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Four Corners


by Dan Kenneth Phillips



I was born in a manger in Georgia

by the railroad tracks where

FDR's triumphant remains

Traced their last steps.

In Atlanta I killed my first Yankee

Fought my first monster

And caught Santa Claus

While Brother Drake preached his immortal message.


In Knoxville I walked the icy aisle

To escape the pit of hell

while an evangelist

Rounded up snakes for his dungeon.

In Clinton I delivered your paper

Fished for carp

and played corkball

While watching your hypocrisy

From within the Holy Stained Glass windows

As you tried to shred my Christianity into pieces

By destroying my friends and pastor

(We were Number One, the first to whiten the

sanctuary of Uncle Sam's classrooms with


And I remember you as you plotted

And succeeded


Blowing up

My school

On my birthday

In the name of Christ.

I was nothing to you

Too timid

Too shy to understand

And unworthy to mount your pulpit


He understood

And I praised Him with the trumpet

Blowing taps for dead coal miners

While you gathered your riches

And praise from your peers.

In Knoxville, again, I was a symphony

Playing everlasting notes to Him

While your fraternities

and prostitutes

Reaped the destiny

Of my brothers

And snatched them into hell.

In Athens I found love

And wrote my first poem

But not to you

to Him.

In Cookeville I found Him in far away places

While you knocked at my door in vain

Confusing me with formula's


And Fourier's

And La Places

And vibrating strings covered with 50 pound birds

Shivering in a northern wind

Defying Newton's laws of Gravity.


In Rochester you came in the disguise of death

While I sat beside a six week bride

And her husband

And my brother

Covered with umbilical cords

And make-believe life-support systems

With my Bible Open


Only a prayer to defeat you.


In Jackson I preached my first sermon

And rode around in a big red Alabama Power truck

Giving light and power

To your captives crying and weeping

From dungeons with paper thin walls

In their desert of despair.

In Huntsville I manipulated thin wires

And red lights

And green lights

And white lights

on paper

Which thrust men of venture

Into orbits around strange planets

Alien to their existence

and landings on barren rocks

Where they were lonely

And scared

And forced to ask for His help

While you convinced them

they had done it themselves.


In Louisville I fought you face to face

While sitting in hospital rooms

With bottles of glucose

and someone else's blood

Feeding life into the dead

You had already claimed

While He looked on.

In barren classrooms you came

In your disguise of knowledge

Corrupting some

Deceiving others

with explanations of everything


He was everywhere

mystically appearing

incomprehensibly comprehensible

and you were confounded


You couldn't explain Him.


In Madison I buried the dead

you had been victorious over

Killed my first Confederate

And preached


and thorns

at you

While you confused His people

by gossip

and tradition

and lack of faith

While We baptized your dead

into His life.

alabama 2

In Talladega you spit in my face

and whittled away at the faulty

remains of my life

by throwing

burnt-out falling stars

from other worlds

But I ran a mile for the first time

And through the rain and whipping winds

Watched Henry club 715

and I winked at the Invisible Man


On the top of the dome.

In Angel

I held a baby tight

and cried for joy

at the Gift

from the unknown source

and when

the stars came out

ONE was very bright

And Without Stopping To Think

I Followed It Into The Quiet Night.

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Dan K. Phillips
109 Breckenridge Road
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone: 615-790-7129

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