Bathroom Mirror

The measuring of ones self in the bathroom mirror

In the early pale gray morning

Does not become easier over time

The weight of actions and estimations

Grow ever greater

Like roots of trees intertwined

Becoming ever closer together

Facing the toothbrush and razor

The white stubble of the beard upon the chin

The plaque upon the once near white teeth

There is knowledge that this is yet another day

Full possibilities

Maybe redemption

Maybe failure

In the tasks that lead to that which one desires

To become

To represent

One day at a time says the addicts sponsor

Yet in truth it remains the same for all whom

Walk a path in conscious direction

Toward some specified or worthy goal

To thine own self be true

Said the aged character in the play

And in the bathroom mirror

This estimation

This evaluation

Is true

We are days and decades and sons and fathers in that mirror

Women we have loved and hurt and men we have killed or maimed

We are not our own gods nor can we ever be

Yet in the early pale gray morning with water running

The steam upon the mirror

We can look up and see through their divine eyes

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Be the Hammer, Be the Nail

I have always been open to the idea

That I would fail

Prepared and resigned

Comfortable with the idea

That when it all went to hell

I would be ready

I am a witness to the worst

Things can get bad

To this I attest

Things also

Can expand

The world can grow big

Near endless

Even for those with little

Nothing even

There are victories

Successes

Sunny days

Fists raised in triumph

The scope

Is everything

Everyone

All at once

This is not a zero sum game

It is a whole number

That counts you

Successes can be hard to see

They are not always visible

If you are a nail

Bracing for the impact

That strikes you down

For good

Be the hammer

Be the nail

Force and energy

Are all one transaction

Consider the possibility

This might be one of the days

You stand in the sun

Feeling strong

With possibilities

Burning around you

Like the fire

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Just Bend

Evidence

Isn’t the Enemy

Failure

Isn’t the End

Reaction to

The game is

Friend

The goal is

Not to break

Just bend

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

The Quiet Life

I am greedy for the quiet life

For the longing to forever end

Accumulation and achievement leading to

An empty series of dusty rooms

I have already visited

Finding them wanting

Let’s waltz my love

On the porch

While the sun goes down

As the azaleas bloom

And spring comes again

The most important things earned

Are learned by the failures of success

And the victory of the speckled dusty air

Dancing at twilight

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013