jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

turning clouds into monsters


november monsters hide behind october bushes
their passive aggressive breathing giving rise
to a once low lying morning fog

there is passion beyond the hills
if you can ever get past progressive barriers
whether physically constructed or simply imagined

shallow heartbeats gradually acquire momentum
approaching like a lackadaisical thunderstorm
clapping along a spacious prairie

of course you’ve been here before
countless times either in this world or the next
perhaps ages ago when monsters could be trusted



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

telephone lines


they spoke to one another by way of make-believe telephone lines
not at all like two tin cans connected by a piece of string
stretching from easter island to omnipresent moon

blessed is she who shakes off advances and terms of endearment
instead recognizing all the misfits on the receiving end
reinventing children’s games with wild abandon

and of course with wild abandon comes boisterous laughter
speeding faster than sound through those make-believe lines
the ones stretched from sea to belly of waning gibbous



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

deeper and deeper into the night


it’s almost seven o’clock and we’re
still waiting on shakespeare

everyone seems to know that
son-of-a-bitch is always late
and as far as the host is concerned
scheduled poetry readings will begin
with or without guest of honor

this laid back lingering gathering
seems to be primed on local brews
and/or pumpkin infused caffeinated beverages
quite a few rotating in and out the front door
seen huddling and smoking in front of
big picture window

it’s mid october and so far there
are plenty of tricks and an occasional treat

nobody is about to abandon the notion
that good old bill and his entourage
will eventually appear
(as contractually agreed upon)
but meanwhile all give thanks
to this peaceful venue
and sincere thanks to every poet
stepping up to the mic



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

agrarian muses and snow-covered ponds


how your angels sing the blues
atop tarnished ivory arches
interrupting your dreams by
bringing back consciousness

it’s just one more morning waking
up to sunshine and isolation
a single spot on google earth
a farmhouse
a mile in from gravel road aptly
named rabbit run

though unsure how you arrived
you’ve no intention of straying far
and on days to come find yourself
roaming fields in dead of winter
not a soul around for miles
and miles and miles



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

blackbirds biding their time


twilighty on an october evening
cats a’meowing and quiet moon
maybe making an appearance

I’ve seen you in this race before
maybe it was ten years ago
or maybe it was yesterday

these pockmarks on my cheeks
they don’t mean a thing
I regret you ever saw them

those moons we rarely see
orbiting worlds we barely know
absolutely belong here

and why you decided to go
long before your time
has everything to do with them



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

as heavy as the sun


a weight immeasurable
sits atop garden pedestal
lone object like a miniature
crystal ball containing
oh so many worlds

a paperweight perhaps
or better yet a snow globe
but alas nothing like that
due to aforementioned
immeasurable weight

you try to pick it up
but it no longer exists
and you are left to your mumblings
but in the morning
there it is again
this weight immeasurable
(as heavy as the sun)
sitting atop garden pedestal



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

tapping my foot to the beat of the drum


I liked how the crow’s nest was within
walking distance from my place
its pink rooftop like a beacon
calling out my otherworldliness

Intellectuals and up-and-comers and
has-beens frequent the place
sprouting post-modern hallucinations
by way of fermented imaginations

Of course I am an outsider with a
photographic mind and a microphone
picking up prose and poetry
that seems to reside on the airwaves

Sitting unnoticed at the dark end of the bar
I systematically imbibe local ale
memorizing their stoic faces
second-guessing my unfounded fears



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

crickets singing in the basement


playoff game streaming inside
television set connected to the internet
sound muted in favor of tom petty’s
sirius xm radio channel 31

crickets in the basement seem to be
keeping time with each selection
undoubtedly unaware of the
natural order of things

how they made their way into the house
I have a pretty good idea
and as the game moves into later innings
I begin to wonder how they’ll
ever find their way back home



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

winter without black crows


how I really feel I cannot ascertain
there are too many rats chasing facts
and not enough truths in the supply chain

and so I retreat into the comfort
that is black and white and oh so very cold

lone blue jay and two magpies
occupy much of my time
now that winter has nearly settled in

outside there are fallen trees to feed the fire
but I venture out only if I must

my deepest sleep often find bluejay
and two magpies flying from treetop to treetop

and as dawn appears they fall back to earth
sleepwalking on nearby trails

come midmorning they find themselves
back in my own backyard
eager to chatter about their escapades
and how next time I should join them



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

never letting go


I was caught crying again
perfectly sober and stunned
perhaps wounded by stray bullets
kicking up dirt all along the fault line

I swear I never met her
this young woman in my arms
unable to speak due to fright
needing more attention than I could give

peace resides not in chaos
body and mind self-protecting
inner instincts kicked into full gear
frantically searching for makeshift havens

they pried her out of my arms
transporting her to safety
red lights flashing and pulsating
screaming hysterically in desert night



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking the speed of sound


forest edge is like the end of the world
as sure as you step one foot inside
you will never be the same

what roams the perimeter can be
seen during twilight
eyes flickering like candle tips
tap-dancing to the wind

invisible hand latches onto yours
hurling you high above using
supernatural powers
and suddenly you are soaring
tall like the trees
headlong and arms outstretched
hellbent on breaking the barrier



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

those unfortunate ones


we used to have these knock down
drag out fights inside studio one
every friday night

pounding beers and pushing out sounds
was much better than
driving the ones or
hanging out shooting pool downtown

lord knows we’ve been paying dues
ever since daddy met his maker
and we’ll be damned if we don’t
do something to make him proud

while we know these east coast boys
have been following us for weeks
we just keep doing what we do
praying one day we’ll be in a position
to help those less fortunate



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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