poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “culture”

tutoring on the southside

identities defined by society
broadcasted on media
country folks uninterested
understanding why children
struggle with reading or arithmetic

I was sitting in their house
playing mario brothers
and so many people
walked on by

who’s your white friend
someone asked my girlfriend
and I pretended not to hear
even though there was nothing
wrong with my spanglish

you know I told her
I’d never been on this side of
nineteenth street before
but I feel just as safe here
as I do anywhere else

november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

One Summer in Vienna

The last time we danced in Vienna
the stock market had yet to crash
and the very idea of Austria as her
very own state seemed preposterous

Though a Yankee I spoke perfect German
both in and out of
pubs and proper places
quick to blame my loving Mother when
questioned about my presence

I remember you telling me Vienna would
never be harmed
because you said
she represents the soul in everyone

I remember you telling me
the foundation era would blossom into
a flower of unimaginable artistry and peace

I believed everything you told me
just like it was yesterday

Detained for questioning for what I believed
had everything to do with your talents
how could it be I would never see you again
left to search your peaceful streets
as the world around us
descends into chaos

march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

feeding the flock

they awaken on sundays
and praise the one who gave them life

they put on their finest clothes
and take to the streets
huddled together like little lambs
moving at the command of their shepherd
who leads them down the narrow way
toward the altar of life

as they march they recite
words from the ancient book
raising their hands
toward the open sky
asking for forgiveness
and vowing to repent

when the hour comes
to prepare the table
they shamelessly offer
the most innocent
as an imperfect sacrifice

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Inside the City

Inside the city thousands converge
on the open market regardless the weather
The allure is captured in historical relevance
where honest exchanges of trade and art
played out for centuries with civility

At the center of the square an acting troupe
dressed as traditional chess pieces
reenact the ‘56 match between Byrne and Fischer
the characters moving on the checkered stage
as commanded by the intelligentsia

Relaxing on a bench I breath in the city’s past
contemplate how its future could possibly change
A block away a string quartet starts in on Mozart
compelling me to walk among the people
and toward yesterday’s perfection

april, two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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