He Had Never Seen the Storm

The Eyes of the Buddha

When emaciation had taken its toll

His eyes were sunken in, closed, and hollow

The life slipping from them slowly

Understanding was no closer

All that was left for him was the end

The final stages of the suffering that haunted him

The hunger that held tight to him in these final moments

The desire and want and need

All would be gone soon

Nothing was left to take

Nothing was left to give

The last step was the loss of what he saw before him

The blood slowly coursed through him

He opened his eyes

The tree and air and grass and sun all were in front of him

This was the moment

Maybe this had always been the moment

Maybe this would always be the moment

There was color in the world

There was a color in all things

There was the dark red of his blood

There was the brown bark of the tree

There was the green of the grass

There was the golden yellow of the sun

There was the white swirling wind of the storm of existence

Lingering and circling in the air around all of it

There were his eyes

Through which his slowly diminishing life force met the storm

He faced the end

He saw the storm was not actually white

The storm was all colors

The storm was everything at once

The storm was always there

He had never seen the storm

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Fall Leaves 2013

Fall Leaves

All is forgiven

In the end

The leaves fall to ground

The sins of summer

Are forgotten

By the colorful silent observers

As their roots

Absorb their memories

In spring

Their brethren

Will view the season of rebirth

As something new

With no judgement

Only hope

In brilliant green

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


Doorbell rings who is it?

It is the postman once again

Postman what do you carry?

I bring you complications

And the dawn of a brand new day

I bring you salutations

From the voices of yesterday

Did you not expect it?

My deliveries are always on time

Could you not deduce that?

I would arrive at mornings chime

Looking at the postman

I can see jest in his eyes

He knows my years are more than a few

And I can see through his guise

You bring me what I did not expect

Maybe means to fill some needs

Or something from a past once wrecked

Maybe new growth from a bag of seeds

Mr. Postman I know enough of fate

To approach all things with doubt

I know there is never a clean slate

Nor a risk less route

But I shall not fear the unknown

That is just the same as being blind

Or disregard paths that are shown

Out of fear that they are not mine

Mr. Postman what speaks to you?

Tell me not I know it is pain

Mr. Postman you are not alone

And in each moment there can be gain

Bring me what you will sir

I am not afraid

Bring me what you will sir

Without calligraphy or masquerade

I know what you deliver:

Spirit always questing

Spirit always true

Spirit never breaking

Spirit always renewed

Spirit blind with sorrow

Spirit bound with pain

Spirit gently borrows

From the hearts small and subtle gains

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


Broken in my own way

But I like it all right

Spackled and duct taped

Rusty and worn

Don’t have a single emotion

That hasn’t been torn

Scarred across the knuckles

Sad in the heart

Most things mostly my fault

At least in part

Just a missing button

On a worn threadbare shirt

Style is no different

With one button gone

All things go out of fashion

Before too long

Pick myself up, dust off my shirt

Head forward in time

Not a one of us hasn’t been hurt

To not keep moving is the only crime

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Emma Bovary’s Facebook Posts

Emma Bovary’s Facebook posts in the modern day

Remain ever misconstrued

Her tweets don’t express the love with which they

Are carefully imbued

That which emerges and disrupts

Might not affirm and renew

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Blank Is The Page

Blank is the page

None are the words

My mind grasps back

To conversations I heard

Inspiration will come

This fight will be won

But long after this day is done

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Live Your Life In Light – A Secular Prayer

Live your life in light

The shadows should only

Be occupied of your own choosing

Live your life in love

The limits should only

Be applied of your own decisions

Live your life with imperfections

Their existence only

Acknowledged by your own determinations

You were sanctified by evolution

You were sanctified from the start

You were sanctified by no ones decision

You are sanctified in whole or in part

Live your life in light

Live your life in love

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013