Walking the Labyrinth, Again

Labyrinth walk again,
	in the same big old Mellon church.
		Today a celebration of labyrinths,
			I will walk all three
First, a Chartres eleven-circuit labyrinth,
	Outdoors in the “garth,” a ground cloth on flagstones.
		The purple-edged loops appear to meander, 
				back and forth among the quadrants.

The path still seems a mystery.
	The summer sky, at least, is unadorned
		uncomplicated by a single cloud.
			Overhead leaves slightly soften the sun,
				their silhouettes on the cloth below.

In the center, five petals, a multi-	
	Leafed clover with a single stem
		To enter and leave. Surrounding stone 
			and arching windows silently watch .
I sit when I reach the center, and know
	I’ve come half way, before going back
		into the tightly wound loops, with no
			discernable marker to show
				how far you’ve come or how far to go..

The harpist supports the walkers with song,
	from Pachelbel to the Beatles, 
		I remember “In This Life.” 
A siren in the streets around the church,
	A sound to drown the gentle harp.
		This is East Liberty. Then it fades.

Next, a labyrinth inside,
	in the chancel of the sanctuary that would hold a ,
		which swallows sound and the sunlight 
			filtering through high windows.
Walking meditation, 
	barefoot and silent,
		clear the mind!

Last, another large Chartres layout
	in the two-story social hall below ground level
		with uncounted candles, light enough
Quiet, not silent, with chairs
		Near the entrance.  I find 
			old friends with new business.
				I walk, then softly talk.

This is my slow stepped commencement 
	To mark an end and a beginning: jobless,
		rethinking my career at 58.
Have I choices?  Or are choices
	Illusion,  loops in the labyrinth:
		No maze, and the eventual exit certain.

Just walk.  One foot in front
		of the other, again and again, 
			Like peace walks and picket lines, soon you’ll arrive.
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