jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Birds”

a voice that carries


it’s there
unmistakably there
like a little bird
waiting in the wings
shuddering occasionally
and whispering nonstop

even when it’s not there
it is there
but as you try to explain
to the woman in the mirror
words can’t express
what the whispers possess

windows open
as do doors
they open and shut like the
changing of the seasons

and just when you think
you’ve lost something inside
it returns in full flight
like a long-awaited echo



february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

reminiscing


it’s not too late
this night of the living
awaken and sing
your lonely songs

trees like old men
bent over and supported
by crooked canes
look they say
they are just like me
we are one in the same

there is comfort knowing
we may have been down
this road before
hand in hand like
old lovers reunited
recaptured by the light

day turns into night
the songs begin again
sung by nightingales
aspiring to be angels



january two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a canary in a cage


anyone can write the monday blues
how the fog maybe lifts by noon
smartphones unable to upgrade
all on their own

the list grows longer whether it’s
monday or not
liberty or death is
(a matter of) life and breath
invisible wounds like words
perhaps self-inflicted or
suspiciously accidental

there is an artist who really
knows for sure
but they aren’t playing in any
kind of rhythm and blues band

oh no they ain’t singing
like a canary in a cage
dreaming of the sky



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

flying beyond the coastal meadow


he licked his thumb and stuck it
directly overhead
his eyes rolled back and calculating

and just then a wheatear
sitting atop a stone wall
takes to flight
leading the way

tiny feet trampled upon the greenest
of the greenest grass
at least three feet tall
tiny legs scissoring through the field
giving chase to the wheatear

cameras clicked and videos rolled
as the children from the bus
raced past the field
and onto the beach
and splashing into the ocean
the lone wheatear
flying past the lighthouse
gone but not forgotten


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it’s sometime in August and it’s rained for days


alone I sit in the sunroom
wondering when in the world
I’ll see the light of day
or mow the yard
or ride my bike
or snap photograph
after photograph
in the once colorful garden

in the meantime
ruby-throated hummingbirds
feast on homemade nectar
the feeder hanging beneath the eave
the rain not stopping them
from coming and going
as they damn well please


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I lost my smile and moved along


these feathers cannot tickle me
they only make me sad
knowing once they soared above
in search of one true love

these feathers I did come across
beyond the beaten path
black and white and gray like a ghost
commingling with rotting leaves

to pick them up and take them home
or let them fade where they will
I lost my smile and moved along
knowing later I’d retrace my steps


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

birdsong in my mind


sorrowful soul mate
casting nets
from a sparse pine
comes up empty time and again

determined to move on
one tree at a time
the song forever weaves
through solitary twilight


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

feeding on carrion


sometimes I sit in the dark
and sleep in the light
tricking myself into believing
traveling through time is as
easy as spotting a magpie
on a fencepost or road sign

eyes of the crow and of the jay
enter my waking dreams
projecting past lessons
and future flashbacks
tricking me into believing
the fork in the road is near

reading in the twilight
from a book I know by heart
I pause and listen
to those clamoring birds
convincing me my story
has already been told


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

passing the torch


if the birds don’t rule this world
nobody knows who does

they fly in and out of dreams
as if they had been here before

first to awaken they stir the frost
with slow motion wings
opening promises above the clouds

in prehistoric times they fed without
fear of twenty gauge buckshot

back in the future they learn
to penetrate outer atmospheres

they’ve seen it all and they pass their
knowledge onto future generations
long after migrating from this world



july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

changing of the seasons


little bird with no song to sing
asks the wind permission
to borrow a tune
she remembered hearing the
morning of her birth

it was a little ditty a child
could pick up
rife with high notes
and often mistaken as a flute
or a fife or a piccolo

the wind carried her voice
far beyond the hills
touching the loneliest of creatures
in search of comfort and warmth
before the inevitable frost



may two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chickadee sailor


little bird bides his time
inside woolen hoody
left out on the line
for the wind to iron out
by whipping into shape

when the rains arrive
little bird holds on
swaying and cursing
like a long lost sailor
alone at sea



march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the cry of the starling


on this night of nights a lost
starling sings his lonely song
as a pale moon chases
venus high above the tallest trees
and faint stars transit the unknown

on this night of nights a natural
flame flickers and streams
chain reacting and traveling swiftly
to the four corners of the world
sparked by the cry of the lonely starling
ushering in a brand new light


december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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