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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “poem”

giving way to the morning light


it was late summer and the heat
and the humidity
were unbelievable
as unreal as december hummingbirds
reminding me of long goodbyes
and last hurrahs

all the doors and windows
were locked tight
hundreds of candles
lighting up the entire roost
unable to keep out the sirens
screaming from within

I refused to open up to new ideas
as long as all the old ones
hadn’t run their course
not until every candle
had burned out on its own volition
replaced by a natural light




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

standing in line with mister jimmy


I’ve been self-prescribing for so long
beginning to believe I’m an expert
in any field

apothecary shop across the street
has been thriving for nearly
a century now
modestly contributing to the local economy
providing products we’ve
come to know and love
since the beginning of time

I want our love to last forever
so I keep asking myself
what shall we take next time
our lives seem to be separating




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

all of these horses


the explosion in the wildflower field
sent all the horses racing far beyond
the imaginary fence line
violently shaking the earth
these parts had not witnessed in
anyone’s lifetime
leaving the elderly trembling
and the little ones crying
making all the machinery within a
thousand mile radius inoperable
the only other mode of transportation
quickly dissolving into the dying sun




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the garden reprised


we’ve done this before
making something out of thin air
whether simple words or complex webs
designed to bring us closer

the power of sleep brings forth
limitless possibilities
exposing past and future lives
such as the spider or the fly

at some point it stands to reason
why the trees have knowledge
and birds perpetuate folklore
why the snake in the green green grass
will one day be your best friend




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

momentum


there was no prophecy
future events unfolding surrealistically
captivating a connected world
only seconds earlier impassive

smoke and heat and fire
building upon its own propulsion
like an early morning spark
innocently lit within an otherwise
booby-trapped concrete stairwell

which way to run
which way to stop or go
wifi no longer of use
no signal no nothing
a voice inside says
drop everything and run

this is no map to follow
vertical tunnel without exit signs
traffic cops on the outside
helplessly looking in
right arm circling crazily
all on foot having the right of way
from this point forward




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I’ve got a little boat and she’s seaworthy


somehow I continue to live here
expansive and dangerous
stretching from ocean to ocean
long after the continents
lost its interconnectedness

we make music out of trees
and jewelry out of oysters
how is it we can’t make peace
out of the most basic tenets
all religions seem to practice

elections and appointments
aren’t working any better
than heritage or privilege
ordinary people standing up
and speaking out perilously

change is at hand and the end
is near continue to play out
like a broken historical record
replaying sunday hangings
and friday crucifixions




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lesser gods and weaker minds


looking for something new
I gaze out the 10th floor window
catching a glimpse of October
waiting in the wings
closely held by unsuspecting vultures
cleverly disguised as angels
coaxing me to open my heart and soul
[and inch closer to the edge]
in exchange promising riper fruit
and even brighter sunrises




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

self-imposed exile


I was there to witness it all
and now after all these years
it’s becoming unrepressed
finding myself an accessory
after the fact

I’m too old to be on the run
but on the run I am
retracing steps and piecing
back together high crimes
and misdemeanors

statute of limitations aside
the talk on the street
sounds anything but familiar
as if I had just stepped off
the last train to mexico




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the far side


wake up and listen
cool wind from the north
ushering in the smallest of birds
chattering before daybreak

between dream sequences
you drift in and out of reality
believing what you are hearing
resides on the far side




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the adoption


born in these united states
I was held hostage for no other reason
than to worship the steeple and marketplace

for thirteen years they worked me hard
as if I wasn’t one of their own
but never did they break my spirit
my resolve alive and well
like a promise made in earnest

mother used to say I possess
confidence as if it was a weakness
and while she was off saying the rosary
[praying for souls yet to depart their bodies]
I was busily devising my own escape

there is sadness everywhere you look
that is the human condition
but I’ve long held the belief
that I am exempt from such nonsense
for as you see I was born to become a god




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the infrequent visitor


lock box stashed away
inside secretary desk in the bedroom
right there in the middle drawer
for any nosy visitors to find

old man infrequently goes there
setting the metal container
on pulled open writing surface
sitting down on wooden chair
not a soul in the house

this is how he grounds himself
whenever feeling the need
to be grounded
counting his blessings
or chickens or foreign currency
flipping through photographs
opening and closing envelopes
reminiscing for the sake of reminiscing
like only youthful romantics do




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a picture paints a thousand words


a thousand words I wrote
yet your image remained elusive

I refused to believe
that you were gone forever
so I wrote another thousand words

unable to conjure
the essence that is you
I put down the pen
and picked up the brush

having cleared the canvas
I painted feverishly
rain like tears streaming
streaking across window pane
forever shrouding
your youthful innocence




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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