The Maze

Where we started was a garden,

outside London, formal archways, a path

between tall evergreen shrubs, their branches overhead, meeting, joining,

tunneling sunlight into brief flashes of abstraction;

One step, and into darkness, into distant, but distinguishable laughter,

harsh, barking, almost a growl, and what I saw

was a kind of castle, pillars wider

at the top than at the bottom. Memory

interjects itself, joins fragments of heterogeneous origin.

On coinage, one may follow

the Labyrinth from one end to the other, but after

but two steps I too was lost. It was to be expected.

Yes, I know. I know.

These were once winners, Cretans,

bull dancers, their fancy women.

Picture-perfect, they are the subject of innumerable pseudo-historical narratives,

a civilization whose rise and fall

should remain for us as an example, an admonishment.

Even their coins, a kind of afterthought, a wish amongst ruins

to maintain an ancient, perhaps imaginary connection.

But, still, be frightened. Around the next corner

is a monster. Larger than expected. Nebulous.

Keep on walking though. In all likelihood

he is already satiated, and will probably

merely doff his cap, and say, “Good morning.”.

Just don’t laugh. Remember. You are a tourist. This is England.