jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “aging”

just in case


I’ve not been taking calls
but somehow this one came through

I’d been smoking and coughing
complaining about not getting
enough to eat or drink
beginning to wonder
if anyone would be visiting
again anytime soon

when the phone rang
I pressed ‘answer’ out of curiosity

nobody was on the other end
but at least I had another button
to push if need be

I looked over at the end table
and there I saw
an unopened pack of camels
and my anxiety
suddenly lessened




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

120 moons


when life can’t get any better
something hits you with
indiscriminate authority
leaving you reeling and rewinding
forcing you to go underground

fast forward and here you stand
garden spade in hand
having dug your way out
over a period of 120 moons
well rested after presumed dead

the old outer you no longer exists
unlike your inner revolution
which continues to evolve
redefining a checkered past
with a future that has no end




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one fresh lemon and frozen peas


carrots & celery & radishes
those are the easy ones to remember

instead of making a list
I try to recall what’s in the fruit basket
lazy susan and freezer

if only I didn’t have to stop at the pharmacy
everyone hates me there
plus they have my number and long memories

I rarely go down the middle aisles
afraid I may never come out
instead stick to the edges
where I can see real people
peddling real ideas

I tell my text-by-psychiatrist
that I’m not a druggie and never was
but I do like to get high
in the strangest possible ways
and most conspicuous places

she tells me to go on but I don’t
believing she’s really not a she
but rather an under-age sex-bot created
by four freshmen software engineers
at iowa state university

I sort of come back down to earth
when the bell rings and they ask me
if I found everything all right
leaving me scratching my head
and fumbling for my car keys




january two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the last migration


nobody talks about birds
growing older
but here we are
sitting on park benches
bread crumbs in our hands

this sitting down is for birds
I say out loud
and you naturally agree
without speaking a word

it’s a warm winter’s day
and our shadows
are barely visible on the
black asphalt
like skinny icicles hanging
ever slowly changing




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

beer cans and forget-me-nots


the beer cans used to be blue or
purplish-blue
but now they’re gold with a splash
of lavender…it’s all very confusing

I went to the grocery store to purchase
some stamps and a lottery ticket
and pick up a twelve pack of that
beer in gold cans and
lavender lettering

when I got home and walked into the house
(by way of the garage)
the dog stared at me from my favorite chair
his ears lit up like some stupid jack rabbit

oh son-of-a-bitch I say to the jack rabbit
I forget to pick me up
some of that damn beer


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

those good old days


they sit in the great room
watching golf with the sound
turned up rather loudly
commenting how none of the
golfers have visible tattoos
like so many other athletes

what’s this cloud they talk about
she queries
pointing at the microsoft commercial
airing on the television

what’s that he shouts back

the cloud she repeats
what is this cloud all about

beats the hell out of me he says

but I thought you knew everything
she says

for the last time he says
I once knew everything
now all I know is jack squat

picking up the remote
he turns the volume up even louder


march two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

let the weekend begin


everyone I know is getting older
and some are even dying without
a moment’s notice
never getting a chance to say
good-bye
good-bye
good-bye sweet world

in the grocery store I ran into Joe
and asked him how his wife was doing

she’s gone man where have you been

I’m sorry I say and walk away

out in the parking lot everyone is
a ghost of their former selves
systematically going about their lives
running out of bright ideas
to reverse the inevitable

but not me I am perfectly fine
no wrinkles on my face
a rosy glow still on my cheeks

I tell myself this is the last time
I’m going shopping here
and I rev up the engine and
drive my case of american pale ale
back home where we belong



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

yet another trip to the landfill


there is an empty dumpster sitting in a
driveway down the street

it was delivered there yesterday I said

what the hell are you talking about she said
that dumpster got dropped off last friday

I exhale some sort of harumph
and step into the next room
quickly standing squarely in front
of the bay window
dumbfounded and staring at that thing

tomorrow will make it a week
I say to myself
almost certain tomorrow is friday again

I wonder if I they need any help over there
I yelled back toward the kitchen

silence
not even a “what-did-you-say”

I wonder if I should go fishing
I tell myself
and try to figure out exactly why
a perfectly quiet neighbor
is throwing away his life



may two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a perfect promise


I didn’t expect this empty space
to be this warm
the quiet space where heartbeats
keep time with thoughts
that never rhyme

I remember you telling me
to keep the door shut
but I never did figure out why
or exactly what was out there
you didn’t want to be seen

I can’t see much light
passing through your ageless eyes
once dashing but now
hopeless like a waning moon
casting half-lies

while forgetfulness lurks
truth stalks along the outer edges
promising a perfect distraction
while washing youthfulness away


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the start of a brand new day


there’s something missing he said
opening the refrigerator
pulling out a mcintosh and
gutting it with the round steel slicer

deliberately he ate slice after slice in
complete silence
focusing on the uneasy feeling
deep inside his core

outside on the front patio he heard
the daily paper kicking the door

out back a stray cat cried in the cold
garnering the attention of camouflaged chickadees
sitting quietly from within the pines

a gust of wind brought forth new life
from the many wind chimes

beneath his feet he feels the morning train
beginning to roll from a few miles away
a good forty minutes late he tells himself

as the first whistle blows
the sun breaks free from the clouds


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the sound of winter


room by room he drifted
attending to the windows
first shutting the storm
then locking the
lower sash with the upper

he moved mechanically
like an old timepiece
powered by the sun
the swift hand moving
hesitatingly from lack of light
his thoughts fleeting
like the gray winds outside

leaning on the last window
he felt oddly safe
but desperately alone
the sound of winter
forever secured inside



november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

porcelain doll


born into a colorful world
you look to the sky for answers
blinking your wanton eyes and
hiding your smile below
wide brimmed hat

anxious to live for tomorrow
you rarely sleep at night
dreaming of the day your
prince charming finally
finds you outside the box

winter arrives on cue
changing you into that girl
nobody really knew
your radiant summer skin
fading in the evening light

years turn into forever
your lost thoughts seeking
a new kind of loneliness
your mind aging
gracefully like porcelain



july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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