If There Is No Middle Ground

If there is no middle ground

Then the way is lost

It is hard to see when beaten down

Through the smoke

Know middle ground is there

In the haze

Right behind you

Just obscured

We can speak in absolutes

Hold volatile ideas near and dear

Speak of revolution

Ignoring the tears

We don’t know ourselves

Through the swirl

We cannot see ourselves

With it engulfing us

Sometimes it is better

To move slowly

Through the fog

Feeling that which is around us

Which we cannot see

Waiting until the fog dissipates

Instead of burning it off

Because that which we burn

We sometimes value most

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Homeless Words


Words together

Sound good

To the ear

Devoid of meaning

And homeless

In a notebook

They hum

Waiting for your pen

To guide them home

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

We Never Think It is Us

We never think it is us

Who will struggle to rise


Our shared sin

Those of us who know

Extend our hands

To the fallen

As if

They were


Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


Resilience Is a Skill

Bad rolls down hill

An unseemly fact

Change is a force of will

All throughout our acts

Resilience is a skill

The thoughts we don’t enact

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Just Bend


Isn’t the Enemy


Isn’t the End

Reaction to

The game is


The goal is

Not to break

Just bend

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013



I think ahead

Or dwell

In the past

Only in the now

Can I hear

The quiet hum

The nameless song

The beloved echo


Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Only Slow Recognitions

You’re self contained

Nothing else is missing

Any loss or pain

Don’t take to dismissing

The are no gains

Only slow recognitions

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Best of Song Is About Surrender

There is nothing wrong

With giving up

The best of song Is about surrender

That for what you long

Has ever torn you asunder

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

I Take No Stances

Hunger knows your name

I can see it in your glances

Starbuck watches on

As Ahab and the white whale


I take

No stances

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013