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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

alive like a stone


what’re you gonna do
with that stone
in the palm of your hand
the one about the size
of a partridge egg


it seems to change
colors for no
apparent reason
a dead giveaway
it’s likely not
from around here

it’s a world unto itself
is how you put it
going on to say you’re
attempting to mimic
its radio frequencies
resting & pulsating
in the palm of your hand





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

as often as humanly possible


you don’t know my world
maybe have an idea of my world
yet they are far from similar
far like how very small is to
extra extra large


you seriously question when I tell you
(with a wink of an eye)
all my worlds are one in the same

yes it’s true I have two eyes
but rarely use them for seeing things
that is left mostly to my
imagination
that thing we both possess
but rarely use

both of us can move mountains
but rarely will we go
to such extremes
instead I prefer to put
bread in pockets
and you silver & gold coins

we are neither paranormal
nor magical or mystical
neither god nor godlike
we walk the earth
(and sometimes levitate)
talking a good game
and changing who we are
as often as humanly possible





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

Looking for Christopher Robin


for Aubrey Jean Mayer

We start naming things
out of the clear blue sky
that oak tree is a monkey spider
the park bench
a Tyrannosaurus Rex

I tell you I’m older than those
hills like white elephants
but you shake your head
and say no way
and I say yes way
and you say no way Jose

She says she loves
puzzles & trains whistles
and I say yes I know
walking hand in hand
further inside the
Hundred Acre Wood





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

rearranging tomorrow


yet again changing roles
the actor moves stealthily
like a chameleon
minted coins jingling
in her pocket
sounding like stars
on dusty boots

yesterday it was bows
& arrows (and a bunch
of nonsense)
but come high noon
only silence will prevail
toting headphones
to the shooting range

tomorrow never did
arrive for this cowboy
although opportunity
constantly persisted
& that’s all that mattered
in the dark world
of make-believe





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

effectively wild


I’m not interested
in your conspiracy theories
I’m mainly focused
on craft beer & baseball

although your fantasies
are intriguing
I’m spending the bulk
of my time
stealing signs &
putting runners in motion

although I admit your
methods are effectively wild
my free time is spent
at the nearest taproom
watching the board
& seriously considering
trading on paper





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

drifting like a ghost


there is sadness in the air you can feel it


the wind is still
and the sun comes & goes
as if it’s a domestic cat
not really knowing
what she wants

I open the door
but the cat will not enter
she just sits there
looking sad

the wind is still
and moon is nowhere
to be found
perhaps sadder than
the rest of us
solitarily crying

I close the door
and the cat begins to wail
I walk away & pretend
that I am deaf

the wind is still
and the clouds are full of rain
but the rain
does not fall
held back by something
outside of my knowing

I open the window
the winds begin to blow
exposing both sun & moon
the cat drifting like a ghost




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

Upsilon Scorpii


The big lie started
well before Jesus was born
before certain stars aligned
themselves perfectly
in order for my own creation
to take place
millenniums later


I am but a late stage
dandelion
watching Jeopardy
every weekday afternoon
the television muted
questioning answers
even before they appear

One eye is clear
the other but a blur
somehow I managed to pass
the driver’s license test
somehow decided
not to call it quits
well before my time




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

dreaming of tomorrow


where do you find beauty
the very definition of your being
deep-seated in the condition
known as the human experience


your eyes have seen
the beauty nature has to offer
flower & bird & celestial bodies
inviting you into their mysteries

morning sun does not exist
once you understand
that the beauty of this place
forever remains the same




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

in the great wide open


get in the car
it’s time to check out
what’s happened


to our america
shot to hell & barely
hanging on

her metropolises
on life support
held hostage by ordinary

people who became
ordinary prisoners
on no account of their own

people once promised
life & liberty &
the pursuit of peaceful

neighborhoods
instead left to defend
turf on their own terms

get back in the car
& discover the alternative
in the great wide open




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

keeping a low profile


the sun disguised as a shadow
lurking in the background
slashing the back sides of
dark clouds with serrated knives
beams of light stretching out
like desperate hands
imploring to be freed


spotlights range in full motion
picking off their targets
left & right and one by one
but somehow you manage
to duck & run
manipulating the shadows
all the way past sundown




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

because of you I’ve become a lesser god


because of you I came to life
and later feel in love
with someone other than myself

how could I not adore
the gods in my world
piecing together my story
as if I there is meaning
in a poor man’s soul

there is temptation
in your proposal
my favorite color
appearing out of nowhere
by way of your satin dress

what you promised I wanted
only finding for myself
you were but a lesser god
incapable of changing
my inevitable design

and so because of you
I took my own solitary life
in hopes of becoming you




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

occupying time


they keep missing their targets
these so-called sharp shooters
raised from the dead
passing puberty in a heartbeat
breaking in long-range rifles
pointing bayonets toward the sky


there are worse things than
becoming the next casualty
picked off by an assassin
who goes by so many names
whether cuban or texan
or from the lower east side

I’ve been down this road before
hunting down the bad guys
only to surrender
by no fault of my own
ordered to march in single file
as if these streets are not my own




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

Irresistible Force


The fox in the sky wanders by day,
the universe his playing field.
Zeus proclaimed the creature’s cunning
would forever prevent his capture.
At night you could spot him dancing
while his predator rested worlds away.


The sun god created the hunter,
a canine with an uncanny sniffer.
Zeus predicted the dog’s destiny
included perfection in pursuit.
Led on leash by his master,
nothing eluded their golden snares.

The inevitable could not be ignored:
the fox could not be caught
while the hunter always prevailed.
Somewhere in between the paradox
ended their short-lived careers
after Zeus converted both to static stardom.




july two thousand twenty-one
(originally penned october two thousand eleven)
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

legally blind


my favorite colors
are various shades of primary
violet & pineapple
cornflower & strawberry lipstick

as a child I learned east
versus west
the lonely cry
of the whippoorwill
phases of the moon
reciting all the crayolas
in a one-twenty box count

some days remind me
of the apollo missions
others the flying of a kite
whether slowly climbing higher
or speeding in reverse
back when the white cane
ceased to exist
& unicorns
were as real as rainbows




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

Cancer rising


Creature of habit staring me in the face
Until one of us decidedly blinks

She goes by a number of names
But I know maybe two or three of them

Weeks or months or perhaps years pass
Without any kind of visitation

She’s like a cancer in remission
Alive & well & fully aware of my proximity

Mirrors & ideas & loopholes are everywhere
To me they’re all one in the same




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

one beautiful life at a time


you reflect & wonder
how it was
you escaped death
(after all these years)
recounting on 1.4 hands
those near-
death experiences


each one a story
unto themselves
you tell your invisible friends
but since this is a poem
the details will be vague
& the metaphors
plentiful

where there is smoke
there is humanity
attempting to put out fires
romantic truth-seekers
watching the world
casually destroying itself
one beautiful life at a time




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

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