jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Animals”

some fifty years later


mysteriously curious
I am unloved and underfed
walking along
so many fine lines
in and out of these city limits

acquaintances
may come and go
regardless if dead or alive
leaving me pondering
what the morning will bring

when the sun reaches out
touching me genuinely
I am reminded how
beautifully tragic we are
even though we have
more lives yet to live




november two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

old school thrush


blackbird blackbird
visible in my peripheral
perched upon six foot fence post
barely saying a word

blackbird blackbird
surveying golden field
extant and flawlessly beautiful
dreaming up a new song

blackbird blackbird
as old as the living hills
posing ever so noiselessly
no particular place to go




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

all of these horses


the explosion in the wildflower field
sent all the horses racing far beyond
the imaginary fence line
violently shaking the earth
these parts had not witnessed in
anyone’s lifetime
leaving the elderly trembling
and the little ones crying
making all the machinery within a
thousand mile radius inoperable
the only other mode of transportation
quickly dissolving into the dying sun




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the garden reprised


we’ve done this before
making something out of thin air
whether simple words or complex webs
designed to bring us closer

the power of sleep brings forth
limitless possibilities
exposing past and future lives
such as the spider or the fly

at some point it stands to reason
why the trees have knowledge
and birds perpetuate folklore
why the snake in the green green grass
will one day be your best friend




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

conversations kill


with the opening and closing
of so many doors
you see him and you don’t
like a houdini or apparition
like a mouse that got away
or one out of a thousand
helium balloons

sometimes he hangs out
for hours on end
whether you like it or not
time passing by with nary a word

you say it’s getting late
or hey I’ve got to get to work
but feel free to stick around
and by all means help yourself
mi casa es tu casa

by the time I get back
he’s nowhere to be found
no note and nothing taken
just a strange feeling
that sooner or later I’ll want him back
maybe after a beer or two




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

finding your comfort zone


midnight arrives and a sudden
something wakes me from my slumber
a strike of lightning perhaps
a thunderclap inside my head

I can’t breathe here lying on this bed
lazily and precariously I remove
myself off the comforter
nearly in a trance I pretend I’m
sleepwalking down the steps

I’m far from alone on the main floor
sounds of human breathing
omnipresent and unmistakably eerie
incoherent words babbling barely

I distance myself from dark thoughts
and curl up against sunroom door
cool to the touch my warm body relaxes
moonlight waxing and shimmering
exposing my off-white stripes




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

postcards from afar


we thought he had moved out
for good this time
leaving behind a few possessions
nobody dared to care about

some throw pillows
a trinket or two misplaced here or there
some perishables left in the pantry
and a few dirty dishes
on or around the dining room table

though he never did pay rent
we didn’t mind him hanging out
especially on quiet saturday mornings

what gets under my skin
how he never did leave a note
or better yet sent a postcard from
some faraway place
leaving me second guessing
what could I have done
to make him feel more welcome




may two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all right reserved

counting sheep


the rain is too much
preventing the last two doves from
locating the wayward ark
turkey vultures soaring undetected
circling high above singletary shepherds
determined and confident in their ability
to overcome the landscape
and account for every single lamb
entrusted to them by the good lord




march two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I’ve never been to Pennsylvania


Groundhog lives in public library
or so I’ve been told from some
somewhat reliable source

He’s got a girlfriend or wife or whatever
a furry green-eyed special kind of lady
who loves to keep him company

It’s a most transparent kind of life
but at least it’s quiet in library
and I suppose there is much snoozing

How he lives a fairy tale kind of life
one where townsfolk and wayward travelers
pay heed to his annual prognostications

And everyone knows his name
so there’s no point in repeating it now
this sunny second day of February





february two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

something is missing


the headlines are loud and clear
wars at home and abroad
national championship game
bull market stock run
millionaire lotto winners
cars swept away in mudslides
russian babies born in miami

they mean nothing when
stitched together haphazardly
presented in pretty picture frames
designed to throw us off course
like some juvenile giraffe
on a mission to make new friends
unable to see the wood for the trees





january two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

On the Fourth of July


Hop skip and jump
all the way to bank & back
nickels in pockets
pennies in shoes

The ice is thin
but surprisingly strong
watching in amazement
elephants marching on

Many moons smile
only a few may frown
there is orange in the sky
nobody seems to forget

Listen here and listen now
silence and fireworks
commingling on purpose
resting up
for the unrest





january two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

from the book of numerology


there is truth in numbers
and there is money too
the two go hand in hand
like youtube and click ads

so these cats we knew
decided to get off the grid
cash in their chips
bought one-way ticket to cape town
determined to find truth from
some mojo guru goddess

of course once there
they were told to draw a number
forced to blend in line with
other carbon dated records
all competing to uncover exact
combination to make it out alive





january two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

honey hunting and trips to moon and back


they went honey hunting they did
christopher robin and pooh and piglet
and of course tigger too

they flew to the moon and back
their spacecraft refueling on the far side
rocking them back and forth in time
hurtling them toward the old blue jewel
more specifically the hundred acre wood

looking down from the heavens
you can see where they landed
a burst of light microwaving
and expanding through the trees
awakening all creatures
big and small and minuscule
awaiting for what must happen next





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there goes another sad song


I don’t mind the old songs
but I want something fresh
no matter what its age

I’m flipping through forty-fives
searching for diamond or two
cute couple behind me
whispering comments about
mad magazine covers

without question new beautiful
sorrowful songs reside around here
refreshing like sparkling wine
the kind that turns your thoughts
into nothingness by way of
quiet reverberations

fast forward back home
small brown paper bag sits atop
kitchen counter
community cats returning home
chatting amongst themselves
what must be inside





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

“and his hair was perfect”


there’s a werewolf
loose again in london
disguised as a dubliner
imbibing ales with
local ne’er-do-wells

strutting down abbey road
alongside chief inspector
chatting about the weather
and that bloody affair
going down last night

in big bold letters daily mail
warns of imposters
dressed quite smartly
wooing unsuspecting partners
who love to do the tango





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

december eleven


bone broth & diced chicken breast
chopped carrots & celery
garlic & black pepper
(not to mention)
a pint of winter ale or two

stovetop gives way to dining room
dark with registers closed
filtered light from streetside windows
accentuating cat’s repeated calls

pots & pans & single soup bowl
washed & stacked in strainer
strings & drums streaming midair
(not to mention)
feline sated temporarily





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rapid eye movement


you just don’t go out and become a cat
you have to wait for it
and wait and wait and wait

sometimes he never comes around
but if you wait long enough chances are
he’ll be knocking on your door
pleading for more treats
begging you to swap lives

other times nothing ever happens
and when you open the door
there is nothing but darkness
and undomesticated screams

eventually all the sounds subside
and you are lost in the zone
pretending to be in a deep sleep
two eyes blinking atop starlit dome
casually seducing your next precious life





november two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

macy’s thanksgiving day parade


an ordinary autumn day
colorful trees swelling like a piñata
stretching to reach a bright
and amazingly beautiful blue sky
pretty pink pigs with angel wings
noisily floating overhead



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

backyard gig


the boys were out back
barefoot and quiet as could be
lighted candlesticks in tow

so far they’ve had 23 chances
cashing in at near record rates
extending natural highs

though successful yet again
they keep their egos in check
stopping short of euphoria



august two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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