Rise early in the morning before sunrise
File up the hill to the stone carved with triple double spirals
Pass around it and under the entrance with the lintel above
To march between the carved curves of the long stone walls of
          passage cave
To the center of old momma Earth, the womb of the hill
To wait for the wane sun of the shortest day
To finally line up with the lintel
To slowly creep down the tunnel to enlighten the inner chamber
To enlighten us all there in that scandal of our electric time
          complete darkness:

When from this absence of light comes the baby
Who is the only one who can possibly save us
And from this silence comes the Hallelujah Chorus
As from this absence of light in the night comes peace
And I see him now as I draw Botticelli’s labyrinth
On the black asphalt sidewalk of the Common with yellow chalk
And it’s this little person, this guy going by who starts following
The arching coils of my half finished design
And he gets it totally and refuses to be coaxed away
By his now puzzled and then exasperated parents ….

Oh, how can you find a place to say what is not allowed to be said,
How can you speak with a heckler right up in your face,
What do you do with interjections meant only to distract,
Who can withstand the lance that penetrates the weakest point?


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.