The Things You Owe To Yourself

Everything was unfortunate
About midway through the day
The hope you had earlier
Didn’t have the wherewithal to stay
Whether by genetics and chemistry
Or too many drinks the night before
Your staring straight ahead
Trying to corral your thoughts once more

Your mind jumps from one thing to another
Anger, then guilt, then loss
Then hunger, then thirst, then nothing
Then your past actions and their costs
You dwell on it for a while
What you did to harm others
Words you could have said different
At a significant point or time
What you did to harm you
Were you ignorant to your potential?
Were those chances your prime?

Yet . . .

Your considerations are not the now
They are not even the past
They are a recreation
That will drift by and not last

It is difficult to see this
As the memory fragments
Circle your mind
The brain is fastidious in its efforts
To create boundaries and bind

The things you owe to yourself
Are both significant and unclear
They are not gained by rumination
They do not grow closer with fear

There is value in a quiet moment
With eyes facing toward the now
Today might not represent your soul’s meaning
But it might just lead to the creation of the how

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020

I Threw All I Could Find In It

I had a hole I stood next to

I threw all I could find in it

I threw all the songs I could find in it

I threw all the words I could find in it

I threw all the images I could find in it

It was still empty still longing

Still a whisper I couldn’t hear

I threw all the whiskey I could find in it

I threw all the cocaine I could find in it

I threw all the food I could find in it

It was still thirsty still hungry

Just a whisper far away

I threw all the lust I could find in it

I threw all the fear I could find in it

I threw all the anxiety I could find in it

It found no peace still never resting

The whisper left me alone

I ran out of things to throw in it

I stood alone and broken

Next to the hole

Then the whisper said to me directly

It is standing right with you

The suffering and the desire

Grab it take it with you

Put it in the hole

In the hole you’ll know its name

I walked slowly forward

My nerves steeled

Knowing the whisper spoke truth

I wrapped my arms around it

I leapt with it into the whole

I saw it from within it

Then I knew I should embrace it

Then I got to giving up all of it

I knew the name of my desire

I knew the hole was me

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Heart Will Beat Till It Don’t

The sun will burn till it doesn’t

The heart will beat till it don’t

Worry is a thing I wouldn’t

Do because I won’t

Manage the details and aspects

Of that I cannot control

So I’ll let the world sort through it’s cycles

And easy the burden and toll

Of the weight that sometimes builds up

At the base of my neck and my spine

Listening to wind, rain, and earth’s hum

My thoughts once again mine

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013