There at the sacred center we encounter
the navel of the world and the continents
occupy the four quarters just as it happens
the pecking order reaches a full fierce frenzy
but even the coldest, most distant fringes
are melting in the intensity of growing conflagration
this tired, played out region inflamed by millennia
of imperialism and exhausted by devastating exploitation
has the misfortune to sit upon the source
of energy and power and to pump, pump
pump from its womb what everyone wants and needs
so one long last time we again enter
the tympani beat of the four chambers
and circle in like sleek diving raptor
and make the predatory grasp of talons
and find the prey waiting at the center
and confront the Minotaur monster in us
our selves in wonder if anything will happen
when whatever we do it always does.


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.