Everytime I get to go to England and
Europe it’s just one epiphany in a series
each time different but still continuing
how on our very first trip we stopped
there by chance right at Christ Church
bombed out near St. Paul’s Cathedral
during WW II and left as a ruin, a garden
with only the Chapter House and steeple
still standing in front a slice left of the old
cemetery where some of my mother’s
people may still be underfoot under trees
dwarfed by all the financial district glass
and steel towers where once Fleet Street
merchants had held service while nor far
away there’s even a Carter’s Lane where
we first stayed at the hostel they created
from the former St. Paul’s choirboy school
and, of course, my Mom was a Carter and
I knew this was where my folk departed from
on their way to Virginia and colonial America.
(Later I found they built their own Christ Church
up a creek off the Rappahannock River in 1735).


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.