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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “poem”

dancing the pain away


ankle sprain wrapped twice
take two aspirin and call
me in the morning

the phone never did ring
and two days later
she had fled on foot

I looked out the door
and all I saw was wind
whipping through the avenue
reminding me of a song
I’d been meaning to finish

days later she was back
upstairs and immobile
either fast asleep
or wide awake
fighting bouts of cold sweat
and hallucinating blue skies
swearing to god one of these days
she’s gonna dance again





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

old signs rising above the eastern horizon


I’m reading my daily horoscope
in the palm of my hand
seated at a table for two at a streetside cafe
waiting on an old acquaintance
who promised to make me young again

I’ve always been drawn
to the mysterious world of houses
and transits and T-square configurations
where struggles are witnessed by the naked eye
in the privacy of your own ruminations

whether or not this chance meeting
will ever take place
makes no difference to me or my imagination
as I sit here quietly reminiscing
how my own world may indeed be retrograding





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the big thaw


sheets of ice seem to be shrinking
right before our very eyes
but where are all the puddles I ask you
shouldn’t there be countless
puddles of mud

you give me the cold shoulder
retreating effortlessly
and just like those large sheets of ice
you recoil unto yourself
leaving not a drop in your wake





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rethinking a black & white world


I’ve paper but haven’t
any pen or pencil
anything reasonably
reliable to transfer
my scattered ideas
into chicken scratch

I’ve been feeding
my inconsistent thoughts
with edible charcoals and inks
yet nothing seems
to be sticking against
this stark white wall

restless and rummaging
for snacks inside the pantry
I accidentally uncover
finger paints of all colors
cleverly concealed
inside plastic eggshells





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

momentary levitation


we danced and we laughed
far into the night
moonlight in our eyes
and tomorrow nothing
but a meaningless notion

invisible music plays
against the wind
turning tree branches
into violin strings
and sounding like
birdsong vibrations

we dance and we laugh
far into the night
while tomorrow is simply
a notion in our minds
that may or may not
come to pass





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

anything less than a miracle


I used to think I was broken
until I came to understand
the power of healing

I used to think unconditional love
was an intangible theory
until I stumbled upon
the power of healing

I used to think our time on earth
no matter the duration
served no specific proposition
not until explicitly accepting
the power of healing





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

coup d’é·tat


raven queen in glass castle
never looked so vulnerable
routinely giving out orders
casting her gaze past the river

considering new strategies
for nearly a fortnight
she relies heavily
upon her royal blue entourage
twisting and turning
throughout the night
churning out new tactics

she sends out messengers
one after the next
but none ever return
perhaps caught in netting
set by her own disloyal knights

single-handedly vanquishing
the enemy from within
she proclaims old bridges
will be restored
now that the past has been
unconditionally conquered





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a million miles yet to go


I’ve been unable to interpret
those bright scarlet colors
dominating my dreams
taking a toll on my stamina
night after night after night

this mistress of mine
appears in and out
of my space time continuum
her heart pumping
inside mine
soft kisses on my temples
promising eternal sleep

there are many more
opportunities beyond the sun
than most men know
and those bright red poppies
resurfacing in my
newfound field of vision
are just the beginning





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

how shall I die tonight


how shall I die tonight
in this bountiful place
where all eyes remain
unfocused and fixed
on the light beyond
the second horizon

there is contagion
in the unspoken word
spread across lifetimes
where opposites attract
and darkness seeks
the faintest of light

how shall I die tonight
embraced in your arms
your sustaining words
like a whispering stream
meandering toward
something much quieter





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

windswept at midnight


which way the breeze blows
depends on the mood
of the moon
influenced by waves
continuously at play

high winds do sweep
those blues skies away
turning dirt into dust
and hopes into dreams

inner thoughts recede
settle near the edge
of the sea
waiting on the tides
to rule on a lover’s fate





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the art of practicing patience


the bridge is out
but the river is frozen
all the horses
are well fed and rested

time has always
been of the essence
but patience
supersedes ambition
and trumps all other cards

coincidentally
supermoon rises
high above the valley
spotlighting a people
determined to return
back to the beginning





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stranger in this land


what brought me here is difficult
to explain
almost as if I was abducted
by a team of aliens
and set loose in the city center

something or someone
wiped clean my memory
and the clothes on my body
I was vaguely certain
did not belong to me

as I walk the streets
nothing is familiar
landmarks or architecture
the language or signage
urban animals roaming about

I stuff my hands in my pockets
pull out colorful script
and silver and gold pieces
fairly certain the sum of which
will give me a place to stay
for the night

over time I will come to find
there is inspiration in the streets
in everywhere I go





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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