jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “War Poems”

on ending the protests


the threats are real
as real as the violence
in the streets
an angry mob
unstoppable
marches toward its
final destination


beware the nukes
once they’re launched
there will be
no more mob
no more anger
no more streets
upon which to protest





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

doctor strangelove


there is a strange frequency in the air
and the traffic is lighter than usual
[nearly nonexistent actually]
it’s as though the small & bright city
has become a ghost town


pick a year any year and you will
find how nothing has changed
how ghost towns have become
overtaken by nature in seventy-five
or one hundred years’ time

of all the cold wars taken place
this one is the most chilling
women & children sacrificed
by the hundreds of thousands
the men mysteriously evaporated





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in this post-apocalyptic world


I thought it was monday
but it was sunday again
as if six days went missing
blown away by nuclear winds

the world news at nine
didn’t tell me anything
I didn’t already know
living on a wing & a prayer
in this post-apocalyptic world

the great migration
has only just begun
how many sundays may pass
before I must move on





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

we don’t belong here


there is much to fear
but the thought is fleeting
for there is much to do
such as renaming islands
or teaching children
a new language

forces around the world
gain momentum
destroying anything
in their path
—years later a second wave ensues
[the reconstruction phase]
villages slowly reappearing
vegetation taking root
from the ashes





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

the world isn’t full of love


the constant call to arms
loudspeakers in the city streets
projecting all the romance languages

young boys & girls tilt their heads
counting years on their fingers
virtual tactical gear painted on their skin
marching to the snare & the bugle

a caravan of tarp covered vehicles
transport wet-eared recruits
populating newly formed camps
outside the danger zone

soon the city will be empty
and children in their infinite wisdom
find what the world lacks is love





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

repeating history


the problem with the world today
we’re living in the past
like a smoker who can’t kick the habit
we’re unable to quit killing
whether sanctioned by allegedly legitimate
power brokers
or straight up civilian violence

when I was a kid we played
cowboys & indians
cops & robbers
doctor & nurse
role playing because we were left
to our devices
and our parents bought us weaponry
and any kind of idol we would ask for

on sundays we were reminded how evil
we truly were
and twice or maybe three times a year
we were forgiven all our sins

come monday however
we were right back at it
perpetuating the only thing that made sense





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

On Normandy Beach


Even on vacation the bombing
does not cease
heard thousands of miles away
from the glorious oceanfront
morning noon & night


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

the rise of the wildflowers


what else is there to do than question
the degree of violence in society today

maybe we shouldn’t flatter ourselves
until we actually let loose the nukes

talk about depopulating the world
an ambitious goal somehow achieved

much sooner than previously imagined
at a cost much lower due to stagflation

and as economists rethink their stances
victorious warlords take on more land





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

strategizing using alcohol


what do you want
and I’ll make it for you
an oatmeal cookie
a washington apple
an irish pipe bomb
whatever it is
I’m sure I can make it

even if I’m not familiar
with the vernacular
I’ll google it & improvise
variate old recipes
guaranteed to blow your mind
not to mention opening
possibilities
of retaking previously
conceded territories





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

beyond the burning cities


at what point does the truth not matter
after the walls have crumbled down
and the fighting men have retreated


past neutral borders into safer cities
abandoning their own identities
past the point the truth doesn’t matter

blending in to regroup & relearn
a language other than their own
spoken by fighters who have retreated

dying to live another peaceful day
abandoning a pledge & a promise
at what point does the truth not matter

recruiting women & children into their fold
sabotaging their own bridges
fighting men fearful & in full retreat

abandoning their own ideals
turning their weapons into passports
at what point does the truth not matter
as once fighting men stage a full retreat





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

Wichita


If I catch you coming back my way
I’m gonna serve it to you

                        ―John Anthony White

She pinned a tail to my behind
as if I were a donkey
somehow tied a string to my underbelly
and away she sent me sailing

With each tug & pull
[and adding more line]
I became less & less vulnerable
relaying signals
that no Seven Nation Army
could ever hold us back





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

five thousand miles away


I broke my fast with a beer
it’s been a day
& a half
the moon flirting with the sun
on a saturday morning
after the arrival of the
screech owl in the tallest pine
but before the paperboy
hand delivers
absentmindedness

I say no news is good news
but we all know better
displaced men & women
& children
learning as they go
one eye squinting
the other zeroed in on the sight
picking off one target
after another until
the last one surrenders





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

a radical change of pace


we keep the doors locked
when at home
and unlocked when gone
seems like the most reasonable
thing to do

most of the neighbors
have been replaced
—since we never talked to the old ones
[in the first place]
we’re not speaking
to the new

it’s like we’re living
inside a hitchcock movie
strangers viewable
through their rear windows
training birds of prey
right there
in broad daylight
the ones without feathers
probably drones





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

The Art of War


Once the weather radio started freaking out
all things went to hell in a handbasket

There’s one thing I know about the climate
it’s always in a constant state of flux

After the storms passed we counted
the damages on ledger paper
one for physical
two for mental
and three for extraterrestrial

The mess is becoming a bigger mess
mother nature at war with herself
randomly precise & indiscriminate
hitting targets from any & all directions
whether in the air
or on land
or at sea





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

the days I lived alone


I am trapped inside this house
a house without mirrors
all of them stolen
by mice & men

here I am left to own devices
setting traps
& replaying forty-fives
with the volume on high
as I attempt to wipe away
all the evidence
all the blood
from the bathroom
& the kitchen
and down below
where the furnace roars

I don’t really live here
anymore
it seems the mice
have taken over
a transitional situation
to say the least





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

hitching a ride out of the war zone


the television is too loud
and the radio plays softly
the ambient air
cooler than it needs to be

the clouds are low
puffy like pink elephants
roaming the skies
in search of a little drink
or a romp in a puddle of mud

all the noise from the inside
evaporates in a heartbeat
courtesy of a smart bomb
delivered from the far side

caravans become as common
as the latest virus
instinctively searching
for clear skies
like wolves or jackals
or hyenas would do





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

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