Oh, how did that red flash of form
feather the green shadows of the hedge?
Where did those deep orange monarch wings
flutter over the wild grass from?
We are the people of the pit.
We oozed from the ground
and charged up derricks.
We’ve only dug in deeper.
No wonder. We’re obsessed with embryos.
We rain down death from above.
Death falls like rain drops,
laser guided rain drops.
Our laser guided rain drops blow up whole apartment complexes.
And the Secretary of State says
“It’s the birth pangs of a New Middle East.”
All over the Middle East it’s cartoons
of Israeli trucks squishing Lebanese apt. houses
over “It’s the birth pangs of the new Middle East.”
The real joke was ‘birth pangs’ was a code word
for our fundamentalists’ interpretation
of an end times verse in the gospel of Matthew.


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.