June 15th and it hits 100

I got nothing tonight

But the summer heat

No feeling

But pavement burning

My feet

Only the ache



Flesh singed

Like Meat

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015


Like a woman

Sometimes fickle

Always changing

Both delicate and strong

Giving life through the decades

Warm in summer

Bugs fish wood green and lush

Cold in winter

Ice snow wind and shimmering shine

Always alive

Always reborn

My heart will always long for you

Seeking to be reborn

In places of no comfort

Dry foam sterile and plastic

Thinking back to the sand silt and dirt

Muck and wet rotting leaves and horseflies

Smell of shad on your shores

Desperate to spawn

And their stink

Filling the air, life and death inhaled

In one breathe

Sight of eels in the water looking like

Slippery sliding sly snakes of the depths

You have had names before that which

We call you

You shall have more names still

The name we hold in our hearts for you

Will always be the same

No words are needed for it

For just as we need not articulate that

Which our hearts know our mothers to be

Always what you are

Life giver life taker

Warmest and most welcoming

Coldest and most foreboding

Never ever changing

Yet current always raging

Mother River

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

I Heard A Rumor of Warm Wind


I heard a rumor of warm wind

I heard of a tale of green growth

I heard a story of cold’s end

I doubt the veracity of both

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Summer A Boon

Summer a boon

Before you go

A warm wind

A late sunset

A last flower

A blue sky

My mind distracted

By comfort

Instead of cold

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014 

The Summer Squirrel

Insight is not available

Revelations do not come forth

Just the dog day heat

The sweltering breeze


The summer squirrel

Navigating the tree

Never seeing all branches

The tree in whole

Yet never falling

His self-knowledge

Is all encompassing

Living near death

Makes all thing

Shine brightly





Enough to fill

One lifetime

Might as well

Let go of it friend

The entirety of the tree

Cannot be seen

Without falling

From its comforts

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

June Summer Night Sounds

Singing birds &

A musical ice cream truck

Sound like they’re conversing

On a warm summer night

Discussing the events of the day

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Sitter In The Vineyards

Sitter on the Vineyards


His heart is not stone

But metal

He is of man

Not man

Among the grapes he sits


Every dying

He does not smile

He merely is.

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Winter Knows

Winter knows

What summer doesn’t

Winter shows us

That which wasn’t

In spring life grows again

In summer we see that couldn’t

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

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

The Peak of Life

I want to put my feet up

By the river

The sound

Of the flow

Around me


Coming to life

The peak of life awakening

Once again

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013