poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “memories”

I shall never forget

faded memories reappear
a wallpaper kind of past
filled with delicate intricacies
and screaming images

she emerges to the forefront
in unexpected ways
first as a lasting impression
in an otherwise forgetful dream
— next as a hologram
projected from the ceiling
miming I will always love you
before dissolving into nothingness

these are the beginnings
of a day filled with fits & starts
a reminder that I shall never forget
even after my final breath

march two thousand twenty-three
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

repairing past afflictions

that childhood moment
when you were maybe seven or eight
magically reappearing in your mind
the accuracy of the recollection
of little importance
the images as vivid as the orange
sun sinking into the blue-green sea
the waves crashing the shoreline
tumbling over themselves ad infinitum
somehow making the past
much clearer than the present
leaving you with a slight smile
and a single teardrop

august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

watering selected recollections

a child on tiptoes
an empty pail by her side
neck bending backwards
one hand reaching for a butterfly
the other clenching a piece of sky

it’s the things you recall
that easily survive below the surface
says the voice soundlessly
the one growing restless from time to time
secretly reliant on its counterpart

carrying the pail of water
from the well at the top of the hill
the child could never be more real

july two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rearranging the past

I spent most of the morning
digging up memories from the garden
separating and transplanting
and finding just the right spot
for their next resting place

some were more difficult than others
each an exercise of elimination
both in body and in mind
rest assured I’ll be at ease
once the next keeper takes over

may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Temporary memories

I’ve lost my way in search of truth
whether it be fact or fiction
questioning whether accepting more
correlates to receiving less

As years pass my heart swells
and my eyesight worsens
both troubled by the sign of the times

I’m reluctant to concede to pressure
managing to infiltrate my downtime
whether it be deep in sleep
or quiet contemplation

In the morning I find comfort
anticipating the rising of the sun
whether apparent or behind clouds

july two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

opening windows in April

she used to play piano on late
Sunday mornings
the boys in the kitchen singing
and keeping plenty busy
preparing brunch and such

there’s no sense trying to
rescue that painting
it’s best to prime the canvass
and start again from scratch

that knock-off Picasso that used
to hang in the living room
made a killing at the auction

the memories weren’t for sale
they simply stayed with the house
drifting in and out of walls
depending upon the season
and which windows might be
open or shut

april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the violin and the piano

their sound supersedes the
clamor and the simmering pot
not quite boiling
not quite understood

the floors mean nothing
since they’ve been replaced
replaced but not restored
never to be the same

appearing out of nowhere
like a silver moon in disguise
the music filters through
making my world come to life

the violin and the piano
still echo in these walls
comforting my sorrow
and giving me repose

september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

moving day all over again

we were sitting on the balcony
sipping tea and pretending to be happy
while down below piles of possessions
systematically moved from outside the
house and into a rented step van

who’s the guy with the tattoo sleeve I ask

oh that’s Billy she says
he tends bar and does stand-up

right I say without looking up
loving one instagram after the next

refreshing our glasses I wondered if she
had remembered to pack those
forgotten memories
or did she purposely leave them behind
perhaps inside a weightless shoebox
stashed high upon a shelf
or wrapped inside a linen cloth
hidden below a wooden floor board

september two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the old man and the tree

that tree is still there
the one in the background
one hundred years old or more
the one you climbed to the top
again and again and again
presenting a world in its most
simplistic state
colorful and melodious and calming
shielded from life’s uncertainties
if only for a brief moment in time
when the days were long
and the nights unfolded
limitless possibilities

june two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

still the same

I got out of the house using a bonafide
lie about meeting my buddy at the
pinball arcade
hopped on my tenspeed and
pedaled the shortest route to prospect park

lying on our backs at the top of the hill
it felt as if we were vertical
suspended if you will
the river far below our feet
the clouds above
shaped like sails and almost touchable

all afternoon we held hands and
talked about how old we felt
trapped inside young bodies
unnerved by the fact this place in time
would always be the same

january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


memories stacked neatly
in locked up photographs
once prominently displayed
now distant and dustless
like oddly real dreams
never truly understood

do I dare open the box
and relive all the fears
hidden behind nervous smiles
below cloudless skies
never imagining the future
would ever come to this

december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the curse of the new moon

morning light casts long shadows
where trees amass and grow wild
harboring mere mortals
savoring newfound secrets

at work in the dimly lit night
werewolves trail the slender moon
digging out curses buried
deep along the way

on the outskirts of the city
early morning trains whistle and
howl and slowly garner steam
hauling away memories that
never truly existed

october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nature over portrait

running through fields with
raised nets and breathable lids
atop glass jars
we chase down dreams
and stow away
childhood memories
unaware one day our hidden
beauty will be unveiled

july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january rain

she told me she liked a good cliché
liked how it felt against the
tip of her tongue

she was the kind of gal
who loved to french kiss for hours
or so she told no one

I remember her telling me on
new year’s eve
to be at the bus stop at noon
where she’d pick me up and
we’d go picnicking in the park

it rained throughout the night
and well into the morning
and though the buses don’t
run on sundays
there I sat in the dark
wondering where she was

june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in this land of make-believe

these dreams go beyond make-believe
and into spaces without stars
where coldness goes unnoticed
and past lives become memoirs

as I lie asleep out at sea
you seem to disappear along the shore
consumed by ultraviolet rays
disguised as gently rolling waves

cradle rocking from side to side
foreign voices tell me not to cry
assuring me things will be all right
once understanding how it ends

june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

red light

camera at top of the world
forces my foot down
left facing the red light
idling first in line
outside the city’s edge

I wait with my own thoughts
neither angry nor sad
indifferent to my circumstance
my petty arguments
list of things unsaid

vague images fly by like
recollections on wheels
transporting me near and far
as if past and present
resided inside the red light

one blink of the eye
I’m rushing forward
to the next intangible destination
chased from behind by
lights of another color

march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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