jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Birds”

breaking away


I try not to overthink it
this place where I’ll be born
whether made simply
or woven intricately
it matters not to the world

from what I understand
others are born in knot holes
or shallow depressions in the sand
kept warm by nature
and a mother’s instincts

I doubt I shall ever remember
that from which I came
crowded and loud and loitering
most of us focused on vying
to be first to break free





june 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

aerial conversations


I forgive and forget
it’s easy to do
or so the birds of the sky
tell me so

they speak to me often
believing I’m not listening
but I fool them
and take everything in

there’s nothing to forgive
ergo nothing to forget
I keep telling myself
like a man in a trance

when I’m alone
the birds of the sky
keep me company
they think I don’t notice
but I most certainly do

as time passes
they learn to trust and believe
feeding from my hand
as I stand like a statue in the wind
my eyes fixed
above the setting sun

they speak about life
and speak about death
but when I ask what will come next
their chatting becomes silence
and I am left to imagine
all on my own





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

wondering what tomorrow will bring


white swans on the lake
united as a collective or afloat
as solitary souls
spotted here and there
like triangular sails at a standstill
soft and steady raindrops
pelleting the reflective surface
all around them

soon all daylight will be gone
and I will have exhausted my stay
an unfamiliar melancholy
sinking in as replacement lights
emerge one by one
leaving me wondering
how long the swans will remain
after I’m gone





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

bluebird missing outside my window


today I shall shed a tear
and attempt this thing
called poetry


a half a world away
you lived
though I swear you were
next door
scratching out words
for all the world to read
one morning
one day
one night at a time

there comes a time
when the bird no longer
tweets her morning song
and is it then you come to realize
we’re no different from one another
no different than the branch
is to the bough
no different than the song
is to the bird
more melodious than ever
lamenting outside
our southern window





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the fringes picking up pieces


you see me in your dream
taking notes on the sidelines
while the rest of the gang
sit on high like a panel of judges
or a murder of crows
calling on the next witness

I keep my wings tucked
inside my black jacket
pacing back and forth
along the roadside
keeping my mouth shut
and pretending I’m all alone

you’re the only one
recognizing me for who I am
perfectly capable of joining
your little inner circle
but modestly more at ease
scavenging on my own terms





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

with no place to go


I’m sitting in a rocking chair
next to the bay window
paralyzed
a ray of light shining through
warming my hands

inside a clock is ticking
a fire burning
eyes shut tight I listen
to the house settling
as finches gather
in nearby spindle tree

I’ve watched the cycling
of the seasons
for so many years gone by
seemingly
from this very place
where the passage of time
simply stands still




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counting blue birds


certain things bring tears to my eyes
but I’m not about to let anyone
in on my little secrets

she asked me ‘penny for my thoughts’
and I replied how I really miss
counting blue birds from the deck

autumn was short and the winter cruel
and I was forced to retreat
back to the days of my youth

how I wanted her to accompany me
but I needed her to stay behind
in case they return while I’m away




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

simply by closing your eyes


listen and the words will follow
though they may not be the ones
you want to hear

if you practice patience you will
learn to rearrange them
turning lies into truths
and hatred into understanding

on the banks of fortuity
you may be able to slow things down
simply by closing your eyes
and making good use of your breath

and if you’re willing to travel
further on down the stream
letting yourself go
allowing otherworldy sounds
to become your rhythm
the gods that be may take notice
making an exception to the rule
by granting you a bird’s eye view




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january thaw


winter winds unusually warm
bringing back birds I’ve not seen
in what seems like ages
suddenly returning in waves

I’ve been flying and foraging
for nearly a fortnight now
blending in with a family of
black-capped chickadees

I almost forgot what is was like
to be amongst a family
of five or fifty or five hundred
coexisting effortlessly




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

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