I Was Here For a Time

I was here for a time

The worlds rages repeated

On this earth for a time

All our dark themes repeated

In quiet moments of grace

These hard truths receded

I was left with that

Which glows in my mind

The passions I have felt

The ties that bind

The love that turns the third eye

To seeing from blind

The war and stuggle can rage around me

The tolls and losses can mount

I will hold the suffering I see

Equally with joys my mind can count

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

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

I Threw All I Could Find In It

I had a hole I stood next to

I threw all I could find in it

I threw all the songs I could find in it

I threw all the words I could find in it

I threw all the images I could find in it

It was still empty still longing

Still a whisper I couldn’t hear

I threw all the whiskey I could find in it

I threw all the cocaine I could find in it

I threw all the food I could find in it

It was still thirsty still hungry

Just a whisper far away

I threw all the lust I could find in it

I threw all the fear I could find in it

I threw all the anxiety I could find in it

It found no peace still never resting

The whisper left me alone

I ran out of things to throw in it

I stood alone and broken

Next to the hole

Then the whisper said to me directly

It is standing right with you

The suffering and the desire

Grab it take it with you

Put it in the hole

In the hole you’ll know its name

I walked slowly forward

My nerves steeled

Knowing the whisper spoke truth

I wrapped my arms around it

I leapt with it into the whole

I saw it from within it

Then I knew I should embrace it

Then I got to giving up all of it

I knew the name of my desire

I knew the hole was me

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

A Spring Zen Prayer

Permit me to let go the things I am not

The things that are denied me

The things that are not to be

The things that cause me anger

The things that I cannot control

The things that are of me, but haunt me

The things that are of not of me, but haunt me

The things that the world imposed upon me

The things that I imposed upon myself

Permit me to know the things that are hidden

The things that become lost to me repeatedly

The things I must learn time and time again

The things I know are true, but cannot accept

The things that are of all things and not just me

The things that are of me and unmoving and real

The things that are not the narrative of it, but the pulse of it

The things that are silent and neither want nor give

The things a rock knows when the hammer falls upon it

I am the wind

Never allowed to settle or still

I am the ocean

Many things that look to be one from a distance

I am the sand

Both shifting and stable at once

I am the fire

Grown from spark to inferno to cinder all in a day

Let me begin each day and try to hear the silent sound

Let me begin each day and try to see the color of air

Let me begin each day and try to feel the back of my mind

Let me begin each day and try to smell the heat of the rising sun

Let me begin each day and try to feel the love I know pulses through the world,

but is sometimes lost to me.

If I cannot, let me accept my struggle and failure

Living not wanting to be that which I am am not

And rising tomorrow to try again to see

I am not it, but of it

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013