poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “fear”

bottles of oxygen in the wine cellar

they come to the door
and ring the bell
they are the uninvited ones

I sit in the corner chair
off-white insulated curtains drawn
the bulb of the table lamp
barely buzzing

the brightless ones move on
but I suspect
they’ll return again
more capable of interaction
the next time around

turning off the light
I nod off in near silence
a dimly lit moon rising
whispering something sweet
into my ear
promising to awaken me
as always

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

living in fear or otherwise

talk to people without using words
paint them a picture instead
the heartless climbing stone walls
long in line getting permits to eat & drink
permits to seek & destroy and sail away

now you are telling your story
using gestures & wild wild sounds
making the floor tremble ever so slightly
making your unbelieving eyes see further
than they’ve ever seen before

this coming down to earth business
will one day come into play
but until then there is much unearthing to do
for what lies beneath the surface
is not as scary as you were led to believe

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

tapping my foot to the beat of the drum

I liked how the crow’s nest was within
walking distance from my place
its pink rooftop like a beacon
calling out my otherworldliness

Intellectuals and up-and-comers and
has-beens frequent the place
sprouting post-modern hallucinations
by way of fermented imaginations

Of course I am an outsider with a
photographic mind and a microphone
picking up prose and poetry
that seems to reside on the airwaves

Sitting unnoticed at the dark end of the bar
I systematically imbibe local ale
memorizing their stoic faces
second-guessing my unfounded fears

october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in the land of free-for-alls and firearms

summer’s promise has been smashed into
irreparable pieces
swept into the gutter along with man’s mortal sins
unable to be washed away
even by torrential rains

the pursuit of happiness is just a dying thought
riddled with contradictions

kings clench their fists and promise
real change will come
but the people in the streets shake their heads
weeping for the dead with brooms in hand

that all men are created equal they know
to be untrue
as are the history books justifying
the massacre of native peoples
and the legality of human slavery

oh America why have thou failed so many
foolishly feeding
the machine of mass destruction
your people afraid to leave their homes
a people starving for peace and love
and understanding
unconcerned with hollow words
on an idle document

july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taking advantage

this never gets easy
this guessing game with no
real answers
written on the back of cards

how many times do I
just get in the car
looking for something
that doesn’t exist

how many times do I
open a door
just because I think
somebody is knocking

that thing around the corner
it’s pretty fucking scary
some of the time
and sometimes it’s more than scary
and that’s when you understand
just how alive you really are

so I hear this weekend is
supposed to be super nice
I suppose I should take advantage
of the situation while I still can

february two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

water landing

the flight across endless waves
remains forever lost
the passengers abandoning time
in a downward spiral
their minds suspended
in horrifically incoherent thoughts
as an oceanic escape hatch welcomes
their translucent deliverance
into an alien world

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

this is not a test

there i was sitting in english class
talking about the duality
of holden caulfield
when all of a sudden the television
hanging in the corner of the classroom
awakened like a jolt of lightning
and the doors suddenly closed
and automatically locked

twenty of us just sat there in silence
removing the oxygen
from the dead air
and i recall thinking how everything
i’ve accomplished up to this point
was going to hang on tightly
as i slipped through the little window
stepping into a brand new life

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

hats off

screams crescendo down
the narrow roadway
bouncing off adobe walls
of old townhouses
bodies racing recklessly through the corridor
as arms and legs
flip exaggeratingly
propelled into the air
by the jerk and thrust of enraged bulls
whose nostrils snort fear
and blast steam

january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the exorcist

I hadn’t been afraid for so long
that when the inevitable came
knocking at my door
I checked my pulse
and let the shadow in

an eerie thought cooled my palms
and sharpened my eyes
leading me to believe
I was on the verge
of losing my sanity

I issued a self-restraint citation
against my worse judgement
barricading myself
in the confessional
waiting for a priest

december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

escape from within

caught on thin ice

i suddenly became lost

like a runaway kite

my cheeks busting

eyes leery yet fearless

of the insane cracks

daring my bladed soles

to never stop flying

july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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