poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “mental health”

After the implosion

Don’t build a wall around your own suffering,
it may devour you from the inside.

— Frida Kahlo

I left the spade in the garden
jammed into the earth five days ago

It may be buried by now
for all I know
or it may have become uprooted
and sailed away with the wind

I don’t live in Kansas anymore
in fact I’m not quite sure where I am
some days it feels like somewhere
in the middle of Peloponnese
others in the heart of Sanremo

I’m finding getting to know
my new surroundings
to be a bit of a challenge
but I’ve committed myself
to make it work in the long run
having collapsed
all the walls around me

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


He started telling me things
little things
I had no business knowing

After a while the little things
mixed with the big things
and soon the important things
seemed to not matter so much

Every day for over two thousand
I did nothing but live alone with
my own thoughts

Of course I continued to enjoy
chocolate kisses and
group therapy and
kite flying

When he rescued me from
voluntary confinement
I screamed incoherently while
riding on the back of his fifty horses
hair blowing back horizontally
arms raised and flailing

Now after so many years since
time has turned around
and I find myself
drifting and regressing
but succeeding at exorcising
my very own demons

september two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fifty ways

there’s something
terribly wrong with me

it seems everyone knows
what it is but me

I ask the doctor
what the hell could it be

I don’t know he says
try talking to your friends

sleepless friends whisper
empty promises

and in the morning
those promises live on

october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the time eraser

fleet of foot
and quite aloof
the time eraser
runs in the background
as quiet as a ghost

as mistakes
the time eraser
springs into action
restoring sanity

troubles fade
thoughts unravel
the time eraser
injecting new cocktails

august two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

looking for mr. rorschach

the man in the white coat
hands me a square sheet of paper
encouraging me to tell him
what i think i see

on the white sheet of paper
a black and white monarch butterfly
stretches out her wings in perfect symmetry
her lips tasting the nectar of oswego tea
growing near a garden pond
filled with koi and water lilies

giving back the square sheet of paper
i lower my eyes and
tell the brain doctor
i see some chump sitting on the street corner
hand held out and repeating something silly
like penny for your thoughts

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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