This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"Four Corners" by Christopher Fox Graham

Dorothea Tanning "Self-Portrait"

"Four Corners"
by Christopher Fox Graham

Cities in the Old World
rise triumphant on the horizon
busy bee hives of doing, doing, doing
while the sounds of sins and salvations
fade into the din of the streets
lost in the cups of beggars
trampled under the footfalls of migrants
the hooves of workhorses
the tires of Model-Ts and Mack Trucks
who we are is swallowed in waddle and daub
buried beneath concrete and asphalt
we become frozen in monuments
to legacies long forgotten

Fields in the East
spread wide to catch the morning sun
stretch fingers toward the sun
a trillion siblings no taller than the next
reach toward the heavens
speak stories on the breeze
rumors caught in the wind
sins and salvations swirl into tornadoes
deafening all that could be heard
who we are is swallowed in the green
reaped in the winters
we become harvests
to feed the generation next

Bayous in the South
lazily roll toward the sea
at a strolling pace
caught low the waters stop and stagnate
no desire to move past churned mud and muck to
these waters do not care who floats by
Arcadian, Anglo, alligator
French, free, slave or sharecropper
sins and salvations ooze in the same stillwater
who we are is drowned in the shallow deep
emptied into the Gulf
we become sediment
to hold back the floodwaters

but the West is always open
nothing here lives easy
there are no off days, no weekends, no bounty
even leafless plants are armed
evolved to resist transgressors
here, the stories on the wind are hollow
the breezes instead ask us to speak
so on the edges of canyons
we cry out our names
shout our stories to absent ears
here, where the gods fear to wander
we have no old religions demanding obedience
no monuments to dead kings dare stand
here, sins dry up into dust
salvations thirst for water
turn their bones white into signal flares
the sunrises, drained of their energies
angered at emptying themselves
to all the green elsewhere
beat down their rage into the soil
drunk on their own desperation
there is a hate that beats back into the sky
building mirages of what could be
loneliness is the only common faith
solitude the universal tongue
who we are is what we choose to remake ourselves
each new day if we survive that long
we become whatever we chose for a moment
to live and fade away

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