jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

burning down the house


I saw two magpies
out in the field
the one where crickets
turn into monsters
and dream of feasting on
human history

I saw two magpies
out in the field
perched upon towers
man-made and alive
turning on the airwaves
and chatting freely

I saw two magpies
out in the field
pimped out for the show
in 3D glasses
marveling at the mirrors
reflecting the fire


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like cats with endless lives


human history isn’t about to change
course anytime soon

the underground is rising again
and the unrest is unstoppable

at least into the foreseeable

everywhere hearts are breaking
shred to pieces from so many angles
mother nature
bad politics
random and not so random acts of violence
organized crime
and disorganized war

vendettas never die
they just get tossed to the next
generation like a hot potato
and while sometimes they get buried deep
they can’t stay underground forever

all the while the sun keeps rising from the east
giving us second chances


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

eighty-four percent


it’s any morning or afternoon
or evening
worshipers gathering where they will
like thespians on a stage
performing acts of contrition
chants and meditations
spiritually decoding their past

evolution is quite remarkable
if you take the time to study
movements germinating and
bursting onto the scene
generating marvelous successes
and even greater failures

but any day comes and any day goes
for violence and destruction
do not pause
(oh no not for any faith)
and there will be much lamenting to endure
privately and on the streets
every single day of the week

there is a quiet place in the library
where google will tell you
eighty-four percent of the world
identifies with peaceful religions

be careful where you clique


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

It’s all about the money


smile and play the tambourine little girl
the man said
and the little girl shook the tambourine

every fourth beat she struck it
against her palm

the streets were filled with foreigners
and many businessmen attracted
to the darkened rooms
barely lit by neon lights

outside the little girl shakes the tambourine
her soul sisters inside
in the darkened rooms
filled with neon lights

the man outside standing next
to the tambourine girl
animates his voice and gestures
joyously greeting and
beckoning passersby to come inside
to rest their weary minds

meanwhile the girls inside
shake shake shake
their tarnished tambourines


This poem is in response to a blog post by Lara Trace entitled BILLIONS TRAFFICKING AND ENSLAVING “DISPOSABLE PEOPLE”

“It’s all about the money. Human trafficking is insanely profitable. If you really think about it: You can sell a kilo of Heroin once; You can sell a 13-year-old girl 20 times a night, 365 days a year.”

To read Lara Traces’s blog post and learn what you can do please click HERE


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the rise of the monarch butterfly


far from the embattled cities
beyond the waves of love and fury
milkweed grows wild along
county roads and graveled byways
(introducing rows of half-grown corn)
bending with the wind
and corrected occasionally
by a fleeting motorist


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

teenage decimation


these untold stories keep piling up
more than a few good men
wasting their lives on promises
that can’t possibly add up

big brother has never been scarier
whether on penny lane or haifa street

hey joseph
what are you doing
with that AK-47 in your hand

it’s friday night shouldn’t you be down
where the pretty ladies want
to see your smiling face

wouldn’t you rather be learning
how to make the world a brighter place
in a figurative sort of way

I once walked the streets of Athens
because I wanted to know what it was like
to walk in history’s shoes
but I’ll be damned
and dead by now
if I ever walked in yours


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

toward the light of day


think of me
when the skies in your dream
break free from dusk

dream of me
when you roll over and discover
your softer side

think of me
as if I was still a young man
running after you

remember me
chasing you in your dreams
toward the light of day


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there is love in the clouds


nobody’s tending the fire
it’s just burning on its own
neither controlled nor uncontrolled
emitting a stench of indifference

massacres and coup attempts
repeat like the rising of the sun
highlighting headlines on
doorsteps as death tolls escalate
and accumulate

meanwhile the fire burns
fueled by arms deals between
friends and foes
stoked by power struggles and
brokered by corrupt politicians
enabling strategic corporations

social consciousness bombards
wireless outlets with outrage
pumping up clouds until they burst
pamphlets of love falling
like rain across a world on fire


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the street artist and the young woman


it was the wrong shade of blue
he kept telling himself
but he kept on with the brush
and the red wine and cigarillo

passersby strolled by like museum goers
some pausing on occasion
to remark about the unfinished piece

you’re a natural beauty he told the young
woman in the yellow summer dress
sitting on a short stool and barely smiling

but there is a problem he went on to say
I am not happy with your eyes

why is that she asked worriedly
quickly rising to her feet

they’re the wrong shade of blue
he began to explain
but as he spoke her shoulders eased
and she smiled and soaked in the
painting for the very first time

oh no she said
you did a wonderful job
they’re beautiful

they’re the wrong shade of blue
he repeated
telling her to take it away
without charge
telling her to get it out of his sight
before doing something regrettable


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The War of the Worlds


Lines were crossed by renegade birds
twisting and shouting above the treetops
discovering yet another metropolis

Zeroing in from ground-level positions
superheroes rise between glass skyscrapers
bullets ricocheting like laser beams

There’s little room for science fiction
not when attempting to rescue a planet
speeding headlong toward self-destruction

The invasion has always come from within
often mistaken as unidentified aliens
navigating the most sophisticated machinery


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the first order of the second kind


abstract thoughts often lead
to concrete ideas
like barefoot ghost monks
chanting along crushed limestone

hundreds march in the woods
single file along
skyscraper-like trees
bending and moaning and hurt

pink skies become cloudy
marshmallow bruises
falling to the ground
covering all things living

ghost monks become crickets
beating back the dead
chanting toward a light
giving breath a second chance


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in the land of free-for-alls and firearms


summer’s promise has been smashed into
irreparable pieces
swept into the gutter along with man’s mortal sins
unable to be washed away
even by torrential rains

the pursuit of happiness is just a dying thought
riddled with contradictions

kings clench their fists and promise
real change will come
but the people in the streets shake their heads
weeping for the dead with brooms in hand

that all men are created equal they know
to be untrue
as are the history books justifying
the massacre of native peoples
and the legality of human slavery

oh America why have thou failed so many
foolishly feeding
the machine of mass destruction
your people afraid to leave their homes
a people starving for peace and love
and understanding
unconcerned with hollow words
on an idle document


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: