jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

war correspondent


it’s not like I’ve not been trapped before
in the most dangerous cities in the world
keeping my sanity by recounting
what I can in my own little black box
capturing complicated stories
of lives on the move

play zones exist anyplace imaginable
especially for toy soldiers
expanding their capabilities since birth
learning to run with or without
a gun to grasp or hand to hold
duck and covering instinctively

with greater frequency I’m unable to reload
either from fear or lack of supplies
waiting on a lull in the action
a chance to buy or steal more ammunition
before once again shooting at will
at men inside boxes with eyes sewn shut




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

last supper


what will it be today
she asked
a line well-rehearsed

he said he wasn’t ready
and she walked away

it was freaky windy outside
and even though
no windows could be opened
the blue curtains did blow

he knew the menu
by heart
but he read it over and over again
as if for the last time




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

strangers passing by


there were four of them
marching down the sidewalk
a band of brothers and sisters
as if on a mission from god

it was quitting time and I was
getting into my car as they
were swiftly approaching

to get a closer look
I used my rear view mirror
and then directly outside my window
as they passed by excitedly

they were talking to one another
laughing and smiling and seemingly
unconcerned about privacy

though I somehow understood
every single word they said
their demeanor and inclinations
told me they must be aliens

and before they made it to the corner
their aura pixelated and dissipated
like a mysterious fog quickly lifting





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stranger in a foreign land


I’ve lost my way or so it seems
streets and faces anything but familiar
I fear I may have awakened from
another man’s dream
transplanted if you may
and tasked to piece together a past
found in this place and time

I did not ask for this life
but neither do I recall the former
where people knew my name
and I learned to grow old reluctantly

but now I find myself young again
sensing purpose in my gait
as I continue to weave
my way through this
city of diversity
beginning to believe
there is purpose yet to be found





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

keep america beautiful


I’ve not kept pace with current
events or the latest trends
their importance taking a back seat
to larger issues begging explanation
such as the meteoric rise of trigger happy maniacs
unleashing a wave of unforgiving tipping points
turning my little corner of the world
into something other than beautiful





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

waiting on the last leg


it’s friday early evening
I wonder which will arrive first
the train ride home or impending rain

I’ve not an umbrella
still possess the morning paper
folded and tucked under my armpit

muted conversations
suddenly become animated
6:15 arriving like a lion enters spring
lightning chasing her tail

I notice my shoelace
a tug away from snapping in two
before standing tall
I take a chance and reach to retie





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

new york state of mind


it was a hot dog kind of day
not the kind you buy in the grocery store
but the meaty ones from a push cart
or your local neighborhood tavern
served any which way you like
with corn fritos and your favorite beverage

it was an indiscreet
and unsuspicious kind of day
one in which you can express your feelings
without exaggeration or superficiality

go ahead and pick one
out of 35 variations
or better yet create your own
like the way you used to do





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sunday gospel brunch


I saw you at a distance
light on your feet
and hovering like an angel
various laughter rising and falling
a bloody mary in your hand

I had just attended mass
having arrived an hour early
hopeful of resolving all of my
impossible transgressions

I shouldn’t have taken
the long way home
no less stroll past
sunday gospel brunch
where the atmosphere I hear
will bring back sweet memories





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there’s talk on the street


he was the new kid
everyone has at least one
in their lifetime

wide-eyed and outgoing
or mysteriously shy
people want to know more
like what circumstances
brought her here

maybe he’s not really a kid
but rather some unfamiliar idea
walking confidently down main street
sun stretching her shadow
further than anyone else

some say this town isn’t ready
for someone like him
stealing their thoughts and
rearranging them without
anyone noticing

oh yes she was the new kid
and everyone wanted to love her
like one of their very own





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

150 foot foundations


they keep digging up bones
moving them from one
sanctioned place to the next
this time far from city lights

protesters are well-prepared
to be run over by earth movers
arm-in-arm and squatting
chanting what gives you the right

some say it’s sacrilegious
to be displaced for such reasons
as if full color panoramic views
far outweigh black & white





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

vacationing in Colorado


I’m not going there
she said
can you please change the channel
there must be more to life
than current events
sapping all your energy

we had just sat down
at a local dispensary
having ordered two craft beers
and a bowl of purple sensimilla
the remote control to the TV
directly overhead
within arms reach

what about the Rockies game
I suggested
do you consider pro baseball
current events

that all depends upon who
they’re playing
she answered
not to mention how quickly this weed
will make me not care about anything





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

living on the blind side of the city


the more populated we become
the more dangerous are the streets
all kinds of people packing heat
be they good or bad or indifferent

I don’t own a gun and I’m beginning
to wonder if that’s a good idea
thinking the older I get
the more vulnerable I’ve become

please don’t get me wrong
even though it’s a sad state of affairs
many positive things are happening
inside cities both large and small

but in the meantime here I am
living in the present moment
pretending the problem isn’t mine
as I go about my daily life





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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