or Face of Place

I was just a child when the holy Mother
ascended to the Father, Son and Holy Ghostess
but way out in that scrubby right field hoping
no one would ever slice an errant one my way
I saw her rising over the Lutheran Church
(although I thought it should have been St. James
where the Virgin Mary knelt there waiting
for levity to take her up like dark matter
in fields of swirling circling dark energy)
where down on the baseball diamond
we were playing hard ball with the bullies
bat in hand at the plate and everything
ordained from above and yet from below
we (or at least me) knew something else
was real and somebody else was out there
and I could see her slowly steady rising
up in this crystal blue blub of Summer
sky I never saw before until the ball, this ball
came suddenly at me in the crack of the bat
hurtling down toward completely unprepared


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.