Ebb flow

    Standing still
    we feel it.
    Standing still
    we know it.
    What ever flows,
    must also ebb.

    Reaching out,
    we touch it.
    Reaching out
    we ride the ebb.
    From the very source,
    to the outer limits.
    Our position depends,
    on our imagination.

    What flows
    must also ebb.

    mar2008 jcmc
    Would you teach me?

    Would you teach me
    the dance?
    If I taught you
    the song?

    All at once
    at the same time.
    No prior engagements.
    Just you and me,
    with no thoughts,
    no commitments.
    No expectations,
    of what is to be

    Just actions,
    from the soul.

    Dancing to the song,
    singing to the dance.

    Will you sing for me?


    jeffrey c mcmahan  
    Pause in the moment

    Pause in the moment.

    I cannot move from this place.
    A moment spent here.
    A moment spent there.
    It's always the same.
    Every single day.

    Once I had a river.
    Onward it would flow.
    Fluid. Never pausing.
    And movement was not so slow.
    Flowing, never ceasing.
    A wrinkle in time, creasing.

    Now I talk of time spent,
    in a single place.
    An eternity of moments,
    stare me in the face.
    I abhor the shape I'm in.
    A pause in the moment.
    From place to place.

    Before time began.
    A time before space.
    And movement was still.
    There were no rivers.
    No point to point existence.
    Pause in the moment.
    And remember this place.
    Flat as an iron. The plane. This space

    Remember this well.
    The point we are at.
    Is a literal hell.
    A point is just a reference.
    Two form a line.
    Give me three, a circle I will draw.
    Four, we arrive in space.
    With no motion we fall.
    With five we pause in the moment.

    Until we spend our time,
    in a literal way,
    we pause in the moment,
    for too long, some say.
    Moving from point to point,
    careful to stay in the lines.
    Never moving, never falling.
    Until we pause, with no motion.

    Finally arriving, never having left.
    We circumscribe the arc.
    Ending were we began.
    The same point again.
    Pause in the moment.
    Then start out, another point to trace.
    Always moving, from place to place.

    Without movement, I fall.
    For the river flows, not ceasing.
    In empty space.
    Without time, never creasing.
    Movement defines time. And
    time defines space.

    What is the point, I look to,
    and admire. It's a place.
    Just a momentary quiver.
    At the end of a chain.
    To give me a hold.

    dec '06 jcmc

    jeffrey c mcmahan  
    "I follow along after..."

    I follow along after
    with my stick in my mouth.
    Faithfully at your heels.
    We stop.
    Dropping my stick, nudging
    it closer to your feet,
    with my nose.
    You smile at me.
    I wag my tail in the dirt.
    You reach down,
    rumpling my ears.
    I wiggle with delight.
    You pick my stick up.
    I prance about turning circles,
    chasing my tail.
    Cocking back your arm
    I dart out in the direction,
    I think you will throw it.
    Oops, you tricked me, I'm wrong.
    Racing over, grabbing it.
    Playing keep away.
    I won't let you have it
    You turn to leave.
    I follow along after.

    jeffrey c mcmahan  
Autumn       Autumn

    The name comes to me,
    without a face,
    to provide an introduction.

    Left with an impression
    relating to a season
    of beauty and promise.

    At the culmination,
    of the cycle
    of growth and abundance-

    When the season is enabled,
    life is observed
    preparing for the shift-

    Cloaking herself
    in a tapestry
    of colour and harmony.

    jeffrey c mcmahan

    Righting time, write?

    It makes me happy
    when I can right a poem.
    Making marks on paper.
    words and phrases.
    (the ink dries slowly)
    Sometimes quickly.
    Bursting forth
    from a fire hose.
    In time and place.
    Brought to paper
    for the first time

    The marks come from my pen.
    Flowing smoothly.
    Broken thoughts.
    Fragments from another place.
    by lines.
    Loosely followed conventions.
    thrown to the wind.
    I follow my own,
    making my own.
    For the first time
    (the ink dries slowly)

    nov 1997

    jeffrey c mcmahan  
    Inside a writers mind

    I think too much
    You see
    Instead of one
    I think of three

    Three different views
    To boggle my brain
    So much thought
    It drives me insane

    You think it should be easy
    Are you aware of my plight?
    To gain another perspective
    Step off to the right

    Right now I feel better
    I'm at home with my muse
    And what happened before
    Is yesterdays news

    One more thing
    I think I should say
    We'll make a fine threesome
    I'll see you someday

    nov 1995
    What's your attitude?

    Perspectives built up
    and observed over time.
    Experiences of yesterday
    clouding the present.
    Future expectations
    present a direction
    for our ideals.
    But in the moment-
    a sudden movement,
    a coarse note, out of tune,
    a wheel with rusting axle
    laboring under a load.
    Produces a sharp gut reaction,
    that may not reflect our ideals.
    Producing a ripple,
    as a pebble in a pond.
    Movement in all directions,
    interacting with, and influencing
    all it encounters.
    Yet the environment,
    in this discussion fixed;
    absorbs the energy,
    modifies the wave.
    Becoming both the
    influencer and the affluent,
    of the expression.

    JCMcMahan  2012
        Be Patient

    Sitting in Denny's
    at four am,
    or is that Lenny's?
    Listening to the table talk
    from across the room.
    Sitting in the corner
    all but unobserved
    except for the ministrations
    of the hostess.

    Order in Denny's
    coffee and food
    served with a smile.
    Aware of what I hear
    and what I don't hear
    is silent.
    Problems of the age old kind
    expressed from the outside
    observed and related
    to personal experience.

    Waiting in Denny's.
    Stevie Wonder is slipping
    into the future.
    The place is! Hear!
    Hear! I sit.
    Daylight coming over the horizon.
    But not yet.
    Be patient.

    3-2-95 JCMcMahan

    From one to many
    and back again.
    I am one
    of many.

    Birth Death
    The proverbial circle.
    The river that flows
    incessantly to the sea.
    The march of the seasons
    that weave a tapestry
    of continual change.

    One center.
    One radius.
    The circumference.
    Infinite possibilities.
    Played out in time.

    JC McMahan
    There's memory in motion

    There's memory in motion
    What do you remember
    A snap of a finger
    A flick of a wrist
    I put cotton in my ears
    And covered it with wax
    What I'm trying to say
    Is I can't hear
    But I can see
    I walk around
    Just watching people gesture
    A long time ago
    When there were not as many words
    People moved more
    Whole stories were told
    With eyebrows

    JC McMahan
    A Heart Shaped Sock

    I am so lonely and cold
    and no one seems to care
    the individuals chest I'm in
    doesn't know how to share
    I shiver and shake and palpitate
    but no ones attention do I get
    I wish I could get cancer
    before it's to late.

    Hey! Hey! I got a feeling, say
    hey, hey, won't someone take me
    of this cage I'm in?
    Won't you relive me
    of this state I'm in?
    Gonna die

    There is no one to appreciate
    what it's like to whisper love
    to ears let can not feel
    the words, that the mind
    lets the lips say-
    But do not speak my language.
    So all that is spoken
    is lies and subterfuge
    as I wail and thrash
    and pain I make.
    Until I'm took out of this
    body-shaped box.
    And put in a heart-shaped Sock

    1-12-05 JCMcMahan

    I will Dance-
    to remember.
    I will Dance-
    to forget.

    Beginning at the end-
    to end at the beginning.

    There was a time
    that I knew you well
    then we grew apart
    and I began to forget
    that which was true.

    Alone and isolated
    from the self
    reaching out for a stable existence
    I drew it on my face
    and became human.

    That was all long ago
    a time before now
    I began to forget
    and to remember
    a different lie

    I will dance-
    to Remember.
    I will dance-
    to Forget

    nov 1997 jcmc
    I'm active in all posts on this page

    And I do not say this to boast.
    I don't want you to think, I've done the most.
    It only hurts me, drives my posts
    down, ever down, makes them toast.

    But what do I care, you don't need to
    I know what I am, my skill, what I create.
    And what of it, if I can stay up late
    read your poem, then a reply I make

    I think I should crash this structure
    It may be moved in a wink, for sure
    My fancy titles, oh how they lure
    I am okay with that, my expression is pure.

    2012 jcmcmahan
          Sigmund Freud

    I am quite worried you see
    because of what has been related
    to me.
    My doubts come in waves of
    I fear I have no ego
    and that bothers me.
    What if everything I knew
    was turned upside down in a strew.
    And I was left, without a face, nor
    able to shut the door.
    I know everyone would look in
    laugh and point, at my sin.
    I would have no protection
    from the elements.
    Just going to the store
    would keep me in suspense.
    So it's much better to hide
    from the encroaching tide.
    Oh, Dr. Freud, please help me
    from my approaching insanity.

    5-17-12 JCMcMahan
"Civilization began the first time an angry person threw a word, instead of a rock." S.F.
    Grace Land

    "I have a reason
    to believe
    we all will be received"
    Words of another man.
    Yet they all have been said
    They are also all in the dictionary.
    Which came first, the words
    or the book?
    It's true what they say.



    I look to the past
    searching in vain.
    When, where, did I begin?
    Where is there?
    Tell me.
    So I can say here.
    When, where, was the delineation?
    What was the demarcation?
    The point in which I knew?
    Was there bliss?
    In some dim age
    some misty, murky

    All I can tell you,
    has been said before.
    It's all in the book.
    I have no bliss,
    yet I am serene.
    I know.
    I have looked it over.
    With my allusions
    With my delusions.
    Walking forward
    movement to another place.
    To find what I never had.
    Yet I realize
    it is all true.
    even when I did not know it.

    Now I know
    there is no looking back.
    No paths to retrace
    no access to my previous life.
    Those who knew me
    no longer can see me.
    Or be familiar with what
    they know not.
    Yet I still enjoy their company
    their bliss.

    As for me, I walk
    The wind speaks.
    The ships move
    seemingly at random.
    Yet with an order, let defies.
    The simplest explanations
    In grace

    all apologies to P.Simon, with liberties
    JCMcMahan 5-8-12

    I have no answer
    no thought
    no question

    A dead place
    in my gut.
    With maggots


    A void of emotion
    with pity.

    with cold rotten

    In the dead
    of night.

    An adventure in cynicism


    did you think
    they meant you
    perhaps you thought
    you could
    believe in their dreams
    enter into their nightmares
    wake up
    clutching your blankets
    close to your chest
    pulse pounding
    covered in cold sweat
    for thousands of years
    we paralyze are future

    why do we give away
    what we have
    to others
    why do we take
    what they have
    we have no faith
    in ourselves
    we continue to create
    in another's image
    with blood stained hands
    we grope blindly
    following the truth
    nailed to a cross
    purchasing redemption
    with a bucket of blood
    we wash ourselves
    the bleeding Christ moans

    do you see yourself
    waiting for a ticket
    this epoch is over
    another's ready to begin
    shall I tuck you into bed

    written jan 1996 jcmc
    So I pick up my pen.

    So I pick up my pen
    to begin to write.
    I rack my brain
    for something bright.

    Yet I'm still faced with
    what I shall say.
    What new wonder.
    What new word play.

    So bear with me
    a hesitant moment.
    I let down the pen.
    I reach for atonement.

    So what do the kiddies
    want to hear today?
    Do you want; trope, strophe,
    Anecdote? A figurine modeled in clay.

    Cadmium red smeared
    in conspicuous traces.
    Back alleys traveled,
    into desolate faces.

    Left turn blinker
    what do you decide.
    Right man came up
    Took it for a ride.

    Hell bent for leather
    or bent leather for hell.
    Perhaps a few other amusing,
    variations I could tell.

    Just because, hell bent for leather.
    Is in the popular lexicon.
    I’ll suppose I’ll use it,
    at least till it’s gone.

    Shall I say something funny
    about Bush, or government?
    Or the loss of my appetite?
    When I speak I get bent.

    To use words as
    from a painters palette,
    great swaths of contrasting
    colour, swarm up from scarlet.

    I'm one wing nut short
    on my time capsule device.
    Then I'll be gone,
    would not that be nice.

    jeffrey c mcmahan jul 2011
    One of my poems is way down the list

    O' the perfidy. O' the shame.
    O' I feel a monotonous pain.
    O' when will they notice.
    O' twice ignored, what’s this.
    I'm sure it's competent.
    I checked, I'm stumped.
    But if people don't notice.
    It would be better, in my rump.
    O' is it abstract, or full of clichés.
    O' is it rife with verbose word plays.
    O' will not someone intervene.
    O' will they give me, my most, longed for
    But, in the interim I will be patient, I shall.
    What's your Attitude, do please tell.
    It's just down there, it'll just take a click.
    I'm off to the shower, dear god I smell.

    5-9-12 8:15pm to 8:30pm
This collection of poems comprises all that was published to
writingforums.com between jul 2011 and may 2012

Jeffrey C McMahan
All rights reserved.
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