jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

the valley of bones


listen can you hear it
the changing of the guard
constructively rattling sabers
as if directed by the stars

at birth we were promised
there’d be peace in our time
yet the war machine rages on
so many years past our prime

who am I but a mercenary
or a prophet sent by the lord
reborn on this earth to deliver
a final cannonball of hope




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

listening to the earth


it’s five a.m
my mind tells me so
having just replayed the reality
of melting glaciers
and rainforests set ablaze

a voice inside says
you can listen to the earth
and suddenly I am wide awake

I can hear the cold rain
pelting against the window pane
and for some reason
I’m afraid to open my eyes




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I never dreamed it would be like this


I’ve got this routine and it keeps getting
interrupted by a body that knows better

master regulator of the universe
how do you do what you do
reminding me I’m temporary until
you turn me into interstellar matter

I was born in the water
learned to breathe without gills
swimming in circles for miles and miles
as if alone I’d forever be

who’s going to keep me warm come
winter and keep me well fed
who’s going to sing me that farewell song
and rock me to sleep in their arms




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Crawdads in Indian Creek


Maybe I’ll eat or maybe I won’t
I heard the chicken wings at Edith
Lucielle’s are to die for

If you look straight up
you’ll find mostly seventies
album covers and license
plates representing most of these
forty-eight contiguous states

[with a little luck
you just might find your own
initials or birth date carved
right there on your table
or adjacent wall
or bench or wooden floor]

Out back the parking lot is full
or sometimes not
and a few hundred yards beyond
maple branches hang low
over Indian Creek




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in the first degree


long-term memories persist though
not always as expected
often playing tricks unsuspectingly
occasionally mixing in short-term dreams
always welcoming me back home

what if I got it all wrong and survived
my beating heart
alive and well in the surgeon’s hand
resewn and replanted and restarted
somehow heading back home

images above my head come and go
ordinary or symbolic
making new things out of the past
found guilty of life in the first degree
forever free to go back home




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Talking in your sleep


It was a nothing fancy afternoon
hanging out at Bob & Tom’s

I brought Shirley with me
and promptly let her out in the
fenced in backyard

The boys were in the kitchen
brewing beer and making sausages
loosely following instructions
from YouTube videos

They were sipping on Rhinelanders
as they worked away
one of them grinding lamb and pork
the other mashing grains

What made you decide to do his today
I asked while reaching for a
Pabst Blue Ribbon in the fridge

I had a dream last night Bob said
and Tom told me all about it this morning




september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: