the first cohort of children
apprehend immediate intent
and run in circles even when
they’re too young to follow lines
while their adult companions
belatedly look down to see
what their feet are stepping over
the lines so factually there
and apologize for spoiling
my work actually still undone
but still done so precisely
indeed as exactly as possible
to lead them to an entrance
world I (like the little kids)
cannot stop seeing whole
exactly as it indeed really is
in the heart of the city
in the heart of the nation
in the heart of the world
this center waiting to be
and to be found by us all
as all of us pass so rapid and
somewhere else walking over
my childish chalk drawing


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.