jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

crossing the river jordan


sailboats are positioned
at the edge of my mind
I am poised to set them free
now that the waters have receded

off-white and triangular
they replicate themselves ad infinitum
keeping time and racing upon
a river that has no end

possessing the power to escape
they enter interstellar space
where celestial bodies
effortlessly sail on their own terms




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

forgotten isle


I did not mean to forget
but the years have a way
of hiding that which should be visible
like storms concealing waves
so very close to shore

will you ever forgive me
after forgetting to keep you in mind
having skipped away
from one stone to the next
testing the limits of time

it’s not that I’ve been lost before
but this time must be real
as if exiled on a forgotten island
where neither moon nor sun
shall no longer call me friend




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on digging deeper


I keep telling myself there is much life
left in this story as I pull to the side of
the road and record a few more entries

radio frequencies seem to come and go
much like white lines and off-white clouds
swiftly and surreptitiously passing by

everyone writes poetry now and again
especially when off and wanderlusting
to places usually found underground

I’ll always keep coming up for more air
as long as the good lord will let me
but in the meantime I’m planning on
going deeper to find a few more answers




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

last supper


what will it be today
she asked
a line well-rehearsed

he said he wasn’t ready
and she walked away

it was freaky windy outside
and even though
no windows could be opened
the blue curtains did blow

he knew the menu
by heart
but he read it over and over again
as if for the last time




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

reworking dark love songs


I’ve been testing the limits of creation
laying down disco tracks and
introducing new lyrics certain
to get you up and dancing

I’ve been listening to ‘one of
these nights’ and practicing
the high harmony parts as if
I was a prepubescent teenager

I’ve been waiting by the telephone
line and thinking about your eyes
writing down every single line
entering my unmethodical mind




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

panic attack


I’m minding my own business
maybe reminiscing
what others call daydreaming
I call reaching within
finding some sort of zen
on a side street
on a curbside seat
taking it all in




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

working on a masterpiece


it wasn’t long ago I was certain
I wasn’t long for this world
and I remember asking myself
is this all there is to life
a series of interconnected dots
sometimes beautifully displayed
other times awfully disjointed
in the end leaving you dumbfounded
exactly how it was you managed
to get from point A to point B

how many times have I told myself
I’m not the same person I was
ten years ago
and today I ask the very same question
knowing full well the future
is simply an elaborate idea
and the past is nothing but
an unfinished painting
that consistently needs retouching




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fruit of the vine


your imagination started
long before creation
inspired by compositions
streaming through space

emerging from the dark
you selectively choose
what comes naturally
like the ripest apples
hanging on the vine





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking away


I try not to overthink it
this place where I’ll be born
whether made simply
or woven intricately
it matters not to the world

from what I understand
others are born in knot holes
or shallow depressions in the sand
kept warm by nature
and a mother’s instincts

I doubt I shall ever remember
that from which I came
crowded and loud and loitering
most of us focused on vying
to be first to break free





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

strangers passing by


there were four of them
marching down the sidewalk
a band of brothers and sisters
as if on a mission from god

it was quitting time and I was
getting into my car as they
were swiftly approaching

to get a closer look
I used my rear view mirror
and then directly outside my window
as they passed by excitedly

they were talking to one another
laughing and smiling and seemingly
unconcerned about privacy

though I somehow understood
every single word they said
their demeanor and inclinations
told me they must be aliens

and before they made it to the corner
their aura pixelated and dissipated
like a mysterious fog quickly lifting





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stranger in a foreign land


I’ve lost my way or so it seems
streets and faces anything but familiar
I fear I may have awakened from
another man’s dream
transplanted if you may
and tasked to piece together a past
found in this place and time

I did not ask for this life
but neither do I recall the former
where people knew my name
and I learned to grow old reluctantly

but now I find myself young again
sensing purpose in my gait
as I continue to weave
my way through this
city of diversity
beginning to believe
there is purpose yet to be found





june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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