Suddenly I’m back on the frontier
where the prairie is a vanishing point
where the sky swallows us whole
where the earth hides deep inside

Where the squirming vortices of deep owl eyes
look right through the civilized rags of fashion
we attempt to use to cover our many sorry selves
that cannot make it across the moonlit clearing

When we hear the coyotes calling to each other
and there is no one there except exceptional us
because if we aren’t exceptional we can’t exist
and our identities only grow in that moment

Until we can’t imagine how we’re going to live
when all this new way of life is now everywhere
just waiting for all of us to wake up once again
from the turkey torpor feasts of endless long drives

And see the rainbow colors, and hear the music
of the wind and birds, and smell the new life flowers
and stop this deadly game of hard hit money
and accumulation of exceptionally deadly toxins.


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.