jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Birds”

the task at hand


listen carefully
the birds in the air are many
and you’re missing so many of them

in another life you were
a cardinal or a crow or a sparrow
going about your fabulous business
as if there’s no tomorrow

but of course you don’t
remember those days other
than a song or two or three
that for some reason keep
challenging your long term memory

tomorrow it will be monday
which means you’ll be fishing again
casting your line at lock & dam thirteen
and forgetting about the past
only focused on the task at hand




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

hesitation & pause


plucking one petal at a time
whispering she loves me
she loves me not

some are red and some are yellow
but none are black & white

outside I hear hesitation & pause
as if the birds are aware of every
single misstep man has ever taken

on the television screen
five o’clock images
are more disturbing than usual
the sound muted
love songs playing inside my head




may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one town at a time


the downtown pigeons are becoming
more & more comfortable in their own skin
loitering wherever they please
empowered as fewer & fewer humans
make their way up & down the streets

I can’t imagine what happens next
what sort of confrontations may transpire
once all the lights turn green
madmen rushing to reestablish their turf
disregarding the whites of anyone’s eyes




may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Baby in the window


for Aubrey Jean

They are song sparrows
nesting inside a popcorn tin
hanging beneath the eaves
vessel rocking from side to side
[from the constant coming & going]
like a boat tied to the dock
continuously in motion
but unable to sail away

From inside the conservatory
a baby is fixed at the scene
a toddler to be exact
an unsteady walker without ankles
pointing at the popcorn tin
[at the constant coming & going]
unaware they are singers
incoherently repeating baby




april two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

handful of wishes


shadows like birds or
birds like shadows
flying behind white linen curtain
coming and going
back & forth and over & under
undoubtedly feeding their young
or chasing their very own
displaced souls

since I couldn’t see
what I couldn’t see
I changed my train of thought
pretending they were giant moths
turned into beautiful butterflies
made possible by a warrior princess
carrying a magic sword
and a handful of wishes




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

diary of a woman with wings


child of the southern sun
desires stir within
centuries pass
outer appearance changing
minute by minute
egg to feather to sparrow
sparrow to crow to raptor
circling and circling
even higher like an angel
ushering in the darkness
stars falling one after another
trillions of fireflies turn into lightning
piercing hidden clouds
and striking naked trees
rapturing the soil
fertilizing sterile seeds




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

standing in line


yes it’s true the world is dying
[is always dying]
and we are a witness to its death
[its glorious death]
a slow and painstaking process
mysteriously inevitable
and eternally unanswerable

the airports are nearly empty
and the streets eerily silent
filled with long lines of masked pantomimes
arms extended and palms open
shadowed closely by feathery creatures
unable to fly and feverishly
sweeping up the crumbs

high above the skyscrapers
far beyond the tallest of trees
patches of blue begin to emerge
perhaps a sign of better times yet to come
or simply a figment
of every child’s imagination




february two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it filters through


some birds are back but the temps
are well below zero
either they never got the memo
or they’ve come back early
for some unknown reason

I slowed down for a murder of crows
while taking the long way home
a hundred or so
cleaning up a spill of sorts near
the corn sweetener plant
once in my rearview
anxiously getting back at it

shifting gears past the hill
the music meets the sun
and the speeding locomotive
sounding off along the river
eagles circling high above
sparrows racing in my peripheral
nearly anything with wings
busily chasing dreams




february two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the spirit will find a way


lost in thought on this late
december afternoon
oak leaves circulating
throughout the neighborhood
wet and scattering
and firmly planted
in the back of my mind
tens of hundreds of them
their varying shapes
reminding me of summer clouds
imitating anything imaginable
derailing my train of thought

I see an angel and elephant
pooh bear and little roo too
a steam locomotive
chugging across an endless plain
while out of the corner
of my eye
a red cardinal
perched stately on picket fence
calls me to my feet
awakening my lost spirit
and freeing me
from my sunday melancholy




december two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the bird and her fiddle


listen carefully there is a bird
 warbling from the moon
  how she got there is anyone’s guess

is she yellow or is she red or blue
 plump or thin or somewhere in between
  can you tell by listening carefully
   to the tenor of her fiddle

there is a feel to her presence
 sublime and pleasantly inviting
  when will the world stop spinning
   and listen carefully to her message




december two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

monday morning wishes


days have passed since the poor bird
was knifed a hundred different times
its remains divvied up amongst the guests
dished into disposable containers
never to be seen again

days have passed yet reminders remain
sights and sounds and lingering smells
laughter and tears and silence
talk of getting back together
a wishbone hanging on a branch




december two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

picture window


what shall I see tonight
that the blind cannot
wind chimes
dying to be heard
behind double panes

birds wintering
outside my window
do not cry
and though their song
is uniquely sad
they neither beg nor steal

I’m a pretend prisoner
inside this castle
free to roam
inside these storied walls
unable to feed the birds




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

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

lesser gods and weaker minds


looking for something new
I gaze out the 10th floor window
catching a glimpse of October
waiting in the wings
closely held by unsuspecting vultures
cleverly disguised as angels
coaxing me to open my heart and soul
[and inch closer to the edge]
in exchange promising riper fruit
and even brighter sunrises




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the far side


wake up and listen
cool wind from the north
ushering in the smallest of birds
chattering before daybreak

between dream sequences
you drift in and out of reality
believing what you are hearing
resides on the far side




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: