Sometimes/Today

Sometimes I feel that I’m failing

From the weather or a smell in the air

Sometimes I feel that I’m winning

Despite the score showing I’m far from there

Sometimes I grow stronger

From something I decided not to eat

Sometimes a rock in my shoe

Slows the pace of my gate

Sometimes life seems like a deep woe

That I carry upon my soul

Sometimes I’m light as the wind

Endless days with no tire or toll

Today’s maybe somewhere in the middle

Some coffee and rain and some hope

Success and failure are not for this moment

Both lie out of the present’s scope

Gene G. McLaughlin 2020

The Absence of Nostalgia

Right thoughts

Right words

Right actions

The absence of nostalgia

Is the beginning of today

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

The Bear Went Over The Mountain

The bear went over the mountain

To see what he could see

And all that he could see

Was the other side of the mountain

Was all that he could see

So the bear took a long slow moment

Atop that lonely mountain

He thought of all his wanderings

Where all his winters brought him

This mountain was a mountain where

Maybe his moments could have meaning

If the bear he so allowed

The next mountain might have something

That from the bear was hidden

A sacred secret knowledge

The bear would finally make his own

His paws dug in the dirt and dust

His fur felt the warmth and sun

His bones they came to realize

The mountain knew the same things

As the next did and the one before

There were mountains to be found

By stillness and not by climbing

By the staying and not the roaming

The bear went to the top of the mountain

The bear called the mountain home

The bear climbed to the top of the mountain

The bear became of where he sat

The bear became the mountain

Together they both grew

Into another mountain

For another bear to find

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Bucket List

What I am doing is enough for me
Because it has to be enough for me
Has to have been enough for me
Without a list made out for me
Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Outside of Time

I like that there was a time like that

Even if it is not mine

I like that there was a place like that

Amid the ruins of time

I like that love existed

Between those I shall never know

I like there are those that shall travel

To destinations I shall not go

I begrudge the universe nothing

I shall take what is given to me

But my universe shall exist of

Much more than I can see

In the earth are buried narratives

Stories by the score

In the sky are floating passions

Making the world both less and more

It is all one tale

Told outside of time

That I am the lead actor in

Yet which is never mine

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Thanksgiving 2014

I give thanks for this moment of living
The future has forgotten me now
I give thanks the present moment of giving
The past has shown me how
Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

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

Ruins

Each human

Is a decaying civilization

Forgetting things they once knew

Knowledge displaced, replaced

Or misplaced

Lessons once held tight

Considered learned

Now faded

Absorbed into the organic ruins

 

The civilizations

Grandest city

In crumbles

Moss covered

Flickering in the air

Much like dust

There is a once great plaza

That is now only visited

By pigeons and those who haven’t

Forgotten

The once shining marble

Fountains of fresh water

And vibrant bustle

 

With little to hold back

The ravages of

Time

Inertia

Hubris

And whatever else

It is best to enjoy the sun

Birds singing

Smells of the season

Cherishing the brightest memories

Past summers have provided

Greed never

Served your cities well

It is endless

And in the end

Does not complete the circle

Mindfulness and presence

Were always your cultures

Finest elements

Those that could persevere

Until something is built

On the newly discovered ruins

Gene McLaughlin 2014

Embrace

I’m trying not

To always get

Distracted by

Shiny new things

To embrace what I’ve got

And to let

Myself see

What joy that brings

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

He Had Never Seen the Storm

The Eyes of the Buddha

When emaciation had taken its toll

His eyes were sunken in, closed, and hollow

The life slipping from them slowly

Understanding was no closer

All that was left for him was the end

The final stages of the suffering that haunted him

The hunger that held tight to him in these final moments

The desire and want and need

All would be gone soon

Nothing was left to take

Nothing was left to give

The last step was the loss of what he saw before him

The blood slowly coursed through him

He opened his eyes

The tree and air and grass and sun all were in front of him

This was the moment

Maybe this had always been the moment

Maybe this would always be the moment

There was color in the world

There was a color in all things

There was the dark red of his blood

There was the brown bark of the tree

There was the green of the grass

There was the golden yellow of the sun

There was the white swirling wind of the storm of existence

Lingering and circling in the air around all of it

There were his eyes

Through which his slowly diminishing life force met the storm

He faced the end

He saw the storm was not actually white

The storm was all colors

The storm was everything at once

The storm was always there

He had never seen the storm

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013