jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “loneliness”

first thing in the morning


come rain or come shine
he counts the steps from bedroom
to kitchen
first peeking inside the icebox
then checking the cupboard

sometimes he’s dressed and
other times not
but usually it’s before dawn
as he meanders about
like a blindman
like a sleepwalker
like a creek lost in the woods

he has no sense of hunger
but his hearing is impeccable
and always he yearns to listen
to anything unfamiliar
but sadly settles for a cup of tea
preferably black or green or red

when the whistles blows
he knows the pain will soon subside
and from there it matters not
whether rain or sunshine arrives



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a streetcar with no name


the sun won’t rise for a couple
hours more
but already the roads
are snow-covered above
and icy below

in most neighborhoods
the morning paper never arrives
and to anyone
daring to venture outside
experiences soft wood burning
and blackbirds squawking

up and down the streets
automobiles idle in driveways
or along curbsides
warming up to new ideas

(earlier a deadly accident
occurs on a lonely street corner)

you cannot hear it
nor can you sense it
you cannot even fathom it
until it slowly disseminates into the air
over a relatively short period of time



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

minimalistic thoughts of yesteryear


one by one they left this place
a metaphorical mess
and I was left all alone
to my many devices
certain I could figure out a way
to clean things up

the morning light arrives
hours after I first stirred
shuffling my feet
to the rhythm of a fancy beat
repeating a little ditty
I recall singing in my dream

windows are everywhere
and in the dark I find each one
lifting the storms
and bringing in fresh air
whether it be cool or warm
or whispering silence

sitting at the kitchen counter
I am taken to places
I’ve not yet seen
a ripened orange in my hand
magically unpeeling itself
before my very own eyes


may two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

introspection


fields of wildflowers stretched
as far as the eye could see
and I stood there
unmoved
void of emotion
believing its beauty
could never belong to me

cloudless skies of blue stretched
as far as the eye could see
and I stood there
motionless
hopelessly lost
looking for a sign
I was not alone in this world

daylight turned to dark
and I surrendered to the earth
fell asleep in the open
curled into a ball
like a seed
praying for the rain
to bring me back to life


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

birdsong in my mind


sorrowful soul mate
casting nets
from a sparse pine
comes up empty time and again

determined to move on
one tree at a time
the song forever weaves
through solitary twilight


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

pulling weeds in a maddening world


on his hands and knees he pulls weeds
the kind that creep into spaces
lacking light and common sense
often seen but seldom understood
neither envious nor empathetic of beauty
and constantly forced
to start a new life in the most
undesirable places

to think that it’s come to this
he mutters to himself
furiously yanking the stalks but not the roots
tossing them behind his back
knowing full well they’ll resurrect
themselves in a matter of days
a reminder of how maddening
his loneliness has become



june two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the start of a brand new day


there’s something missing he said
opening the refrigerator
pulling out a mcintosh and
gutting it with the round steel slicer

deliberately he ate slice after slice in
complete silence
focusing on the uneasy feeling
deep inside his core

outside on the front patio he heard
the daily paper kicking the door

out back a stray cat cried in the cold
garnering the attention of camouflaged chickadees
sitting quietly from within the pines

a gust of wind brought forth new life
from the many wind chimes

beneath his feet he feels the morning train
beginning to roll from a few miles away
a good forty minutes late he tells himself

as the first whistle blows
the sun breaks free from the clouds


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the sound of winter


room by room he drifted
attending to the windows
first shutting the storm
then locking the
lower sash with the upper

he moved mechanically
like an old timepiece
powered by the sun
the swift hand moving
hesitatingly from lack of light
his thoughts fleeting
like the gray winds outside

leaning on the last window
he felt oddly safe
but desperately alone
the sound of winter
forever secured inside



november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

porcelain doll


born into a colorful world
you look to the sky for answers
blinking your wanton eyes and
hiding your smile below
wide brimmed hat

anxious to live for tomorrow
you rarely sleep at night
dreaming of the day your
prince charming finally
finds you outside the box

winter arrives on cue
changing you into that girl
nobody really knew
your radiant summer skin
fading in the evening light

years turn into forever
your lost thoughts seeking
a new kind of loneliness
your mind aging
gracefully like porcelain



july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lonesome is the night


out of the blue melancholy
wrapped her arms around me
and held me close
whispering sad songs
and wiping away the tears
that formed from the
corners of my mind

she slowly swayed me
encouraging me to hush
painted pictures of the
moon and stars with her
deceiving voice
expressing how precious
and lonesome is the night


december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

waiting in the wings


there is nothing sad in my song
it’s just that the purposefulness of it
is long gone

(I have since retired to another room)

alone I sit and bang on keys
meant to be played by a
musician high on weed
and improvising

we first discovered how the
establishment came to be
and then we destroyed them
brought them back to life with poetry
only the wretched understood

the professor did not show
up for work today so we taught
ourselves by sipping on danish wine
and reenacting a little hamlet

when the day is done don’t worry
about turning out the light
there’ll be another wave
of stark raving mad lunatics
to entertain your dying days



october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

forgotten son


close your eyes and pretend
you are the forgotten son
pretend you have lived
a solitary life
and there is no place
you’ve never gone

I did as she said and found
myself on a deserted
divided highway
my overheated imagination
in my rearview
not an oasis in sight

after day turned into night
all living creatures
converged by land and air
giving guidance
and instilling wisdom
to the forgotten son


october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Inside My Lazy Susan


I wonder what lie inside
my lazy susan all these years
what one staple could it be
stashed away yet unafraid

Does she know I know she’s there
unseen and protected
by jars of peanut butter and
bags of tiny chocolate chips

Was it neglect or selfishness
that kept you in the dark
or was it simply my stupidity
not noticing how beautiful you are

october 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

table for one


soft strings stream from the
ceiling speakers
slightly drowning out whispers
floating throughout the
openness of this place
its reverberations caressing the
flame of a single candle
centered atop a corner table
casting a dim light on a
sea of lost thoughts
where two once sailed as one




july two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

happy hour


I felt like stepping out
but didn’t want to drink alone
so I texted Tommy to give me a call
but my phone lay silent

goddamn son-of-a-bitch

I powered up my new HDTV
but nothing was on
so I turned it off
and checked my phone again

nada – nothing – zip

I paged through my contacts
and speed dialed Randy
then Billy and then Reggie G
but nobody picked up

I walked into the kitchen
and opened the refrigerator
but I had forgotten to replace
the lamp and couldn’t see shit
but I reached in anyway



june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unlucky in love


he sits in his lazy boy chair
and yells at the umpire on TV who
keeps getting all the calls wrong
exhaling cheap cigar smoke
while putting down old style beer
in 12 ounce gulps

in the other room his partner
in crime fixes potato salad
to go with his pastrami on rye
saddened at the thought
mister james gandolfini
has left her lonely world



june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

some kind of way out of here


in the archives
they let me spend my time
weaving tales of prison breaks
not even the watchtower
can contain

this life inside
the loneliest place on earth
would break the common man
but here I sit and sail away
stealthily

once a month
I wander the yard and chat
with all the pretty young ladies
who stopped writing me
years ago

in my mind
I lived out my days in paradise
where the flowering perennials
rooted before the breach
still flourish



june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the mind reader


I lost my way along the way
and wound up in a tavern
I never knew existed

I ordered a dark beer
and sat alone
wondering how it was
I had found this place

there were so many things
I meant to get done that day
but nothing seemed to be working
so I wandered out of the city
looking at nothing in particular
and daydreaming
about all the things I had done

once finishing off the pint of beer
the bartender
poured me another without
either of us saying one word



may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

saint somewhere


the trains have all left
this dusty little town
and I’m left on the trackside
without even a dime
to buy a little more time
as my woman sits in coach
destination saint somewhere



may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

i found a box of old poems


the poetry i wrote ages ago
doesn’t belong to me anymore

the person that wrote those lines
of despair and shame and utter honesty
has long been gone

it’s almost as if he died from self-inflicted wounds
from too much booze and tabacco
and whoring around
from not giving a shit about work
or baseball
or forgetting to buy chocolate and roses
on valentine’s day

reading page after page of the drivel
i want to tear them to pieces
but something inside me
won’t let it happen
because deep down i’m in love with the words
that used to bring me joy knowing my misery
was no different than yours




february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

after the thrill is gone


i imagined
what it would be like
to be alone eternally
without a soul
in the world
to share life’s
finest moments

as my thought
began to dwindle
into nothingness
she kissed me
atop my forehead
and whispered sweetly
the thrill is gone



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rewind


promises of glory
took you away from me
leaving me helpless
and grasping for understanding
exactly what went wrong

i sit in my chair and recall the days
watching you kill mercilessly
on the television screen
watching your back
aiding and abetting your safety
from the mindless enemy

those games now collect dust
as i wander through the house
murmuring to myself
for my stupidity



november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Cries in the Dark


Now that the house is empty
I easily awaken from cries
in the dark, sneaking in
through the bedroom window
on a cool, autumn morning.

I roll out of bed at four a.m.
and rush to the window
like a child on Christmas Eve;
eyes focused on the house
across the street, a lone light
leaking through the drawn shade.

Once the child has grown quiet
from his mother’s magical touch,
I crawl back to bed, wondering
where my own children might be
and if they ever think of me
when hearing cries in the dark.



july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I never dreamed


you forgot to tell me
where you had gone
so I wandered into the night
dreaming I would find you
somewhere safe

the night never ended
neither did the dream
of finding you
beyond the treetops
as an infinite light



july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Tuesday’s Gone


There’s something about this coffee,
I said, speaking to the cat,
knowing she knew exactly what I meant
because she too drinks the same water
from this dated kitchen.

There’s nothing right about this place,
it seems to have lost
the intimacy it once had.
Instead of doing anything about it
I’m just going to drink
this lousy cup of coffee
and wonder where the angels went.



july two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Late for Supper


The morning arrived
as it always does
a soft rain falling out back
giving the apples
a special gloss
once the shower
segued to sunshine.

By early afternoon
children would arrive
to climb and pick the fruit
and patiently wait
as the owner of the tree
transformed them
into a cobbler.

With bellies full
the little ones ran off
the scent of the kitchen
following them
reminding the baker
her own precious ones
were late for supper.


may two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Christmas for One


I stayed in the house for four straight days
in mid December, discovered the world
did not miss me one iota, nor me the world.

To pass the time I would look out the window
each time finding something new: a bird, a child,
the wind. I would capture the images
in my mind, later jot them down.

When the telephone rang I did not answer
and one time when someone knocked
I cowered behind the comfy chair
until certain no one was there.

By the end of the fourth day
before I fell asleep, I created a list
of the things I would need
to spend the remaining days until Christmas

Alone.



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

can’t you see


walking in i felt a presence
had just left
leaving behind a draft
coming from the return vent

a lone light shone
above the kitchen sink
highlighting the drip
that hadn’t been fixed for days

i thought i might find
a note on the counter
next to sunday’s newspaper
instead found a grocery list
along with a few coupons

the cat sauntered on the tile
and rubbed up against my ankle
sounding off in a bluesy way
somehow knowing
change was here to stay



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

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: