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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Poetry”

how may I find you


how may I find you when you are nowhere to be found
barely beneath the surface like a sunflower seed

you are like a love song evolving out of thin air
lyrics and notes and chords coming together seamlessly

believe in me and I will believe in your every single word
regardless if you are blooming near or worlds away




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

where the mississippi flows east to west


I know where I’ve been
but not necessarily where I’m going
these city streets all look the same
some running parallel with the river
others perpendicular

without the river I am lost
and sometimes
I find myself running in circles
passing the same dairy queen
once or twice or trice
eventually pulling over
for a chocolate coated dilly bar

as the young lady
hands me back my change
I ask about the river
she rolls her eyes and points
past my shoulder
as if she’s told me a hundred times




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I heard a little girl say she’s in love with him


I see you from afar
comfortable in your own skin
a color often found in dreams
lighter than olive drab
and darker than brown sugar
especially complemented
by an absorbent southern sun

I heard a little girl say
someone’s in love
with an american soldier
passing out dark chocolate
and I can only imagine she’s
repeating something she heard
from a black and white movie

but that was long ago
and today is a different story
those american boys
now more than long gone
nothing but an unrelenting image
like bombs falling from the sky
displacing once bright colors




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

you can run you can run


you find yourself asking
is this all there is
surrounded by strangers
feverishly attempting
to pump life
back inside you

there’s a resident priest
hanging outside the doorway
adjusting his off white collar
you’ve enough strength to yell
he’s on the wrong floor

they push against your shoulders
until your head sinks
back into the pillow
promising not to
suffocate you with it
as long as you stop all this fighting

reluctantly you agree
under a number of conditions
including to kindly ask the angel
sitting silently in the far corner
to get the hell out of dodge




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

exceeding expectations


these things I don’t do
how long can the list possibly be
an empty bucket
kicked countless times
its surface looking like
the lighter side of the moon
its once accumulating contents
now free-floating in outer space

only centuries earlier we’d
smoke cigarettes in the alleyways
walking to and from school
convincing ourselves
we had all the time in the world
to do whatever it is
we were born to accomplish
on this unstoppable orbit




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

of the almighty sun


who is he hiding in the shadows
among the naked trees
changing size and color and shape
coming and going as he pleases
depending upon
the angle of the sun

I’ve come to accept his presence
yet still I wonder who is he
hiding in the shadows
ever changing
approaching and receding
with a blink or two of an eye

neither friend nor foe
inevitably he will show his face
as prophesied in my dream
flexing his crimson or ivory wings
depending upon the angle
of the almighty sun




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

transplanting poppy fields


I listened to the sad sad story
how the war had taken its toll
it left me wondering of the fields
and when they would ever bloom

the story never seems to end
borders constantly changing
women and children marching on
poppies pinned to their hearts




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

seeing through things


it’s sunday evening and I’m starting
to see through things
much like I did when I was child

it’s cool and clear and the open air
is filled with electricity
rifling through my quiet complexity

I’ve kept to myself throughout this day
yet I’ve been everywhere
picking and choosing points in between

though there’s nobody remotely near
I can feel your company
your eyes penetrating right through me




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

standing the test of time


with age comes discovery
rising above the ordinary
whether major or minor
each a treasure in their own right
realized or still transforming

that old familiar friend
advancing its slow approach
as clear as crows flying
along darkened shoreline
cawing in and out of reality

nobody lives to tell the tale
or at least that’s what they say
but truth be told we’re all
remapping chartered territories
and rewriting age-old stories




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

One beautiful dream


I dreamed of African violets
uprooted and transplanted and repackaged
transported from their ancestral lands
introduced to newly formed territories

I found myself walking unfamiliar streets
passing one storefront window after the next
each one blossoming with the latest
sensation of the season

How am I to distinguish the real
from the imaginary from the ever falling rain
replenishing the good earth with new life
one beautiful dream at a time




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a brief visitor from the unknown


I want to be that comet [or whatever
you want to call it]
that the average person off the street
can’t even begin to pronounce

you may or may not know
what I’m talking about
but it doesn’t matter to any
rogue interstellar traveler
entering the milky way
hell bent on targeting the sun

imagine if you will
lost souls attached to its tail
long ago cast away to find inner peace
hanging on fearlessly
throughout countless galaxies
occasionally returning home
leaving those bound to the surface
mesmerized by its fleeting beauty




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fish and toast on sunday morning


and then there were just
the two of us
yielding to the god of wine
on the back deck
minutes before sunrise

the rest said
they were going down to the river
to see if the catfish were biting

that was at least a couple of hours ago

they took with them the last of the red
but I said do not worry darling
we’ve yet to open the last of the white




october two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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