Lord Byron’s Present Tense

To do it for joy

Without expectation

To do it for journey

Not destination

Ignoring the narrative

Embracing sensation

The pain and beauty

Your soul’s validation

Gene G. McLaughlin 2023

Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday

Fat Tuesday

We all got scars

On soul or skin

In churches or bars

We all got sin

In the public eye

Or held within

Raise a glass

Sing a song

Go to mass

Hit the bong

This too shall pass

Before too long

Want redemption?

Not tonight friend

Tonight’s for wine

Creating vague memories

We all got wars

We all have lost

We all got scores

Of things they cost

Live today

Pray tomorrow

Find a way

To ease the sorrow

Sin not committed

Cannot be repented

The cycle repeated

As was intended

Ash Wednesday

Remember that you are dust

And to dust you shall return

Are we more than want and lust?

An engine designed to yearn

Repent, and preach the Gospel

Even for the apostate and the apostle?

I repent to those I have done harm

Not to those who I do not know

I carry love for those now gone

As I await my time to go

Our 40 days come with no warning

They just arrive

Our 40 days feel much like mourning

You might survive

If it is too heavy to carry

Take it from the pack

If the weight of it overwhelms

Give it back

The intrinsic should not be surrendered

The extrinsic is not judgment rendered

The ashes on your forehead

Are forever made of you

Gene. G. McLaughlin 2023

Clear Light

I am walking away from the me of this

Through the halls without walls of the mind

I am seeking the clear light of the universe

As the fabrications of identity unwind

From is to was to void

Of what do the cosmos sing?

When the sum of one is undone

What actualities might the time’s order bring?

Gene G. McLaughlin 2023