The Art of the Spider

The art of the spider is patience
Its poison is held in reserve
For when the web breaks unbidden
Or if the prey works up the nerve
To resist that which nature intended
To swerve from the course of its fate
The spider’s unseen strength
Is the will to sit and silently wait

Gene G. McLaughlin 2021

Lonely Skee-Ball Lane

In an empty arcade there is still activity

But none arising from life

Sounds of machines humming and beeping

Their existences clear and free of strife

Bells ring to alert no one of nothing

Digital voices entice the absent to play

They can’t distract their intended targets

To take time to chase their worries away

Oh the pop-a-shot lights

Are ever oh so bright

Offering buttons to press

Promising prizes and tickets to win

As the cabinets all bathe in fluoresce

Waiting for the day’s simulations to begin

Gene G. McLaughlin 2021

Morning in America

Once we were kings

But did it matter?

Once we were kings

In our hearts and songs

Once we were queens

Purses and fortunes grew fatter

Once we were queens

Ignoring miscalculations and wrongs

Once it was morning in this land

Yet it was never as bright as we believed

We never realized it was by our own hand

That means to deceive were conceived

Morning in America

Has always and never been the same

It is only the measurements and criteria

That divides our nostalgia from shame

At the top the world all still moves

The weight of the world still spins

Those who might approve

Are them who claim benefits and wins

Maybe stand for something?

Or maybe choose to don’t?

In the end there is no need to worry

The self anointed kings and queens won’t

Gene G. McLaughlin 2021

Mushrooms Are the Ghosts

A short poem for you fall mushroom lovers-

Mushrooms are the ghosts

Of forest floors and fallen trees

How does meaning demand to grow

Among the moss and decaying leaves?

Does a lineage link the floor and canopy

Via roots and sun?

Is the bolete a forgotten memory

Or the birth of a new one?

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020

The Howl of the Doomscroll

A Halloween/election/all of it poem about my least favorite new monster of 2020-

There is a rhythm to the movement

As your finger taps the screen

There is reverberation lingering

A sound that isn’t what it seems

A buzz, a beep, an alert

At least that is what you first hear

Then gradually a sense of hurt

Combined with a slowly growing fear

It is the howl of The Doomscroll!

As the noises of your devices build

Deformities of truths and lies unfold

The zeitgeist dreadfully distilled

Created by mistake

Now driven by its own volition

We all live in its wake

As the world we know is riven.

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020