jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “History”

Repossessing the Kingdom of Edom


We invited the prophet for supper
because we were not afraid


The Father told us about Obadiah
about his warnings of destruction
as a consequence of action

Having become students of the living
and of the dead (and especially of those
capable or rising again) naturally we
were anxious in making a connection

Although we possessed many questions
the most obvious rallied around
his postmodern interpretation
to the Day of the Lord





november two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

living in this necessary evil


there is this reality
that we don’t know about
other than through dreams
and from there
we are left in the dark

inside the matrix
is another form of reality
one we rarely get a glimpse of
maybe by way of a dream
inside of a nightmare

it’s like that window
or that mirror
replicating itself ad infinitum
possessing you without question
taking to all the places
you’ve known throughout
the course of human history

in the meantime
(and for some unknown reason)
this present day reality
remains a necessary evil





november two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Fast forward to Bethany


I won’t be able to return
not without a password reset
the chances of success
appearing to dwindle by the day

The cranes brought forth the wind
by way of their transitory wings
with it the seeds of the wildflower
and the stench of the skunk

The enemy of humanity
persists well beyond Lazarus
giving new names to old towns
and rewriting the course of events





november two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

King of Macedonia


What’s in a name
or a date
such as Alexander the Great
or three twenty-three before Christ

Questions such as these
lead to others
uncovering a string of
undefeated battles
ranging across vast regions

How is it the war
within man
is unstoppable
as if the original instructions
flowing through the bloodstream
had been altered
by a God with a wry sense of humor





november two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the onion


what’s brewing
has been brewed before
bound to be found
(hiding inside google)
by wannabe historians

but never mind
what you might find
anything anymore is likely
to be contested
whether the holocaust
or the crucifixion
or your very own rebirth

try not to focus too much
on yourself (which is)
likely to be detrimental
to your mental health
instead find a patch of dirt
where you can dig & dig & dig
to your heart’s content





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

time of the season


there is a time to play
and a time for prayer
the forgiveness of the day
     quickly vanishing
history books laced with hypocrisy
theoretically evolving
from one generation to the next

extremes seem to be
the flavor of the day
whether for fun or destruction
     food for thought
wrapped in body art or hatred
ideological musings
rallying for peace or executions





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

caught in a web of lies


what you wouldn’t give to be
someone else
how does it work that way
the heart & brain
at odds with each other
daily deciphering conflicts of interest
by way of the past

oh yes the past is a problem
but you cannot pick your ancestors
no matter what terrible
things they did to whole
groups of people
to dwell there is living there
with no correction in sight

you want to believe you’re
the misunderstood victim
but it doesn’t work that way
not when you’re the aggressor
dishing out hatred
by way of blind ignorance
born into a world without resolve





september two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a tulip or a monarch


skyscrapers rise & fall
no thanks to mere mortals
able to destroy that which they build
like a flawed god
constantly seeking attention

the gradual unfolding of a field
exposing all that is real
be it friend or flora or foe
young & old bones alike
buried so far below

bricks build these roads
one on top of another
a city layered in storied centuries
living & dying & born again
like a tulip or a monarch





september two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

from the kitchen window


new blooms move with the arc
of the perennial sun
stretching their necks
& blinking their eyes
wide open to brand new ideas


the earth has become
more than an orbiting sphere
to mere mortals
a linear timeline from pre-fossil
to garden of eden
babylon to peloponnese
old paris to present day chicago

flower window boxes
simplistically shows how far
we’ve actually come
artistically covering the atrocities
of past & present & future
watering hope & possibility
right here from the kitchen window




june two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

american ancestry


these interesting days
weeks & months & yes years
look at what they do
to the likes of me & you

one day you’re changing
your neighbor’s tire
the next throwing
molotov cocktails
over the barricades

you keep saying you’re
too young for this
but next thing I know
you’re back on all channels
keeping the family name alive




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a tale of two histories


much of what I learned
so many years ago
has become a shadow of
my everyday reality

let’s get a little closer
and I’ll show you
my physical scars
and you can tell me
about your emotional ones

I will tell you how in the dream
I apologize for acts I cannot commit

you reply wanting to be a believer
but simply cannot pull the trigger

and it’s there that we stand
immobilized & unequal
exposed for all the world to see
close enough to be heard
too far to feel each other’s heart




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

past & present on center stage


how dare I dwell on past
atrocities & injustices
inflicted on one’s people
by the fears of another
where history books are
whitewashed & rewritten
as if none of it was murderous
none of it problematic today

yes I did listen & later read
the great inaugural poem
finding myself applauding
and shedding a tear for hope
having no idea about her
background story or ambitions
or how the grace of god
had brought her to center stage




january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january sixth


I started thinking
about why I was so angry
the other day
of course why wouldn’t I
on this very day
but now that the latest fire
has been stomped upon
[yet continues to fester]
I’ve elected
to start thinking
about the power of love
instead


january two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Anthropocene


The report argues that as humans and the planet together enter a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humans — all countries must account for the pressure its people are putting on the Earth while confronting dramatic imbalances of power and opportunity.


Anthropocene

Let the arguments commence
epochs are difficult
to define
ready
set
[have far back do you want to]
go
but this one
this one             is much different
having involving
the human collective
[at least the smarter of the bunch
if you want to call it that way]
putting us squarely
            in some form of geologic
compartment
like some form of arrogance
or hubris or self-flattery
believing the influence and the force
has become
                        god-like
able to move mountains
and destroy
            beautiful cities
with a single
solitary command





december two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Dead Relative Society


Bill & Becky lived downtown
on Ligonier Street in Latrobe PA

Rebecca was born with my last name
but died a Beatty
back in nineteen o’three

William died twenty-three years earlier
the exact date unknown at the time
of this writing

We’ve been looking for both of them
for a good thirty moons now
and finally they surfaced
as if knowing we were looking
uninterested in dishing out one dime
to find them

Tonight we celebrate with champagne
and hash under glass
toasting to the stars belonging to them
for tomorrow we rest before moving on
knowing the key to their door
opens up the next three hundred years




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taking it to the streets


they say a story has a beginning
and an end

[did you hear that I mean how
ridiculous is that]

we are the story
can you hear me as I tell it to you
my words vaguely familiar
picked up from where someone else
left off

we are nothing but ordinary people
[the far majority of us that is]
meticulously reworking the history books
taking it to the streets
and putting our lives at stake

bring your ear next to my heart
can you still hear me
telling my story
the one that had no beginning
and is dying to end
my heart rapidly beating
my lungs barely breathing
my inaudible words
becoming broken promises
in need of repairing




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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