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 2023

Lord Byron’s Present Tense

To do it for joy

Without expectation

To do it for journey

Not destination

Ignoring the narrative

Embracing sensation

The pain and beauty

Your soul’s validation

Gene G. McLaughlin 2023

Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday

Fat Tuesday

We all got scars

On soul or skin

In churches or bars

We all got sin

In the public eye

Or held within

Raise a glass

Sing a song

Go to mass

Hit the bong

This too shall pass

Before too long

Want redemption?

Not tonight friend

Tonight’s for wine

Creating vague memories

We all got wars

We all have lost

We all got scores

Of things they cost

Live today

Pray tomorrow

Find a way

To ease the sorrow

Sin not committed

Cannot be repented

The cycle repeated

As was intended

Ash Wednesday

Remember that you are dust

And to dust you shall return

Are we more than want and lust?

An engine designed to yearn

Repent, and preach the Gospel

Even for the apostate and the apostle?

I repent to those I have done harm

Not to those who I do not know

I carry love for those now gone

As I await my time to go

Our 40 days come with no warning

They just arrive

Our 40 days feel much like mourning

You might survive

If it is too heavy to carry

Take it from the pack

If the weight of it overwhelms

Give it back

The intrinsic should not be surrendered

The extrinsic is not judgment rendered

The ashes on your forehead

Are forever made of you

Gene. G. McLaughlin 2023

Clear Light

I am walking away from the me of this

Through the halls without walls of the mind

I am seeking the clear light of the universe

As the fabrications of identity unwind

From is to was to void

Of what do the cosmos sing?

When the sum of one is undone

What actualities might the time’s order bring?

Gene G. McLaughlin 2023

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


Sunny days

Fists raised in triumph

The scope

Is everything


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 fire

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022

More Pissarro Than Picasso

I want a world more Pissarro than Picasso

More the sum than a piece

More the glory of all of it

Then cubes of us at our least

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022

Marching Orders

American dogs

French frogs

The world is going to war

Angry Continentals

Middle East fundamentals

The war is going to war

In the Arab lands

Among the sands

We all are going to war

Let it ignite

And burn all night

The world is going to war

Can you slow it down

When the oil’s underground

The world is going to war

The people forgot

The lessons taught

In 1944

No time to stop and think

When you’re on the brink

The world is going to war

I only take the side

Of those that have died

In the never-ending glory of war

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022

Dead Languages In An Encrypted World

Dead languages in an encrypted world

Floating on currents of textual seas

New syntax and context unfurled

Ideas carried by the digital breeze

Massless data of New Babylon

Still growing ziggurat of a modern age

Non-physical ideas carry on

With or without the page

Language united with math

Following the binary path

What or who does it benefit

If anything or anyone at all

Are the data’s flows sinister or beneficent

Are its actions fair or foul

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022

Gatsby Develops Android Apps

Gatsby develops Android apps

In the modern day

Daisy has a reality show

That’s a career in a way

Tom is the son of patent lawyer

Who went to Duke to play lacrosse

Nick is still choking on whiskey and words

As his body pays the cost

The world still glitters in the distance

The LED screen cuts down on the glare

It all seems so charmed

Until you finally make your way there

Nostalgia fills the empty

Where music fills the night

I’d say I saw them dancing

But the word fleeing seems more right

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022

A Bee In A Flower

Do not abide

A lack of grace

In the world

Find it

In small things

Grand plans fade

Crumble to dust

A bee in a flower

Can sustain

Gene G. McLaughlin 2022