To the Angry Young Men (Which Once Included Me)

Rage encounters empathy
If you live long enough
Acknowledgment of the other
That’s where it gets rough
Your friends and enemies
Each know the same pains
When harm’s inflicted
Both souls are stained
To be a mammal is to anger
Putting your needs above
But to be a mammal also
Is to love
You did what you did
Then and before
But you can choose to do it
No more
Maybe rage is part
Of a divine plan
But maybe love can grow
In the heart of a man
Live long enough
Perhaps to learn
Fire can warm
Not only burn
Gene G. McLaughlin 2019

Sirens and Bird Calls

The sirens and bird calls

Merge in the distance

Becoming one to my ears

Both are alerts of an oncoming storm

I can see the shadow of what approaches

It’s outline partitioned by the bright sun

No storm ever comes as one

It comes in parts

What you choose to brace for








Depends on where you’re standing

Gene G. McLaughlin 2017

The Other Guy’s Version of Empathy

The subject was pain

Not related to you

Only what me

And mine

Have been through

Empathy is

My needs met

With little

Or no

To do

From you

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

The Kindness Engine

Kindness is the creation of clarity

Life is never empty of pain

Value empathy not insularity

The path to balance writ plain

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Evolved Not Granted

Kindness and empathy exist

Without us inventing them

Traits evolved

Not granted

Lessons learned

Over millenniums

Not centuries

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Find Empathy

Your prosperity

Should not come

At all other’s expense

If confronted with inequity

Find empathy

Before taking immediate offense

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

We Never Think It is Us

We never think it is us

Who will struggle to rise


Our shared sin

Those of us who know

Extend our hands

To the fallen

As if

They were


Gene G. McLaughlin 2013