I feel my sore shoulder from old neck injury
as I send my paper plane up over blank space
washed clean of my last labyrinth by the long
November rain and wind current there where
I play with it sucks it up and all the way across
Tremont street’s lanes and behind a post in front
of the corner of the Cathedral as I try to decide
what labyrinth design I can aptly deploy for now …

I have a theory that the way the church is dwarfed
by the later constructions on either side set back
from their more forward footprints, too, then creates
a swirling eddy across the street on Boston Common
right above where I draw my labyrinths while inside
with sound the semi-circle of the raised chancel causes
an echo in the middle of the sanctuary that obliterates
the ability to hear human speech at center seating area.

So as I count my steps from the Common where I threw
my plane to where it was hiding behind that utility pole
this vision of spiritual broadcast system of sound and air
and some thing else appeared in the form of face and place
all these ancestors generations on generations buried time
going back through thousands years beyond any thin sheets
of paper however cleverly folded to float away on air streams
or thick the walls we build to capture this effervescent spirit.


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.