poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Chicago”

one hundred nineteen acres

garden cemetery inside the city
didn’t always used to be that way

nobody imagined how urban crawl
would wrap around
a canopy of over two thousand trees

brick walls & wrought iron fencing
winding pathways & architectural beauty
all subdued by pastoral plantings
drawn up over fifteen decades ago

to be inside graceland is to be
outside of the ordinary
the dead walking among the living
inventing & articulating
playing catch
watching a rehearsal
bustling among the buyers & sellers
be they tourists or curious neighbors
or permanent residents

january two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

reverse psychology

on opening day
vegas future odds
for winning the world series
has the chicago cubs
at eighty to one
the same as the pirates
and the mariners
and right behind
the new york mets

wish I could say
I’ve got the fever
but now into my fifth decade
of blindly following
the lovable ones
I’ve since grown jaded
often pondering
if there is more to life
than mere losing

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the best of times

atomic clocks don’t reside
in chicago
they need to be out there
in the big sky
where microwaves
have no place to hide

the intelligence of time
transitioned from
lord kelvin’s suggestions
whilst cool atoms
forever suspended
chime in milliseconds

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Day Tripper

I jumped off a boxcar
in downtown Kansas City
made my way
to 18th and Vine
where Satchel Paige
pitched a complete game
at Blues Stadium

With just enough dough
for two quarts of Colt 45
and Cracker Jack
I basked in the sun
keeping score and
losing my voice cheering
on the Monarchs

Down to my last nickel
I walk toward the whistle
cold and sober
tired and hungry
needing to steal a ride
and a good night’s sleep
back to Chicago

august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Chicago Fire

Fire fighting aircraft
turn their bellies upward
as they veer away
from the blaze below
their waterbombs
struggling to penetrate
the conflagration
set off days ago
by a strike
from the sky
blasting the Windy City
with wicked veracity
turning human ingenuity
into a flattening incinerator
filled with rubber
and concrete
steel and humanity
stirring dead souls
into vague memories
of eighteen seventy-one

october, two thousand eleven
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The Wind

It came out of nowhere
passed right through me
chilling me
to the bone
reminding me
of the time
I was slapped in the face
by a below-zero blast
outside the Chicago Hilton.

My mind usually ignored
such premonitions
but the air
still trapped
in my body
slowly circulated
until a centrifugal force
overwhelmed me with vertigo
and I was unable
to answer the telephone.

november, two thousand eleven
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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