jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “history”

the philosopher’s playground


the ground trembled beneath bare feet
like an audible sigh from a troubled mind

even the birds paused their morning song
shifting to interpret the mother’s warning

exhausted yet incapable of finding comfort
relaxation eludes the weariest travelers

though peace on earth may one day prevail
the natural order of things indicate otherwise



february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

keeping watch on cold nights


individual victories are few
for those unheard voices
having restricted choices
and few precious resources

you know I don’t have to be here
he reassured himself
keeping warm from layered clothing
mentally digging in for the night

mercenaries from the past
march alongside enemies of the state
chanting slogans in ancient languages
only few understand



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

will you die for him


children playing out back
unrestricted by all the fences
digging foxholes and
sowing the lord’s seeds

dinnertime bells only delay
the inevitable
and just as their bellies
will never be full
most will find it nearly impossible
to ever grow old



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I read the news today


when the telephone rings
it is wise not to answer
for the best news is no news
in these godforsaken lands

I cringe at the injustices
bestowed upon the helpless
how the most brutal minds
can take away anything they like
at any given moment

they were not put on this earth
by the gods who protect me
the gods who taught me
tolerance and compassion
promising a better place
in another time and space

in the meantime the wars
and the mass murders
and merciless distrust between
neighbors prevail
history unable to help
but repeat itself



july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when too many are thrown on the street


and the police have sanctioned bullets
and the judges have their natural-born faults
and some of the locally elected are faithful
and some of them are corrupt
and the higher up you go
from city to county
from county to state
from state to region to super region
the higher you climb the greater the ratio
between the just and unjust
between good and evil
and there’s no telling who is winning
because this kind of winning is artificial
artificial like misguided dreams
and make-believe handguns


december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

of ferris wheels and roller coasters


it started with wheels made of rocks
rolling down grassy hills
chased by boys in sparse clothing
whooping and hollering for the damn
thing to stop

such imagination led to saddles for
elephants and chariots for horses
led to rickshaws powered by men
led to river boats exploring the
river euphrates

I remember walking beside caesar
back home via the appian way

I remember shadowing jesus
riding his pony into jerusalem

there are plenty of magic carpet
rides to steal upon
taking you back to that exact
place where you remember
witnessing everything for the
very first time


december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

impossible to stay on top


apparent victors come and go
just like their opposites who crawl
and walk and run behind the scenes
climbing mystical mountains and
sailing impossible dreams
asked to start fires
put out fires and
catapult fireworks into the night
fallout from the blasts twinkling
like a dying star
consumed by the unseen


november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

recounting history


the torch may fade from time to time
may flicker like a pilot’s light
disappearing over the sea

below the surface the torch
resumes its glow
likely to be found by henchmen
digging foxholes

beware the silence
they warned
lifting their torches
and charging a newfound
enemy with fiery explosions

in the aftermath smoldering fires
resurrect memories of old promises
feeding those who hunger
rebuilding what was destroyed

as new histories emerge new
generations evolve
securing the torches in submerged silos
believing that without peace
all the yesterdays of the world
added up to nothing



november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

too many trains


I do not like the trains
daddy
I do not like how they take
my friends away

those trains are not for people
daddy
they are for cows and pigs
destined for the slaughterhouse

I’ve seen the train stations
daddy
I watched through the fence
have witnessed the police tell my friends
they are going to a better place

they line them up like animals
daddy
day after day all summer long
stuffing them into windowless cars

I know the police are lying
daddy
please please please do not let them
put me on a train


june two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

If I die before I wake


never mind the world ends today
and you left so many
things undone

never mind the starving children
throughout the world
who could easily be fed
with a little capital
and alien ingenuity

never mind the excessive waste
you selfishly accumulated
and contributed
toward urban ski slopes
and 18 hole golf courses

as the world ends today
never mind racial bias
gender bias
religious bias
nationality bias
and any kind of intriguing international bias

never mind discrimination
and mistrust
especially of crooked governments
and wars unjust

never mind outspokenly peaceful men
becoming silenced as we speak
by programs perpetuated
by deceit and hatred
by programs advocating
five o’clock killings
for everyone to see

never mind all the work undone
before the world ends today
never mind how it must bother you
knowing the story
never changes


september two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

from the newsroom archives


born into a disconnected world
thousands of years back or forwards
angry young men
count using hands and feet
and algorithms buried
beneath the rubble

without warning there is no danger
there are only unexplained explosions
breathing new life
into a universe dying to attract
everything that is beautiful
inside a perfect circle


august two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

history repeats itself


it’s another cold day
but it’s not like i don’t need an excuse
anyway
to stay below in the cave
like some recluse
who doesn’t have a clue
what’s going on
in the world

there’s nothing out there
for me
anyway
except gas stations
and the grocery store
where i go incognito
to buy cases of beer
and cat food

there’s no sense in buying
a newspaper
because i know
it just regurgitates
the horrors
of this world
repeating itself
day after bloody day

i write letters to old friends
hoping they are alive
enough
to read them
and let them know
to hell
with the high school
reunion



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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