . .
morning doves

that light brown
color of the onion field . . .
fatigued, she
walks slowly around
the muddy pond

buds sip
sunlight in palms . . .
spreading song

more tender than
before, her breasts, point
to autumn . . .
and the slowness
of falling leaves

the smile i've
saved for twilight dawn . . .
not a dream?

robert d. wilson


  1. Robert,

    Thanks for the opportunity to visit; you're still going strong, after all these years. I remain in your corner, wiping the sweat, containing the bleeding...Your friend...pajamas


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