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poetry by j matthew waters

test flight take one thousand


horizon gives way to five dimensions
showcasing countless colors
subconscious minds deciphering
all of it effortlessly

spinning like a top along invisible plane
surfboarding spacecraft
reverse course from unknown points
riding atop high rolling waves

aircraft and watercraft once lost
inside triangles
reappear out of future air
joining in on the spectacle
ceremoniously
if not downright paradoxically





january two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

New Year’s Day


There is change in the air
smoke from wood burning stoves
linger above rooftops

Plows clearing streets
snowmen cropping up at an alarming rate
crows welcoming the dead
wingspans boldly contrasting
against whitened sky

Nobody saw the sunrise today
at least not in these parts
where there is no connectivity of
any kind to any grid

There are neighborhood stores
and places of worship and refuge
and children freely play outside
even on the coldest of winter days





new year’s day two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

extant


there were stones lined along pathway
topped with frost and shiny from
southern sun striking topsides

walking along hands behind back
I wonder how alive
these inanimate objects must be
as they continued to pave my way

I am remiss if I don’t doubt the reality
of my own existence
at times cursed and others exalted
chastised and honored
reviled and revered
depending upon time of day

there is no sadness surrounding
anything around here
there is only relief
for what was once my constancy
transitions into solitary acceptance





new year’s eve two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

passport


off to half a world away
a place never set foot upon
I pray she will accept me

I keep checking my pockets
for identification
but they’re empty now
forever surrendered to the state

I was one of the first
to sign up for mission to mars
my resume somehow
lost in the shuffle
leaving me rethinking
what little options remain





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

last novena


on good friday parish banks locked
their doors at noon
those inside looking out
waves of worshippers walking by
everyone of them jesus
on his way to calvary

there are no motor cars motoring
no laughter or alcohol
permitted on the streets
groups of pilgrims advancing
visiting nine churches from
cock’s crow ‘til sundown

thunder precedes rain
pelting down like hammer on nail
thinly layered crowds
dispersed by lightning strikes
only the most devout
atop the hill and wailing





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

while skimming stones across glass pond


it’s a perfect fit
basking in the moment
but it was short-lived
like a lost talisman
like a grand slam
or coup d’état

there is piano
and saxophone at play
filling the air
and dissipating
bandaging all cares
only to unmask

you pick something
out of thin air
be it rose petal or
raindrop or damselfly
further defining
recollections scattering





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a resurrected angel


you’ve seen these people
talking with their hands
I want to know what they know
somehow tap into their insights

they are not like those politicians
or preachers or snake oil solicitors
using sleight of hand maneuvers
like a charlatan or imposter or pretender
like an everyday carnival barker
like a false prophet delivery incoherent babble
promising some sort of tipping point

ever since yesterday’s crash
time has blossomed
supposedly ushering worldwide prosperity
the disadvantaged growing in numbers
thriving in ways inexplicable
like a resurrected angel





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

how I wished she would be mine


she said we were friends
but I never believed her for fear
it was only a dream

I never knew who to believe
ever since I was five years old
when neighborhood boys
kicked the crap out of me for
reasons never known

on christmas eve restless eyes
survey the skies from darkened
room with oval window
bringing in the faintest lights from
places secretly existing

I spot a particular star dying to be seen
a little gem with a wry smile
promising myself I’ll revisit her
as often as possible
as long as she would have me





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

down below peace ebbs and flows


winter stars have long moved on
replaced by tin soldiers
recaptured and rehabilitated
forced to wear bold
and vibrant colors
and pledge allegiance to the queen

eastern front is nowhere to be found
come february
not without a rifle and bayonet
nor any working instrument
allowing you to chart
new stars unveiling new gateways

boundary waters gradually thaw
making moon appear
much more liquid and palatable
racing across land by day
seven seas by night
everchanging like an adversary





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

forever green


sitting in the dark
watching cars pass by
snow quietly falling
not a star in sight

everything’s unplugged
sound of winter settles in
pulsating candlelight
casting shadows on walls
touching rags and bones

other world sleeps upstairs
while down below you
redraw black & white dreams
subtracting out the bad
adding new color
until every ornament
collected throughout the years
is perfectly placed
on your imaginary tree





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stars of bethlehem


all the universe is about to change
turning nothing into something
you’ve never seen before

make a wish upon a star
this one and the next
rising over your shoulder
giving you a kiss

it’s like a candle
dancing in the wind
flickering high and
simmering low
bending below the horizon
only to reverse direction
soaring timelessly
beyond its own apex





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the last day of christmas


it’s getting late she says
and I agree silently

lights turn on and off
flickering like christmas tree
inside new year’s eve

did you put that bird back
in the pear tree
she asks nonchalantly

I did indeed I reply
and fed them both
six ounces each of your favorite
chocolate porter

outside felines are screaming
after having witnessed
albino barn owl eyes
both of us smiling slightly
neither of us moving an inch





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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