jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Animals”

painted elephant


throw paint at the wall
to get a clearer picture
of what’s in the room
—having dried overnight
return & peel back the colors

the painted elephant
is like a shameless chameleon
a reminder you might not
arrive at any conclusions
the first time around





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

convergence at the river


did you see that spark
in the sky
spooking thousands of blackbirds
and sending them
to the stars

the earth shook
from the footfalls of five hundred
elephants
rushing away from the scene
of the crime
in absolute terror

the nuclear winter
was unmistakably inevitable
all the armies of the world
laying down their arms
praying the world
as we know it
will recover from its losses





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

the fading protagonist


I am the last of a dying breed
how many times have you heard such a thing
my irish-backed whiteness
and lack of an accent [due to my
american upbringing]
couldn’t make me any more
plain-janier

inkless & pierceless & without
nary a conviction
I look & sound exactly as expected
 —predictably beaten

            I say do not interview me
I’ve nothing interesting to add to the
conversation

I like to talk about all the times
I’ve almost died
but nobody wants to hear those
cat stories anymore
if only they had changed over the years
embellished & unbelievably heroic
perhaps they could have
transitioned into lives of their own

instead I’m the interviewer
& the interviewee
a super long list of imperious questions
going unanswered
hour after hour after hour





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

emergency run


it’s christmastime & we’ve no tequila in the cupboard
this pointed out to me by someone who doesn’t live here

how can we play stop lights without tequila
what could possibly take its place
—red   —yellow   —green

the travelers & gatherers & unannounced guests
have since moved on their merry way
now that the blizzard has passed

what shall keep us warm tonight without the power
without the fire
or the stories or the liquor
what could possibly make us survive another night

I’ve always wanted snowskies & snowshoes
just in case we need to make an emergency run
helping others along the way
stranded & without a prayer to make it to safety

that is
until I arrive like a miracle out of the ice
like a saint bernard with a backpack full of spirits





december two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Winnie the Pooh


I was pretending
to live in the hundred acre wood
where I met many a friend
from my childhood

it was sunny and it was nice
even in the middle of winter
and not one of us complained
except for you know who

there were oh so many stories
to tell and retell
and pots & pots of honey

we shared everything
photographs & memories
new ideas & fantasies
an occasional deep seated fear

the best part though
had something to do
with these neverendings
where the stories go on
and on and on
just like the stalk
we never stop climbing





december two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lone wolf


it was a day to be creative
in a regimental kind of way
voluntary confinement
practicing silence in the mirror
solidarity to the self

it’s a craft needing feeding
desirous without comprehending
setting out for the night
following the scent of the wind
and a filtering moonlight





december two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chasing the ideal can be destructive


jesse james was a virgo
a creative in his own right
inputting & processing
like nobody’s business
until shot from behind

they say at the end
he had a black cat named
mercury
(it’s a virgo thing)
but that little nugget
never made it
to the mainstream media





november two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

first born


the page is off white
blank & unlined
like an expressionless face
eyes shut & chin slightly lifted
mind void of meaningful thought

tiger behind iron gate
wants to come out & play
unknowing she is but a kitten
sublimely aware this life
will not be the last

charcoal in hand
ideas spring forth
from a second story window
a greenish moon burning bright
like the intensity of eyes
spellbound & unforgiving





november two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the peninsula


in the great wide open
cinnamon & rose-colored horses
gather near a natural pier
murmuring to one another
about rebellion

they realize they’re wild
but not free
not like the prevailing winds
which seem to commandeer
the next tempest

subsequent to each run
the herd becomes thinner
the law of attrition
taking its toll
the natural order of things
galloping at high speeds
long past rising
and now in a freefall





october two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

supernatural conventions


death hangs in the balance
like a bat hanging upside down
is it an animal or a human
in disguise

breaking natural laws
in supernatural conventions
undetectable to the human
but not the bat

awakening by signals
inherited from the sun
guided by a waning moon
long forgotten





october two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The Absence


There is an absence that is indefinable
as if the ghost dog who once roamed freely
throughout the house had suddenly departed

It was the cat who first noticed the absence
bringing it to my attention by way of behaviors
that were secondary to her nature
entering my dreams unconventionally
revealing other lives I once lived

In the morning I stand in the shower
warm water washing away dirt & blood &
anything strangely unsettled or emotionless

Going through the motions is an expression
best left for those who have given up
no longer searching & thereby incapable of
finding the smallest of things that had been lost





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the body snatchers


the neighborhood
was littered with feral cats
black & white
blue & yellow & green
and every other shade
in between
the majority of them
food stamp carriers
all the others hiding
in the shadows
keeping the rodent population
under control
all the while steering clear
of the recently formed
fleet of drones
locally & affectionately known
as the catnappers





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

introducing old topics as new


the fish are biting & man bites dog

the beach is brimming with confidence
hanging ten a common occurrence
getting twisted into a pretzel
running at similar odds
as getting shot or arrested

down by the pier the fish are biting
and kids with smartphones
chill beneath the decking
researching ammunitions
and ordering ghost guns

on the trail dogs dressed as cops
walk on their hind legs
flashing their five-pointed stars
and barking randomly
hardly anyone
seeming to take notice





august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

barking at the bay window


it was near midnight
the dog was barking
waking me mid-dream
just as I was I ready
to corner the dormouse

I stretched & yawned
slowly rising to my feet
stretching my legs
& lifting my back upward
toward the ceiling

by this time the dog
had retreated back to her bed
but eventually curiosity
& the red full moon
got the better of me





august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

ghost cats of the historic mill district


the walls are rock solid here
repurposed mill district buildings
turned into restaurants
& other retail establishments
studio & two bedroom efficiencies
on 2nd & sometimes 3rd floor
anything higher than that
allegedly under reconstruction

most of the domesticated
& feral felines of the day
enjoyed their finest of nine lives
in the late 19th & early 20th centuries
their dominance still apparent
to this very day
chasing real life moths & mice
from one building to the next





august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

by land or by sea


what shall we do
after we have seen it all
said the turtle
to the oracle
—shall we sail
far below the ocean
never to be seen
on land again
or shall we continue
to suffer
as we are
pretending all is grand





july two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: