jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

already gone (to albuquerque)


she asked me what was wrong
I said nothing
mumbled a few words under my breath
and moved on

it didn’t seem to faze her
but maybe neither would a taser
and before you knew it
we were drinking cosmopolitans
on the patio until dark

morning arrived in no time
in fact I almost missed it
but she was already gone
using my bus fare to albuquerque
stowing away a little girl
I would one day maybe know



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

systematic lemonade


systematic is the way to go
in anything we say or do

systematic is the way we shop
whether on foot or online
picking items without much thought
consuming them on the spot
or saving them in the freezer
for a rainy day

systematic is the way we work
the sheepdog and the wolf
clocking in and punching out
less concerned with the score
anxious to get home for a few quiet hours
drinking wine and feasting on mutton

systematic is the way we kill en masse
always on the lookout and finding
new and improved ways
to exterminate whatever cancer
threatens us from living in peace



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taking the rocky road out of town


she walked casually into the room
two oversize scoops atop a sugar cone
and as her eyes caught mine
she suddenly froze

I sensed small wisps of steam
hovering above the dark chocolate
assorted nuts and marshmallows

winking
she extended her arm
as if holding a microphone
and for a brief moment
found myself unable to speak

you’re funny she said
pulling back her arm
turning around and kicking one leg back
suddenly vanishing before my eyes
laughing and licking
right out of dodge



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

understanding the seen and unseen


there exists a presence always felt
but never seen
like an invincible god showering
the northern sky with constant light

fallen stars awaken from beneath the earth
moving northward along the shoreline
garnering strength along the way
taking on new shapes and sizes
first crawling
then swimming
eventually flying beyond
the house of the clouds

multitudes from all corners gather round
marveling at the aural phenomenon
praying for the prophets
and the preachers
to return to the land
so that they may understand
exactly what is happening



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

color my world


an empty canvas in an otherwise
empty world
suspended above sands
washed clean by the hands of the moon
time after countless time

the artist is nowhere to be found
perhaps adrift at sea
in search of something unforeseen
paint brushes and palette
at rest on three-legged easel

what is lost will one day be found
the artist and canvas
reunited when least expected
bringing back color
to an otherwise empty world



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

settling the score


out of nowhere billy lost everything
waking up to a note
segued by a pink slip at work
months later evicted from his
place in philadelphia

sally took it all to minnesota
life and child crammed inside
u-haul speeding north on 35
not a tear in her eye
nor ounce of shame left behind

unable to cut it on the streets
billy hit the road south to miami
playing drums and keeping warm
lip syncing in the shower
and banging his head on blue tile

back in arizona sally arrives on time
stepping off the plane
taken in by a friend of an online friend
homeschooling by day
and singing late into cool nights

on his fortieth billy falls back in time
with a young sally on coney island
arranged by a matchmaker
from oklahoma city
wishing to remain anonymous



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rumors


they fly by as streaks of light
zipping through the city
cruising in and out of sight
sometimes pausing like shadows
inside innocent songs
other times resting within sounds
of desperate poetry

they are neither real nor imagined
but they are certainly alive
much like the wind
hurtling through the night
with nothing near or far
preventing it from existing at all



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

worldwide window shopping


these marketplaces filled with footfalls
and voices and exchange of ideas
created from the minds of many
duplicated from village to small town
from small city to urban jungle
none of the gatherings remotely identical
but in essence all the same
peaceful people commingling in an
environment of constant energy
fueled by fairness and tolerance
and understanding on a sublime level
the importance of amicable inclusion



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

deciding between dark and light


the room is dark but there is this
light inside me
faint yet growing
calling me by name and making me
wonder why I am so alone

there is knocking on the door
rap rap rap
knocking
someone calling my name
but I pretend it’s just a sparrow
trying to get in
wanting to nest beside me

the light grows stronger with each
passing day
but still I remain in the dark
warming a pair of dice inside my hands
afraid to let them go



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

jesus from tokyo


I saw jesus on tokyo bay
speaking spanglish and
directing fishing boats
like a venerable traffic cop

dressed in seamless jeans
and oversized shirt
he unveiled the sun with his hands
welcoming all to follow in his wake

docking close to disney at night
the city prefect greeted him with
flowers and rings and keys
proceeding to escort his entourage
to the enchanted tiki room

swapping stories and feasting
on the day’s catch
tourists gradually gathered round
sampling the uncooked bounty
imported from half a world away



april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Hands of Red Clay


She crafted the hands of red clay
hours of cultivation perfected them
before kiln dried
manicured and baked again

For years the hands rested on shelves
rubbing porcelain figurines and pottery pieces

She adored the hands of red clay
allowed her students to critique
but never handle them
all intrigued by the veins and lifelines
palms and knuckles
nails and cuticle
their uniqueness all but touchable

Some believed the clay was dug
from an ancient Indian burial ground
others convinced their creation was
inspired by her late husband
while a cult following proclaimed
the blood of man flowed inside them

The hands were crafted of red clay
hours of cultivation perfected them
while years of uncertainty
kept them alive



originally penned in 1996
rewritten april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the villain and the hero and the unsympathetic fool


accusations fly by like wayward missiles
shot out of silos a half world away
landing god knows where and
making new holes to crawl into

there is no villain to kill in this tale
not one tying down fair damsels to the tracks
nor cloaking a wide smile with black cape

the hero here is incapable of rescuing even himself
instead seeks answers from faraway stars
like a prince without an inheritance

while remote weaponry circles the earth
the unsympathetic fool carries on
in an unforgiving world
deflecting whatever arrows brand his name
with an invisible shield called mortality



april fool’s day two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: