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poetry by j matthew waters

forgiveness


we snuck inside farmer moses’
pumpkin patch one early sunday morning
october moon hanging out
at about nine o’clock

we knew we had to be quiet
but it was the place to be
and between the three of us
there was a half-pack of camels
and a case of colt 45

the girls said they’d meet us there
right around midnight
but they never did show for reasons
we would never know

morning sun does rise
as do farmer moses & his boys
pursuing instincts with rifles in hands
zeroing in on blacked out trespassers



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

madmen and gravediggers


while giant sleeps talking heads
project his awakening
questioning las vegas odds telling the world
it’s not going to be anytime soon

meanwhile there are no magic fixes
for natural and manmade injustices
dished out wickedly and
allegedly randomly
broadcasted real-time ad nauseum

and so it seems the world is ruled
by madmen and gravediggers
feeding off their own gruesome stories
daring the world to take them out
one sleeping giant at a time



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

where your life may lead you


walls covered in chalk
brilliant stories of the day displayed
by way of collective determination

black and white illusions evolve into
colors bolder than daredevils
expressions distorted and magnified
bricks quietly chirping among themselves
mortar becoming perches for little birds

that larger than life mirror on the wall
wants to be a window to your soul
begs for you to pause and take a look
at the very least consider what’s inside



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

radio free america


play-by-play deejay
dominating the airwaves
feets stomping and voices shouting
ordinary citizens rejoicing in city square

they pipe in radio from the clouds
or so the children are told
it’s absolutely magic they cry
dancing the night away

far away high-stepping drum majors
lead troops out of war zones
prisoners bound and singing
bringing up the rear

meanwhile baseball diamond
becomes makeshift refugee camp
address announcer recounting
nineteen sixty-seven world series



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

heartbreak and misery


castaway doves pick at debris
stretched across the beach
turning white into off-white
and sunsets into nothing

groups of people walk along
waving trash pickers & grabbers
like out-of-control metal detectors
stashing treasure into potato sacks

the fog used to roll in here
like clockwork every foggy morning
setting the tone for an uneventful day
but now all we are left with is this
god-forsaken sun



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

bitter creek


bitter creek flows through quiet earth
shaping butterflies and recycling tales of
rivers carving out new tomorrows

peyote blossoms flourish on the border
desert beauties dispensing spiritual guidance
sometimes influenced by bitter creek

old-school artisans steal from night sky
charting reflections onto banks of bitter creek
exposing black cats and neon damselflies

this place comes and goes as she pleases
tricking and mimicking and repeatedly born again



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

children breaking new ground


perpetual revolution
a lifelong struggle defined by tiny stories
woven in and out of blankets
crafted in afghanistan

messages fly halfway across the
planet in a matter of mere seconds
complicating efforts of diplomats
struggling to keep up with the flow

you and I can meet on any street
corner on any given day
reaching for something undefinable
something certainly not touchable

one day children will be forced
to teach children the basics
digging and uncovering
discovering and enlightening

true possibilities do exist
and this concept of history
repeating itself for centuries on end
gradually gives way to hope



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sunday evening blues


the massacre on the moon
was plastered all over the news
succinctly too gruesome to be true

how everyone got there
was a matter of simple physics
(having occurred far into the future)

it was an experiment of sorts
and of course a complete failure
while all those living on mars
carried on with their lives
clearly in the dark



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

suddenly there is no tomorrow


my feet are hurting but my heart
is beating just fine
it may have skipped
once or twice or trice
simply by finding you here

we always look forward to october
though hate to see september
slowly burning in rearview
like those hybrid pumpkins
glowing in the twilight

there are no perfect days
but the harvest moon
is as cool as cool can be

and you kiss me unexpectedly



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

destined to live and die here


wild horses stampede across
artificial hill outside waterloo
approximate to major shift
mountains and men bleeding
causing much exhilaration

kilometers away once free men
soon comprehend how bravado
and bondage have consequences
banished behind underground bars
joyous songs piping in

it’s been seven months or more
since the sun has shined
yet people continue to arrive
pilgrims and commoners and nobility
partaking in the simplest pleasures
praising daily powers that be



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

looking for miss molly


the dude called midmorning
asking if his car was at my place

you took off with her after
punching six tequila shots into
my foyer’s drywall
(have you tried looking out
your back window (asshole))

I’m surprised the dude is still alive
awake and sounding halfway sober
but then again nothing’s changed
he’s always looked half his age

okay he says but call me back if you
hear anything (and oh yeah)
I’m looking for miss molly too

I hang up and shake every
thought from my crowded head

all this time the cat’s
been sitting pretty at the bay window
curiously studying fat robins
feasting on dried crabapples



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it was a case of corruption or there was no defense


judge sat on bench eating dutch
apple pie and french vanilla ice cream

you’ve got to be kidding me the finger-
pointing prosecutor shouted from
behind darkly stained wooden rails

though jurors would never forget his words
they quickly struck them from the record
and watched aghast as hooded bailers
swiftly and briskly escorted the bastard out
tips of his toes barely touching floor

judge promptly hammers his desk trice
and orders up another slice of pie
garbling specific instructions
how the prosecution may come to a rest



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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