Merchants of Anger

Merchants of anger

See no color

Hear no melody

Offering immediacy

Gritted teeth

Clenched fists

Ease of blame

Vague contours of control

Outlines of outrage

A road of broken concrete

Leading to a tire fire

In their statements

Evidence a faraway promise

If even thought of at all

Profit and power

Wash over them

When they steal your joy

Hollowness aches inside them

Disdain burns in them

For signs of growth or hope

In any of you

I will let you name them

You don’t need me to

Perhaps you scoff at me

Turn to them and indulge

What they offer for a while

To feel something

To fill yourself with

To provide meaning

Despite its acrid foul flavor

I know though

If you pause

You will realize

You are crying

For what you have lost

It is yours to take back

Your mind is forever changing

But that mind is forever yours

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020

Beware They That

Beware they that ask

For your love and rage at the same time

Love is one part of your story

Rage is one part of your story

They are roads to different destinations

That you will take at different times

They that ask you to combine them

Do so for their own means

They wish to become the story you tell

To simplify you

They that ask this do not mean you well

They have no wishes for you at all

They dream a dream for them

Cherish your love

Safeguard your rage

They are yours and yours alone

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020