jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

the gods must be pleased


though questions will forever remain
there is much to be done now

consumption of all sorts is alive & well
fresh oranges from a tree
from the good earth various shades of greens
on the store shelves boxes of reds
and jars of blues & yellows

in an otherwise empty playground
two children commandeer colors of their own
crawling across the concrete like spiders
delivering subliminal messages
by stamping down grotesque images

once accomplishing the task at hand
they look at each other
at their own rainbow faces
smiling & shrugging their shoulders
telepathically agreeing
the gods must be pleased




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

to learn something by heart


there is not one sound
drifting from the speakers
placed perfectly on the wall
twelve feet apart

the room is white & wireless
and with an inner wish
you fill the air with sound
a heavy bass composition
bringing you further in
the outside sun sinking
slowly darkening the walls

a stranger appears
[perhaps your unbeknownst host]
gliding across the floor as if on ice
extinguishing the sound
via verbal command
lighting taper candlesticks
with a snap of the fingers

by way of ten thousand lumens
the walls take on the color purple
the room refilled with sound
something refreshingly familiar
something you once knew by heart




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

finding my song


when I tell them I want
to be a bird when I grow up
all I hear is laughter

not just any bird
I go on to say
but one in which I can paint
my own feathers
a different color every day
one in which I can sing
a new song until I find the one
sung directly from my heart

and when I die
my brightest of feathers
will surely fade away
but my song
oh my song
it will live forever




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in search of october


they’re everywhere
outside the sunroom feeding
barely audible & hurrying
inside hanging like glass angels
kept afloat by invisible wires

nobody dare notices
september is here upon us
mindlessly giving & taking
asking nobody for any favors
uncomfortably sitting still

depending upon the light
doors & windows open & shut
repeating every so often
winds die down & return to life
at the slightest command

it’s best not to give in
as you see like anything else
september always ends
desperate wings all aflutter
effectively fanning the fire




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

permanent resident


where did you go little chickadee
the summer is barely over

those eerie sounds you hear
wicked winds coming from the west
were never meant to scare you

come back please
please come back home
don’t leave me now I’ve much to learn
once everything dies I’ll be counting on you
to help me make it to the other side




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

isolated & medicated


nobody really knows what happened
just like nobody knows what will

they keep saying something bad
is bound to happen to him
but it never does

in the meantime we are picking up
all kinds of pieces
large & small & medium & minuscule
picking up the tiniest shards of glass
(slightly larger than molecules)
grinding them to nothing with our teeth

this town used to be something
nearly opposite than it is today
medicated & isolated
its people slowly turn on themselves
for explanations unimaginable




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an ordinary world


tanks rolling through town
escorting a larger entourage
little legs running right along
keeping up with the pace
robotic machines with long legs & long arms
marching & singing ‘one two three four
who are we fighting for’

everything’s been canceled
the parade is all there is
children singing ‘one two three four’
lighting snakes & small fires by the curbside
strategizing about stargazing
wildly boasting of shooting the moon
and bringing down the sun god




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

undoing the end of time


I imagine as the years pass
change appears to quicken its pace
when in fact all along it’s been this way
from the very start

people are passionate by nature
though by many varying degrees
hiders & seekers alike
attempting to vainly save themselves
or selflessly saving others

we can stampede much faster
than one or twenty horses
kicking up dirt & turning the landscape
into a horizontal blur
or methodically slow things down
to a virtual crawl
wiping clear the skies & undoing
the end of time




september two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

the fortitude & the will


choose wisely what you remember
if that is even possible

despite the accuracy of the moment
the further back you go
the more vivid it seems to be

there is an aum in your future
I can feel it
one in which forces you to slow
things down
opening the possibility
of moving further
than you’ve gone thus far
in your short time here

from there you can launch yourself
as long as you continue to possess
the fortitude & the will




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

toxicity


I’m all alone in my room
listening to toxicity
unfamiliar lyrics
forming & shaping
my current state of mind
drinking casually
drawing smoke to my lungs
needle & spoon
within arm’s reach

I sing along whenever I can
guessing what words
may come next
as if learning a new language
the recording progresses
banging my head
against an imaginary wall
thrashing my head
into the electrified air




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

seven bullets


this is not the same place it used to be

the neighborhood
the municipality
the county & the state
and all those interconnected

yes there are safe zones & hot spots
but they can flip on a dime
and then where will you be
either in the safest place imaginable
or right there in the middle of the fray

I used to call them the police
but now I’m finding myself calling them cops
like I did when I was a little kid
when we played cops & robbers
running unrestrained between houses
and through back alleyways
taking to the safety of the park
and all its beaten paths & tallest pines
doing my damndest to shake them
as they close in within earshot
suddenly emptying half their round
without even a warning




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

just a phase


it was a billy joel kind of morning
the big hand crossing over six
she’s always a woman playing on the a-side
soon to flip over to anthony’s song

in the old days you’d make a racket
demanding I clock in as the doorman
before I was good & ready
even before the first song ever ended

over time your musical tastes changed
right along with mine
lately banging our heads against the door
reluctant to find what’s on the other side




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

business as usual


I’ve neglected my hummingbird friends
far too long but through no fault of my own
oh how they must be a forgiving sort
returning once finding me back on my feet

it’s true the natural nectar may have been
decimated by the wicked wicked winds
but now there is sunlight to be found
between blinking eyes & barren ground

it’s true the landscape is ever changing
leading us to say we live in interesting times
though matter of factly it’s business as usual
reaching out & routinely replenishing




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

minority bill of rights


I dreamed in a prior life
we spoke another language
the strangest of worlds
becoming all too familiar

there is this other place
far away from home
where certain spoken words
take on greater meaning

intuitively we are drawn
chasing what is ours
whether intrinsically so
or rightfully speaking




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

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