jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

thankful for what they had


they had a border collie
to keep the cows honest
barking enthusiastically
and always smiling

they had a rooster
occasionally unreliable when
rainy mornings drowned-
out cock-a-doodle-doos

they had silos and barns
and backyard sheds
wherein they protected
hopes and dreams
and amazing machinery

before suppertime they sat
in silence holding hands
thankful for what they had
praying for those who had not


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

messengers of love


there is just the one god
there shall be none of this
three-in-one nonsense
or some other silly notion
for without truly believing in the one
man will never love his brother
what he loves for himself
      while loving thy neighbor
        (as thyself)
remains the most daunting proposition
       (ever put to the test)
for well over two thousand years


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

early out on a Friday afternoon


it’s past lunchtime on a Friday
and images from Aleppo are being
broadcast everywhere

from Berlin to Warsaw
Nagasaki to Kabul
Sarajevo to Beirut
Baghdad to Hanoi
from Paris to New York City

I’m sitting with a friend outside
a trendy cafe
watching the world go round
and round and round

inside the cafe televisions
hang in the balance
patrons shouting for the wars
to be turned off
exhaling a collective sigh of relief
once their demands are met

we switch from caffeine to craft beer
and talk sports and politics
of the latest intellectual documentaries
challenging today’s minds

and so I say I’ve been told how freedoms
throughout the world
have spread exponentially over the past century
despite public servants in certains places
attempting to reform the world’s inequalities
raising standards of living everywhere
creating economic prosperity
to anyone seeking a better way of life

but what of those dying to be seen
behind the television screens
what has happened to their freedoms
and their endless possibilities?


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Voiture Sans Cheval

My poem entitled “Horseless Chariot” translated into French and recited by Gyslaine Le Gal

Apportez-moi des images
De Paris
Ou mieux encore envoyez-les par courriel
Ces images que vous avez prises
Avec vos beaux amis
Qui ne sont pas vraiment vos amis
Mais de simples flagorneurs
Qui vous suivent
Dans le monde entier

Apportez-moi des fleurs
De l’étranger
Prouvez-moi que vous m’aimez encore
Et que vous me voulez près de vous
Même si
Vous m’avez laissé ici
Rêvasser
Dans ma voiture sans cheval
Me demandant où vous êtes


Please visit Gyslaine’s lovely poetry @ Auteure poésies d’amour Français/Anglais – LOVE POEMS

View the original American English version by clicking here


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters & gyslaine le gal
all rights reserved

lead us not into temptation


against all odds you are born into
a world that spins relentlessly
flashing both brilliance
and complete darkness

in matter of minutes you acquire
a lifetime of knowledge by visiting
the garden that for centuries
had failed so many

serpent pretends to be your friend
plucking fruit and promising you
a kingdom you cannot see
neither in this world
nor possibly the next

you reach out for a taste
but suddenly pull away
realizing that by giving in
innocence would be destroyed


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

champagne jam


all this noise and sometimes
you can’t strip it away
it just keeps coming back
like yellow jackets
hijacking the queen’s cargo

paranoid herod orders
assassinations on prophets and
airstrikes on newborns
his teflon crown deflecting
insults from church and state

men of steel fly sky high
and dig deep into the ground
executing commands from
man on high
tasting new jams and
sipping champagne


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

His new best drinking buddy


It just blows my mind
how the world is totally out of control
he said pointing at the television
at the fires and floods
and children bearing arms
not to mention the ridiculous
landscape of American politics

Hey Billie
set us up with another round he said
and Billie poured two draws of PBR
and two shots of Hawkeye Whiskey

Don’t worry buddy I got this one again
he said pushing his dollars away
but as I was saying
there’s not any more violence today
than there’s been in the past
it’s just that more people
are now in the know

Hey Billie can you turn the station
on that damn thing
there’s gotta be something better on
than the national news

He put his arm around his newfound friend
who didn’t have much to say
but he sure had a big ass grin on his face
when Billie was told to line them up again


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Born and bred in Iowa


I am not Iowa
I do not speak their language
or pretend to understand their history
what I know of them
I learned on my own
thanks to online access
google searches
and wikipedia dot com

My ancestry is not of this land
I’ve traced it back to Ireland
and Scotland and Sweden
and Belgium

I am not Iowa
but I live on their land
their numbers decimated by smallpox
and reduced to five hundred
at the turn of the previous century

I find it fascinating in prehistoric times
the Iowa emigrated
to their new land from the Great Lakes

In the meantime a white race originated
in the great Rokitno swamp
forging a roadmap destined to draw
a crooked line to America
the once Beautiful


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

impressionist painting


It’s hard to think in third person
outside the skin and looking in
switching sides
like patient operating on surgeon
like flower attacking honeybee
like an old school artist suddenly
becoming an impressionist

I put the old brushes aside
and started understanding ocean
waves in a brand new light
accepting how shadows evolve
and reveal welcomed realities
unfolding before my very eyes


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

past the second to last light


a crack in the door
precious light leaks through
a parade marching
cockroaches scurrying
a mad dog sniffing profusely

the crack widens
and so does the mystery
known for its infinite lines
cast by fishermen
sitting on quarter moons

blown off its hinges
door flops like a magic carpet
sailing like a stringless kite
gradually disappearing
past the penultimate light


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

center of the universe


I offered silence and I was
chastised by the god of noise

while the god of peace recessed
into a corner dressed in white

sitting on a stool she recounted
neither scripture nor sacrifice

proclaiming no territorial disputes
offering no reasons for forgiveness

all the while peaceful men wage
war in the four corners of the world

disbelieving the looking-glass
located in the center of the universe

reflects a world of possibility


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it’s sometime in August and it’s rained for days


alone I sit in the sunroom
wondering when in the world
I’ll see the light of day
or mow the yard
or ride my bike
or snap photograph
after photograph
in the once colorful garden

in the meantime
ruby-throated hummingbirds
feast on homemade nectar
the feeder hanging beneath the eave
the rain not stopping them
from coming and going
as they damn well please


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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