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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

saying goodbye again


yeah I got problems too
lately working on a puzzle
with too many pieces missing
but hey isn’t that what the
internet if for

let’s see I called you
back in nineteen eighty-two
it was 3:33 am
and I had no idea who I was
at the time

of course you didn’t pick up
probably didn’t live
there anymore
but I’m sure I was calling
for a specific reason




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the night draws near


no matter where you
find yourself
do not be afraid
for there is always
a higher ground

there is no room
for jealousy
on whatever level
just be sure
to brush it all off
before moving on

forget the powers
that keep on lying
soon they’ll all be dead
rather set your sights
on a higher ground

breathe and smile
how some would say
and certain things
are bound to happen
breathe & smile they say
the night draws near




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

looking after the greater good


it’s too bad
how these things cycle
in & out of reality
little moments in time
that seem to define
a current state of mind

self survivors
once lied to & led astray
by those they trusted
break free from their words
that once declared
theirs is the only way




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

getting down to the bottom of things


now that the air is all clear
we can start piecing together
exactly what went wrong
of course it will be difficult
to find any sort of remedy
but at least we can dig in
and start pointing fingers
at him & her
us & them
you & me
eventually coming to the
obvious conclusion
that what went down was
simply an unfortunate
yet inevitable happenstance
that there is nobody
really to blame
except maybe the almighty




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

anti-intelligence quotient


I’m learning the difference
between zen & karma
leading me to the belief
there’s so much more to know

in order to understand
the nature of your karma
you need to be able
to master the art of zen

and in order to do any of that
you need to determine
[once & for all] to freely go
with nature’s energy flow




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

for what reason should you


listen to me for once you say
but it’s of no use
the other side has already
gone another direction
and so be it you say
I always told you the sky
is not the limit
and now here you go
proving me right




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

working on a thing


I’ve got a couple of eggs
but no bread
I’m pretty sure
there’s much that can be done

there’s mustard & mayo
and pickle relish in the door
the cat meows as it closes
sauntering out of sight

looking outside
there is more to consider
lettuce & cabbage in the garden
a few critters conspiring

push comes to shove
everything gets scrambled
a motion picture photographed
inside the kitchen




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

secondary interpretations


looking for something a little
less abstract
maybe patches
of blue green grass
apparent yet sublime
like colorful skin inside
an eggshell white dress

traveling by way of foot
well grounded
and full of hope
a constant eye
on the celestial sky
critically interpreting
all the various shades




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the start of the ending


late night & new corner location
working on an old story with little light
this shadow in my periphery
moves from chair to chair
in the darkened dining room

scattered words stray near & far
I bring them back into the fold
rearrange them in the open field
pretending the start of the ending
will be different next time




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

starting from scratch


and so I packed up my things
and headed out on the road
to seek out a fortune
that I was told [in a dream]
belonged to me

it was the summer of seventy-nine
and I had two hundred bucks
in my pocket
a loan from a friend I promised
to repay tenfold

it took me a fortnight to reach
nashville tennessee
nearly penniless but purposeful
just me & my voice & my cherry red
fender telecoustic




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

imperfect memory


like stepping on a shard of glass
buried in the shag
childhood memories come
back to life one snippet at a time

I borrow my sister’s white figure skates
tie the laces together & strap
them over my shoulder
head out on foot to the city park
where the ice is six feet thick
and the weather favorable

round & round everyone seemed to go
I racing faster than any of them
crossing foot over foot around the turns
hands held together at my lower back

everyone seems so happy
and I begin to believe that I am too




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

knock off bill of rights in my back pocket


history in the making teaches us
there is limited accountability
to those perched in high places
while those down below
continue to be shown
their so-called inalienable rights
can easily be stripped away
by anyone wearing a badge
and/or carrying a weapon




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the partisan & the mercenary


after all we know
fighting like hell to solve differences
plotting & treading
I recruit thyself
not having to disclose my date of birth
thrown into action
and somersaulting
straight to the front lines
awaiting further orders

why is it so hard
to do the right thing
those things politicians preach
honor & praise
where do such commendable intentions
run & hide
once all hell breaks loose
becoming like a
frightened foot soldier
positioned in a fox hole
frozen in body
and in mind




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

though this be madness


this time we’re picking it up
in the middle
that place in time you’re not
quite sure
where you stand

it’s as if
you’re still
rehearsing your lines
uncertain if the curtains
should ever be drawn

last I remember
you were doing this death scene
and I was helping you
remember your lines
one last time




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

row row row your boat


and so we sang the words
as children
seated in a circle & holding hands
[four jacks & a rubber ball
the most recent center of our attention]
each of us starting one after the other
repeating the chorus
time & again
smiling with the belief that life
is truly but a dream




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

outsiders & gatekeepers


I live where most people
dare not go
believing it’s a dangerous place
with guns & drugs
and sex for sale
no matter the time of day

burrowed deep underground
I see flashes of light coming through
casement windows
turning on colorful prisms
one or two or sometimes
three times per day

from my viewpoint
I hear nothing but
peacefulness pounding on the concrete
surefire sunflowers
sprouting between the cracks

all kinds of wild animals
are critical to the neighborhood
cohabiting with humans
relentlessly protecting them
from the unnecessary evils
marching up & down the chalk line




february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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