Every time I find myself in London again
then I end up tasting the dust of ancestors
in the ruin of a World War II bombing raid
(Christ’s Church found on our first grand tour
when I only knew Christ Church in Virginia)
I always go to the British Library and then after
to the left wing bookstore right by King’s Cross,
Houseman’s where invariably I find just exactly
what I need to read to finally really understand
history is now and the past is only quick prelude
as everywhere we go the corporate T.V. envelope
drops into the transnational creole garble guitars
playing on whatever Commons are still there left
with everyone trying to figure out just exactly
where are we going rolling, rolling, rolling along
the swift pulsing blue Rhine with the white Alps
leaping off ledges water fall down the jagged cliffs
with each valley issuing its own rushing stream
and when we’ve seen all the faces and all the blooms
of Spring all the way from the Scottish borders
to Adriatic coast we look up to so truly discover
the foothills are dancing under the Spring storms
to the newly dusted snowy peaks of the Gran Sasso
way up over us this great white innocent pureness
fallen upon us in one long uninterrupted dark night
where we will after all finally see the present stars
as we relax ourselves into all we have come learned.


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.