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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “War Poems”

this never ending war


this never ending war
call it evolution of revolution
as predictable as time itself
spinning and orbiting
one object around another

robotic tin soldiers
advancing exponentially
mercurial eyes laser sharp
lethal like the very weapons
they wield on command

the course of human history
seemingly on autopilot
at odds with peacemakers
challenging old world warlords
brokering old deals with satan




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

white flag


she’s in my head now
[how can she not be]
having gone off to war
without saying goodbye

she’s off to change the world
oh how I want to tell her
[but never will I speak]
how there’s nothing
left to change
only pieces to be moved

lately I’ve been dreaming
of tanks and bombs and drones
awakening my bones like clockwork
[in the year nineteen ninety-one]
waving a white flag
and bringing her back home




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counter-revolutionary


the mood of the nation
weighs heavily on my mind

even though I’ve always had
my very own secret getaways
this time it feels different
as if there’s no place to hide

[getting ready for bed I take two
hail marys and one full-strength aspirin]

blood orange moon shines
brightly through bedroom window
its imperfections leaking through

sitting all alone in the dark
the house breathes quietly like me
a witness to my own transgressions

there was a time I would escape
for the sake of escaping
disappearing for days on end

but now that the mood of the nation
weighs heavily on my mind
this inherent flight to safety
is suddenly sparked by fear





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

black hole earth


third world angels wrap themselves
around the loneliest of children
god ever placed on earth

they amble these ancient streets
and back alleys virtually unseen
admiring the crumbling architecture
as the children somehow fall fast asleep
jet fighters crisscrossing the frozen skies
reminding everyone that this time
nothing will be different

come daybreak birds sing and angels weep
opening their wings and knowing
in a naturally universal way
that this place in time
will be neither the first nor the last





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

cease fire


who shall we condemn today
and who shall we elevate
picking and choosing
like gods openly playing favorites

how many times must we surrender
until peace reigns on earth
and how many times must our
hearts be tested before
proving our intentions are true

and those gods who willfully
come and go at their leisure
who’s to say they’re not the ones
continually adding fuel to the fire





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

dreaming of clearing skies


the air is heavy from constant
bombardment
rolling in every three or four days
like a recurring freight train

there’s plenty to do besides
worry and wait
and it matters not if you think
more of less about the next
certain lethal blast

on clear and silent nights
children gaze at the stars in
amazement
curiously wondering if they too
were made by man





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a gathering of armies


they held the stars for ransom
loveless creatures of the night
coming and going as they please
like outlaw angels on the run

it’s difficult to track that which
leaps from moon to moon
pitting fire against magic
and heaven from hell

this is not the first or last time
boarding chartered flights
eyes shut tight and chasing
death to armageddon and back




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like wars fought near and far


I’ve been practicing my lines
sometimes while drinking
other times in my sleep
saying them out loud when
nobody’s around
whispering them under my
breath at check out lines or
while idling at red lights

though the world is dying
the coming winter should
slow the process down
allowing for pause
and consideration
whether well rehearsed lines
(like wars fought near and far)
actually require repeating




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

white dove


stories we tell
sometimes disguised as poetry
reveal most everything
you need to know
about current state of affairs

tales from the jungle
always gives you the jimmies
yet you keep going back
somehow believing
the ending will be different

history repeating
always playing your part
sometimes like a tin soldier
marching in the fields
praying for winter to come




october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

crows of aleppo


crow followed me home
like a shadow over my sorrow
squawking like a dog does
not knowing where to turn

by the time I got there
it had burned to the ground
that crow following me home
suddenly a dozen or more

as they circled up above
a calm enveloped my being
those crows following me home
neither ally nor enemy




june two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no time for baseball


it’s the bottom of the ninth
and nobody’s keeping score
and though the lights are on
the stadium is nearly empty

in the comfort of my own home
I can’t reach the game on am radio
instead switch to fm and listen to
jimi hendrix covering bob dylan

early morning news feed arrives
bold headlines scream no-hitter
followed by abbreviated stories
regurgitating tales of mass destruction

weatherman breaks in unannounced
low lying fog chemically unbalanced
possibly canceling the school day
if not the entire baseball season




april two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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