jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “afterlife”

when it rains


there is precipitation in the sky
improvising as falling ice
pinging partially-filled glasses
and producing magical notes
music piped into the city square
unexpected dancers sporting umbrellas
smiling under artificial light
twisting and twirling and portraying
life as a grand affair




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

making room for more space


I’ve been keeping an eye on the sky
and an ear to the ground
deciphering signals that may
[or may not] be trying to reach me

forgive me for my absence
but I’ve been on an improbable mission
secretly recruited to test the limits
beyond the known exosphere

voices ebb and flow nearly undetectable
flashes of light impersonating
past and present and future
quietly striding along moving shadows

there is a breakthrough to be made
that much I am quite certain
but whether it happens in this world
[or the next] is subject to interpretation





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on becoming a mere memory


how you knew so far in advance
remains a mystery to this day
unless of course you had miraculously
rediscovered your clairvoyance at the
exact time I relinquished my rights
to any sort of extrasensory perception

though unprepared to give up anything
(especially in my formative years)
I transfer all powers I once possessed
(whether real or imaginary) to you




june two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a lesson in forgiving oneself


so here we are again
resting comfortably on the veranda
              subconsciously
dissecting the gemini new moon
reminiscing about what could have been
       and what will be
after we have left this earth

emotional scars supercede
the physical variety
              the former carried
into the afterlife
       the latter simply becoming
compost or better yet
              burns in the fire

it’s perfectly fine to have regrets
but the chances of being born again
              increase tenfold
and if not ~ well there are no guarantees
       that the sky is ever the limit




june two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

we shall not speak of death this day


I awoke to a day without news
and quietly wondered if I had landed in heaven

deciding such thoughts are for birds
incapable of flight
I abandoned the notion
at the same time noticing
there were no winds
and no clouds

nor was there rain or sunshine

I was sitting at the base of a sunflower
that had grown ten stories tall
reading from scrolls that were written
before the earth became blue

there is an end to every story
someone once told me
but as for this one
it is only just beginning




may two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taken to a nearby hospital


the city was on fire
and I was like a lost lamb
roaming past identical houses
hoping the next turn opens up
to a countryside I once knew by heart

they say the nightlife is the best here
where the most beautiful people gathered
to forget the past

but then it was gone in a flash
like a trick of the mind
there you see it
there you don’t
limbs gyrating like an egyptian
eyes mesmerized
believing just about anything

there was a man with a staff
crying out in the city center
where the river divided the land
and though I was perfectly lost
I heard him clearly above the
sirens and screams and
deadly detonations



january two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like no tomorrow


my inner clock
wakes me when
I am tired
reminds me to take
pictures of my past
whether or not I’ll ever
revisit them

napping on couch
sunrays creep inside
my cobweb dreams
shaking them
making my eyelids flutter

photographs flash
frame after frame
like an accelerating
motion picture
the sun hardly
visible on bright canvass
falling rapidly like a
comet with no tomorrow



october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the moon you know is no longer mine


it’s hard for me to imagine
I’ve moved on these past few seconds
but in reality was so many moons ago

if only you had an idea
what I’ve gone through
to make it to the other side
you would easily understand
how precious are the wormholes

when I said I was good to go
that was a lie
but now that I’m gone
I’m happy to report
there is something seriously happy
happening on the other side


may two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

flash powder


what have I contributed
to the cause
keeping the music alive and
guarding elephants
from poachers

I’ve given up aerosol sprays
and gasoline
marlboro lights
store-bought soup
and religion

how much more do I have to give

that constant humming in my ear
is that just a warning from
my guardian angel
or simply a reminder
how those widely admired
can easily be swept away
like a night owl’s prey
silently screaming

absolution doesn’t exist
in the blink of an eye
and even if it did
no act of contrition could
prevent anyone from
seeing the light


january two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

riding new waves


you run like the wind
void of thought
breathless
chasing spirits into
the fading light

on the other side
there are souls
in limbo
hoping to follow your
every command

turning on the light
nerves scatter
in waves
circling past prior lives
sailing your way


october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

that lonesome road


repressed memories lay in shadows
begging to be found
along the side of the road
leading to a place called redemption

I was supposed to pick up the pieces
but I was busy
losing track of precious time
barreling down this lonesome highway

forgive me for my forgetfulness
those wildflowers found
in the middle of somewhere
were meant to bloom in your memory

this love I possess is eternal
quietly moves on
past tomorrow’s horizon
and beyond the roadway to the stars


october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

ghost of my former self


I always enjoy my time
walking amongst the living
dressed in off-white and
uninterested in success
briefcase in one hand
wall street journal in the other
umbrella purposefully left behind
in a vacated train seat

I once met an angel
while witnessing a stabbing
on sunset boulevard
quickly turned my back
because her light was too bright
her tucked wings a reminder
I can’t possibly find my way
without first learning to fly


october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

say you’ll haunt me


inside this cage I hear you sing
your personal psalms
songs of woe and joy
and everything in between

during your darkest moments
supernovas shine high above

though not in your line of sight
they keep you off guard and hopeful

your face is patterned
vertical lines channeling emotions
streaming from your eyes

out in the yard shadows cast
familiar symmetrical smiles

some nights you are unprepared
to fall asleep in my arms

one day a miracle will open the door
leaving you with new ideas
either spiraling yourself far away
or forever haunting my days


september two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

may day in the night sky


high speeds through clouds made of ice
wings molting then unraveling
hands grasping for someplace to land
as bodies busily spin in darkness
like lost souls in space mountains

with no time for substantive thoughts to evolve
time stands still for a matter of forever

twisted turning steel opens triangular windows
disappears into a brand new universe
while every living thing in its path
expands and contracts like a comet’s tail
breaking apart only to reconnect


february two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

beyond the light


pretending this life-giving light
never once existed is like
accepting neither did I

wandering in the darkness
catlike eyes search for nothing
in particular but hopeful
to find something new

tall trees open up like umbrellas
protecting the ground
from metallic dust showers
turning into cosmic twisters
chased by space cowboys
riding sun-powered horses

life beyond the light is like a twin
searching for her lost soul
relentlessly persevering


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

made in the shade


these fears inside I lay to rest
as setting sun bows and
curtsies one final time

I’m off to chase grander stars
hosting brighter moons
orbiting other oceans
sent on my merry way
accidentally
a victim so it seems
partially of my own accord

there are no sad marches
no guns to be fired
no motorcycle escorts
no victory day parades

there are no flowers or polaroids
or guestbooks or folded flags
no children sniffling
or women weeping

from now on the future
is my present
and whatever good I left behind
would one day become
a necessary ingredient
to grow the shadiest of trees


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

make-believe worlds


who are we but pretend gods
unable to tame the time of day
huddled en masse on street
corners and freeways
and white-hot beaches
putting out fires and chasing
ambulances
running away from tsunamis and
disease and ghostly dreams
practicing ego and yoga and war
and the finest of arts
orchestrating chaos by day and
reciting poetry at night
calling for real gods in a pretend
world to somehow set us free



november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

where oh where can she be


she’s in a better place now
he mumbled to himself
retying his wingtips on the bathroom stool
dabbing his finger with his tongue
and erasing old smudge marks

she never felt comfortable
walking in her own shoes
choosing instead to be someone else
like a promising young star
searching for that perfect role

he walked back into the parlor
and mingled among the living
wondering where in the macrocosm
her consciousness had landed
now that her body lay in state


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

behind the alibi


alone I wander the sea
of dreams
just me and my alibi
and yellow submarine

beneath the depths of
deserted space
shooting stars sail on
outside the alibi

old borders collapse
new realities emerge
compressed and
submerged
and living a new lie


april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

behind closed doors


golden skeleton key
wrapped around your neck
designed to unleash spontaneity
while keeping the monsters at bay
magically vanishes in the feckless wind

inside the madhouse demons slash
and poke with razors and needles
fingerpainting false memories on
invisible doors and lasering
new keyholes with a blazing white light


march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The Soul Bar


We go there after life and live it up
for as long as we can stand
on our own two feet
or get thrown out for playing
karaoke with the house band

We go there after life and swap
stories about the strange times
on the old blue jewel
when it was easier to feel
the pain of man’s music
than wake up sober
and pretend everything is just fine

We go there after life and find
new pals who nobody ever
heard of before
the kind of fellows who died
young and never got a chance
to spread their wings
until they stumbled upon this place
hidden beneath the rubble



february two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

her next creation


she spoke with forked tongue
but I understood
every word she said

she said I had been dead
for three days
before resurrecting
my consciousness

back wandering the earth
I was sent searching
for a flower yet to be born

strolling beside a copse
instinctively I stopped
and squatted and became
mesmerizingly lost
as the glass petals
slowly unfolded into
another world



october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

highway survivor


there are no lawyers here
so there is no one
to call or point fingers at

I’m just sitting here on the
highway’s shoulder
figuring out my next move

I see everything at once
and without even trying
I’m getting quite used to it

the wreck across the way
is mine but it’s been
five or ten or fifty years ago

sure seems like yesterday

I keep thinking maybe one day
I might branch out
and try my hand at haunting



august two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fishing with jesus


sometimes I just cry myself to sleep
when I think about all the things
I’m gonna miss about this place
I told jesus
as we sat on the rocks
casting our lines out into the sea
neither of us worrying
whether or not there was fish to catch



june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

saturday in the park


sitting on a bench in green square park
one saturday morning
I detected so many ghosts
walking about

the first day of summer
was just a stone’s throw away
and the nine o’clock sun
tried to burn the foggy images
out of my mind’s eye

some wandered alone aimlessly
some marching in groups of two
or three or more
some pretending they really had no business
being here
while yet others carried bags
or pushed empty strollers
hoping to find ways to fill them

at the nearby city gardens
I spotted little ones sniffing
red roses
that always came back to life this time of year

I leaned back and marveled
at how all of the ghosts
managed to travel through time and space
just to revisit opening day
at this year’s farmers’ market




june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the healer


put a band-aid on it
she said

and walk it off
it’ll be all right

those words stayed
with me
for countless years

whenever I happen upon
someone injured
whether they be a child
or a woman
or an old man
I see her transitioning
from a healer who couldn’t save herself
to a guardian angel on steroids


april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

death in the family


it doesn’t take much
to flip on the switch
and drop down deep
into a chasm
of a distant memory

self-prescribed doses
of self-hypnosis
transports the mind
toward understanding
ancestral realities

old candles aflame
from wishful thinking
exposes wormholes
of new dimensions
leading to affinity


april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

all along the lighthouse


adrift on a raft
with no land in sight
you lie back
and make friends
with a setting sun

lost in dreams
the bulging moon
wrecks havoc
on brainwaves
regenerating

distant stars
seek rolling waves
tossing you
into a whirlpool
of endless light



march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

water landing


the flight across endless waves
remains forever lost
the passengers abandoning time
in a downward spiral
their minds suspended
in horrifically incoherent thoughts
as an oceanic escape hatch welcomes
their translucent deliverance
into an alien world


march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

shadow dancing


one hour past midnight
the clock tapped me on the shoulder
and i opened my eyes
laying there in the dark
staring at the wall coming to life
with silent apparitions dancing to the rhythm
of the outside breeze
which filtered into the room
slightly chilling my hands and feet

i was too scared to move
and wondered if the time had come
to travel with the company
wondered if the players
would pull me out of the bed
and carry me away out through the window
into the never-ending night
where i would become a shadow
dancing on someone else’s wall



november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

children of the light


we danced in the rain
beneath the streetlamp
our minds drifting
past the invisible moon
into carelessness

we lived in a place
without birth or death
a visual paradise
where angels in the sky
longed to touch down

at night we chanted
for the moon and rain
to call the children
hiding beyond the light
to dance
and dance again



august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: