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poetry by j matthew waters

oracle of antiquity


she believes in blue skies
and the power of silence
alone in her thoughts
moonshine above shoreline

she believes in pure magic
supernatural abilities
coursing through her veins
flying past her fingertips

above and beyond all else
she believes in herself
reborn from relics of a past
fashioned via retrospection




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the house of displaced poetry


it’s not easy finding inspiration
on low visibility nights
so you just move on from
one thought to the next
hoping to find a place to call home

without a charge nights are lonelier
inner city sky void of lights
artificial ones hard to see
thanks to cold wintry mix
forcing shelters to exceed capacity

I’ve lived through this odyssey before
pocket book of poetry
pressed against my heart
three or four layers deep
every single word still very much alive




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

watching cartoons in little pink houses


everyone sees him except you
my dear inspector
walking amongst the living
and very much in the thick of things
whether taking five in the studio
[sitting cross-legged in the director’s chair]
or strolling down the walk of fame
hand in hand with julie andrews

he turns your blues into pink
right before your very eyes
but all you realize is yourself
as if that oversized magnifier
is nothing but a looking glass

some say that ever elusive diamond
never did exist
but that colorful far-out cat
now he was the real deal
blending into every kind of scenery
be it on the big screen or otherwise




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

pagination


I keep bookmarking these pages
thinking of you
saying to myself how you’d
love this or adore that

virtual pages made of words
or pictures or both
moments in time captured
perfectly
reminding me of you

as I scroll slowly
through countless bookmarks
I feel a slight presence behind me
as if your breath is in the air
leaving me imagining
how your storied adventure
could ever possibly end




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the unanointed one


the people sentenced him to death
and the supreme judge
possessing the power bestowed upon him
allowed it to be so

how cowardly can one ordinary man be
washing his hands without
looking in the mirror
swayed by the maddening swirling of the mob

truth does not prevail in his proclamations
delivered from on high
promising blind injustice to the many
and deliverance to the few




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

asylum seeker


I was listening to rock and roll
like I tend to do after midnight
eyes closed and breathing deeply
allowing every chord and note and lyric
to possess my otherwise vacant space

I find myself climbing stone walls
wondering if paradise resides
somewhere on the other side
and for some reason I am smiling
as I methodically scale the barrier

comfortably seated on the top ledge
one song ends and another begins
observing without judgment either side
one in which I’ll always know by heart
the other my soul destined to love




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counting sheep on a sunday night


it’s getting late and poetry escapes me
my favorite moon having left me for another

lying down and I give in to silence
barely breathing in the dead of night
counting blessings and honestly questioning
whether or not I can feel my age-old bones

two scores ago I’d be falling fast asleep
transistor radio my only companion
rhythmically influencing my dreams
mysteriously quiet come mid-morning

if I could escape I certainly would
exploring the night like an owl or dormouse
flying high above or crawling on all fours
secretly returning home in the nick of time

it’s getting late and poetry escapes me
the midnight hour peacefully drawing near




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a day on fictitious lake


she’s pleaded to tag along
and the boys reluctantly agreed
the five of us stuffed inside
my lime green hatchback

fictitious lake was frozen solid
a good eight plus inches thick
perfectly capable of supporting
whatever weight we might carry

checklist included four-man tent
rods and reels and ice auger
life vests and assortment of jigs
5-gallon bucket and case of beer

there must be a rainbow somewhere
she said as the boys drilled into the ice
multi-color parasol above her head
designer aviators shielding her eyes




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sitting down and taking notes on skull hill


I’m not about to stop whatever it is I’ve been doing
skating or stumbling or sleepwalking through
the course of ordinary events

history books never did get it quite right
whether written on walls
or stone slabs or paper or clouds

the best stories are told by the campfire
be they fact or fiction
held to the strictest of standards
handed down from one generation to the next

here I sit alone atop my very own calvary
looking down and shaking
loose the cobwebs
wondering how many more men must die
for the sake of a single solitary hill




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my story retold in the third person


these flashbacks
occurring with greater frequency
how young will I be
three or four hours from now
once giving in to the idea
the night is endless

I’ve come to accept
they’re no longer merely dreams
rather ageless recordings
reshuffled and replaying
a not too distant past
from a totally different perspective

at three-thirty in the morning
I’m wide awake
and quite positive
I’ve always been fast asleep




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

so far away from the sea


zero to twenty
seemingly a lifetime
long ago microfilmed
now locked away
in a seashell vault

footprints on reflective beach
washed away ages ago
moon phase
after moon phase
erasing whatever proof
there may have been

out in the deep blue sea
young sailors
become old men in a single season
long off course
and desperately sober
stuffing farewell messages
inside empty beer bottles




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

over the course of time


one day the wind blew the sun away
and suddenly
there was no more living in the shadows

you can’t catch the wind with your hands
but you can always catch your breath

nobody expected a sandstorm
in the middle of winter
but then again we live in interesting times

of course the sun never really went away
she was merely waiting in the wings

as for the bitter arctic winds
they’re bound and determined to return again




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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