jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

home on a sunday


it’s six-thirty local time
& I’ve exhausted
all my free passes
having encircled the globe
these past forty-eight hours
arriving back home
unceremoniously
& empty-handed

exactly what I was expecting
I can’t begin to say
but this time I had a feeling
something would be different
like happening upon
a door or a window
only I would be able to open

but no such egress
was in the offing
& now I’m back to the only reality
that I’ve ever known
planning on accumulating points
for more free passes
thinking next time
things will end differently




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Losing a whole year


I’ve seen this before
it’s what some call a repeat
déjà vu if you will
like a herd of elephants
lumbering across the sky

I’ve seen this before
magically recasted to the TV
runners on second & third
the next three batters
striking out looking

I’ve seen this before
rain falling like stars
washing out the elephants
and delaying the game
probably until next year




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fifty yard dash


red-winged blackbird
what could you possibly
want from defenseless me
& more importantly
what could I ever
possibly want from you

you protect your turf
like a madman with a gun
but believe me I want nothing
you have to offer
not from you or your beautifully
invisible family

as I press my pedals faster
through your 50-yard universe
I wonder how exhausting
your days must be
& how deeply in love you are
with what is rightfully yours




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

extraordinary phenomena


there are faces on the mountains
put there by an alien race
long before the enlightenment
when men thought they were gods
and decided for themselves
who shall live & who shall die

the mountains are so much more
than a moveable force
and like all earthly things
will rise & fall & rise again
whether by natural phenomena
or extraordinary revolutions




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the art of apologizing


somebody has to be right
that’s just the way it is
though the fact of the matter remains
most times it’s impossible
to determine who exactly

either the entire world owes me
an apology (formal or informal
it matters not]
or I’ve a lot of explaining to do
to so many of you

even when I admit a wrong & apologize
I’m reminded actions are more
meaningful than words
leaving me walking away
and muttering something
that may or may not be intelligible




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rapid eye movement


hummingbirds come & go
I tell myself the sugar water
must still be good

imitating by way of blinking
I stay paralyzed in my chair
unable to replenish the nectar
even if I wanted to

I see them in the corner of my eye
and they in mine
neither of us questioning
how much more of the world
there is left to see




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on how to read


what have you been reading
is it something pleasurable
or purely informational

at what point does it become
the pursuit of understanding
like forgetting who you are

shifting gears by highlighting
underlining & circling
repeating & repeating after yourself

but what about the birds [you say]
& their relation to the earthworm
the latter’s connection to the soil

why are they just as intriguing
as say mountains & pyramids
flights beyond the gravitational pull

when listening supersedes reading
words tend to reinvent themselves
shaped differently than the last time




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

angel in the choir


my inner voice has taken
an unexpected leave of absence
forcing me to think for myself
for an indeterminable amount of time

perhaps she has taken wing
joining the fight to end inequality
whether right here at home
or half a world away

desperately alone without her
I pray without asking a single thing
cunningly convincing myself
she is finally being heard




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

good riddance


isolate and medicate
seems to be the order of the day



did you see what she said
telling him outright
he’s no longer wanted here
not after what he’s done

and so he put his tail
back where it probably belongs
keeping his tongue in cheek
and hitting the pavement
without any plan of action

it’s hard to say who he may
infect in the days that follow

second chances don’t always
keep presenting themselves
this much she knows
thankful that tomorrow
can rain as much as it wants




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

holding red flowers in my hands


memorial day is like forever
and a day ago
flipping through pages
and talking to myself
thinking about taking a drive
out in the country like we used to do
stopping for a slice of pizza
and pint of beer where
highways 1 & 66 intersect

you were always ready to go
whether rain or shine
even on the worst of days
you would say ‘let’s saddle up’
and off we went as if
both of us temporarily hadn’t
a care in the world
fm radio pumping out old rock
your voice forever in my ear




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

with runners in scoring position


all the seats are empty
but that’s not stopping the runners
on first
& second
from stretching their lead

the pitcher steps off the rubber
and everyone
relaxes

somebody’s yelling ‘cold beer here’
but more than likely
it’s just piped-in recording
from last september

everyone seems to be more focused
than usual
as if some sort of fever has taken
its toll over the game
and each & every at bat
has more meaning
than any year in recent memory




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the butterfly effect


some places are easier to revisit than others
especially difficult are those borderline vagaries
not easily accessible from your memory bank

I’ve been told don’t overspend on a time machine
especially when the one you already possess
is perfectly capable of reaching a higher level

not everyone is interested in propelling forward
or tumbling centuries backwards
slightly redoing this or tinkering with that
gradually stitching your wings until repaired
certain to change the course of history




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breathing lessons


testing one two three
she repeats sliding closer
to the microphone
fists slightly clenched & by her side

she’s been learning to breathe
while singing for some years now
self-taught she tells people
like a master artist without a mentor
or any formal training

there is no one around
which can only mean one thing
and so she resumes painting a brighter future
one in which the world knows her name




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

such a lonely day


it’s not like I’ve been isolated before
self-medicated & anxious
peering through the slightest peephole
finding a world reluctantly retrograding
all the while reassuring myself
this is not the loneliest day of my life

a knock on the door but nobody’s there
all the king’s men having retreated
either by foot or on horseback
carrying with them expired identities
and ill-gotten warrants

any day now perhaps it will be tomorrow
all locked doors will be safe to open
and the fever & the fear & the hatred
will have become a thing of the past




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

(never break the chain)


why do they keep holding me back
first dropping me to my knees
and then wrestling me to my stomach

for some reason I divert the pain
by asking myself
what did Stevie Nicks mean
when she sang
you would never break the chain

I may not be suffocating
but my hands are now behind my back
and they’re using some sort of device
to make sure they stay that way

people all around me are filmmakers
shouting out demand after demand
but all I can hear is Stevie Nicks
singing in the background
you would never break the chain
(never break the chain)




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

operation curiosity


first thing in the morning
the stage will be set
and I will be the principal actor
lying flat on my back
waiting to be anesthetized

an ever growing crowd
quietly fills the twenty thousand
seats of the amphitheater
the acoustics so perfect
I can hear an infant sleeping

later I would be told
my heart was entirely exposed
entertaining all the spectators
by beating in perfect rhythm
in someone else’s hands




july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: