jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “afterlife”

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

go on


satan sat poised and silent
listening to the dead man’s plea
nodding like a disinterested psychiatrist
who magnanimously extended the session
so the injured soul could recount
all the right reasons
for distrusting the existence
of life after death



august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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