jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “death”

near death experiences


there I was again
writing it all down from
start to finish
the translation always failing me

and so I take out the jumpers
from the trunk of the honda
telling everyone around me
to clear

why do I find myself
translating the past
into a present tense kind of story
freezing me in time
maybe ten or twelve
or fifteen years ago

what would I say
and why would I say it
I don’t know
I just don’t know

fast forward and here I am
again
medicating in my own weird way
treating whatever it is
that ails me

I’m not a hypochondriac
I say
just an aspiring one
maybe we can try to hook up again
[so that you can show your cards]
maybe sometime later next week





february two thousand twenty-three
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the worlds that we live [in]


now that we are nearing the end
can we say it could be another way


at what moment can you point to
saying right there
that specific place in time
progressing toward the committed path
only to back off
at the eleventh hour

country boy in the big city
big city girl lost in green acres
hopping from one continent to the next
eyes set on orbiting like a satellite

there’s no debate
it’s all left to conjecture
but it’s the world we live in
and the worlds
that we don’t





february two thousand twenty-three
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

cowboy poem


this sickness seem to be all
inside me now
I’m thinking it’s not wise
to keep looking back
you say there’s nothing
wrong with me
but we both know
I’m dying

this time there’s no letting go
and I’m left
looking inside
telling myself there’s no one
who can save me now
so just go ahead
and pull the trigger
free me from myself

the lights keep changing
but in fact
they’re all the same
I can’t seem to distinguish
red from yellow to green
the horsepower is gone
barely idling in neutral
all else racing by





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

dying in the dead of winter


one by one they die off
and every spring
they come back to life

they die off in threes
one-two-three
like a nursery rhyme

sometimes
all of them on the same day
other times over three days
four or five days
maybe as many as seven

we bury them
& then we move on
counting the days
the weeks
the months
the years

did you see where
she died on the third day
I was asked

yes I answered
& I am certain she will return
soon after the winter solstice
or the one after that

silence ensued
along with a smile
& a nod





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

If you could only see me


When I found myself in the U.S., and the war was at full swing in Bosnia,
I read for survival – it was a means of thought resuscitation.

— Aleksandar Hemon


A road less traveled
a place outside of the self
if only you could see me there
maybe you’d begin
to understand what it means
to be suspended in time

Not far you should find Lazarus
astir on the peninsula
fishing no doubt
waiting on the next wave

It’s nothing but a distraction
as are all the ghosts of the past
my own image
becoming ashen

Somehow you find me
and pull
me
back
in
back onto the shoulder
of a road
less traveled





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

on the poet’s deathbed


I’ve been recycling old words
into new poems
but nobody’s paying attention
instead saying mean things
about illogical intentions
questioning exactly where
they may be coming from

they all get filed away
unceremoniously —until a man
with a truck backs up
replaces the filled to gills bin
with an empty one
nobody ever questioning
how many good ones got away





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

I know how you feel


look at me
how I’m dying a slow death
confirming the fact
I am no different than you

I walk with shovel in hand
looking for a place to dig
a place to rest
[or transform into a tree]

how far I must venture
is anyone’s guess

they keep telling me
they know how I feel
which of course is an absurdity
or perhaps a simple affirmation
that I’m closer [than I’d ever admit]
to my final destination





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

a masterful counterattack


the software was counterintuitive
a sad display of artificial intelligence
incapable of solving the woes of humanity

I tinkered with it by introducing a new code
like inserting a special character into a dream
hoping of preventing the man from dying

but the man never awoke
and the original code consumed
that which sought to destroy death





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

dead on a sunday morning


yes I get the point
where I don’t exist anymore
and time moves on
whatever that means

there are so many moons
yet to discover
hopping & skipping
from one to the next
as if I’m a kid again

living & breathing
outside of the fish bowl
one-way ticket
taking me to places
unimaginable





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

this is all I know


this is all I know
concealed in a poem
like an eternal idea
or a waxing moon
forever drifting further
from mother earth

the eternal idea
residing in a poem
the seas calm
on a moonless night
thoughts drifting
past the firelight

seas remain calm
catamarans adrift
the idea of a poem
turned into dust
chasing a comet’s tail
on a moonless night





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

premonition


how can I be homesick
for a place I’ve not set foot upon
like a youngster
I sit & daydream of foreign lands
and open seas
convincing myself I’d been
there in another life
an eighth
or a quarter
or half a world away
the pull itself as familiar
as a knock on the door
at three o’clock in the morning





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

the obituary


it’s late in the game
but I’m not taking myself out
look I say
that cat is almost nine years old
and he ain’t going anywhere
[except kitty heaven]
—but I have to admit
it’s high time for a screwgie
or a mickey or a riddle
a secret talisman perhaps
almost certain to buckle your knees
as if brushed by death himself





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

in the aftermath


who is to say
that this is it
the end has finally
arrived
and there you stand
a witness to it all

who is to say
tomorrow
is nothing like it
used to be
golden rays
replaced to no end

who is to say
all the records
accumulated inside
will never be restored
or rebroadcasted
into the void





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

the curse of the autumn rose


it sits there mostly indisposed
the patience that is death
awaits us without detection
carries on like a muted songbird

in the endless dream
death is nothing to be feared
the ancient moon cycling peripherally
offering to keep you near

nothing is left behind
for death is indiscriminate
& those who mourn
shall always be mourned
& they who stay forever cursed





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

through the motions


here we go again
giving praise where praise is due
never to mere mortals
(we should know better)
but perhaps a god a goddess
one who walks beside us

no specific revelation
exists in anyone’s lifetime
for you see any such thing
(if existing one way or another)
must come before the preface
or right after the finale





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

and for the last three he stays


it’s not like I’ve been here before
staring death in the face
recollecting what it was like the last time
and how effortless it seemed
to move onto the next phase

they say over time
life is supposed to get easier
but that is far from the truth
just ask any old cat
rising from the ashes for the seventh
or eighth time

and now here I stand before you
challenging the status quo
asking how in the world can I be
the same man you once knew
even before you were born





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

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