I always admitted the distant possibility
that the labyrinth form I saw as symbolic
as the image of both healing and creativity
might in fact be an interlocking symbiosis
oh, such vague high-level peaked abstraction
that never meets the path of the real traction
twisting as my labyrinth quest in mental best
created such deft dizzying devious designs
I was forced to use my many years of decades
of obsessively dedicated training as left right
left right you ‘hadda’ good home but you left
as we walk by balancing our ballooning selves
on one foot then the other your left your left
you’re right there in a double spiral that goes
back to entrance stones in ancient burial cairn
that labyrinth core deep in womb heart of hill
where coils peace of inner ear that is internal
sense of balance whether we’re conscious of it
or not simply by walking these narrow circuits
that sometimes narrow even to sharp razor’s edge
where is the trail of healing flesh and where grows
the capacity to endure all our own militant stress.


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.