jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Nature”

three weeks after


the season is quickly changing
and most of the houses
are dark by 8pm

it’s hard to say how many
are abandoned
voluntarily or otherwise

the streets are littered with what
the winds left behind
there’s hardly any room
for any kind of truck to pass through

the smell of mixed wood abounds
whether freshly cut
or burning miles away
hundreds of wood chip pyramids
magically appear overnight

the carnival was supposed to be in town
(a fresh change from
all the other outsiders)
but it was abruptly cancelled
just like everything else




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

inside the eye of the storm


make-believe people ask me
what was I thinking
when everything went down

I just smile like an idiot
having never been blown away
by such a bout of reality

if I was thinking I’d probably
have done things differently
maybe pretend I was a reporter
jotting down some notes
or voice recording objectively
what it was I was witnessing

instead I found myself swirling
inside the eye of the storm
past & present souls gathering
aiding & abetting my inner strength




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

wishing upon a star


we’d become separated by no fault of our own
unable to remember if it was due to gunfire
or mother nature herself

out back the horses are long gone
having escaped before the doors swung shut
galloping faster than the wind
their hooves barely touching the ground

from what I’ve learned things may never die down
& those stars shining ever brighter
will one night once again be wished upon




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

fueling the fire of creation


we carved him out of an old cedar
all that remained that is
all eight feet tall of him

we kept his arms by his sides
& his chin slightly lifted
his abandoned eyes looking westward
forever waiting for the seven o’clock sun

as we worked together diligently
using chainsaws & assorted knives
the children scrambled feverishly
around his root-like feet
crafting creatures out of clay

after nightfall the squirrels & sparrows
rabbits & foxes & owls & porcupines
[just to name a few]
burned inside the oven of creation
the cedar stretching ever taller
toward a night sky that has no end




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rapid eye movement


hummingbirds come & go
I tell myself the sugar water
must still be good

imitating by way of blinking
I stay paralyzed in my chair
unable to replenish the nectar
even if I wanted to

I see them in the corner of my eye
and they in mine
neither of us questioning
how much more of the world
there is left to see




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unchanging are the winds


besides clouds & butterflies
and pollination & sweet summer smells
there’s something else in the air
or so the restless community tells me

the winds come & go at their leisure
bringing with them unpredictability
though what’s in the air remains
as if it were yesterday all over again




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chasing blue emperors


now that the solstice has come & gone
seems like I’m picking up clearer frequencies
it’s not always easy to trap them in a box
& oftentimes you have to let some go
hoping they’ll return another day




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

commonality


I seem to keep missing you
one turn after the next
all the while telling myself I’m not
looking for anything in particular

it is summer but you know that
the solstice a mere hours away
I’ve long since ventured out
chasing shadows on the open road

it’s true the earth keeps spinning
unchanged yet ever-changing
dividing & distancing & reuniting
common people like you & me




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

not a cloud in the sky


how many adjectives for the sky
do you keep in your pocket
long written down & folded into
an origami passport
open & closed with your eyes shut so many times
you wonder would it be best
to put them down in braille rather than words
or perhaps translated into countless languages
so when any moment good or bad
spontaneously presents itself
there’s not a chance in hell you will fail




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the grand illusion


I reach to touch a leaf
just as it separates from the tree
our association drifting apart
before it even begins

what seems like millions
upon millions accumulating
is nothing but a conceptual pile
looking to be jumped upon

the eventual scattering
and complete disappearance
is nothing but a grand illusion
graciously repeating




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nyctinasty [or where the poppy fields burn]


we start & we stop & we start again
I mean everyone needs to rest & refuel
before getting back in on the action

it seems like everyone’s wearing masks
either protecting themselves or others
but perhaps for other reasons entirely
big brother capturing the action on video
sometimes from as far away as 5oo miles

meanwhile beyond the cities poppy fields
live & die year after year after year
folding themselves in on cool summer nights
only to reopen come the morning light




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

low hanging fruit


how does a fly get so fat before the solstice
what could he be feasting on
and how in the world
did he make his way inside the house

I had my chance a couple of times
to either stun him or catch him outright
casting him back out to the great wide open
but I decided the better of it
and went about my own business

now that I think about it
I wonder how many spiders are living
comfortably within my abode
knowing full well the dullest of houseflies
are the lowest hanging fruit there is




may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one million pound piñata


seventy-seven bush elephants
masquerading as one cumulus cloud
slowly trek across the desert sky
bulging like a waxing gibbous

hired archer standing atop zeppelin
back bending backwards
held in place by ropes & pulleys
aiming to deflate the entire herd




may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Baby in the window


for Aubrey Jean

They are song sparrows
nesting inside a popcorn tin
hanging beneath the eaves
vessel rocking from side to side
[from the constant coming & going]
like a boat tied to the dock
continuously in motion
but unable to sail away

From inside the conservatory
a baby is fixed at the scene
a toddler to be exact
an unsteady walker without ankles
pointing at the popcorn tin
[at the constant coming & going]
unaware they are singers
incoherently repeating baby




april two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

twenty stories tall


some hypothetical trees are hard to fall
madmen with chainsaws & ropes & pulleys
make calculations and smoke cigarettes
from sunup to sundown they undertake
this nearly impossible task

this one must be made of steel
one of them says
the rest nodding in agreement
scratching their heads and looking skywards

it’s only a matter of time another says
and they bow their heads in silence
grasping the gravity of their predicament




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

gregarious like the locust


why am I stuck here
without an internet connection

flipping through imaginary channels
that once calmed my nerves

but now all that I have is fear

that instinctive natural state
changing me into something I’m not
making me want to bust out onto the scene

like when the short-horned grasshopper
gregariously morphs into the locust

taking over entire fields
systematically moving onto the next

devouring and decimating everything
in its inexhaustible path

their offspring released within the swarm
waxing their wings and singing
alleluia be not afraid




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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