jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

One Summer in Vienna


The last time we danced in Vienna
the stock market had yet to crash
and the very idea of Austria as her
very own state seemed preposterous

Though a Yankee I spoke perfect German
both in and out of
pubs and proper places
quick to blame my loving Mother when
questioned about my presence

I remember you telling me Vienna would
never be harmed
because you said
she represents the soul in everyone

I remember you telling me
the foundation era would blossom into
a flower of unimaginable artistry and peace

I believed everything you told me
just like it was yesterday

Detained for questioning for what I believed
had everything to do with your talents
how could it be I would never see you again
left to search your peaceful streets
as the world around us
descends into chaos



march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the fall and rise of the anteaters


I thought for sure the anteaters would
beat the cardinals as the game unfolded
but the more intelligent species prevailed
leaving the extant mammal departing
tail between legs and muttering
beneath exhaustive breaths
promising to return same time next year



march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

broken glass worries not the gods


the world is but a china cabinet
its glass windows like curved domes
barely protecting a susceptible client
boasting beauty and fragility

stones and bulls whiz and whirl inside the place
directed by gods from trillions of miles away
neither seeking nor destroying
but mimicking and marveling
at the blue jewel’s simple complexities



march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chickadee sailor


little bird bides his time
inside woolen hoody
left out on the line
for the wind to iron out
by whipping into shape

when the rains arrive
little bird holds on
swaying and cursing
like a long lost sailor
alone at sea



march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

performance of a lifetime


he’s dead she said
as he entered the scene
on the television screen
and I nodded my head

heroin isn’t much of an inspiration
but then again I wouldn’t know
how one can fall so far
after rising so seemingly high
how stardom and make-believe lives
can’t possibly satisfy an ego
starving for the ultimate
out-of-body experience

I don’t want to watch this
anymore she said
and I nodded my head
and we moved on with our lives


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

out on their own


you see them often from all kinds of angles
there right in front of you
real life people dying on real life stages
up close and in your face
in color and featured on screens of any size
delivered to the comfort of your own home
or wherever you may be roaming

though they may look like you
may have your eyes or nose or cheekbone
they don’t share your problems
their predicaments are nothing but a distraction
or occasionally interesting
like a saturday morning wildlife show
where all the creatures of the world
figure everything out on their own


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a perfect promise


I didn’t expect this empty space
to be this warm
the quiet space where heartbeats
keep time with thoughts
that never rhyme

I remember you telling me
to keep the door shut
but I never did figure out why
or exactly what was out there
you didn’t want to be seen

I can’t see much light
passing through your ageless eyes
once dashing but now
hopeless like a waning moon
casting half-lies

while forgetfulness lurks
truth stalks along the outer edges
promising a perfect distraction
while washing youthfulness away


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

realigning the natural order of things


spade in hand
he didn’t have to go far
to reach rock bottom
sinking the blade into the earth
at the base of the limestone steps

ground firm but forgiving
from a wet winter
it didn’t take long to uncover
a row of sunken treasure preserved
by a mother’s touch and
protective nightcrawlers

this won’t be the last time
these stones have been moved
from one place
to another
won’t be the last time uncovered
by human hands and
reassembled into some sort of order


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

waiting on the other side


my angel waits patiently
neither complaining of doing nothing
nor withering away over time

she’s played this game before
and pretends that I don’t see her
standing silent like a lampstand

wherever did she take them
those como se dice ‘yesterdays’
when all we did was our own thing
disappearing for years on end
barely carrying a pulse and not caring
what tomorrow would bring

how could I never fully comprehend
my angel is my lady luck
smiling at me from afar
and whispering sweet promises
only I would understand

teetering on the outer edge
how I wish she was with me now
contemplating nothing


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

back in the shack


you’ll find it in the middle of somewhere
surrounded by a fog in a field of woods
discoverable through a natural maze
filled with a variety of wildflowers

walking through the door you swear
you became someone other than yourself
and the moment you sit and open your mind
the shack is filled with a beautiful light


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

from outside the canopy


from what I remember a tire swung
from the rafters from inside the barn
the motion putting me to sleep
safely wrapped and held in arms
I loved but would not know

the difference between reality
and dreams remain indistinguishable
from the night or morning lights
arms swinging from the canopy
rocking me endlessly to sleep


february two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Somewhere Between the Lines


I

I’ve been trying to save myself
Long before I ever met you
I’m trying to understand
Why I feel so alive today
I found a message on the ‘net
That said you had gone away
So why do I keep searching
In a world that’s now unplugged

I don’t recall the last time
I walked on shallow water
There must be something in the air
That makes my eyes turn red
I looked much younger yesterday
When the sky was so much darker
I try to focus past the logic
But the clouds stand in the way

Flying solo used to be easy
When the birds kept in the trees
Hid behind camouflaged branches
Their songs were barely heard
But now the death of fall draws near
And they gather and form rainstorms
Is it any wonder I can’t find you
When my feet stay on the ground

II

I used to think I could find you hiding
But now I wonder when we’ll share
That moment in time together
Why does the sun always hide
When I walk between the lines

There’s a reason I keep looking
There’s a madness in my mind
I think maybe I should look elsewhere
Is it possible I will find you

III

It’s been a long long day
I’ve spent miles on this road
I’ve gone a long long way
Going to find my way back home



adapted from original version written in 2003
february two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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