jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “war”

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

there is love in the clouds


nobody’s tending the fire
it’s just burning on its own
neither controlled nor uncontrolled
emitting a stench of indifference

massacres and coup attempts
repeat like the rising of the sun
highlighting headlines on
doorsteps as death tolls escalate
and accumulate

meanwhile the fire burns
fueled by arms deals between
friends and foes
stoked by power struggles and
brokered by corrupt politicians
enabling strategic corporations

social consciousness bombards
wireless outlets with outrage
pumping up clouds until they burst
pamphlets of love falling
like rain across a world on fire


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in the land of free-for-alls and firearms


summer’s promise has been smashed into
irreparable pieces
swept into the gutter along with man’s mortal sins
unable to be washed away
even by torrential rains

the pursuit of happiness is just a dying thought
riddled with contradictions

kings clench their fists and promise
real change will come
but the people in the streets shake their heads
weeping for the dead with brooms in hand

that all men are created equal they know
to be untrue
as are the history books justifying
the massacre of native peoples
and the legality of human slavery

oh America why have thou failed so many
foolishly feeding
the machine of mass destruction
your people afraid to leave their homes
a people starving for peace and love
and understanding
unconcerned with hollow words
on an idle document


july two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

dreaming between the lull and the storm


there is deception in those eyes
seemingly innocent
but exposed
to a lifetime of atrocities

captured by the camera’s lens
they are frozen in time
and streamed live
to a world hopelessly paralyzed

relocated time and again
she hides her eyes and dreams
of the day
living with angels in paradise


may two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

first day back home


he sat at the table
quietly
the salt and pepper
barely out of reach
but he would not speak
chewing the butterfly pork chop
precisely

she asked him if it needed
any salt
and he simply stuck
another chunk into his mouth
slowly but briefly shaking
his head

he buttered an ear of corn
using a slice of bread
and picked it up
clumsily
worked away at it
fearlessly

she knew it needed salt
but he wouldn’t say a word
and she wouldn’t dare
interrupt
a second time

she wanted to let him know
there was a good movie
airing on the pay-per-view
but thought twice
telling herself she was sure
he wanted to figure things out
all on his own


may two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

deathly viral


a sickness hangs around
undisturbed
sublime like the slender moon
infrequently bright
but destined to burst

silent cells work below
the surface
tunneling effectively
like eager termites
building a kingdom

monitors intersect
the chatter
faint but riding the airwaves
like a vampire bat
preparing to strike

emerging past the shadows
bulging lights
expose the contagion
airborne and fatal
blighting whole cities


march two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

undeterred


we germinated seeds wrapped in
moist paper towels
trapped inside teacup saucers
left behind beneath the kitchen sink

evicted for reasons unbeknownst
to the uncaring eye
we migrated into the metropolis
finding security amongst the living

barely surviving into the spring
we packed our things
heads held high and singing
like the birds following in our wake

crossing into newfound fertile lands
we planted something new
prayed to the gods that be
our resurrected hopes would grow


february two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I read the news today


when the telephone rings
it is wise not to answer
for the best news is no news
in these godforsaken lands

I cringe at the injustices
bestowed upon the helpless
how the most brutal minds
can take away anything they like
at any given moment

they were not put on this earth
by the gods who protect me
the gods who taught me
tolerance and compassion
promising a better place
in another time and space

in the meantime the wars
and the mass murders
and merciless distrust between
neighbors prevail
history unable to help
but repeat itself



july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

out on their own


you see them often from all kinds of angles
there right in front of you
real life people dying on real life stages
up close and in your face
in color and featured on screens of any size
delivered to the comfort of your own home
or wherever you may be roaming

though they may look like you
may have your eyes or nose or cheekbone
they don’t share your problems
their predicaments are nothing but a distraction
or occasionally interesting
like a saturday morning wildlife show
where all the creatures of the world
figure everything out on their own


march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

recounting history


the torch may fade from time to time
may flicker like a pilot’s light
disappearing over the sea

below the surface the torch
resumes its glow
likely to be found by henchmen
digging foxholes

beware the silence
they warned
lifting their torches
and charging a newfound
enemy with fiery explosions

in the aftermath smoldering fires
resurrect memories of old promises
feeding those who hunger
rebuilding what was destroyed

as new histories emerge new
generations evolve
securing the torches in submerged silos
believing that without peace
all the yesterdays of the world
added up to nothing



november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

finding your way back home


friday night limousine riders
speeding some seventy
miles per hour
cut up lemons and dispense
margaritas without rocks

outside airport secret police
intercept intelligence and
issue search warrants
briskly escorting illicit riders
to a flight of their life

dropped behind enemy lines
grown boys sober up quickly
burning camouflaged parachutes
and skirting the edges
hoping to find their way home


october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

perpetual suffering


we didn’t sign up for this
but there we were
pistols raised above our heads
faces covered with red
paisley bandanas
ending fairy tale lives
and abetting a revolution
handed down for centuries

everyone knew the wild west
would eventually cycle back
to the eastern front
where women lay low and
protect and feed their children
until old enough
to perpetuate the suffering


september two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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