jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

macy’s thanksgiving day parade


an ordinary autumn day
colorful trees swelling like a piñata
stretching to reach a bright
and amazingly beautiful blue sky
pretty pink pigs with angel wings
noisily floating overhead



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

open doors on the streets of paris


how the streets shine at night
after an all day rain
lost in the city of lights
you walk for hours on end

this language is not your own
but translates easily
into living and breathing poetry
complementing misty air

there is warmth in the most
unimaginable places
but somehow you manage
to find temporary solace

you arrive here as planned
but become lost over time
your final words a resting place
recorded for all to hear



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on call on a friday night


how do I replace all the friends
I’ve lost along the way
at what point will it be the end
of the road for me

it’s silly to dwell on such thoughts
but sometimes ego
unexpectedly takes over
suggesting I fall to my knees

road signs keep cropping up
further and further from the city
expanding the time it takes
to find inner peace

meanwhile I sit idly by
counting virtual dollars in the
palm of my hand
waiting somewhat impatiently



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

deeper and deeper into the night


it’s almost seven o’clock and we’re
still waiting on shakespeare

everyone seems to know that
son-of-a-bitch is always late
and as far as the host is concerned
scheduled poetry readings will begin
with or without guest of honor

this laid back lingering gathering
seems to be primed on local brews
and/or pumpkin infused caffeinated beverages
quite a few rotating in and out the front door
seen huddling and smoking in front of
big picture window

it’s mid october and so far there
are plenty of tricks and an occasional treat

nobody is about to abandon the notion
that good old bill and his entourage
will eventually appear
(as contractually agreed upon)
but meanwhile all give thanks
to this peaceful venue
and sincere thanks to every poet
stepping up to the mic



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

tapping my foot to the beat of the drum


I liked how the crow’s nest was within
walking distance from my place
its pink rooftop like a beacon
calling out my otherworldliness

Intellectuals and up-and-comers and
has-beens frequent the place
sprouting post-modern hallucinations
by way of fermented imaginations

Of course I am an outsider with a
photographic mind and a microphone
picking up prose and poetry
that seems to reside on the airwaves

Sitting unnoticed at the dark end of the bar
I systematically imbibe local ale
memorizing their stoic faces
second-guessing my unfounded fears



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

never letting go


I was caught crying again
perfectly sober and stunned
perhaps wounded by stray bullets
kicking up dirt all along the fault line

I swear I never met her
this young woman in my arms
unable to speak due to fright
needing more attention than I could give

peace resides not in chaos
body and mind self-protecting
inner instincts kicked into full gear
frantically searching for makeshift havens

they pried her out of my arms
transporting her to safety
red lights flashing and pulsating
screaming hysterically in desert night



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

radio free america


play-by-play deejay
dominating the airwaves
feets stomping and voices shouting
ordinary citizens rejoicing in city square

they pipe in radio from the clouds
or so the children are told
it’s absolutely magic they cry
dancing the night away

far away high-stepping drum majors
lead troops out of war zones
prisoners bound and singing
bringing up the rear

meanwhile baseball diamond
becomes makeshift refugee camp
address announcer recounting
nineteen sixty-seven world series



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

destined to live and die here


wild horses stampede across
artificial hill outside waterloo
approximate to major shift
mountains and men bleeding
causing much exhilaration

kilometers away once free men
soon comprehend how bravado
and bondage have consequences
banished behind underground bars
joyous songs piping in

it’s been seven months or more
since the sun has shined
yet people continue to arrive
pilgrims and commoners and nobility
partaking in the simplest pleasures
praising daily powers that be



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

looking for miss molly


the dude called midmorning
asking if his car was at my place

you took off with her after
punching six tequila shots into
my foyer’s drywall
(have you tried looking out
your back window (asshole))

I’m surprised the dude is still alive
awake and sounding halfway sober
but then again nothing’s changed
he’s always looked half his age

okay he says but call me back if you
hear anything (and oh yeah)
I’m looking for miss molly too

I hang up and shake every
thought from my crowded head

all this time the cat’s
been sitting pretty at the bay window
curiously studying fat robins
feasting on dried crabapples



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

best good time in town


jam packed humbled house
entertains the multitudes
people of all color coming and going
(as they please) commingling
like rain does with dust
stirring pots and mixing drinks
transforming the ordinary into
something never before seen

stepping outside
a jet airliner roars overhead
pointing and shouting ensues
followed by glasses rising high
singing breaking out

nobody dares to think
outside of the moment
nobody dares do anything
except be whoever they care to be
lest tomorrow comes back ‘round



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

church bells will be ringing


eleven times church bells were ringing
rising moon faintly shining on new year’s night
slender and somber and silently emerging

brothers in arms assembled in town’s square
followed by women and children and elders
all awakened by resoundingly familiar tolling

they’ve been called to march down this road before
paved over many times by many generations
redefining a past that refuses to be changed

though all the statues have long been raised
resilient memories are much harder to replace
stamped inside stories unwritten and retold



august two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what’s on your hard drive


joseph had been missing for many
days and the sheriff told lois
mary was a person of interest

she kept insisting he had called
an uber driver the day before
to pick up their son in san salvador

but no such records ever existed
according to law enforcement
but law enforcement had nothing
to do with their predicament
that is being trapped inside
a jesus christ superstar song



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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