Every week after St. Francis House Poetry Group
(for the houseless) I return to that cherry tree on
Boston Common with its savaged trunk so ripped
open I know not how or by whom which planted
by my old poet buddy Jack (ravaged now by alcohol
himself) & donated originally to Boston by our sis-
ter city Kyoto the home of their nation’s so famous
theater district to be spring blossom next to our own
downsized but no longer so dilapidated, oh renovated
theater district which I dream will come back again
some how to life as I clasp that injured cherry limb
above the blasted trunk & pray for my friend in art
& all of us whose exposed centers just need to heal.


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.