Maybe All Songs

Maybe all songs have been written

Maybe all stories have been told

At least I got enough books&music

To keep me from boredom as I grow old

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Bathroom Mirror

The measuring of ones self in the bathroom mirror

In the early pale gray morning

Does not become easier over time

The weight of actions and estimations

Grow ever greater

Like roots of trees intertwined

Becoming ever closer together

Facing the toothbrush and razor

The white stubble of the beard upon the chin

The plaque upon the once near white teeth

There is knowledge that this is yet another day

Full possibilities

Maybe redemption

Maybe failure

In the tasks that lead to that which one desires

To become

To represent

One day at a time says the addicts sponsor

Yet in truth it remains the same for all whom

Walk a path in conscious direction

Toward some specified or worthy goal

To thine own self be true

Said the aged character in the play

And in the bathroom mirror

This estimation

This evaluation

Is true

We are days and decades and sons and fathers in that mirror

Women we have loved and hurt and men we have killed or maimed

We are not our own gods nor can we ever be

Yet in the early pale gray morning with water running

The steam upon the mirror

We can look up and see through their divine eyes

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015


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

Long In The Tooth

There is no approval left to seek

No desires left to sate

No stone left unturned

Or fiery fetish left unburned

You are alone

With yourself

To your bone

Your no-one else

The hungers dissipated

To find your place

In the mirror situated

Is your true face

Oh please mama

Should I mourn?

Oh please mama

Where is my scorn?

Son you are older

And still alive

Son you are older

And still you breathe

Don’t be guilty

There’s no turning back

Don’t be guilty

There’s no turning back

You are whole

As a man becomes

You are lucid

As the lucky become

You will lose things

You will still fear

You will miss things

Things you hold dear

It is the grey

In you beard

It is the wrinkle

Under the eye

Its neither blessing

Or curse

It is never better

Or never worse

Only years passing

Only years gone by

Times never lasting

Son don’t you cry

Mama I see your beauty

Mama I see your youth

As we both growing weary

And long in tooth

Gene G. McLaughlin 2006

Winter 1989

Listening to the Replacements

Rain is coming down

Yellow Walkman in hand

Mud and dirty ice crunches

Under each tired stride

There is no pleasure in this today

Only the comfort of routine

Yet it gives little respite today

Searching for something

In between the rain

Looking for the cold

To bring true words

To my frozen lips

In youth we struggle to find

The simple paths

We run down cold roads

Hoping to lessen the burden

Of our uncertain futures

Where little is clear to us

And we have little guidance to

What we are or what the blurred

Images of our future selves

Off in the distance represent

In later years our burdens

Will be concrete and have numbers

Solidly affixed and attributed to them

The finding of the paths

Are no longer romantic runs of longing

In the cold winter rain

But carpools and commutes

Cubicles and colonoscopies

Where we know where our path takes us

And do not have a longing to find the way

But to leave it

Gene G. McLaughlin 2012