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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “intolerance”

land of radioactive blossoms


the truth started long before jesus
and the common era
crowd obsessed with lynching anyone
they could never quite
understand

if you can’t hang the one you’ve
got your finger on
find their next of kin
they’re pretty much one in the
same

passersby and bystanders turn a blind eye
just like good old peter once did
(god how we never do learn)

land of paradise is nowhere to be found
not in these here parts
and that place where milk and honey
flow freely
well that’s just some fairy tale etched upon
stone

though the flowers growing in disputed lands
can be quite beautiful
somewhere along the line
they simply become part of the battlefield
buried in the past with inevitable
probability of resurrecting
some warm midsummer
day




april two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

midnight intolerance


some kids came by the house
on the fourth of july weekend
looking for signatures

they explained that hornets
had been moving into the neighborhood
and they’ll be damned
if they’re going to sit idly by
before a few turned into a swarm

I told them I wasn’t going to sign
their damn petition
that I liked the hornets
that I even kept some out back

I locked the screen door
and walked away
ignoring their name-calling
concerned how my outer walls
just became prime targets for
midnight egg throwing practice



october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

drinking buddies


in college I drank with the best
of them
the irish and the english
and all their neighbors
spaniards and moroccans and
mesopotamians
eurasians and asians and indians
and native americans
the under-aged and over-aged
the jock and nerd and hipster
women and men and transgenders
you name ‘em
we all got along in the bar

after college I was plunged into
the outside world
where none of it seemed to matter
and I found myself witnessing
people ignoring people of all kinds
pointing fingers and impugning
cursing and kicking and hating
for no good reason
forcing me to question my formative years
wondering if they were nothing more
than an exercise of naiveté


october two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

more dangerous dead


twenty-five lifetimes ago
there I was
witnessing the truth with my
very own eyes
chronicling
the birth
the childhood lessons
the ministry of the baptist
(and his beheading)
the sermon on the mount
the riding into town on a donkey

since then throughout
all these centuries
I’ve watched this beautifully
tolerant notion of community
torn down and
snatched by ordinary thugs
manipulated and maligned
encompassing the earth
like thin strands of truth
woven from east to west

and if you pluck one here
or strum a few over there
you just might create
a little harmony

or a whole lot of war


december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

none of this land is ours


we climbed the hill in laughter
losing our lunch boxes along the way
certain we’d be able to
find them on the way down

once on top we jumped at
pretend stars shining so bright
shouting into funneled hands
for the gods to strike us down

imagining owning all the hills
as far as the eye could see
the bad guys appeared out of thin air
and sent us tumbling
all the way back down


october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

perpetual suffering


we didn’t sign up for this
but there we were
pistols raised above our heads
faces covered with red
paisley bandanas
ending fairy tale lives
and abetting a revolution
handed down for centuries

everyone knew the wild west
would eventually cycle back
to the eastern front
where women lay low and
protect and feed their children
until old enough
to perpetuate the suffering


september two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

after the cities have fallen


I sometimes imagine
what the fall of america
will be like and wonder
what similarities its cities will share
with the likes of sparta and pompeii
delphi and olympia
tikal and memphis

I imagine the people will flee
from the cities and find
a much simpler life
free from the burden
of a bigoted government
learning to live a new way
peacefully within its own means


may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lost in translation


simplicity evades the thinking
of human governance
as man-made disasters
leaves every nation’s people
weeping
and calling
for answers to coexistence

halfway across the planet
voices can be heard
carried across tradewinds
as ancient as the book
protesting
and pleading
to be heard and understood



september two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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