Last Saturday at the weekly vigil
some pudgy middle age wing nut
came by and when we said our name
the Committee for Peace and Human Rights
he yelled “the bible is full of war”
and kept on saying it which I had to admit
I recognized as true, Kings and Chronicles
long litany of small nation caught between
waxing and waning empires contending
for hegemony (just like now) when
out passing antagonist finishes his rant
saying “we’re going to hang you just like
they hung the Quakers here on the Common”
and all I can think is what holy moly Puritan
purity could there be in this desiccated
Death Cult of Trump the rapist and his
money launderers surrounded by stable
of sexual abusers, dirty political tricksters
(multiple members stealing elections back to Nixon)
and just this mélange of bagmen of ill-gotten gain
oh, our “city on a hill” swimming in the swamp
they all just talk of draining all the while
Miami is sinking and Boston is sinking
and oh, the ports of the world are sinking too


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.