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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

talking to god


grieving ground
trembles and rumbles
children in bare feet
running through the jungle
sometimes smiling
crying
laughing
mourning
learning firsthand
about death
one day at a time

a river runs through
its heart center
a pulsating lifeline
promising something
than mere survival
repetitive
contemplative
remorseful
teaching firsthand
about life
one death at a time




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when the sun refuses to shine


who am I to weep so openly
for those at least six degrees
of separation away from me

there is a man I do not know
a father and brother and friend
on a mission to spray paint
his son on any wall for all to see

from city to city he travels
reminding everyone in his wake
those unfairly taken from us
continue to live on
through every action we take




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on choosing friends and lesser gods


surrender not
neither to friend nor foe
rather carry on with purpose
for there is work yet to be done

listen not to nike nor nemesis
for neither are on your side
instead look inwardly
and find yourself




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

who wants to make a wager


death to taxes
and to hell with tariffs
I open my e-wallet and wonder
where all the money went

sports betting
now there’s a novel idea
two to one patriots
make it back on the big stage
those sons-a-bitches

pit boss keeps checking
those little cubes in big fat fingers
as if the chinese or russians
are somehow influencing
the roll of the dice

talking heads
can’t stop talking about wikileaks
or some such shit
ordering me back
to the polling place
as if this time my vote counts




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

transplant song


cut up a sponge
and place in the bottom
of a pot
singing hong kong
taipei and beijing

throw in some rocks
and scoop in
garden soil
singing istanbul
allepo and baghdad

giving new lease
on life
to african violet
singing mogadishu
accra and nairobi




august two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

call me up in the middle of the night


I wake up and I’ve got nothing to say
rather listening to birdsong
infiltrating through screen windows
reminding me the need to sing like them

it seems to me they know something
more about life than they let on
leading me to believe I should spend
less time hanging out in the weeds

I’ve been busy making birdhouses
mainly because I don’t know
how to build a rose

I’ve been busy navigating maps
designed to get me from this point
to the next sunrise

it seems to me that by this time
I should know something more than you
but truth be told we were both born
with all the knowledge in the world

I wake up and find myself whistling
a song I learned long ago
a little ditty always close to my heart
whether wide awake or dreaming




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a midsummer’s day swim


they left the door slightly ajar
so we inched a little closer
scooching our butts
on the concrete patio
carefully listening and learning
like little birds do

though no growling or barking
or panting could be heard
we came to understand
it was a dog day afternoon

conversations continued
but our comprehension faded
and the longer we sat
keeping cool by the crack
the further lost we became
in their indigenous sea




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

involuntarily off the grid


while two men and a woman
fix a flat somewhere near area 51
I wonder what will be the next stop
pancakes or mountainsides
or batteries plus

I’ve not been on a bus for decades
and I’m sure as hell ain’t gonna
get kicked off this one

there was a minor altercation
not that long ago
three unruly riders [most likely aliens]
unarmed but causing a ruckus
getting the worst of it by the acting sheriff
and his newly sworn deputies
a few miles shy of groom lake

there’s no signal out here
but I’m cautiously optimistic
that too will change
killing time playing sudoku offline
on my refurbished chromebook




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

making up words


lately I’ve been busy making up words
words without definitions
screaming and smiling at the same time
mouth forming an imperfect circle
inquisitive eyes looking my way
fingertips touching cheeks
unsure whether to laugh or cry

I got so loud they kicked us out
before my party even had a chance
to finish their drinks
but those who found humor
in my made-up words waved good-bye
talking amongst themselves
who or what on earth I could possibly be

I tell you now I could be just about anyone
your best friend or worst nightmare
but truth be told I’m here to stay
making up words without definitions
screaming them as I may
as long as my lungs will let me




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the damsel and her prince


let me dream like never before
cast into a strange accepting world
living and breathing effortlessly
neither on land nor in sea
rather somewhere in between

here there is no such thing
as rest or sleep or fantasy
always on the move like damselflies
flitting from flower to flower
kissing ghost-like amphibians




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the inevitable revolution


I’m sure I must declutter my space
before unburdening my mind

there are four walls closing in
I quickly turn my arms and legs
into a human X
soon enough finding myself
stopping them in their tracks

tenements are collapsing
thanks to mother earth
[and other powers that be]
displacing and relocating
those without resources
the redistribution of wealth
virtually unchanged

and what was once my property
no longer belongs to me
call it imminent domain
or call it voluntary
the revolution continues




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

boys like me


can you be held against your will
when you have no rights
caught in the crossfire of corporal
and psychological punishment
left for days in solitary confinement
preoccupied with thoughts of
licking wounds and unlocking cages

you’re supposed to be at the ballpark
but instead you’re back on the farm
picking up trash & pushing dreams
keeping your nose clean
just as you were told
but mostly concealing your shame
because that’s what boys like me do




july two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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