Ghosts of the Spine

There are ghosts in your spine
Created from that which came before
Thoughts I once called mine
I take full ownership of no more
We are agreements between elements
Negotiations between factions
Maybe influenced by environments
Leading to actions and reactions
Embrace the us in all of us
Make plural the royal we
Are my envy, hate, or lust
Just a war of ghosts within me?
An engine of looping thoughts
A walking talking analogy
Ghosts maneuvering for position
Wishing it to be their eyes that perceive and see
Gene G. McLaughlin 2019

Stories All The Way Down

Stories All The Way Down

I Google My Thoughts

I Google my thoughts

To known they’re originals

Some are bought

Most are aboriginal

My mind’s fraught

In search of the seminal

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

An Ancient Ruthless Language

I do not want to be bitter in the end

DNA is an ancient ruthless language

That which is encoded to be aware

Is encoded to decay

Awareness an advantage

An evolution

Sometimes a difficulty

As the world spins

Bitterness would indicate regret

Which is purchased

And is sustained

By the illusion

That self-determination guided us

Yet the options we have

Are small, but meaningful

Such as the choice of bitterness

About the fate we are dealt


Acceptance of that which blocks our path

And shall never move

To find meaning in stillness

To find peace the inevitable

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015


With cognition comes sadness

Sorrows we must all face


Interspersed among the losses

Are moments of overwhelming grace

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

The Hive

Does the hive make choices better?

Did I ever really make a choice?

As I type this letter by letter

Is this really my own voice?

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013


We as machines process the data

As allowed by divergent models and makes

Filtering out that which does not matter

Configure, compile what info survival takes

Are we users of the technology

Or maybe just accessories

Connected to the world via USB

Or some other methodology?

Trying to redefine our natures

Making choices based on fact

Maybe simply as moving fixtures

Only functioning as they react

There is no mind to free

If there is not cord to cut

There is no truth to see

If the numbers define us

Gene G. McLaughlin 2006

Something Decides To Be

The garden was the garden

When all was stone and still

The dead spinning rock

Is sitting in the sky

And something decides to be

In the cold dead

Cosmos of black

Something chooses to move

The grey black silent stone

Slowly grows blue and alit with color

Trudging forward stone to water to bone

And then it is

And then it moves

And then it thinks

Ever in motion

Always afire

Can anything which has chosen to move so

Ever be still again

In the effort to pull back

There are rewards

The gift of the stillness

Was the definitive self knowledge

Not obscured by motion

And to constant hum of knowing

Gene G. McLaughlin 2012


In the bright crisp sun of morning

The rabbit eats the green leaf

He is anxious and alert

But has no name for the state

He is in

The raptor watches the rabbit

Dreaming of pursuit of his prey

He hungers and launches

In the shining shimmer of the open air

But has no name of the state

He is in

I watch both

And rejoice and mourn I have so many

Names for the state of things

Gene McLaughlin 2012