on trees from Kyoto he planted on the Common

We who were waiting for the cherry blossoms to open
came back after meeting a man seeking saintly poetry
to discover, yes, way up there where we can hardly see
those first white blooms have opened mouths to the sky.

Our bodies still impacted like hard, gritty winter ice
are still aching in the hips and shoulders, tight joints
that seem to take longer and longer to stretch, loosen
suddenly feel the lubricating fluid of the warm sun.

We just may keep rolling down the hill of a new year
and manage to renew all the ancient, forgotten stories
that no one seemed to remember anymore, so anyhow
we feel in spite of the horror of all that just happened:

The terrible, unexpected, unjustified violent assault
and the totally out of control, tunnel vision retaliation
that followed: we still have managed to survive and so
no matter what went before Spring demands we go on.


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.