poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “reincarnation”

your next iteration

even with all of the advances
we remain virtually the same
our emotions controlling our actions
be it falling in love or waging war
in nondescript places

habits seem impossible to break
be it religion or sleeping in
night owls constantly devising
early birds wreaking havoc
on your best laid plans

so there you go making room
for the new & maybe improved you
running into newfound friends
[and sworn enemies]
in virtually all the same places

october two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

this is only a test

they say there’s an open book test afterwards
taken in a room full of empty school desks
geometrically formed like a military cemetery

you’re the first one to sit down
and soon thereafter
every person you ever knew
fill the remaining seats one by one

true or false when you were twelve your mother
made you smoke a cigarette in front of her
and afterwards warned you ‘never again’

multiple choice was your first fish caught
from the banks of the mississippi
a cat or a smallmouth bass or a bluegill

it’s okay if you don’t remember
it’s all ancient history by now
like bill & monica or romeo & juliet or adam & eve

this test has no time limit
and the clock on the wall has no hands
and those winged creatures walking back & forth
between the endless aisles
haven’t anything better to do
while waiting for their number to be called

with each wrong answer you’re beginning to wonder
what the consequences could possibly be

I mean will they cast you back & make you start all over

april two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

to return as rose of any color

this place runs like a machine
or so weary migrants are told
especially when those in charge
are nowhere to be found

during downtimes god relaxes
inside art studio painting blue skies
high above snowy mountaintops
or conjuring up deadly vortices
tormenting defenseless islands
and populated coastlines

there are plenty of places to hide
but nowhere to run
unless of course getting
caught in the action
is all you have in mind

who will pick me up when I fall
or better yet
toss me back into the machinery
so that I may try one more time

october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an army of one

I sat documenting a million lives
stretched across the globe
not kings or queens
but mere men and women and children
lost in pages of history
     only to be reborn
           centuries later
void of memory but striving
to improve their worth to a god
seldom offering second chances

time and again they returned
to earth much like wayward souls
unable to let go
cast down by a god convinced
they will one day lay down their arms
and see for themselves
there is love for all the ages

march two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

she stood at the top of the stairway

opening the front door
the foyer gave way
to the intricately woven staircase
the bottom board wider than a mile

each riser was narrower
than the previous one
each step velveted in red

she stood at the top in her
baby blue evening gown
strapless and bell-shaped
from the waist down

she twirled and curtsied
and blew kisses
from the palms of her hands
wet kisses that floated into
sweet nothingness

she did not want to descend
did not want to walk down
one slow step at a time
revealing to all those below
her inner beauty
her flawless imperfections
destined to revolve into her
next reincarnation

march two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

this constant reinventing is nonsense

it worried him so
how everything would get done
believed the night owl never slept
believed the early worm
glowed in the dark for all to see
but nobody saw
and that worried him

too many goals
too many milestones to achieve
and to what end he asked himself while
pumping cheap gas into his cheap car
pontificating to himself
how worlds away
men were setting men on fire

it’s bad enough
I’ve got to live my own life
but what about all the next lives
I’ve got to endure
how I am supposed to make it through
all of them he asked himself

back on the street
he takes one bad turn
and before he knows it
he’s speeding down streets
never before seen
streets turning into boulevards
turning into avenues
into alleyways leading
to dead ends

just like in past lives inside virtual worlds
he loses himself yet again
the cabin of the car flashing red
tempting him to start all over again

february two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The great virtue of compassion

I returned to earth as an underfed
infant in a remote village
where nurses are plenty
and painted-face doctors
routinely perform miracles

Years later my dying mother
begged me in a language
I barely understood
to escape the poverty this
barren land provided and
seek refuge in the golden city

As I traveled by foot from
desert town to desert town
visions of previous lives
entered my waking dreams
detailing how I had traveled
this road centuries ago
comforting all who hungered
by first feeding their minds

may two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

once upon a leaf

the leaf once dreamed
of becoming a feather
and wished one day
to fall with grace

she imagined a child
uncovered her brilliance
and saved her forever
between two pages

displaced in darkness
for decades on end
she prayed for light
and rediscovery

april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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