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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Dogma”

and your neighbor as yourself


on sunday morning I steer clear
of any congregation
instead seeking singletary paths
like a good samaritan bound to jericho

despite possessing any riches
dangers persist along the way
yet I manage to make ends meet
with nary a badman
attempting to approach me

of course many others
along the same route
are far less fortunate than me
some beaten and robbed and
left half dead
those walking by asking themselves
what in the world would become of them
dare they stop to help a stranger





february two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking the law of physics


they were bootlegging bread
(manna for their souls)
across the desert aboard
solar-powered getaway carpets

there were many contracts out
bounties on their heads
dead or alive mattered not
not as long as they had bread

some say they were aliens
newly arrived for umpteenth time
practicing rituals underground
living on contraband flatbread





january two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

last novena


on good friday parish banks locked
their doors at noon
those inside looking out
waves of worshippers walking by
everyone of them jesus
on his way to calvary

there are no motor cars motoring
no laughter or alcohol
permitted on the streets
groups of pilgrims advancing
visiting nine churches from
cock’s crow ‘til sundown

thunder precedes rain
pelting down like hammer on nail
thinly layered crowds
dispersed by lightning strikes
only the most devout
atop the hill and wailing





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a resurrected angel


you’ve seen these people
talking with their hands
I want to know what they know
somehow tap into their insights

they are not like those politicians
or preachers or snake oil solicitors
using sleight of hand maneuvers
like a charlatan or imposter or pretender
like an everyday carnival barker
like a false prophet delivery incoherent babble
promising some sort of tipping point

ever since yesterday’s crash
time has blossomed
supposedly ushering worldwide prosperity
the disadvantaged growing in numbers
thriving in ways inexplicable
like a resurrected angel





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stars of bethlehem


all the universe is about to change
turning nothing into something
you’ve never seen before

make a wish upon a star
this one and the next
rising over your shoulder
giving you a kiss

it’s like a candle
dancing in the wind
flickering high and
simmering low
bending below the horizon
only to reverse direction
soaring timelessly
beyond its own apex





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

someone get me a priest


he promised me I’ll never
die and I believed him

he said the flames of a candle
flickers not from man’s breath
but by the holy spirit itself

it’s like the wind
     it comes and it goes
sometimes unnoticed
one day it’s a breeze
     next a hurricane with a
murderous eye

not even the typhoon
can extinguish the flame
he tried telling those who might listen
those who may believe
angels are at work twenty-four seven
rescuing even the most wretched





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

church bells will be ringing


there is no turning back
(not now)
after all has been said and done

though regret begets misery
you occasionally look behind you
knowing you can’t take anything back
your precious recollections
much different than other realities

it was a saturday and the church
bells did ring at noon
rain giving way to sunshine
enlivening stations of the cross
etched upon stained glass windows

invisible gates sway wide open
light infiltrating and reflecting
exposing twelve concrete steps
you’ve stumbled down too many times





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the worst is over (or love me when i’m gone)


abraham chopped wood because he liked
to burn it on cold winter nights
or because god commandeth it so

in the early hours when fire in his eyes
diminished to near nothing
he’d awaken from lack of oxygen
and proceed to jump-start his day

chain of events unfolded inevitably
one altar leading to two or three
challenging false belief that sacrifice
somehow supersedes life itself





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

god willing there will be work


she may have been an angel
but often let the weather
affect her daily mood
unpredictably

lightning could easily set her off
or calm her nerves
depending on time of day
and task at hand

the homeless knew her best
had no idea she was not human
but loved her stories
especially how she romanticized
being born under scorpio’s sign

she’d often go missing for days
sometimes weeks
stray cats patrolling at night
commissioned as her private eyes

my work is never done here
she often complained or cajoled
depending upon who would listen





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

night before the days to come


sunrise pushes back with each passing morning
telegraphing how the inevitable comes upon us

red plastic hummingbird feeder sways outside
stained glass window on late october early evening

all hallows’ eve opens door to saints and souls
seeking asylum in my walls or another dimension

I’ve plenty of mothballed costumes up in the attic
though oftentimes wonder who is wearing them





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

california breaking away


and finally the fires extinguished
themselves
giving way to rains and
eventually floods
chasing ants and jesus freaks
to higher ground

and from the heavens angels
watch amusingly
as noah takes up residence
outside beverly hills
repairing his ark
gradually garnering attention





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

walking on water


june has come and gone
but the moon is here to stay
though at times not obviously

poor june dismissed without reason
cast away into the heavens
searching for twins and crabs
on the far side of mercury
perhaps never to return

there was no fanfare
here in middle america
perennial fog hiding the moon
for years on end
frustrating a nomadic people
with nothing left to worship

meanwhile there is news
a new sea forms and foams
somewhere in middle africa
where virgin sands appear
(out of a nowhere)
a newborn sent from god
baptized into chaos



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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