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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “poem”

pretense from the far side


our father who art in poetry
hallowed be thy (perplexing) rhyme


or so the thoughts of dementia do flow

despite seeing nothing in return
you continue to spread the spoken word
if only to yourself

why do most everyone agree the little ones
grow up too fast
(and not do anything about it)
whether they be shining bright
or falling into obscurity

and then there are those
perhaps fortunate
(or perhaps not)
having gained admission on the far side
one metered step at a time



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there is safety in numbers


the snow here never melts
where alien camels
once canvassed frozen desert
in search of water

without rocket propulsion
below the surface is the only escape
regardless the location

buildings collapse upon themselves
like cardboard towers
filling the void with smoke and mirrors
and concrete icing

evening turns to night
charcoal clouds descending
putting to rest dragons dreaming
deep inside the mountain



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

interview with a ragamuffin


the blues I understand so much more
than any shade of black or white


what are you doing I ask the little girl
who appeared out of thin air
she answers without looking up
all the time focusing on a world
expanding in colors without words

I stood there stunned for a moment
as if I was the subject
but then awoke and moved on
neither mesmerized nor alert
uncertain what she had uttered



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the wayfarer’s son


there is nothing normal
going on here
or at least that’s what it seems
to any casual observer who might
happen to overtake this transport

it’s full speed ahead
zooming past all the rest stops
where people drink coffee and
talk about what it means to be human

every new place seems the same
so many sons and daughters
manipulated by promises
fading into the scenery
blending in with the unnoticed
and unmotivated
and/or heavily sedated

steering clear of deep dives
I swear to god (once again)
there are some things I don’t talk about
especially to perfect strangers
let alone myself



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

catching up with the midnight rider


I miss everything reckless
and I’m bound and determined
to make another run at it
barreling down river road
giving chase to the current

most times it’s impossible
to catch the leader (of the pack)
let alone decipher exactly
who put what in motion

even without all the facts
I’m prepared to move on
singing a song I’ve not forgotten
when once upon a time
I dreamed I was a little girl



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

    when north became south


    you lost me when I wasn’t looking
    like a silver dollar vanishing
    via sleight of hand

    when the poles switched
    nearly everyone became displaced
    like foreigners held
    hostage inside their own homes

    those less fortunate were
    forced to learn a new language
    whether it be spoken or not

    in the city center they hung
    disobedient juveniles
    upside down by the ankles
    shaking the contents from their britches
    making all the little ones appear out of nowhere
    like cockroaches scrambling on all six



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    buckle up and best of luck


    look out for those high tension cables
    chevy pickup truck
    you cannot leap like the deer

    white lines on frozen concrete
    come and go like the wind
    exposing black ice and bruised souls

    occasionally wooden crosses
    appear out of nowhere
    adorned with garlands and playthings

    digital readerboards overhead
    count the number of dead
    recently reset on january first



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    skipping stones across the surface


    there is more to this than scrambling
    from one life to the next
    deciding who wins and what memories
    are worth replaying time and again

    the rocks by the water are flatter
    than the ones on the hill
    but both have surrendered to their fate
    indestructible forces that they are

    when your calls for help go unanswered
    you may need to look elsewhere
    though perhaps it’s wiser to lay low
    and let patience be your friend

    one day the tulips will rise oh so belatedly
    delayed by a recent avalanche
    covering the ground like an afghan blanket
    neither suffocating nor impenetrable



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    while trees are falling down


    I saw some poetry while walking in the woods
    but it quickly scurried away like a frightened ghost

    did you see that I asked myself but I did not respond
    determined to take a course unbeknownst to anyone

    blood flows through my veins on borrowed time
    at one within a place where hollow trees rise and fall

    convinced there is no way out other than from within
    I slow down my pace and surrender to the sound



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    how blue is your heart


    stained glass hearts
    tarnished over time
    void of even the faintest
    hint of crimson on the
    brightest of summer days

    on occasion lonely hearts
    glisten back to life
    slowly reaching out on the
    clearest of nights at a
    bulging moon turning blue



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    Note: this poem is linked to Crow’s Open Mic Invitation

    so I left for a pint and never did come back


    this cough’s been bothering me for a long time
    and I can tell it’s bothering others too
    but they don’t say a word

    they think something must be wrong with me
    because of the cough

    after a few days
    I start trying to disguise it in ways indescribable

    they sent me away with orders not to return without
    proof that the cough is gone for good



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    higher than yesterday


    every day I’d be doing handstands in the
    fenced-in school grounds before the first bell
    competing against all the pretty inner city girls

    it was all part of being in love with the world
    outside the home where I was free to be myself
    in whatever shape or form of my choosing

    how I would gladly return to those days of
    simplicity and uncommonplace acceptance
    my toes hanging ten longer than the day before



    march two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

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