poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “heart”

[inside] my wooden heart

my wooden heart
what color shall I paint it today
do I feel blue or green or tangerine
anything but blood red
I should think

perhaps today I’ll pull the nails
from my wooden heart
saw the slats & repurpose them
into a bench or table
or a simple decoration
to hang on the wall

perhaps it’s an apple
inside someone’s eye
or a starfish elevating
above the dirty blonde sand
—this very day
casting its faint light
inside my wooden heart

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


what doesn’t ache
cannot be touched
at least not without
a surgical knife

on the third day
the sutures remain
the heart’s whereabouts

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

the color of her soul

the little farm girl
& tanned from the summer sun
walked out of the barn
chicken wire & snips in hand
skipped across the way
and entered the house
by way of the kitchen door

brushing back her yellow
tangled hair with the palms
of her hands
she sat at the kitchen table
working feverishly
as she shaped the wire
into a three dimensional heart
slightly smaller than her head

she tore strips of newspaper
and dipped them into
a flour-based paste she’d learned
to make at school
and speedily & completely covered
her hollowed out heart

she left it to dry on the window sill
whistling while cleaning up
the mess she had made
anxious to take it back into the barn
where she would paint it
the color purple

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

the law of my beating heart

my heart was water
like a single solitary pond
alone in a field
surrounded by wildflowers
a man-made pump
somewhat in the middle
keeping the circulation going

there once was a trail
starting from the roadside
a circular route
to the center of my heart
beaten down by foot
eventually replaced by
mechanisms purely natural

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

check one-two-three

my heart’s once again
connected to the outside world
beating irregularly
sending mixed signals
online & offline & back online again
sometimes unsuspecting angels
come in & take a look
but only when they have time

in my mind
I’m back in the garage
putting the improvised band
back together again
working my rock star drum kit
in an attempt to attract
rising or fading stars
willing to give it another shot

august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

operation curiosity

first thing in the morning
the stage will be set
and I will be the principal actor
lying flat on my back
waiting to be anesthetized

an ever growing crowd
quietly fills the twenty thousand
seats of the amphitheater
the acoustics so perfect
I can hear an infant sleeping

later I would be told
my heart was entirely exposed
entertaining all the spectators
by beating in perfect rhythm
in someone else’s hands

july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

gasping for air

her heart is racing
easily exceeding one hundred
beats per minute

she came in for a simple procedure
but we’re sending her off to emergency
to get her beating heart
under control

how many specialists does it take
how many second opinions
how many prescriptions

here try this & if that doesn’t work
we’ll give that a try
and if that doesn’t work
take two aspirins
& call me (maybe) in the morning

now she’s stuck in the middle
of the staircase (to heaven)
mostly because there’s no elevator
no contraption she can sit in
conveying her body
from one cloud to the next

in reality they were able
to stop the bleeding
finally took the thing out from her leg

but what about that beating heart
one hundred beats per minute & counting
I mean just how fast
is fast enough

may two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stress test

listen to your heart
quickly picking up the pace
beating in five and seven sixteenths
for no good reason
if only to let you know she’s still around
able to get your attention with a simple
snapping of the fingers
eventually quietly settling back down
minute by minute
and retreating
to a healthy resting rhythm

december two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

and the beat goes on

pretend I am alive and well
breathing deeply
focusing on my heart
how it beats slowly
like a little drummer boy
bringing up the rear
marching off to war

though fear abounds
peace surrounds his heart
beating steadily and true
rhythmically purposeful
settling the nerves
of all those around him
one measure at a time

no longer afraid
the war is finally over
joy and jubilation
taking over city streets
his ever beating heart
bringing new meaning
to peace on earth

december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

my virtual valentine

I’ve been working on my buzz
ever since I got off medicine
be it session brown ale
or good old-fashioned sipping whiskey

I used to have this voice
but now all I have is electronic means
jotting down my lost thoughts
eventually cast into cyberspace

told myself I won’t cry no more
especially now that my beating heart
(seemingly stronger than ever)
belongs to someone else

october two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

ballad of a beating heart

off and on my heart beats
depending upon weather conditions
or latest traffic reports
whether or not your thoughts
infiltrate mine coincidentally
unannounced yet always welcome

oh how my heart beats
off and on depending upon
time of day or moon phase
sometimes reliant on outside forces
like a good night’s sleep
or promises of pharmaceuticals

despite off and on promises
made with the best of intentions
broken hearts beat willingly
always depending on the here and now
in the happily ever after
as if time was never a factor

september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

how blue is your heart

stained glass hearts
tarnished over time
void of even the faintest
hint of crimson on the
brightest of summer days

on occasion lonely hearts
glisten back to life
slowly reaching out on the
clearest of nights at a
bulging moon turning blue

march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Note: this poem is linked to Crow’s Open Mic Invitation

afternoon matinée circa 200 bc

they brought me onto stage
and explained to the
thousands of participants
seated in the open air theatre
exactly what it was
they were about to witness

young ones dressed in white
laid me down on the
table and calmed my fears
naturally deadening my body
before skilled surgeons
unveiled my open heart

november two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

heart and soul – a poem for the weary

he walks alone
because he has no place
to go
yet he knows
as long as he keeps moving
the world will never slow down

he smiles because
he was told it would keep warm his soul
and he figured
that would be a good thing
in case his heart went cold

remembering is what
he does best
not the yesterday kind of remembering
but the kind
where you go way back when
the kind
that makes you smile
and makes your heart reminisce

july two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

may i have this dance

there is a place beyond the horizon
where the moon bounces off the waves
and creatures of the deep
reveal themselves for all to see

there is a place beyond the sea
where stars are reborn
time and time again
giving new meaning to eternity

there is a place within your heart
forever caring
forever evolving
and forever trying to quiet
the madness from within

there is a place outside this world
where we will meet again
where the orchestra is perfectly refined
and we hold on for our dear lives
as we dance forever into the night

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

purple heart

thoughts begin to falter
as my blood pressure
takes a sudden drop

helicopter blades cut
into the dark night
racing toward the cross

on the ground miracle
workers scramble
to prepare the table

it’s gonna be all right
someone told me
is all that i remember

january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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