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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “War Poems”

trapdoor


listen up there’s
a new world order
brewing

in the kitchen
fm radio blaring
emergency
broadcast signal

everywhere you go
something’s
missing
a sock
a mitten
a cherished memory
taken away
by dream thieves

listen up
hut two three four
we’ve made it official
& we’re doing it in style
stumbling headlong
through the newly
constructed
trapdoor





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

inside Putin’s pockets


they arrived by boat
and once docked
the boat imploded

was it a staged event
or a sad accident
rumors circulating

the number of deaths
underreported due to
understaffing
the pandemic
the supply chain
you name it

those who made it
were no longer
themselves
(no longer boat people)
merely survivors
relearning how to live
(and let live)
on foreign soil





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

Recalling the Day I Died


I’ve become dizzied

    ~ spinning faster than a top
or something known as a whirling dervish

struggling to recall the day’s events
I’ve given up on the present

there is much digging going on

          in the garden

                it is springtime

& the commotion is overwhelming

            the year nineteen fourteen
the last time I was alive





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

while in the pursuit of happiness


today’s glass
wiped of memories
eliminated by tanks since
destroyed

yesterday’s was
half empty
scattered thoughts
incapable of
piecing together a single thing

tomorrow’s glass
is yet to exist
its contents incubating
awaiting on a toast
to the victor
goes the spoils

boo/hiss to the insatiable





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

addicted to the madness


shots fired in the tourist district
a stampede in the streets
just past midnight

the eyes of children fearless & furious
peer through casement windows

though brighter than the morning light
they dare not stare too long
lest they go blind

sirens & flashing lights & gunshots
feet running & cars screaming

confusion reigns & becomes supreme
bodies pretend to sleep
just past midnight

the eyes of children fearless & furious
regaining count of all the sheep

refuge & solace sought after
who will offer comfort
in this chaos

as if thrown into a make-believe mob
they act without instruction

moonshine barely noticeable
spotting bullet casings
just past midnight

the eyes of children fearless & furious
rewinding & replaying





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

crossing over


it’s not going to end well if they can’t cross the river
son saying independence day is any day now
daughter stitching an eye back in dolly

they built sutliff bridge where they did for good reason
having been damaged only recently
the local astronomer sends them another way

it’s either a death trap or the ultimate tipping point
& though contradictory on the surface
what happens next makes perfect sense





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

first and last second chance


always on the run misfortune separates a thousand lifetimes

we’ve met before
how many centuries past
however brief
suddenly standing before me
destined to my wife

there is much in store
as we settle upon a land
foreign to us
blues skies & fertile soil
designed by nature’s law

from this day forth
we shall never part again
not by life or death
neither by nature’s wrath
nor man’s unjust wars





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

pauses & continuations


there’s no news for good reason
spirits & communication lines long down
parade routes forever rerouted
people on the streets a thing of the past
the lower atmosphere littered with drones
weaponized or humanitarian in nature
controlled from as far away as the arctic circle
or as close to the boy next door





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

Resistance


Whatever it was it’s broken
tossed out for all to see
like a rusted out tractor
pushed to the treeline
a photo opportunity for any
passerby with a camera

Take a good look for yourself
nothing works here anymore
screws loose or cards lost
piggy bank shattered to pieces
the water out of the tap
nothing but an unsteady drip

Inside this sprawling city
buildings implode
with the flash of the light
minute by minute & block by block
the beaten & broken
keep coming back to life





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

changing of the guard


it takes energy
to sustain energy
to create & recreate

the mirror understands
goes back in time
your neck at an angle
trying to decipher if what
you saw is what you recall

they’re making money
out of thin air
tens of thousands of machines
mining like virtual maniacs
their controllers hoping to
strike gold again
secluded in the sierra foothills

it’s understood some cities
are being flattened
old bosses with their old technologies
laying to waste their arsenals
out of sheer boredom





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

changing plans on the fly


what else is there to talk about
now that the storms have passed

I was told it would go down like this
first the great divide & then the fall

in my mind the great resignation
was more like a melancholy separation
especially when compared to the present

I’m done waiting or moving in lines
for some handout I could do without

there are plenty of other ways to escape
open your mind & I’ll show you





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

the gray room


the communication
has been spotty
mostly due to
long fought wars
& some climate change

I was told to go to my
gray room & there I stay
a prisoner of my own mind
solving rubik’s cube
after rubik’s cube
but unable to temper & tame
not a single thing
not a cat nor a mouse
neither a mangy canine
nor bengal tiger

I have paper & pencil
& there is a slot that
wants to be a window
one that gives & takes
one that admonishes
in one breath
& forgives in another

at least the gray room
is no longer white

I like it that way





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

lunatic fringe & blind eyes


scores of countries
are currently at war

can you name them
can you name them all

insurgencies & civil
drug & trade
so many wars in so little time
death & destruction
urban cities or rural countryside
children & women
men & animals
mass murdered by war
recycled like raw material

leaders become illegitimate
in a matter of minutes
pushing buttons
calling on their machines
to massacre before our very eyes
this the twenty-first century





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

seashell


nothing’s new in the world
striped tigers in arenas
& armed men in jungles
thousands dying by day
inside cramped quarters
or in ever greater expanses

escapes are different today
not like whipping ‘round
the dark side of the moon
so many eyes set on the west
vast migrations looking up
at passenger starships

you’ve been uprooted
recruited & participating in
some master grander scheme
born as nothing but a bit player
soaking in the sun
& walking the beach

(waiting for the call)





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

rewriting the revolution


the daffodil knows
everything about the first & last
the beginning of the end
of eternal spring

what is not written
holds steady like stasis
handed down by way of mouth
word for word for word

underground stories
are the most dangerous
everchanging
& subversively challenging
the status quo





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

assassinations


whose machination is this
capable & probably taking out
the dark prince

when it’s all over
nostradamus will be
prognosticating again
this time from mars
resurrected & freely roving
by way of artificial intelligence

the wars will never end (on earth)
neither on the ground nor in the seas
not in any airspace
either here or in outer space





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

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