It’s always there even as we’re most unaware.
There’s this steady influence, this pull
orderly, perfectly aligned and constant
that shields and protects against the blast
we can’t even see or indeed even feel.

The world of color, sound, taste, touch and odor
which seems so indelibly real and more than
we can ever really know is only one string
in a great hoop, one narrow frequency in a broad
                                                           wave band.

What we take for granted is our survival.
What we can only measure with instruments
is great the protective umbrella for the life we breathe.

Just as we think we’ve figured out the theory
of everything we find the polarity of the Earth
                                                           may switch
and North will be South and up will be down
and we’ll be spinning on that molten Labyrinth
                                                      so far within.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.