poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “magic”

from the ghost of houdini

oh there I go again
creating something out of nothing
like some kind of lesser god
attempting to imitate mortality

yes I’ve been playing with rope again
learning all sorts of new knots
but that’s all it is ~ playing
like an actor on a stage
constantly coached by sophocles
or shakespeare or beckett
as if I’ve no training at all

all I want is one last chance
to perform a one act play
one in which I can prove once and for all
I’m a force to be reckoned with
that these simple tricks up my sleeve
are actually true magic
graciously handed down to me

november two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the alpha wizard

was it the wire or the tree
or wayward balloons
bursting the ceiling
allowing meteoric pulses to
enter the atmosphere

was it the whiskey
or the rye
that sparked something
out of nothing
like lightning in the sky

throwback man
walks around half-naked
carrying torch by daylight
poking sticks at stars by night

extending arms high above his head
he spreads his fingers wide
electrically connecting dots
whether seen or unseen
from the nondescript beginning
to an imaginary end

february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the magic of the magic wand

I’ve always kept the magic wand
under my bed
the one I lifted from the magician
at the TV station when I was
five years old

it was my first trick

I snatched it when all the kids
shuffled their feet forward
in single-file fashion
awaiting like ants on fire
to shake hands with the
man of the hour

I slipped it inside my pant leg
and never looked back
never told one soul

selfishly I kept the magic
of the magic wand to myself

once upon a time on a cloudy day
I wandered into an open field
pointing the wand high into the air

soon I guided the birds of the sky
as best I could
orchestrating their climbs and falls
their motionless glides

over the years I came to understand
the potential of its powers
and it frightened me

for decades I kept her
in darkness
imagining how she must be thriving
storing up energy
put out by endless dark matter
amassing a lethal arsenal of old
but new tricks dying to be shown

march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the bracelet

the bracelet fits perfectly
as if handcrafted
just for me

i found the bracelet
buried two feet deep
in my neighbor’s wooded
lot as i transgressed
with metal detector in hand
hoping to find pieces
from a past
i could somehow
put back together

within the safety
of my own property
i bring the bracelet
back to life
and pray its magic
will never end

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

little mermaid

i opened my eyes
to a world full of ice
beautifully blue
and frozen in time

ages ago i called
out your name
chipping the surface
to find you again

with a little magic
i bent the tides
hoping tomorrow
you’d resurface alive

january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

scrying pool

no sooner did he dream
of the shallow pond
it became real
outside his back door

he filled it with koi
lilies and bog plants
laboring with love
on hands and knees

as in the dream
he sprinkled the surface
with crushed meteorite
and butterfly wings

word soon spread
of the man with a gift
who gave visions
to strangers
in need of healing

december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

And So the Skyclimber Climbs

The candles burned to mask the smoke
lingering in the air. He was certain
he’d been in this room before,
though it reeked of unfamiliarity.

He continued on through interconnected taverns
that wound upward toward the sky.
Each passing story flashed old photographs
into his mind, only to dissolve and then
reproject themselves as stars in the sky.

Unclear how high the stories went
on and on he scurried. Up above, he swore,
lay reality; down below was just a past
that begged a sniff of upward mobility.

originally written
march two thousand seven
rewrite and recording
december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my shaman

my shaman is a musician
sitting in grandma’s rocking chair
her nylon-stringed classical guitar
strapped across his shoulder

months go by without knowing
his arrivals or departures
i imagine he’s playing her music
to a sold-out crowd in need

the mosh pit implosion gives rise
to a new kind of attention
where misunderstood children
believe in second chances

though my shaman has no wings
his imperfect compositions
sail beyond the faintest star
giving light where there is none

august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Bohemian Fantasy

I found her by accident
on Craigslist
while searching
for nothing in particular
her services strangely inviting
for anyone wishing
to know themselves better.

She called herself Divine
a woman of sight
gifted at birth
to interpret visions and dreams
and planetary transits
offering clarity and belief
for someone just like me.

Destined to adore her
every word
I found myself
trusting the impossible
as she lay her hands on mine
leading me further inside
her mystical crystal ball.

may two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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