jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

stranger in this land


what brought me here is difficult
to explain
almost as if I was abducted
by a team of aliens
and set loose in the city center

something or someone
wiped clean my memory
and the clothes on my body
I was vaguely certain
did not belong to me

as I walk the streets
nothing is familiar
landmarks or architecture
the language or signage
urban animals roaming about

I stuff my hands in my pockets
pull out colorful script
and silver and gold pieces
fairly certain the sum of which
will give me a place to stay
for the night

over time I will come to find
there is inspiration in the streets
in everywhere I go





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

getting to know thyself


the faces are inspiring
whether real or appearing
in one-off dreams
faces in the crowd
popping up from one spot
to the next
by any means necessary
be it by foot or uber or bus
or train or aeroplane
exhibiting happiness or grief
pain or sorrow or glee
eyes and mouths wide open
or reluctantly shut
teeth clenched or relaxed
pale-faced or rosy-cheeked
hurried or stymied or grounded
it matters not

I swear I know
each and every one of them
much like how I know myself




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lost in the crowd


it’s not even mid-february and already
the weeping on the streets
goes by unnoticed

it was just a couple of weeks ago
when the thaw was in full bloom
but that was short-lived
and now once again
the weeping on the streets has resurfaced
one hundred fold

what is to become of all this weeping
this unforgettable sorrowfulness
all too present yet seldom recognized

and what are we to do
standing unnoticed in the crowd
reaching out in furtive attempts
to make a difference




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking away once and for all


I wasn’t supposed to be driving
but I backed out and raced away
shifting gears as if it was yesterday

the radio blasting out old time rock
drowning out any unnecessary noise
attempting to get back inside my head

I’ve not been indoctrinated since
growing up in the sixties and seventies
yet another alleged victim
of the great american experience

fast forward and today is an altogether
beautifully different story
one restarting from a fresh perspective
where there’s nobody left to blame




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when it rains


there is precipitation in the sky
improvising as falling ice
pinging partially-filled glasses
and producing magical notes
music piped into the city square
unexpected dancers sporting umbrellas
smiling under artificial light
twisting and twirling and portraying
life as a grand affair




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

strength in numbers


to be misunderstood
that is a common occurrence
among the masses
treading through the streets of life
unnoticed and mostly lost
but there is strength
beneath the prevailing current
an uprising brewing [so to speak]
on these forsaken streets
bound and determined
to return life to the dying
and a fresh voice to all those
willing to move forward




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the house of displaced poetry


it’s not easy finding inspiration
on low visibility nights
so you just move on from
one thought to the next
hoping to find a place to call home

without a charge nights are lonelier
inner city sky void of lights
artificial ones hard to see
thanks to cold wintry mix
forcing shelters to exceed capacity

I’ve lived through this odyssey before
pocket book of poetry
pressed against my heart
three or four layers deep
every single word still very much alive




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chatting over mid-morning coffee


take special care
not to beat yourself up
just because of
misplaced memories

your word against the truth
may or may not exist
not in this world
or the next

subconscious realities
keep me on edge
like pressure cooker time bombs
ticking in city square

I’ve long felt most relaxed
back in the future
where love is in the air
and nights rarely end




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unexpected change


I got fifty bucks in my pocket
and I’m going downtown
gonna buy my girl some flowers
and maybe have a beer or two

taking city bus to city center
I keep my hands in my pockets
sitting down on three-seater bench
tapping foot in make-believe time

nobody owes me nothing
and I sure ain’t in anyone’s debt
I got fifty bucks in my pocket
sun shining brightly overhead




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one december night


friday night in east village
streetlamps aglow
passersby breathing visibly
hands either gloved
or formed as fists
stuffed inside coat pockets

meteorological winter
yet weeks away
but for tonight
is clear and present
the cloudless sky
boasting all its shiny lanterns




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

the good shepherd


sheep at large in city center
unshorn and hungry
packing knives and forks
counting down the days
until january thaw

beat cops in woolen coats
keep them on their toes
tapping night sticks on
frozen sidewalk
nudging them along

nearby sanctuary house
opens its arms
practicing what it preaches
the good shepherd himself
promising warmer days ahead




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

striking a balance


autumn nearing its end
solitary specter regressing
roaming empty streets and alleys
digressing on thoughts of love
bemoaning intellectual wisdom

safehouses have no vacancy
full moon gives little solace
though somewhere in the city
a fire burns with purpose
bringing the dead back to life




november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

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