poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “religion”

according to the gospel of jesus

I mean you no ill will
churches of the old world
god knows it’s high time you die
a swift and cleansing death
reborn into a new truth
distinctly separate from your
inherent corruption and greed
and preconceived paranoia

the temple is your soul
and the steeple not a structure
but a symbol of committing
to the most basic tenets
such as loving your neighbor as yourself
or even more radically
loving your enemy and blessing
those who curse you

september two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

god have mercy on their souls

violence breeds violence
how am I not next to fall victim
unless forever denying
my own spirituality

daily horoscope reads
steer clear of stone temples
making sure to feed your dog
before feeding your own face

it matters not the holiday
be it passover or easter or diwali
ramadan or day of the dead
wherever worshipers gravitate
the sun continues to rise

april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

burning down the church

the church caught fire
soon after midnight
awakening the entire
sleepy little town

there wasn’t enough
water to extinguish
the insatiate flames climbing
past the steeple
eyewitnessed by those
trickling in from blocks away

one tanker
two tankers
three tankers arrived
sirens screaming for attention
fluorescent wings giving directions

night gave way to dusk
bird calls beginning to be heard
above the dwindling din
the sun resurfacing
exposing the ruins and the
worshipers singing
inside this town
and the next

february two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

until we conquer death we will never be able to broker peace

you kill for your god
you rape and maim and murder
all for your god

you carry objects in your pockets
a license to kill the guilty
along with the innocent

your god has made you judge
grand jury and executioner
and deservedly so
for he is a righteous dude
and his prejudices are warranted
even though he oftentimes transmits
disturbing orders
you have no choice but to carry out

all the real estate in the world
belongs to your god
and so you go out and capture
as many flags as you can

no questions asked

august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

eighty-four percent

it’s any morning or afternoon
or evening
worshipers gathering where they will
like thespians on a stage
performing acts of contrition
chants and meditations
spiritually decoding their past

evolution is quite remarkable
if you take the time to study
movements germinating and
bursting onto the scene
generating marvelous successes
and even greater failures

but any day comes and any day goes
for violence and destruction
do not pause
(oh no not for any faith)
and there will be much lamenting to endure
privately and on the streets
every single day of the week

there is a quiet place in the library
where google will tell you
eighty-four percent of the world
identifies with peaceful religions

be careful where you clique

july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

who’ll stop the charade

there is a storm brewing
simmering in a big black pot
stirred by faceless warlords
pretending life
doesn’t matter much

high winds blow madness
into the next town
precisely honed strikes
wiping out historic deception
as new chief lays down
new laws

war drums beat relentlessly
inside children’s dreams
bringing showers
to the desert and
drought to the streams
turning camels into arks and
temples into zoos

from the beginning we are told
there is no time to write home
there is only more life
and more land
to claim for our own

october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there is nothing holy in hypocrisy

why have all the scholars
and scribes and high priests
why have they sealed up the
words of the prophecy
exposing their selfishness
and secrecy for all to see

I have scaled the city walls
and found a new world
where the seeds of truth
sprout from my cupped hands
and water flows like a fountain
deep within the desert

june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

will you die for him

they shot the protester
because he did protest
yet at his publicized memorial
they celebrated his life
as a court jester

the queen became enraged
at the death of the jester
and she dispatched the royal
police to hunt down
the transparent killers

the transparent killers dissolved
into the adjoining kingdom
blending with the locals
by begging for change
on street corners

recharged with fresh dollars
more protesters perish
by organized zealots
rudimentarily disguised
as the new court jester

april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fat tuesday

it was a dreary afternoon
and the local parish priest
spent most of it in the box

i sat in a pew in the back
underneath the twelfth station
narrowing my bloodshot eyes
and focusing on the pain
in my hands and feet

i lost count the number of times
the confessional door
swung open and shut
and i imagined none of the sinners
could hold a candle to what troubled
my criminal mind

when the lights turned dim
i delivered my own penance
and ventured back home
under the bridge
in the punishing rain

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

feeding the flock

they awaken on sundays
and praise the one who gave them life

they put on their finest clothes
and take to the streets
huddled together like little lambs
moving at the command of their shepherd
who leads them down the narrow way
toward the altar of life

as they march they recite
words from the ancient book
raising their hands
toward the open sky
asking for forgiveness
and vowing to repent

when the hour comes
to prepare the table
they shamelessly offer
the most innocent
as an imperfect sacrifice

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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