poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “compassion”


putting things into perspective
could be the worst thing
for the psyche

in other words
forget about making sense
of the material world

instead seek all possible ways
to free yourself
from your body

and from there & there only
will you come
to understand compassion

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

there is compassion in this world

exposed to your predicament
I refuse to feed my face
instead spend my free time
determining how to calm your fears

you say there is no place to go
and I say you’ve got to be kidding
if only you would accept the hand
reaching out to help you

september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

anyone other than me

I could have been a taxi driver
picking up musicians from
Carnegie Hall

I could have been flipping a coin
dressed in zebra stripes
standing at the fifty-yard line on
Super Bowl Sunday

or just as easily stranded in Iowa City
waiting in line at Hamburg Inn No. 2

I could have been slam dunking
donuts into black coffee in
New York City like some beat cop
on Sunday morning

I could have been that priest
in the Exorcist novel
placing my hands on a child
and my faith in the Lord

I could have been a medic
or a mystic or a miracle worker
trapped inside any given war
these past thousands of years

or I could have been a starving child
looking for someone
like myself
to save me

january two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The great virtue of compassion

I returned to earth as an underfed
infant in a remote village
where nurses are plenty
and painted-face doctors
routinely perform miracles

Years later my dying mother
begged me in a language
I barely understood
to escape the poverty this
barren land provided and
seek refuge in the golden city

As I traveled by foot from
desert town to desert town
visions of previous lives
entered my waking dreams
detailing how I had traveled
this road centuries ago
comforting all who hungered
by first feeding their minds

may two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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