jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “death”

and hoping not to die


at first there were a dozen of us
(actually a baker’s dozen)
and we knew everything
there was to know
about each and every one of us

one by one each of us fell
but most of us got back up

but that was seemingly
centuries ago when we didn’t
realize not all stars shine
and the moon can be visible
on the brightest of days

(not having all the facts)
nonetheless we made a pact
heart to heart
    and eye to eye
promising nothing
      except for inevitably
going our separate ways



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

places buried in the past


I did not know her
but I was compelled
to find her final resting place

it was a bright but cold december day
but I kept warm in the car
driving mindlessly past corn fields
mile after mile after mile
stripped clean yet ruggedly barren

the interstate traffic was heavy
and I wondered how many seekers
if any
had set off on a journey
to find her final resting place

google maps told me how to get there
but I only had to read the directions once

and when I got there
it was as if I had been there all along



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counting down the days


oh glorious night settle into darkness
and let me tell thee whom I give my life

I belong neither to sky above nor sea below
and from all accounts was burst forth from
scorpius some thirty-three light years ago

though my days on earth have been counted
on one thousand and one hands
it is a far cry to say this was ever my home
for the glory of goodness lives not here
but rather in a place and time that knows no end



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

hiding behind marshmallow clouds


descending into madness at midnight
I pull pieces of bread from my pockets
feeding them to my soul

in the morning I take tylenol
and pour raw milk onto a
bowl of rice krispies
listening to vague childhood memories

in the middle of the afternoon the full
moon hides behind marshmallow clouds
my conscience reminding me
(as I fall into a self-induced slumber)
how everything becomes edible in the end



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

as if I had been there


a thin vapor trail
slipped in through the front door
but nobody was home

if I had been there
I would have noticed something
was quite different
but I was gone on a
journey of a lifetime

the place had not changed
all these years
everything perfectly in place
as if nobody had really
lived there

while my mind wandered
away from worldly ideals
seeking out transcendental gurus
residing on new moons
my spirit remained behind
waiting patiently
to be seen


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

flash powder


what have I contributed
to the cause
keeping the music alive and
guarding elephants
from poachers

I’ve given up aerosol sprays
and gasoline
marlboro lights
store-bought soup
and religion

how much more do I have to give

that constant humming in my ear
is that just a warning from
my guardian angel
or simply a reminder
how those widely admired
can easily be swept away
like a night owl’s prey
silently screaming

absolution doesn’t exist
in the blink of an eye
and even if it did
no act of contrition could
prevent anyone from
seeing the light


january two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

long live the encore


there is death in the desert
and death in the sea

there is death in the streets of paris
and on the avenue of the saints

in the halls of washington the president
designs death in new ways
and those around him applaud
and he smiles

in the meantime he decries death in the theater
and death in the schools

and his people will pretend they don’t know
what is causing all the death

they are too busy with their own superficial lives
to question why army drones are supplying weapons
to enemy camps and into the
hands of every enemy of every nation

they are numb to the concept of violent death
because it is simply ingrained into their psyche
and they spoon-feed it to their children
in the form of horrific death on television screens
on movie screens and computer screens
on the tiniest of handheld screens

the idea of mass death does not faze them
and when a day goes by without it
they think something must be wrong

and when dreamers talk of peace they laugh
because they know peace is unnatural
and takes too much effort to pull off

and so death simply goes on

long after the final curtain call


november two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an endless recollection


repetition of living has taken its toll
on my susceptible shell
altering its physicalities
while heightening my emotions

determined to keep my thoughts
in proper order
I focus on an energy
that is bound to send me skyward

nothing can take away the color
of those changing leaves
or the rippling of streaming water
polishing age-old rocks
nothing can erase the rising
of an off-white moon
or the setting of a kaleidoscope sun
nothing will remove the sounds of laughter
on a summer afternoon
or the sadness trapped inside
melancholy sighs

stepping forward and upward
effortlessly
I shed the weight of the world
and all that it entails
sailing away while looking back
at an endless recollection


october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

let the weekend begin


everyone I know is getting older
and some are even dying without
a moment’s notice
never getting a chance to say
good-bye
good-bye
good-bye sweet world

in the grocery store I ran into Joe
and asked him how his wife was doing

she’s gone man where have you been

I’m sorry I say and walk away

out in the parking lot everyone is
a ghost of their former selves
systematically going about their lives
running out of bright ideas
to reverse the inevitable

but not me I am perfectly fine
no wrinkles on my face
a rosy glow still on my cheeks

I tell myself this is the last time
I’m going shopping here
and I rev up the engine and
drive my case of american pale ale
back home where we belong



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Isadore


her lover took her by the hand
leading her to places
she’s never seen before
sounds from the inside inaudible
feet kicking as they scale uphill

there are higher places to climb
than here he tells her
pointing to a pale moon in the blue sky

day surrendered to the stars
her lover reminding her of that night
when nightingales sang lullabies
and wildflowers covered their eyes

there are higher places to climb
than here he tells her
embracing the beauty of their heartbeats

morning arrived and she boarded
the hot air balloon
sailed away weeping and waving
her lover cradling a silent child
promising her all the world
would one day know her name



may two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


Author’s Note:
This poem is loosely based on the
song of the same name by Incubus
Click here for youtube video with lyrics

made in the shade


these fears inside I lay to rest
as setting sun bows and
curtsies one final time

I’m off to chase grander stars
hosting brighter moons
orbiting other oceans
sent on my merry way
accidentally
a victim so it seems
partially of my own accord

there are no sad marches
no guns to be fired
no motorcycle escorts
no victory day parades

there are no flowers or polaroids
or guestbooks or folded flags
no children sniffling
or women weeping

from now on the future
is my present
and whatever good I left behind
would one day become
a necessary ingredient
to grow the shadiest of trees


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

picnic in the park overlooking the cemetery


it just sucks
all this is going on and one day
nothing matters
none of it matters
and you’re gone
and there’s nothing more

who’s to say there’s nothing more
she says
sitting back in her director’s chair
legs crossed and freshly shaved

don’t go there he says
don’t you dare go there

maybe death is a good thing she says
maybe it’s the start of something new
and hopelessly beautiful
just like this glass of champagne

maybe we shouldn’t be buying champagne
he says
maybe we should be buying real estate

yes she says
a change of scenery would do you wonders


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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