The Sound of the Engine

It all gets ahead of you

It all gets away from you

All of it happens so fast

It’s not like the eternity

Once pondered and pictured

When you were as high

As your old man’s knee

It’s more of an avalanche

More of a storm

More like a dog’s leash

Taut with a Doberman

Raging and barking

Hurtling forward

Chasing a rabbit

That you cannot see

Momentum pushes you forward

Despite your best efforts

You can set your mind still

Through the passing of moments

Yet you still feel the engines

Churning below you

Which can’t stop for anything

That pay head to nothing

No matter your wishes

Despite this soliloquy

I’ve slowed naught and nothing

The train slows for no one

No stops ‘til the end of the line

So I’ll fill up my world

With the tools to learn

That the sound of the engine

Can be kind of calming

Maybe even relaxing

Even if it cares nothing for me

Gene G. McLaughlin 2015

Lonely Hearts And Half Empty Shopping Carts

I understand nothing of your grief and pain

There is nothing I judge equal that I call my own

No stand to take or ground to gain

Your sad song wails over the voices of the joyous

Drowning out so much of the quiet pleasant music

That wraps itself around the world unknown to most

So much chatter of what is missing or not possessed

Lonely hearts and half empty shopping carts

Wandering through the Wal-Mart past midnight

Beneath the smiley faces and fluorescent light

There is beauty in the spaces in between

Seen only by actually looking

Never does it preen

Call out for attention

Seeking condolences or complimentary mentions

The moments existing within themselves only

Devoid of all of the trappings of

Of society and camaraderie

The strings and sinews of you and me

In the night I hear the yells and howls

Like bird calls trying to draw meaning

Out of the cool chill of the sky

Nothing comes forth and the dark spirits

Settle in denying this and that and filling

The gaps with questions and doubts

Hope is the worst thing that came out of the box

It is that which breaks us first not sticks and rocks

So much work so little reward given

For all the devotion to the libraries of ideas

That consumes and dooms us

The song sings to you now if you can pause to hear it

Gentle strings and the Zen beat which is always there

It all lies in the elimination of the white noise

So then the white noise can truly be heard

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

Ecosystem v2

Bryson Creek

There are dragonflies

In my earliest memories

There are no clever thoughts

No grand ambitions

Only their loud hum

In the heat of summer

The taste of sweat

Upon my tongue

The feel of damp

On my neck

The river is near

Giving and taking

Sleeping then waking

Frothy then serene

The mountain is near

Giving not taking

Bending and breaking

Its peak still unseen

There is my mother

Provider of food and love

There is my father

Before me and not above

We are of here

This valley

This land

We are from here

Our family

Our band

All I know

Is nearby

Or at least as

The bird flies

The river knew my name

When I was baptized in it

The mountain knew my name

When I walked upon it

I became of here

In my crib

As the wind blew

Through it

I cannot forget

The hum

Of horseflies

Nor the pain

Of their bite

Nor the pull

Of the river’s current

It’s inhuman might

It all escalates outward

It all internalizes inward

The river takes me elsewhere

The mountain fades from view

When I am motionless

I can hear the dragonflies

Humming there still

When I am motionless

The river carries me there

Once again

The mountain’s peak

Still out of view

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

The Equanimity of Waterfalls

Spring Waterfall

The waterfall knows no equanimity

In early spring it rages

From the remnants of melting snow

In fall it is bone dry

Depleted

From the heat of the scorching summer

In winter it is still

The water cold and iced upon its rocks

The effort is

Throughout the seasons

To keep the waterfall in your mind

From early summer

When it is steady

Calm

Flowing

The water will escape its state

It always does

As will you

The effort is holding

Equanimity in your mind

When late spring is gone

And the water is a storm

Or drought

Gene G. McLaughlin 2014

 

 

Wickedness Born of Scarcity

Wickedness born of scarcity

Scarcity born of need

All entwined in a circle

Wickedness meeting with greed

Love born of sacrifice

Needs of others more than self

Hand extends to a stranger

Holding charity and nothing else

Empathy is the light that is endless

No scarcity in its domain

The light shines brightly forever

Opposition of apathy and pain 

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013