poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “community”

one-way ticket

I don’t care where you’re from
we’re all temporarily visiting
foreigners in our own little world
or traveling extensively abroad

whether by land or sea or air
we’re randomly cast together
unchosen companions integrated
into an unlikely community
a single entity
be it aboard a bus or ship or plane

departures and arrivals taking place
morning noon and night
loved ones sitting next to strangers
sadistic gamblers laying odds
which ones make it home alive

january two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a-riding on a pony come memorial day

in wellington heights they say
leaders come and leaders go
some saying martin luther king
was born generations before
or after his time

january leads to february
streets warming to better ideas
parents and cops weary of getting past
valentine’s day without any
gunfire or stabbings

weeks later rumor has it
jesus christ consults with malcolm little
and chris columbus
dispelling myths about the
course of human history and
organizing neighborhood watches

they talked about having a parade
come summer solstice
off-duty officers shadowing children
gathered at curbside
collecting wrapped candy
thrown by yankee doodle himself

october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

missing the most wanted

they locked down the schools
and called on the bloodhounds
from three counties away

human chains stretched across
the countryside carrying
torches and kicking stones

holding hands they waded into
cedar lake until they could
no longer breathe

throughout the city church lights
enlivened stain glass windows
well into the wee hours of the night

in the morning there was still no news
not counting the posse that
galloped out of town at daybreak

december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


you used the serrated knife
to cut thick slices from the loaf
throwing them on old china plates
about the size of your hands

on the last plate you poured
what was left of the virgin olive oil
and commanded everyone
to break bread and breathe again

november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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