poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “tolerance”

nobody could go my bail

I’ve been lost before
so this time I’m taking it
all in stride
having recently arrived
in montgomery

this is not the first time
I’ve been down south
and once when I was there
I thought I’d never
make it back alive

history is not on our side
old friend
it seems this time
it’s damn near impossible
for anyone to save us

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

circling back through time

I’ve always believed in be not afraid
that somehow a greater power would take
care of me through it all

opening my heart & my mind
I find myself in someone else’s shoes
& suddenly I’m having doubts
questioning how it could possibly be
that we’re living in the same world

july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a-riding on a pony come memorial day

in wellington heights they say
leaders come and leaders go
some saying martin luther king
was born generations before
or after his time

january leads to february
streets warming to better ideas
parents and cops weary of getting past
valentine’s day without any
gunfire or stabbings

weeks later rumor has it
jesus christ consults with malcolm little
and chris columbus
dispelling myths about the
course of human history and
organizing neighborhood watches

they talked about having a parade
come summer solstice
off-duty officers shadowing children
gathered at curbside
collecting wrapped candy
thrown by yankee doodle himself

october two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

white flags and civil wars

it’s only a matter of time
before the next city gets sacked

it could be yours whether or not
you like being alive or dead

you could be sitting in a mosque
or a church or a temple
or in a gazebo in a meadow
or on a deck overlooking a lake
or out on the river fishing for trout
or out on the sea fishing for men
or inside a corner tavern
open for business on any given sunday

everywhere there are people
inhabiting this place
putting two and two together
questioning the laws of nature
ninety-nine plus percent certain
killing has nothing to do with survival

september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

can we please go back to houston

could we press rewind and go
back to houston
back to the space city by the bay
where the districts are alive
like tattooed hearts on sleeves
where glorious voices frequent the
grandest of operas
and the trendiest of restaurants
(lined along historically diverse streets)
place no restrictions on who may sit where

july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

worldwide window shopping

these marketplaces filled with footfalls
and voices and exchange of ideas
created from the minds of many
duplicated from village to small town
from small city to urban jungle
none of the gatherings remotely identical
but in essence all the same
peaceful people commingling in an
environment of constant energy
fueled by fairness and tolerance
and understanding on a sublime level
the importance of amicable inclusion

april two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

closer to home

when the terrorists moved in down the
street the other week
I worried nonstop for the safety of my children
and my two thousand twelve chevrolet

since moving in they’d been stockpiling
weapons in the two-car garage

when I called the police
they said there was nothing they could do

they’re living here legally
they said
and they’ve purchased the necessary
ammunition stamps

pausing with phone in hand
I stood looking out the bay window
watched the registered sex offender
(across the street and two doors down)
jump in his sports car and race away

my hands by my side I could barely hear the
officer on the other end repeatedly asking
hello hello hello

august two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a poem of possibilities

buried far beneath the earth
in the garden of good and evil
lies dormant the key
to man’s heart

the seedling had failed
to germinate
while the tree of knowledge flourished
thereby leaving man
selfishly singular

it’s been said treasure can be found
somewhere in the cradle of civilization
its hidden secrets
more powerful than the words
of all the enlightened masters
who left this world
dreaming of lasting peace

december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

architecting a house of cards

I look at pictures of people
from all across the world
and I see the look in their eyes
and say to myself
they are just like me

and then I am reminded
of a good friend
I’ve not seen in ages
who once told me
how much he admired
the individuality of my mind

from there I imagine
collective thoughts make up
the universe as we know it
and without me pinging
this particular poem
the whole thing could implode

june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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