jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Birds”

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

call me up in the middle of the night


I wake up and I’ve got nothing to say
rather listening to birdsong
infiltrating through screen windows
reminding me the need to sing like them

it seems to me they know something
more about life than they let on
leading me to believe I should spend
less time hanging out in the weeds

I’ve been busy making birdhouses
mainly because I don’t know
how to build a rose

I’ve been busy navigating maps
designed to get me from this point
to the next sunrise

it seems to me that by this time
I should know something more than you
but truth be told we were both born
with all the knowledge in the world

I wake up and find myself whistling
a song I learned long ago
a little ditty always close to my heart
whether wide awake or dreaming




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the dawn chorus


first there was the final dream
approaching morning light
bedroom curtains breathing in and out
mimicking my own circadian rhythm
and welcoming the dawn chorus

birds beginning to think it’s spring
how they invade my subconscious
pretending to be children
reincarnated from fallen leaves
singing from the tallest trees

one morning that will be me
having not awakened from the dream
free falling like a leaf among many
reaching out and believing
finally participating in the dawn chorus




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

looking beyond the darker side


wherein your frustrations lay
a memory resides worth unearthing
buried beneath fortunes good and bad
a reminder of better times ahead

emotions tied to the ebb and flow
whether near the sea or far from shore
and strung along by hypersensitive moon
swim in your tumultuous waters

waves of intensity arise unannounced
testing your capacity for compassion
a merry reminder there’s nowhere to hide
when violet-backed starlings come around




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

cunning like a songbird


in the kitchen uncaged canaries
chat amongst themselves
swapping oft-told tales and
keeping secrets from
black & white cat crouched
against shadowy wall

outside red-breasted nuthatches
mimic dog barking at jet airliner
piercing cumulus clouds
waiting for aforementioned feline
to give them another chance
at target practice




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

weeks before winter solstice


north by northwest winds do blow
giving rise to wooden and metallic chimes
previously content and on the down-low

I thought I had put them away for the winter
but alas they are alive again
imitating hummingbirds feeding voraciously
somewhere below the tropic of cancer

although the fire may be burning bright
do not shutter your windows my dear
for tomorrow a shining light may arrive
bringing forth the freshest of air




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

out of my life


oh captive bird
is that the only song
you know
sing sing sing to me
a lullaby

oh captive bird
serenading me to sleep
door’s wide open
why oh why
won’t you leave

oh captive bird
finally scheming
in my dreams
can feel you flying
like never before




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a matter of black and white


it’s never too late to get started
seeing things for the first time
whether walking through walls
or flying high in the sky

black birds too numerous to count
become motivated by changing winds
amassing in tradition and spirit
swirling like fast moving cloud

oh yes there are darker days ahead
or so says the prognosticator
white dove perched on shoulder
whispering secrets in her ear

sometimes the truth is in flight
other times walking on thin air
appearing and disappearing
like the great houdini himself




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

clearing the way


new moon held in cupped hands
like a wounded fledgling
feeling powerless
yet slowly warming
to this idea of finally flying free

trusting the process is not easy
for anything grounded
nevertheless you uncup
your trembling hands
observing the sky in a new light




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

practicing


there was a time
I’d pound those keys
morning noon and night
making music in my sleep
hoping one day they’d be
translated into poetry

they kept telling me
people love you
and of course
I believed them
like morning dew
believes in rising sun

piano in bay window
hasn’t been played
since god knows when
sparrows still perching
on old crabapple
remembering




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

house sparrow


they come and they go
these brown and grey passerines
small and plump and
multiplying throughout millennia
successfully occupying six continents
including continuously subletting
caramel corn tin house
inconspicuously hanging
outside my window




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

mirror for the soul


black on grey aviator high in flight
solitary and void of thought
soaring and sharing potentialities
to shadowy souls down below
their earthbound eyes
transfixed at effortless emotions
smiles forming and fingers pointing
curiously considering the possible
inevitability of one day doing the same




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

mourning dove


do not say a word my love
let this moment stay awhile
like a painting on loan
temporarily free for all to see

one night I dreamed we kissed
beneath artificial lights
our surreal solitary star
undetected yet pulsating

once morning arrives
I awake to singing voices
projecting shadows
on my wall of memory




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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