where did it all come from?
where has it all gone?
where are the knights of the round table?
Fisher King sore wounded
in the wide open thigh
seems the world is dying
time again to write of the wasteland
time to pray at the well
of the severed head
only a death mute Syrian boy
can mime this war on life
lost, oh, so lost for what?
Oh, they’ll show you what in an instant
of full spectrum fire power
but can they last, can they endure?
we’re down here in the lowlands
we know we’re all really equal
in the eyes of the living God
we look right on back at them
and we don’t stop blinking
winking, slinking, sinking
and swimming all together at once
for that ever more distant shore.


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.