Islands erupt as fiery blossoms
from the cold, dark depths of the ocean
and emerge still steaming
as naked molten rock
but almost before the lava can cool
life looks for a crevice to impregnate.

Somehow creatures and seed
will float in wind and water
to colonize the new earth
so rich with the wealth of the center.

The tides and currents that are
around the globe provide everything needed
for a world unique and complete in itself.

Isolation guarantees creativity.
Solitude provides opportunity.
Each island will be its own universe
yet together form a chain of being.

Life ripped from islet will voyage to another.
The seeming safety of this momentary refuge
can only become the challenge of a wider world.
The man floating on the raft of debris becomes
the smiling face offering candy in the hospital
to which the rescue ship has brought him.


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.