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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Animals”

temporaneous


and so I stayed home and polished the rock
until it shined like never before

birds of the air and small animals made of clay
watched with curious eyes as I
placed the gem at the base of the garden stream

before too long the elements took its toll
on the once shiniest rock on the planet
and gradually one by one
birds of the air and small animals made of clay
lost interest in my efforts
eventually carrying on with their lives





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

singing to the choir


press your ear
against the wall of shame
and tell me what you hear

father stopped
taking confessions at noon
so if you want to lighten
your load yet today
you’ll have to wait until
the wine has been blessed

in the courtyard
there is much chatter
in the fruit trees
but they’d be happy to
stop and listen
if you have something to say

a three legged cat
guards the perimeter
with quiet enthusiasm
while headless squirrels
and widowed cardinals
come and go at their leisure





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

year of the cat


she practices her violin
sitting on the spinet bench
scratching out imperfections
into the midday air

outside it’s raining softly
bookend bay windows
slightly cranked open
letting sounds in and out

the law of attraction
is a two-way street
all the strays standing tall
from the peanut gallery
watching the house favorite
rubbing ankles
with the star of the show





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unlikely guardians


who will speak to me next
as if in tomorrow
standing here on the ground
looking up
bird’s nest in the open air
curious cat in my peripheral

I realize I’m not alone anymore
it only feels that way
stepping out of my skin
for the very first time
and looking back
through a bottomless mirror

so it seems the bird and cat
have been chosen
to encourage me on
one pushing
the other pulling
both bickering
in their own beautiful way





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

doorman takes five


so I let the cat out and in
again and again and again

I’ve taken up meditation
attempting to calm my nerves
but he keeps scratching at the screen
challenging me to hold my tongue

his entire repertoire is like a bad movie
and why I didn’t get up and go
after the first few scenes
is beyond me

I never heard of this polar vortex
but apparently it’s a real thing
forcing me to vacate the sunroom

meanwhile we’re all safely inside
staying near the fire

on occasion
he paws at a different door
and as always
continues to politic for treats




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

year of the earth pig


do not dare pick up the sword
and take exception to the earth pig
having last been seen
extending generosity
some three score years ago

as a citizen of america
[make that a descendant
of many an immigrant]
I’ve been molded to admire
the likes of porky and wilbur
piglet and petunia

come february four
let us indeed move forward
with the earth pig
relieving stress
through movement and meditation
picking up the pen
not only to communicate
but to draw blossoming flowers
[popular among friends]
and offering them when fully bloomed
to perfect strangers



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

the last migration


nobody talks about birds
growing older
but here we are
sitting on park benches
bread crumbs in our hands

this sitting down is for birds
I say out loud
and you naturally agree
without speaking a word

it’s a warm winter’s day
and our shadows
are barely visible on the
black asphalt
like skinny icicles hanging
ever slowly changing




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

cool like pink lemonade


sun falling fast behind frost-covered hills
shades of pink glorifying the horizon
variable winds swirling and sweeping
speaking in languages I’m sure I once knew
images of elephants coming to mind
marching high in midday sky
sporting hides bordering on pink
drifting in and out of cumulus clouds
turning hot and sticky summer days
into something inexplicably cool




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

transposing public transportation


I am reminded of nothing
save shrewd tactics of those I know not
tearing and snarling and shredding
turning fabric into mayhem
like a mongrel in distress

leashless on the streets
roaming like a werewolf in london
big dawg strides unencumbered
attempting new tricks inside
buses and trains and taxicabs




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

another saturday night


don’t make me get up I yelled at the dog
(in my sleep) but it was too late

the sun had been down for god knows how long
and though I was close to REM sleep
the almighty stench abruptly woke me up

by the time I reached the kitchen
and turned on the light
the cat was meowing like a maniac
but I wasn’t sure if he was in or out

I walked to the back door
and he leapt at me from out of nowhere
shredding the back of my tee
making me nearly piss my pants

needless to say I (figuratively) kicked him
out into the night

I returned to the kitchen to clean things up
thereafter proceeding to cut up
the watermelon sitting on the counter
along with a few lemons and a dozen
or so freshly picked strawberries

it was still saturday night and since I was
wide awake with no place to go
I poured myself a beer and
retired to the next room
began trying my hand at poetry




september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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