poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “freedom”

released on my own recognizance

in real time
I recovered from what once
ailed me
paroled with written conditions
I was forced to sign

and off I went on my own
unconcerned about the brace
on my ankle
or the chip embedded
inside my shoulder

as the weather changed
the signals went haywire
and I found myself freer than I’d ever been
leading me to believe
how my newly found
lightning rod imagination
would forever set me free

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

time will tell time and again

we’re not going to talk about the weather
or the first full day of autumn
now grab your jacket & get in the car
this time we’re going all the way to san jose

* * *

shifting sleep hours is but a trick of the brain
—much like the subtle change of
the angle of the sun

* * *

beneath a blanket of sorrow much is lost
but not completely forsaken
for you see
there’s a certain chemistry in the air
that potentially changes everything

* * *

the scarf is lost
the hair set free
the inward wind & the ocean waves
calling your name
over and over and over again

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

knock off bill of rights in my back pocket

history in the making teaches us
there is limited accountability
to those perched in high places
while those down below
continue to be shown
their so-called inalienable rights
can easily be stripped away
by anyone wearing a badge
and/or carrying a weapon

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

letter in waiting

this woman I once knew always
spoke the truth
steered clear of all the haters
and did what she wanted to do

she enjoyed back rubs
and always said thank you

she once told me over chardonnay
how she was sick and tired of
nobody taking responsibility

once upon a time she acted
all whole and goody two-shoes
but that made her feel nervous
and less than virtuous

one rainy morning she told me
she had found that perfect place
kissed me goodbye
and fled on foot into the city

head stuck out
second story window
I waved and yelled for her to write

once she had gotten there

august two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

here to stay

I stood at the podium
declaring my faith to a world
I once called home

the strangers in front of me
knelt and lifted their arms
anticipating a deliverance
they had only dared to dream

as I breathed into the hall
they began to understand
freedom was here to stay

september two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


There’s a wall without slashes of social unrest,
without lines of prejudice, modesty or complaints
not even a good thought
clean and quick to the point
might make others laugh, angry or uneasy.

It makes me uneasy to see such a wall
anywhere within a public stall
upon a school desk or through walk tunnels.
To see such a wall of inhibition
of emptiness
of conservative thinking
like not sharing thoughts, ideas or secrets
makes me wonder
when the liberators will return
to save the free walls in this free land
from backwardness
from idleness
of single bawdy colors covering progress.

nineteen eighty-four
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

voluntary rejuvenation

there’s nothing wrong with me
as i hit the snooze button
for the third time
stare at the cobweb on the ceiling fan
wondering where the spider is.

outside i hear mickey’s silverado
start up and head down the street.
it must be seven-thirty-five.

a few hours later i get out of bed
walk over to the window
and draw the shade
another half inch.

i spend the next ten minutes
sitting on the shitter.
i check my email on my android
and play a few pinball games.

“hey boss this is johnson,” i say,
talking into my boss’s android.
“listen, something’s come up,
i won’t be in today…or tomorrow….
actually i won’t be back until thursday.

“there’s nothing wrong with me
so don’t call back
and i’ll see you on thursday.”

i finish my business in the bathroom
and make my way back to bed,
excited about the idea
of doing nothing
for three more days.

author’s note:
this poem is in response to charles bukowski’s oral dissertation on depression

august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fooled again

drums bang slowly into the night
keeping time with toy soldiers
marching through the streets
enforcing a curfew imposed
by the new boss promising
freedoms this world has yet to know

july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Where Freedom Flies

Prisoners walked the lily fields
in magnetic boots
picking up pieces of shrapnel
left from centuries of hatred

Misunderstandings on Earth
are as certain as battlefields
unnecessary as bleeding hearts
never truly loved

Children of all civilizations
were fed into the factory
placed in single file lines
and taught elastic freedoms

As the elders grew past death
they’d come to realize
peaceful starships could sail
beyond the sun and back

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

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