jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

the eyes of the sun


in the morning I shall die
once again becoming
unpossessed
lost to the rays of the sun
like a white horse
unnoticed
and grazing
in an unfenced field

how many ensuing years
(or dare I say centuries)
shall come to pass
before completely understanding
why the sun herself
refuses to die




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

words without friends


throwing words against wall
seeing what will stick
be it war or peace
or work or play
sun or moon or stars

some stick better than others
individuals letters
peeling off now and then
turning batch into bach
or clock into cock
crow into row

sometimes it’s fun
to toss one letter at a time
like darts in a barroom
spelling heart without an E
or soul without a U
bullseye with one I

sometimes nothing sticks
and you find yourself
back in the drawing room
making words with ink
one lonely letter at a time




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

testing the multiverse theory


though the sun shines bright
there is no warmth to be found
not in deed or word or thought
the air turbid and cold to the touch
like the winter warlock himself

this world is oddly familiar
resembling places I’ve imagined
or envisioned in waking dreams
like a lost forest frozen in time
silvery trees taller than skyscrapers

many times I’ve climbed to the top
meticulous like the caterpillar
alone but at peace and determined
exercising thought into action
inescapably free falling through space




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

redundant by day and night


checking and rechecking for updates
going on twenty-four hours now
can’t seem to connect to the server
so I reboot and try again
reboot and try
again

in the background
memory reminds me lab work
is scheduled at eight a.m.
fasting time is twelve hours
but pints of ale in the fridge
keep calling my name
keep calling
my name

taking a break
I check my vital signs
blood pressure check
heart rate check
body fat better recheck
pop up window says
could lose a few pounds
lose a few pounds

this dog on my lap is dying
not enough room to be updated
not enough memory
not enough sleep
rustic technology rewiring my framework
keeping me up past midnight
rebooting and tipping tall boys
rebooting and tipping
tall boys




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

one december night


friday night in east village
streetlamps aglow
passersby breathing visibly
hands either gloved
or formed as fists
stuffed inside coat pockets

meteorological winter
yet weeks away
but for tonight
is clear and present
the cloudless sky
boasting all its shiny lanterns




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

the good shepherd


sheep at large in city center
unshorn and hungry
packing knives and forks
counting down the days
until january thaw

beat cops in woolen coats
keep them on their toes
tapping night sticks on
frozen sidewalk
nudging them along

nearby sanctuary house
opens its arms
practicing what it preaches
the good shepherd himself
promising warmer days ahead




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

sunset in my hometown


I’ve been receiving these calls
from faraway places
thanking me for my stay here
and wishing me sweet success

I’d not noticed those eyes before
rising from the east
but now I fear it may be too late
experimenting with their recreation
using charcoal or oil or water

after traveling so many miles
to get one more glimpse
of a past fraught with flaws
I foolishly think how I could
make amends with one last goodbye

now that time is no longer
of the essence
I draw the blinds to a room
forever etched in my waking dreams
reminding myself how I never
truly belonged here




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

out of time


flashing back to sixty-nine
miracle mets ruining my summer
and the ensuing autumn
forever stamped as an asterisk
in my playbook

in november I received
a green single-speed schwinn
for my birthday
but was forced to postpone
its maiden voyage
until the late february thaw

it was a long and lonely winter
(that much I remember)
and I was afraid
even then
that I was going to run out of time

how little did I know




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

looking beyond the darker side


wherein your frustrations lay
a memory resides worth unearthing
buried beneath fortunes good and bad
a reminder of better times ahead

emotions tied to the ebb and flow
whether near the sea or far from shore
and strung along by hypersensitive moon
swim in your tumultuous waters

waves of intensity arise unannounced
testing your capacity for compassion
a merry reminder there’s nowhere to hide
when violet-backed starlings come around




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

portrait of a thirty-year-old orphan


for thirty years he found his way
from one place to the next
accepted by contemporaries
and admired for his insistence
on making the world a better place

orphaned at the age of three
he left his birthplace Latrobe
with a motherless family of five
his adoptive father
a tanner turned farmer
staking a claim in eastern Iowa

though a member of no church
his views on nature reflected
the good there is in man
all the while exercising charity
and condemning none

wherever he worked
innovation soon followed
his adventurous spirit a godsend
to each community he served

though illness plagued him
wherever he traveled
he never murmured nor complained
boldly facing the inevitable
crossing the dark waters
with a firm reliance
on mercy and love and destiny




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

cunning like a songbird


in the kitchen uncaged canaries
chat amongst themselves
swapping oft-told tales and
keeping secrets from
black & white cat crouched
against shadowy wall

outside red-breasted nuthatches
mimic dog barking at jet airliner
piercing cumulus clouds
waiting for aforementioned feline
to give them another chance
at target practice




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

afternoon road trip for two


I’ve not been down this road
in decades
pushing foot on clutch
and shifting gears
reliving a life that has no end
trees weeping around the bend

eyes crystal clear and protected
by bill of cap
sun baking asphalt
and tires gripping
speeding forward toward the light
resting stop nowhere in sight

soul-searching takes a back seat
on saturdays
traversing new paths
and fantasizing
top down and silk scarf ablaze
sunglasses concealing your gaze




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: