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

Devil In The Details

The devil is in the details

Yet God is found in the mistake

And the best laid plans of man pales

To when evolution and conditions awake

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

I Think Our Eyes Are Aliens

I think our eyes are aliens

Our ears the souls of snails

The nose a mermaid’s mouth

Our tongues the whiskers of whales

Us which came and combined together

Willed ourselves to become one

To think, to feel, to perceive

For promised aware enlightenment

Of which it turned out there was none

The promise was a temptation

A ruse, which came to deceive

Now our minds burdened heavy with consciousness

And a past choice for which

Our combined evolved hearts do grieve

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015


The world tries to hollow me out

I respect the world’s prerogative

Its capacity for the positive endless

Its pursuit of the negative flawless

It’s ceaseless attempts to consume

The I, the who, the whom

Tracking ruthlessly on my scent

Form of

Food, taxes, utility bills and rent

On the worst of days

I drift away

Most days I just sway

Starting to protest, to say . . .

but I know the snake knows anyway

The devouring serpent

Is aware of

It’s destiny


And oil

And meat

Becoming that


Beneath our feet

Today though

I am half swallowed

Head turned toward the sun

The snake and I as one

I do not face the snake

Making the bastard wait

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

Need Is The Driver

For the world to be off the rails

It would have to have had them

Need is the driver

There is no Lego playset

Just selection

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

Live Your Life In Light – A Secular Prayer

Live your life in light

The shadows should only

Be occupied of your own choosing

Live your life in love

The limits should only

Be applied of your own decisions

Live your life with imperfections

Their existence only

Acknowledged by your own determinations

You were sanctified by evolution

You were sanctified from the start

You were sanctified by no ones decision

You are sanctified in whole or in part

Live your life in light

Live your life in love

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

We Came Down From The Trees, Then We All Stood Up

Came down to ground

Now we’re standing up straight

Walked on our knuckles

Now we stride and strut with a gate

Took slowly to taking

Decided to take up writing

Gave up on tails and fur

But not on all the fighting

Some say that some

Should stand straighter than others

But I ain’t see a one

That’s less monkey than another

Some say that some

Go by a different set of rules

But once we started standing up

We were nobodies fools

All I really know

Is that if you are my friend

Than you ain’t gonna to tell us

We don’t have the right stand again

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Tech Will Not Be Denied

The tech will not be denied

It keeps its own pace and company

You can hear it in the past

The sound von Neumann heard

In the back of his mind

The hum Turing felt

At the base of his spine

The spark the chimp saw

Pounding walnuts between stones

The ones and twos of it

The spiderwebs of it

We stride next to it

Because we are of it

We tell stories

To mask the data

Narratives to help

Ease through our days

Those who face the light of it

Move us forward

To something different

That is still yet us

The tech will not be denied

It moves without consent because it is us

We are its company and its raison d’etre

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013