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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Micropoetry”

no place left to go


so I found you
one piece out of five
hundred
and I placed you
in a place
where only you would
feel comfortable

it’s no easy answer
living day by day
but I’m not sure
if it’s worth it
as long as
there’s no place
left to go



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

the toymaker


if the toymaker had a number
it would be number nine
she would keep it in a locket
always worn near her heart
a reminder to always empty the tank
for the benefit of all the children





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

while under a severe storm warning


in a crowded auditorium
I was hand picked by my teacher
“which direction do birds
fly for the winter” was the question
probably directed my way with a certain
level of confidence in my answer
but I replied with something other than “south”
and thus it was from that point forward
I lost all but a crumb of credibility
at the budding young age of five & a half





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

gun for hire


she’s out back hanging laundry
a slight breeze cooling
her tanned skin
methodically rehearsing in her mind
precisely what will go down
come this time tomorrow





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

unboxing the morning


it’s impossible to own the night
but tomorrow
is another story
standing there in the peripheral
as if to say
you are not yourself
your current state of mind
disbelieving
that the stars in your future
can ever be washed away
that the man in the box
is someone you’ve never known





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

singing in the rain


the rain barrel is empty
going on a fortnight now
and the flowers
oh the flowers
they’re in need of a good cry

I’ve been dancing
every night in the twilight
the dormant grass
beneath my feet
an exhibition
to any god who may listen





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

lost in late june


it’s late but not that late
the sun nowhere in sight
little ones out back yelling
where did it go
where did it go


nobody knows where the
butterflies went
chased away by roman candles
someone did say
someone did say

lost in deep thought
trapping stars in glass jars
smaller than fireflies
falling from the sky
falling from the sky




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

immeasurable precipitation


sadness lingers in the air
going on fifteen days now
absent the once smiling sun
stuffed inside some closet
like a forgotten promise

I keep thinking the end is near
a place that doesn’t exist
simply an inherent idea
implanted into my heart
the first time I witnessed light




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

the end is near


the road was long
an all day affair
we had no other way
than by foot
so we started before daybreak
not saying a word
keeping a good pace
and reading each other’s minds
[on occasion]
the previous night’s dreams
the passion of the fruit
the destination
well within reach
as we neared the setting sun




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

An unfamiliar scene


I attended Philip’s burial today in Maquoketa at the family plot
at the top of the hill in Sacred Heart Cemetery. It was a sunny
& warmish day but a cool wind atop the hill made my Mother
put on her shawl. I counted the number of people in attendance
using less than ten hands, most of whom I didn’t know from Adam
or would ever know. Before getting on with whatever life has in
store for me, I hugged two cousins & shook the hand of another.




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

spilled milk


sometimes I think we’re all
living within a dream
nothing earth shattering
yeah I get that
how someone inside you
shakes you at 6AM & says
“it’s time to dream again”
only problem is
nobody is actually there
[inside or out]
and you’re left singing
“don’t come crying to me”
all to yourself




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

step inside & see


laying down fiber
high speed generation
a thousand megabits per second
like hummingbird wings
a race between
the underground & the cloud
a pay-per-trip time machine
idling in the wings
won’t you step inside & see
how it all ends





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

you used to tell me


daydreaming away
rains recede entirely
eyes open to light
unsure what day it is
or what time

where did you go
& how long were you there
better yet why oh why
did you ever return

none of us belong here
you used to me tell
& what I’ve always believed




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

here I come again


march unleashed the lion
and suddenly everyone
started breathing again

it won’t be long though
before she’s dead & gone
naturally replaced by
wildflowers & pollinators




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

building an army of marionettes


and so they bought it all
hook sinker & line
by a man who wanted to be a god
somehow convincing the majority
there are greater days in store
as long as you are strong enough
able to instantly get over your
dead mother & dead grandmother
for the sake of the motherland
and yes but of course as long as
there is history yet to be made




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

getting down to the bottom of things


now that the air is all clear
we can start piecing together
exactly what went wrong
of course it will be difficult
to find any sort of remedy
but at least we can dig in
and start pointing fingers
at him & her
us & them
you & me
eventually coming to the
obvious conclusion
that what went down was
simply an unfortunate
yet inevitable happenstance
that there is nobody
really to blame
except maybe the almighty




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

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