jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Animals”

the other side of the fence


something must be wrong
there are too many tabs open
so I shut them down
each & every one

all day long I’ve felt a bit off
so I take the backroads home
flying by & honking at this billy goat
his front hooves pressing down
on barbed-wire fence

something tells me he’s lacking
just a little patience
and next time I see him
he’ll be flagging me down
bleating in animated desperation
where might his sad woman be




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

just a phase


it was a billy joel kind of morning
the big hand crossing over six
she’s always a woman playing on the a-side
soon to flip over to anthony’s song

in the old days you’d make a racket
demanding I clock in as the doorman
before I was good & ready
even before the first song ever ended

over time your musical tastes changed
right along with mine
lately banging our heads against the door
reluctant to find what’s on the other side




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fueling the fire of creation


we carved him out of an old cedar
all that remained that is
all eight feet tall of him

we kept his arms by his sides
& his chin slightly lifted
his abandoned eyes looking westward
forever waiting for the seven o’clock sun

as we worked together diligently
using chainsaws & assorted knives
the children scrambled feverishly
around his root-like feet
crafting creatures out of clay

after nightfall the squirrels & sparrows
rabbits & foxes & owls & porcupines
[just to name a few]
burned inside the oven of creation
the cedar stretching ever taller
toward a night sky that has no end




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Losing a whole year


I’ve seen this before
it’s what some call a repeat
déjà vu if you will
like a herd of elephants
lumbering across the sky

I’ve seen this before
magically recasted to the TV
runners on second & third
the next three batters
striking out looking

I’ve seen this before
rain falling like stars
washing out the elephants
and delaying the game
probably until next year




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one million pound piñata


seventy-seven bush elephants
masquerading as one cumulus cloud
slowly trek across the desert sky
bulging like a waxing gibbous

hired archer standing atop zeppelin
back bending backwards
held in place by ropes & pulleys
aiming to deflate the entire herd




may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

after a fortnight in isolation


pooh bear and roo sit on the front porch
rocking in their chairs six feet apart
a wicker table between them
enjoying iced tea & honey & small talk

people passing by gawk & smile & point
delighted to see they’re back in business




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

more mercy please


I dreamed I was a pantomime cat
who refused to show any mercy
spending his days daydreaming
and nights wandering the streets
acting out whatever it was
he daydreamed about

my eyes were emerald green
my coat a steely gray
and whenever the streetlamps
shined their light my way
I changed my stripes and
hightailed it the hell out of there

I tell myself one of these times
I won’t make it back alive
but in the meantime I’ll keep
challenging the status quo
working mathematics by day
and my daydreams by night




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Partly to mostly cloudy


The groundhog checked into the bed
and breakfast on January 31st

The year was twenty twenty
and the owner thought he looked
familiar but couldn’t quite
put her finger on it

Perhaps you’ve seen me
on the big screen
the groundhog conjectured
tipping his cap as he ambled up the stairway
suitcase in tow and lilliputian tail waving

Oh one more thing
the lady of the house called out
how long will you be staying
with us Mister Murphy
you know you’re welcome here
as long as you please
she said smiling
her hands clasped together

That is so kind of you Madame
I suppose it all depends
upon this Pennsylvania weather
but to be sure
it could be as long as six weeks




january two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: