jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “War Poems”

apache helicopter down


the helicopter crashed on the side
of a hill on a sheep farm

the sheepdog was the first to arrive
followed by the sheep themselves
and finally the shepherd

the dog sniffed all the way around
the main part of the mangled mess
marking it here and there for good measure

most of the sheep vied for position
for a look-see in the cockpit
but it was vacant

“they must have jumped out before
it crashed” the shepherd murmured
under his raspy breath

there they stood on the hill
the shepherd scratching his head
and the sheepdog licking his balls
the sheep themselves looking
down at the village where the
peaceful inhabitants once lived



february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

forgotten fragments inside virtual minefields


do you even know anymore
exactly who you are
or do parts of you disappear
or change into something else
entirely
day after day after day

there was a time
when life wasn’t too complicated
but those days are long gone
and you are left wondering
who is pushing what buttons
and when for god’s sake is it going
to be your turn

people arrive and move on in your life
like clockwork
sometimes they reappear years later
and you are left wondering
what that is all about
and just like clockwork
those in power change hands
and the wars already in motion
suddenly change course
while others begin out of nothing

and if you stick around long enough
you will see friends become enemies
only to become friends again

but wars don’t seem to bother you
but obviously they bother those
thrown in the crossfire
destined to feel the pain you can
no longer feel
sitting somewhere in the dark
motionless
pondering mundane questions
about your mundane life
about those little pieces
that used to belong to you
but have disappeared
or changed into something else
entirely



february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

(forty-five seconds ‘til sunset)


there were birthday bashes
and wedding plans
happy anniversaries
and simple cocktail parties

(released from the atmosphere
sounds of near sonic speeds
accelerate)

there were candles burning
and balloons suspended on the ceiling
teenagers smoking secretly
and babies stirring in bassinets

(precise targets become isolated and
confirmed via encrypted
airwaves)

children in paper hats chase tails
and girls in summer dresses walk on by
there were flowers abloom in the garden
and water fountains making rainbows

(suddenly a fiery crash
turned into an expanding billowy shroud
erasing all of reality in specific vicinities
instantly)



january two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taken to a nearby hospital


the city was on fire
and I was like a lost lamb
roaming past identical houses
hoping the next turn opens up
to a countryside I once knew by heart

they say the nightlife is the best here
where the most beautiful people gathered
to forget the past

but then it was gone in a flash
like a trick of the mind
there you see it
there you don’t
limbs gyrating like an egyptian
eyes mesmerized
believing just about anything

there was a man with a staff
crying out in the city center
where the river divided the land
and though I was perfectly lost
I heard him clearly above the
sirens and screams and
deadly detonations



january two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

how I am drawn to you


the town is vacant
abandoned by war
can you feel me
trembling with fear

the moon is afire
and the field is aglow
can you see me
chasing the wind

the bridge is out
and the river is frozen
can you hear me
calling your name

the border is near
attracting me closer
your arms reach out
unbelievably we embrace



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

before the honeymoon


the war ended the day
before the winter solstice
and on the next day
on sunday morning
the newspaper arrived
without fanfare

the blizzard never came
as predicted
and the parade downtown
well
it was canceled

a few of us decided
to meet at a tavern
in the old town district
sampling for the very first time
local craft beers
and delicata squash

when the sun went down
we went our separate ways
like we had always done



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

going hungry


I lay perfectly still on a fold-out cot
breathing shallowly
staring at a yellow light bulb
screwed into the ceiling

my hallucinations seem as real as flattened
homes in once peaceful neighborhoods
as sickening as makeshift hospitals
targeted and destroyed
as frightening as displaced little ones roaming
buckled streets inside urban war zones

exhausted and in a cold sweat
I’m visited by an attendant who takes my pulse
patting my forehead with a damp paper towel

she encourages me take a sip of water
my lips cracked and thin and stinging when
pressed against the thick glass

she rises to her feet and crosses her arms
looking at the black and white footage
streaming from the television screen

she picks up the tray of untouched food
and walks away
shaking her head like she always does



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it’s a long way to where I’m going


there is nothing ever new
it has always been there before
whether it be spaceships or dinosaurs

to be or not to be
give me liberty or give me death
what are they but bold proclamations
made by multitudes (of men)
long before recorded history

there is this cumulation of sorts
that continually runs on autopilot
where storms and wars become
even more powerful
nature against man
man against nature (and man)
relentlessly pounding
worldwide peace movements
that somehow flourish surrealistically
century after century

it’s a long way to where I’m going
but chances are once I get there
nobody will ever know



october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

resetting the calendar to zero


this world inside a world
is swelling and threatening
to burst open an entirely new
third order onto the scene

it’s easy to slip in and out
of the lesser world
fraught with deplorables
running exercises inside sewers
checking for daylight through
cracked concrete and faulty plugs

skyscrapers rise and fall
crashing and burning at
unrealistic velocity and power
potters and mad scientists
continuing to reconstruct

once this world inside a world
begets the new third order
there will be an unimaginable peace
only a few will come to understand



october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

will you die for him


children playing out back
unrestricted by all the fences
digging foxholes and
sowing the lord’s seeds

dinnertime bells only delay
the inevitable
and just as their bellies
will never be full
most will find it nearly impossible
to ever grow old



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counting bodies like sheep


do not be nervous little ones
the world is not falling apart at the seams

I do not mean to lie but things are not
what they seem (to be)
in fact these happenings may just
be a figment of some lesser god’s
imagination

and those drums coming nearer
gaining ground even while you’re sleeping
what are they even doing here
and how did they earn privilege
to beat upon the children



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


footote:
loosely based on song of similar
title by A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle youtube video

hell freezes over


we can’t seem to get past
talking about the weather
how it lifts us up only
to tear us down
one day sipping apple-spiced tea
at café eden
the next trapped inside a
bomb shelter in aleppo

I say the weather is earth’s
spirit restless in its own creativity
slowly evolving and forever changing

you nod and look skyward
pointing at the clouds
roiling and attracting countless starlings

seeds affected by cosmic precipitation
you never know what may come next
perhaps a prophet or a prince
or a torrid dictator

ruthless storms continuously stir
inside boiling pots
reappearing as easy as they please
perpetuating change by destroying
everything in its path


september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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