jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

long road to anywhere


their land they own no more
their homes ransacked and sold
to men with prisoners as wives

nearby fields of wildflowers
once stretching to meet the sun halfway
but now scorched and smoldering
harbor pieces of unspeakable crimes

the instinct of flight is all that
remains inside human spirits

no longer questioning nor conjecturing
and certainly no longer imagining
they put up unfathomable fronts
instinctively embarking on a
journey to anywhere
fueled by fumes of the innocent



september two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

already gone


wooden step stool
cloaked inside walk-in closet
readily assessable
whenever needing to
put myself up on a shelf

sometimes it’s best
to stay up there for
extended periods of time
like a bird on a wire
or an angel biding time

sometimes it’s safest
to never come down
even when reality prohibits
such ambitions from ever
finding common ground



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

defenseless moon rising


mathematics of heaven
on earth measure up
like the clickety-clack of
wingtip boots hitting
hot summer concrete
on the brightest of days

seven plus one rounds
normally fill a colt 45
its pearl handle concealed
inside the hip of urban
cowboy moving about
in conspicuous silence

waxing gibbous expose
skyscrapers without power
eluding bullets fired
from restless streets that
harbor outlaw scientists
who recalculate and reload



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Once upon a carnival


by Pleasant Street & J Matthew Waters

Shopping for groceries
I turn a corner near the eggs
A feather, buoyant before my eyes
Dancing in the air so I can not reach
The sound of a brass band in produce
A smile on my face for past times

Out in the parking lot
Lost thoughts become louder
Parading with yesterday’s revelries
Like souls without a care
Preventing me from finding my car
Blended amongst all the noise

The carnival days are missed
Black leather on crushed red velvet
Deep glasses of confidence
Unconcerned with consequence
Nights of ambition
Behind masks ’til the wine ran dry

How my mind wanders
Wondering where in the world
We will ever meet
And relive the magic that once
Existed in a special place
Full of color and sound

Succulent nights – joy in our fists
Carefree, somnolent days
Everything glittered
Though nothing was gold
I knew your touch
As well as my name

Passion and danger
We were never strangers to either
Japanese lanterns on fire above us
Below us thin air we danced upon
Like in a fairy tale
That never seemed to end



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

carry on my wayward son


how is the road less traveled
any better than city streets
teeming with possibilities

or so it seems you have gone
in every direction
sometimes at the same time
drunk on wine
and sated from pork and dark
chocolate over the course
of years to come

tiptoeing on the fringes
communication becomes intermittent
incoming messages
noisily unclear
easily dismissed by the flip of a switch

though forward movements
often travel in opposite directions
there is no denying the final
destination will repeat itself



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

let the weekend begin


everyone I know is getting older
and some are even dying without
a moment’s notice
never getting a chance to say
good-bye
good-bye
good-bye sweet world

in the grocery store I ran into Joe
and asked him how his wife was doing

she’s gone man where have you been

I’m sorry I say and walk away

out in the parking lot everyone is
a ghost of their former selves
systematically going about their lives
running out of bright ideas
to reverse the inevitable

but not me I am perfectly fine
no wrinkles on my face
a rosy glow still on my cheeks

I tell myself this is the last time
I’m going shopping here
and I rev up the engine and
drive my case of american pale ale
back home where we belong



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

into the great wide open


a box on the side of the road
not a box really but a folder
a small folder at that
the kind with a rubber strap
wrapped around to keep the flap shut
ensuring that whatever would be inside
could not easily be outside

it was just sitting there on the
graveled shoulder of highway 13
and somehow I had spotted it
driving some sixty miles per hour
its image now just a snapshot
first and foremost in my mind

traffic was light but each time
someone drove by I imagined
the lunchbox-sized folder
fluttered from each sixty mile per hour draft
the rubber strap gradually shifting
loosening and eventually opening
exposing what was once concealed
launching the contents up and out
into the great wide open



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Lemonade Stand


Outside Damascus on a Sunday
morning small hands press
ripened lemons recently
arrived from Istanbul

Years earlier there would be
no need for imports
and those lemonade stands
operated by the most beautiful
children of the world
exist only in memory



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

promising young stars


he was seriously injured on the playing field
aired on prime-time television last night
the announcer commenting how
the promising young man may
never suit up again

if only those innocent children worldwide
could be so lucky
those massacred by rockets or knives
or handguns or anything else heartless
cowards can get their bloody hands on



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my maddening tipping point


all I hear are echoes anymore
echoes from anything making a sound
a blender in the kitchen
going round and round
its motor never quite leaving my mind
mixed in with machine guns going
rat-a-tat-tat
competing with armies of lawn mowers
and battalions of snow blowers
while little bumblebees buzz around
alongside birds of every nation singing their songs
echoes of bed sheets entangled around
myself and a young woman I once knew
echoes of clock towers turning back time
with chimes ringing backwards
bringing forth a new century
that would eventually become
my maddening tipping point



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chorus practice


cicadas alive and loud
sounding off above and below
sunny treetops
sublimely casting wavelengths
across the heavy air
noisily rhythmical to anyone
subconsciously dreaming of
reaching faraway places



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

test driver


she didn’t steal the car
she just borrowed it for the night
drove up and down the one ways
under the friday city lights

puffing on one hundreds
she sang along with the am radio
a cold six-pack by her side
the night slightly becoming cooler

there were plenty of dragsters
biding their time
chomping for a race
but she kept the four-barrel
carburetor purring like a puma
wanting to give chase

local coppers let the young ones
enjoy their weekend fun
but when special bulletins
point to grand theft auto
those boys in blue quickly learned
exactly what’s she’s got



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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