Undiminished

Time is not a zero sum transaction

Somewhere

You exist young and undiminshed

Everything echoes

All at once

All the time

I choose to hear your laughter

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

Retribution

The dead seek no retribution

They’re gone from hunger

Not from greed

They are appeased from restitution

Of that torn asunder

Not from need

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

The Search

I’ve not found it yet

Betwixt barroom floorboards

Or Buddha’s verses

Guess I’ll search more

Before early bird specials

Or cold black hearses

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

Closer To Dead Is Closer To Free

Closer to dead

Is closer to free

Truth no longer

Hides from me

In the corner of my eye

There I see

Shadows approaching slowly

I do not flee

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Reclamation

After you died

In my dreams

I only saw you

Diminished and fading

At the end

Now I see you

Young

Tan

Standing

In the sun

Smiling

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

22 Years

I.

When my father was my age

He had 22 more years left

He looked at the future

As an endless array of choices

Without death as an option

It was though

For good or bad

It always is

It is the boundary of

One’s vessel

Not it’s ripples

Across the inward ocean

It is hard me to view all of this

As an infinite journey as he did

Knowing what I know

Yet I will fight to view it so

To shrug off the knowledge of

Where the path to the ocean

Meets the water

Making 22 years into

A trans infinite journey

There is an eternity between moments

Endless ripples between the ripples

The ocean is never still

Even when there is no motion

Looking out from the shore

At the path’s end

II.

Sometimes there is a feeling of nostalgia

Even in the moment

It is an eerie flicker

Where you are looking back fondly

At what is happening in the present

There is no substance in the nostalgia of the now

There is only the ringing echo of actions as they happen

It is not the ripples of the action

It is the sound of what occurred

The feeling of the moment

Humming as it passes

The old and the new

Cauterizing at one particular point

Neurons dying

It always haunted me

Not from sadness, but from the dull ache of pain

The instant nostalgia of the now

It hurts from hunger

The desire to horde

The moment

The experience

To take something from the moment

That can not be taken

Because it is not mobile

The pain of attempting

Is tangible

What is created in the mind

Pales in comparison

It is the word that represents love

Not love itself

I was trying to win

To make a game of experience

To keep a score of consciousness

As if it were Monopoly or Risk

The ache it created

Persisted even as joy occurred

Over 22 years

III.

The past 22 years

Are recorded

As scraps of

Ancient paper

In the zipped pocket

Of an old leather bag

Receipts

Itineraries

Detroit

Dallas

Denver

A life once lived

Depicting only details

Of places and times

Flavorless

Yet true in a way

Having been there

The fading papers

Create a distance

That doesn’t occur

In my mind

Signaling and

Pushing me into the present

I shake my head awakening

And step out into the current timeline

Once again

IV.

I did not know I loved myself

Until I stopped in the moment

It is hard to exist

Without ghosts

Echoes

Memories of TV episodes

Passages of books

Lies you told long ago loves

Truth’s you put in drawers on slips of paper

The moment is always there

Throughout time

It does not hide from you

You can step into it

I do not always love myself in the moment

It is not permitted

Or perhaps not possible

There is no grand revelation at the end

Just one purposeful breath after another

No nostalgia

Just survival

Not 22 years

Just today

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

22 Years

When my father was my age

He had 22 more years left

He looked at the future

As an endless array of choices

Without death as an option

It was though

For good or bad

It always is

It is the boundary of

One’s vessel

Not it’s ripples

Across the inward ocean

It is hard me to view all of this

As an infinite journey as he did

Knowing what I know

Yet I will fight to view it so

The shrug off the knowledge of

Where the path to the ocean

Meets the water

Making 22 years into

A transinfinite journey

There is an eternity between moments

Endless ripples between the ripples

The ocean is never still

Even when there is no motion

Looking out from the shore

At the path’s end

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

July 16 and 17 1999(Man is man no longer)

Time of death 6:47

Body is warm but eyes are empty

Medic closes them

It is 20 years ago

We are in the woods (woods not now)

Behind the mountain (mountain even now)

It is sunny but cold

There is a foundation of a house (house not even then)

There are rusty ancient tools (tools still in some form)

‘This is a time and place to recall’

Time and place recalled correctly clearly

Medics move quickly

Arrangements made long ago

Fires will burn hot clean permanent

There is a deer close to the foundation(deer probably not now)

Deer ponders green on forest floor(green still green each spring)

We are appraised as no danger

‘Some are moments to cherish’

Moment indeed moment is cherished

Medics leave dark of night seems darker

Phone rings condolences are given support offered

Declined but appreciated grief unmassaged by words or actions

Stream runs cold and strong(stream still stream now)

Next to the water bug is eaten by a green frog(bug not bug in a moment)

Frog hops away happy with achievement

‘All thing are connected’

Coffee in the morning mind distant and unclear

No tears shed but mind is tired

TV hums in background talks of plane crash in ocean

Young couples fate not known worst suspected

Heat of day approaches soon food crowds kitchen

Recently delivered made with care

Day passes quickly thoughts of varied topics

Distractions are fleeting but happen none the less

Objects flood memories good bad neither

Formalities will come soon after(Already man is man no longer)

For my father 1938-1999

Gene G. McLaughlin 2003