poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Jesus”

according to the gospel of jesus

I mean you no ill will
churches of the old world
god knows it’s high time you die
a swift and cleansing death
reborn into a new truth
distinctly separate from your
inherent corruption and greed
and preconceived paranoia

the temple is your soul
and the steeple not a structure
but a symbol of committing
to the most basic tenets
such as loving your neighbor as yourself
or even more radically
loving your enemy and blessing
those who curse you

september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

living among the dead

they never played the organ this loud
on early sunday mornings
but the violins were lovely as always
and the priest and his priestess
sang mass as if was their last
this april fool’s day
the day jesus christ was reborn

there is this talk of witching hours
culminating into something destructive
but today is not the case
full moon having set hours ago
only to reappear again slightly altered
earth continuing to race through space
as if the end is nowhere near

the backroads and byways and highways
are busy with pilgrims inspired
to find resting places where peace must reign
where violence and conflict
have ceased to exist
inspired by a man born ages ago
expected to reappear as a superstar

april two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what’s on your hard drive

joseph had been missing for many
days and the sheriff told lois
mary was a person of interest

she kept insisting he had called
an uber driver the day before
to pick up their son in san salvador

but no such records ever existed
according to law enforcement
but law enforcement had nothing
to do with their predicament
that is being trapped inside
a jesus christ superstar song

july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Jesus in Memphis

I’ve been dreaming about Elvis again
I tell her (even though it’s not true)

Of course she says nothing
expecting me to go on

He may have been under the weather
I go on to say
but he certainly wasn’t on his deathbed

Two hours after the last curtain call
he was seen incognito
smoking cigarillos on Beale Street

You mean Elvis
she says

No I don’t mean Elvis
Jesus Christ
why aren’t you listening

april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like wolves in new york city

he said his name was jesus
and I started following him
up the jersey shore
and though I’d never been
there before
I felt like I was in the right place

there were dozens of us
musicians and poets
landscapers and local artisans
walking side by side
and consumed by
one man without possessions

despite threatening winds
we trekked northward
toward sandy hook
a bay he preached about
days earlier when the
sun was much brighter

I can take you no further
he went on to say
(my days are always numbered)
and it was then and there
he set us free
like sheep amongst wolves
howling in new york city

february two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

jesus from tokyo

I saw jesus on tokyo bay
speaking spanglish and
directing fishing boats
like a venerable traffic cop

dressed in seamless jeans
and oversized shirt
he unveiled the sun with his hands
welcoming all to follow in his wake

docking close to disney at night
the city prefect greeted him with
flowers and rings and keys
proceeding to escort his entourage
to the enchanted tiki room

swapping stories and feasting
on the day’s catch
tourists gradually gathered round
sampling the uncooked bounty
imported from half a world away

april two thousand fifteen
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

Beyond These Walls

This strange new world has me abounded by fear
not sure where I stand
unsure when I may fall

The aggression builds boundlessly
until the anger lets loose

And when it’s over
when I reflect on the action
when I’m all alone in my own little world

I weep
yes I weep like an angel

Since when do actions speak more loudly than words?
I say Jesus’ acts were more powerful than his gospel
(I keep him in my pocket, like a slug)
And when I’m sure that I can’t stand
on my own two feet
I reach for him

and weep
yes I weep like an angel

Try to believe you’re no different
than you were at the age of three
and you’re fooling yourself

Try to believe you’ve never pulled the trigger
and you’re fooling yourself

White concrete and silver steel
have never had the same meaning
as they do now

originally penned nineteen ninety-six
audio recorded june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Alive and Well in Las Vegas

The King and I sat in a barber shop
on the Las Vegas strip
swapping oft-told stories
and questioning the reasonings
behind failed empires

He explained how his realm reaches
far outside the lines of Clark County
where one-armed bandits
pay homage to sinners
and tax collectors

He spoke with quiet authority
on the decline of principles
and goodwill toward men
using literary devices
to illustrate his finer points

With the sun soon to vanish
in the cool desert air
He tucked his hair up under his hat
and led his sandaled entourage
down the boulevard

december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fishing with jesus

sometimes I just cry myself to sleep
when I think about all the things
I’m gonna miss about this place
I told jesus
as we sat on the rocks
casting our lines out into the sea
neither of us worrying
whether or not there was fish to catch

june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

pocket jesus

i wandered the open market
looking for nothing in particular
when a young girl motioned me
from a little blue booth

she held out her hand
some sort of oval silver coin
placed on her palm

what is it i asked

it is yours she said

no it’s not mine i said
i’ve never seen this before

please take it she said
i want you to have it

i lifted the oval silver coin from her palm
and held it between my thumb and forefinger

with my other hand i reached into my shirt pocket
for my reading glasses

it’s a pocket jesus she said

yes i see that now i said
how much do you want for it

it’s priceless she said

as i left the open market
i could hear my pocket jesus
mingling with my american presidents
and i imagined what a lovely scheme
they must be cooking
to finish me off dead broke
but unafraid

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


there’s nothing new
going on around here
except for elvis and jesus
walking the streets again

everywhere around the globe
people are revolting
while special forces make sure
they’re in on the action

the price of oil fluctuates
like the unpredictable warming
giving rise to speculation
the end is already here

january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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