When I first saw the labyrinth spread like a galactic vision
on the polished wooden of the cathedral crypt floor I felt
something give way deep down in the floor of myself.

I fell and fell to a place I had been many times before
but only with time as an ally. If it had been in my power
no table or chair leg, no human foot would ever have
touched it again. It reminded me of basic training where
the Drill Instructor for my platoon, a Sergeant Parker
had a full sized paratrooper painted on the floor of the barracks.

Except the labyrinth made me a warrior for peace not war.
Now every time I enter its chambers my heart slows and
my breath pauses, and blood caresses through my veins
and there in the cathedral depths with the subway sounds
and the foundations of cities, I encounter my friend time
in the dark depths of the cave of myself, my only true self.


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.