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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Poetry”

the girl down the street


everything’s blowing up right
before our very eyes
and it has nothing to do with
proportional realities
cast inside our own hands

in the meantime
daughters are getting married
hunting dogs sent off to school
young valentines practicing their aim
at heart-shaped cumulus clouds

love thy neighbor has suddenly
become a thing of the past
especially since organized religion
is nothing but a passing fancy
and the girl down the street
can no longer to be trusted




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

live streaming current events


they told us to stay inside
that there was nothing outside
needing to be seen
but the fact of the matter was
the world was changing
quickly & quite dramatically
and if we were allowed
to go outside & witness first hand
what was actually happening
we probably would have been unable
to demonstrate to our children
exactly how peace fell on earth




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a pause in the action


all is quiet on the frontlines
or so it seems one of the sides
has declared sunday as a holiday
giving the good guys & gals plenty of time
to rearrange the chairs on the deck

they’ll be a day when fencing
is nothing but a sword-flashing serenade
the enemy of the state
simply an award-winning film
premiering in seventeen seventy-six




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

vulnerable


when will they figure out
nobody really lives here
that the present
is just an amalgamation of coming events
reshaped by an ever-changing past
where pyramids were built
by left-leaning mexicans
and futuristic border walls
by alt-right aliens




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

composite


I’ve not yet turned a page
and already
the landscape is covered white
erasing the reds & greens
and every subtle shade in between
including the tips
of copper mountaintops
bronze seals of letters unsent

without direction I look inward
inside a soul
shape-shifting & experimenting
with colors undefined
shooing away the false gods
hovering up above
waving in all things new
in black & white or kodachrome




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

clothes horse


he still visits me
I tell her over the phone

we had been talking about
differences in the weather
and she promptly responds
no it’s you who still visits him

six months ago
he was talking about
all the suits lined up in the closet
don’t worry about it I said
they’ll be back in the game
before you know it

growing up poor
may have contributed
to me becoming a clothes horse
he once confessed
perhaps the first & only time
I ever detected weakness

don’t worry she tells me
there’s plenty of weakness
to go around for everyone
I’m just happy to see
someone’s keeping in contact




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

born to be an assassin


there’s been talk of re-education camps
for children of certain parents
thinking maybe just maybe
the countryside might be saved

for what’s happening inside the city
will take decades to decipher
and those trapped inside
will forever be beholden to the sun

some ways out are costlier than others
such as escapee versus recruit
the former barreling past borders
the latter anything but in a hurry




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the day of deliverance


little voices speak to them
feeding them outlandish tales
from the far darker side
telling them what’s what
and when it’s time to act

everything they possess
be it bread or handgun or crucifix
has been freely given to them
if not by the generosity of strangers
then by the good lord above

there’s no telling what’s to come
as they anxiously await
for the voices to return
soon to receive their final orders
on the day of deliverance




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Transitory revolution


It turns on all by itself
Sony transistor radio
AA batteries at half life
a receiver for the dead
reaching out to me
via Rock 108

It’s a call to arms
the messages repeating
the background music
easily overpowered
I rise to my feet
committing to the cause

It’s a matter of time
Rome will soon be burning
the power of the radio
awakening me
enabling me to see God
in a totally different light




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

following the cult of personality


it’s time to participate
or so it seems
time to make-believe
the world is but a movie
and we are called into action
by the masterful director

though only one in a million
every extra is crucial
every weapon drawn
both hands on the grip
the muzzle touching
the right earlobe

winner takes all
that’s all there is to know
and when the masterful director
shouts out ‘action’
we all come rushing in
ushering in a new beginning




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

toast & tangerine tea for three


I forgot what I was going to say
but managed to call an audible
that nobody wanted to hear

there was nobody around
so it was one of those no harm
no foul kind of moments

there used to be a time
I was surrounded by loved ones
but for some reason
I’ve managed to outlive them all

I’ve been telling myself for years
that the violence will intensify
perhaps the reason why
I find myself lost inside this shell

though the body is breaking
the mind has called upon the soul
dialoguing behind closed doors

and at the break of dawn
when I rise what could be for the last time
I inquisitively ask are we still here




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fake news from kathmandu


the lights descended on a
make-believe kathmandu
and suddenly the world took notice
just how populous
such a little place could be

but it was a mere deflection
those brilliant lights
meant only to deceive
some claiming was recently bottled
from a heavenly conjunction

the flashing was blinding
but there’s nothing left to see
and whoever managed
to elude the first sweep
can likely be found
sleepwalking the streets
in make-believe bangladesh




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the real body snatchers


conspiracies run rampant
from county to county
traveling at the speed of fedex
via air or ground

press any button
what will it be this time
panic or easy or nuclear
going up up up
this time all the way to mars

yes it’s the truth
that often gets blocked
from the colorful masses
and those samples stolen
when you were under
are causing more harm than good
in everyone else’s body




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january sixth


I started thinking
about why I was so angry
the other day
of course why wouldn’t I
on this very day
but now that the latest fire
has been stomped upon
[yet continues to fester]
I’ve elected
to start thinking
about the power of love
instead


january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rebuilding the empire


listen     first it’s just a rat-a tap-tap
followed by
    knocks & bigger knocks
             maybe fist through drywall
sledgehammer hitting brick

outside it’s a cool blue day
listen     man-made grunts at
      zero degrees celsius
heavy breaths like dense fog
             rising & falling ceaselessly

modern day destroyers
       burning down rome
             every other third day
if you stop & listen     you can hear
      raindrops pounding ashes




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unprepared to die


pushing the envelope
what better way to spend a life
tearing down
and building back up
testing the very fabric of
body & mind
stretching & tearing & repairing

how is it a black ant
becomes its own surgeon
after being left for dead

how is it a black cat
flouts the impossible
falling down thirty stories

changing is all that’s left
matters not in the longer run
hurlting stones
into outer space
likely not returning to earth
much like your mind
unleashed & uncontrolled




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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