poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Iowa”

sunset in my hometown

I’ve been receiving these calls
from faraway places
thanking me for my stay here
and wishing me sweet success

I’d not noticed those eyes before
rising from the east
but now I fear it may be too late
experimenting with their recreation
using charcoal or oil or water

after traveling so many miles
to get one more glimpse
of a past fraught with flaws
I foolishly think how I could
make amends with one last goodbye

now that time is no longer
of the essence
I draw the blinds to a room
forever etched in my waking dreams
reminding myself how I never
truly belonged here

december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

escaping the fourth dimension

I don’t know much beyond Iowa
which is why I need to get away
while there’s still time

Some say I wouldn’t survive
outside my current state of mind
that the world
would eat me alive
but to those people
I say they don’t know how many times
I’ve successfully run away
whether it be to San Francisco
or the Caymans
or bountiful Peloponnese

I’ve long been in secret
communications with friends
and acquaintances
all around the galaxy
promising to welcome me with
open arms
understanding how time
is of the essence
especially since the fourth season
is knocking on Iowa’s door

november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Born and bred in Iowa

I am not Iowa
I do not speak their language
or pretend to understand their history
what I know of them
I learned on my own
thanks to online access
google searches
and wikipedia dot com

My ancestry is not of this land
I’ve traced it back to Ireland
and Scotland and Sweden
and Belgium

I am not Iowa
but I live on their land
their numbers decimated by smallpox
and reduced to five hundred
at the turn of the previous century

I find it fascinating in prehistoric times
the Iowa emigrated
to their new land from the Great Lakes

In the meantime a white race originated
in the great Rokitno swamp
forging a roadmap destined to draw
a crooked line to America
the once Beautiful

august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

you can run but you cannot hide

the local news pushes its way
into the palm of my hand
a constant reminder
the information age
continues to shrink the planet

I’d been considering lately
of moving back to Iowa
but reports of violence
creeping in and out of her cities
leads me to conclude
there’s no place left to hide

may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

another iowa winter

nobody knows what the weather
is like in iowa
just like they don’t know gigantic
potatoes only grow in idaho

in january it’s so damn cold here
the cows don’t move
so it’s easy to walk right up to them
and snap photograph after photograph

there are no metropolises in iowa
just little towns
with a post office and a tavern
where you can tie your horse to a post

in the winter the winds blows so cold
it leaves you shivering
until march when the sun penetrates
the earth and reality begins to blossom

december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Towards Davenport’s Ones

We’d buy smokes and tall boys
and fill up the ’69 Tempest
at the Mobile station uphill
from where the Mississippi
runs East and West

Once underneath I-74
we’d hang a right onto Riverside Drive
wind our way towards East Village

The late August sunrays
reflected a lifeline
off the murky wakes and white sails
latching its horizontal eyes
onto the Pontiac
lasering its rims as it speeds
towards Davenport’s ones

september two thousand ten
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Back to Iowa

You promised you’d make it back
to Iowa where the fifth season
gives us time to enjoy the other four.

The photos from the Farmer’s Market
are fresh in my mind as I sit and wonder
if they made it all the way to Bagram.

I start the sleds in the shed every so often
knowing they’ll be ready for the trails
once you and the snow finally arrive.

june two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Little Mill

We used to get in the car and drive Northeast
to Bellevue in Jackson County,
to a place where prehistoric Woodland Indians once roamed;
where Blackhawk himself used to call home.

Nearing the outskirts of town we wended along
the side of a hill on a gravel road,
the valley below offering pastures and wild fields
in between the meandering Little Mill.

We always ventured all the way into town first
to the Mississippi River,
where Dad would fill up with gas and buy donuts,
live bait, and a pack of cigarettes.

It was then we would run across the busy street
to the green steel fence rail,
look out over the Mighty Mississippi, count the sails
dotted up and down the river.

There was plenty of fish to catch in the river
Dad always pontificated,
but Little Mill offered what the Mississippi could not:
Rainbow Trout and isolation.

may two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Native Hawk

Soaring lightly
he set his sights
on an unnatural rustle
beneath oak leaves
near the creek’s bend

Circling round
he gradually descends
into a slow spiral
easily snatching
a couple of snacks
for he and his girl

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

Art the Beautiful Pheasant

Art the beautfiul pheasant
so wanted to be a partridge
dreamed of living
in a pear tree
on Christmas day

Boundaries kept him at bay
limited his Las Vegas odds
of surviving
Iowa fields
for another season

Art the beautiful pheasant
forged ahead in colorful pride
turned shrubbery
into a birdcave
and survived the winter

Such ingenuity and foresight
found favor with the gods
aided the bird
and his clan
to march further south

Art the beautiful pheasant
so wanted to be a partridge
but settled for life
in a sanctuary
on the Mississippi

december, two thousand eleven
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Painting by Renée C Winkel (click to enlarge)

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