jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “winter”

never a dull moment


I saw that young grey squirrel
all winter long
chasing cars and
scaring dogs on leashes
jumping at them from out of nowhere
then zigzagging here then there
zipping out of sight laughing

I imagined he had stashes of nuts
all over the neighborhood
because he always looked
lean and mean
more energetic than any winter
squirrel I ever did see
scampering all over like it was spring

on days when the magic seemingly
runs dry I wish I could
reach into his bag of tricks
pull out a masterpiece that
makes you suddenly hit the brakes
sending your sedan swerving
over the curb and
slamming into your own snowman


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

The Route


Before the alarm sounds the route would be traced
In my mind. The wind and snow and ice reminds me
That one day efficiency will be gained
By the bike. In those days Mother or Father
Don’t wake at five-thirty to afford assistance.
Never in the dead of winter do their warm,
Intimate bodies think of withdrawing from the
Comfort of their bed. I arise nonetheless, finger
Touching the “off” button just as the clock crows,
My sanity wishing for the morning birds that
Used to be my signal. The route could always be
Done in my sleep, so I contend, though I had never
Tried once, not even during the worst Iowa blizzard
When the sub-zero temperatures prevent the
Bundle from arriving. On that day the rounds are
Made after school when friends throw snowballs at cars,
Their actions envied and mimicked by contemptuous
Paperboy throws. During the shorter days, when the route
Takes twice as long than by bike, my first fonts
Evolved: paperless poems and tool-less music
Self-absorbing like the Salem I smoke: one every
Four blocks. At that hour only Judge Benton and
Missus Vee might see the glow or breath from my air,
Slightly thicker than usual as I exhale the noxious
Words. Even then I want to be older than my age
An excuse for cursing and smoking and
Believing without doubt that to achieve immortality
Is to withstand the next winter.


originally penned nineteen ninety-seven
audio recorded november two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Streets of Saint Petersburg


Lost inside Saint Petersburg
I travel by foot toward the river
church bells ringing silently
deadened by the dank air
creeping down my neck

I swear I see your pretty face
among the many gathered
‘round Palace Square
faces reddened by the wind
or wrapped in woolen scarves

Just as metallic music erupts
below the darkening clouds
young souls scream to life
and storm center stage
like a swarm of angry wasps

Lost inside Saint Petersburg
I blow on my hands and
stuff them inside my jacket
my feet taking me closer
to the river and back to the
University where I belong





october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no going back


there is no going back
I think to myself
sitting alone and staring out the bay window
as if I was under house arrest

outside it is very white
and very cold
and I would do anything to see
someone walk by with their dog
but it is too cold for that
it is too cold for even the mailman
to swing by I suppose

I meander to the back window and look
outside for signs of life

I squint at all the undressed trees
sticking out of the blinding white ground

show me a juvenile cardinal I say to myself
but there are no juvenile cardinals
to be found

I go into the kitchen and sit at the counter
open a can of nuts I had stashed
away months ago
muttering to myself
there is no going back


february two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

seeing things


I crossed the bridge on the coldest
day of the year just as the noon
whistle blew

on the frozen river below
hundreds of geese huddled together
on the sunlit ice

once inside the downtown deli
I warmed to a cup of soup
and toasted sandwich

driving back across the bridge
the geese had vanished
into the bitter winter air



january two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

far side of the sun


amid dark winter nights
I lay out glorious plans
to conquer the seed
the wind and the rain

the whiteness of the world
inspires me to envision
perfect days where irises
bloom under moonlight

sacred revolutions seem
as remote as paradise
testing my patience
from far away places


january two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Winter Blues


butterflies are nothing but
welcomed distractions in a
hurry-up-world
long after the youth of careless
rebellion becomes
netted in routine



december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Springtime in Russia


The six-month winter miraculously
segues into a psychedelic fever
of blossoming apple trees
and awakening white birches
as white-fronted geese
flock along an endless sky
painted robin’s-egg blue.

Outside the city garden plots
become reacquainted
with agrarian hands skilled
from generation’s past
furiously planting and artfully
nurturing all that is necessary
to survive the next winter.




january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

another iowa winter


nobody knows what the weather
is like in iowa
just like they don’t know gigantic
potatoes only grow in idaho

in january it’s so damn cold here
the cows don’t move
so it’s easy to walk right up to them
and snap photograph after photograph

there are no metropolises in iowa
just little towns
with a post office and a tavern
where you can tie your horse to a post

in the winter the winds blows so cold
it leaves you shivering
until march when the sun penetrates
the earth and reality begins to blossom



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the natural rink


the lighted pond
attracted the townsfolk
on christmas eve
all eager to trade their boots for blades
and chase their shadows
across the ice
their arms and legs seemingly moving
in different directions
as feet shuffle and glide
race and coast
their chatter audible and visible
in the bright brisk air
with an occasional rump
every so often
testing the thickness
of the natural rink



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

December Sun


Bottle the warmth
of late August
sunshine,
stow it where
no one
will guess.

When the sub-zero
midwestern storm
attacks,
uncap the sample–
stay warm
until the thaw.

December Sun
click here for youtube video

poem and image by j matthew waters
copyright nineteen ninety-three
all rights reserved

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