Mushrooms Are the Ghosts

A short poem for you fall mushroom lovers-

Mushrooms are the ghosts

Of forest floors and fallen trees

How does meaning demand to grow

Among the moss and decaying leaves?

Does a lineage link the floor and canopy

Via roots and sun?

Is the bolete a forgotten memory

Or the birth of a new one?

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020

Fall Leaves


A Day in Autumn

A poem that feels like fall to me.
A Day in Autumn-
After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.
Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,
and, along the city’s avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Love Is What We Say It Is

Money is what we say it is

Paper or power or both

Life’s meaning is what we say it is

Winter’s stagnation or spring’s green growth

God is what we say it is

The center or nature or the all

The season is what we say it is

The heat of summer or cool colors of fall

Love is what we say it is

Passion or desire or hope that binds

Struggle is what we way it is

Something to overcome or accept in our minds

Rebirth is what we say it is

A continuation or the world born anew

The new year is what we say it is

May it ruminate quietly or speak in volumes through you

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Fall Leaves 2013

Fall Leaves

All is forgiven

In the end

The leaves fall to ground

The sins of summer

Are forgotten

By the colorful silent observers

As their roots

Absorb their memories

In spring

Their brethren

Will view the season of rebirth

As something new

With no judgement

Only hope

In brilliant green

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Craggy Pinnacle Fall 2013

2013-10-05 16.43.55

When Summer Dies In The Mountains

When summer dies in the mountains

It dies fast

Like a flame in the snow or

The desertion of birds and leaves

All in a morning

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Snow Peas

In the morning

There is a chill

In the air

Slowly I move


The sun is

Peaking over

The horizon

And the fog

Is dissipating

Slowly and


Across the dirt


Is the garden

Deer sit quietly

Eating the

Snow peas

Thankful they

Grow so well

In the chilly


I think to chase

Them away

Then consider

Pantry is full

Canning is done

I will let them

Enjoy the sweet

Crisp taste in


Before winter

Comes again

Gene G. McLaughlin 2005