jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Animals”

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

diary of a gravedigger


I have this cat in a bag with no intentions
of ever letting out
lest I be ridiculed or bullied about

it’s nothing remotely earth-shattering
but it’s private and I’ve
considered burying it one last time
but when opening the bag
he gives out this god-awful sound
that only a mother could love

of course I release him to the wild
praying we’ll meet up again
one day



august two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a matter of black and white


he said she was dying
though it was not the first time
and by the time I got there
everybody had left

gone dancing they all did
as I would come to later understand
once re-released from custody

madonna had been dead for years
I tried to explain to anyone
(who would listen)
but I could go no further
having sworn allegiance to silence

I am certain I was framed
but unable to present proof
other than once a black sheep
always an easy target



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

ark of the billy goats


there was four of us who went out
to fix the fence after all them
winds blew through

pa put us in charge
and there was no way in hell
jack and the billy boys were
gonna cross otter creek

it was a ‘noah’ storm
at least that’s what we called them
kind that renders rain gauges useless
and pickup trucks limited

wooden gate guards county line
(once pieces of an old barn)
gives way from fence post
tossed into the swelling stream
like Tom Sawyer’s river raft

three goats somehow climb atop
hanging ten (or whatever their number is)
all four of us giving chase
like some kind of cartoon maniacs
racing across the water



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I was walking the dog under the catwalk


it was then I decided something
needed to change
after all I had whiskey and something
sour in that place I once took for granted

how dare I succumb to the status quo
after all I’ve been through

how could someone like me put up with
the mundane and the ordinary
when everyone else damn well knows
there are skies to touch
and happily-ever-afters to uncover

every time I walk your dog
I repeat out loud those poetic verses
found only inside
my suddenly missing manuscript



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

witness to the image


black cat saunters in and out of brambles
spreading freely along roller coaster road

I know I’ve seen those eyes before I do declare
electronic compass pointing due south
speedometer approaching twice the limit

next time I swear I’m going to slow down
and get myself a better look
because I know deep down
I’ve witnessed that instance before



may two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The cosmonaut and the cat


I’m not going to space without my cat
I told them
and all of sudden they start this foolish
talk about bumping me

It’s a little too late for that don’t you think
I tell them
and a day later
they agreed the cat can go



may two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

dinner for four


the dogs were in the kitchen
sniffing the tile and looking away
whenever I glanced back
over my left shoulder

they knew better
but nonetheless tested the limits
of their sensory curiosity

opening the lid to the beef tips
I picked up the wooden spoon and
growled something incoherently

they immediately receded
to their respective corners
giving way to the grey tiger
crouching in the shadows



april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

apache helicopter down


the helicopter crashed on the side
of a hill on a sheep farm

the sheepdog was the first to arrive
followed by the sheep themselves
and finally the shepherd

the dog sniffed all the way around
the main part of the mangled mess
marking it here and there for good measure

most of the sheep vied for position
for a look-see in the cockpit
but it was vacant

“they must have jumped out before
it crashed” the shepherd murmured
under his raspy breath

there they stood on the hill
the shepherd scratching his head
and the sheepdog licking his balls
the sheep themselves looking
down at the village where the
peaceful inhabitants once lived



february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

feeding time in the stable


the horses are mind readers and can sense
your footfalls hitting concrete steps
from over fifty yards away

though they’ve been fed they’ll need
another meal somewhere down the line
in between new hired hand
hauling empty pails
up thirty-three steps seven times a day

the trails are sloppy from the january thaw
but the horses are quite content
staying put for the foreseeable future
and reminiscing about longer days
about a scoop of grain and two flakes of hay



january two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Little Bo Peep’s Awakening


She wore a cotton dress on a warm
and sunny day
slightly off-white and sleeveless
complementing and accentuating
her light brown skin

He wore his casual Sunday best
strolling along
white button-down oxford shirt
starkly contrasting pleated charcoal slacks
creased perfectly

Sitting on park bench imagining
her breathing slows
her inner thoughts pressing on
unaware of sights and sounds passing by
before her eyes

From out of the fold he reappears
like a lost lamb
wandering most aimlessly
a blot on the vastness of her dreamscape
off-black yet bright



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what happens here may not stay here


inside your walk-in closet you keep
a wooden bowl atop your dresser
filled past the brim with little things
little tidbit kinds of things that have little
to no value like bottlecaps and matchbooks
rubber bracelets and key chains
a deck of the tiniest of cards you’re
quite sure has played solitaire

sometimes you imagine a little spider
lives inside the tidbit of things
milling about mostly in the dark
but occasionally coming out on afternoons
to unwind atop the deck of cards
basking in the filtered light
leaking through diamond-shaped openings
that really aren’t here nor there



october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: