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PHILLIP HENRY CHRISTOPHER

 


Phillip Henry Christopher spent his childhood in Paris, France, Biloxi, Mississippi and Swanton, Vermont before landing in the steel mill town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, to grow up in the smokestack shadows of blue collar America.Though currently living in Indianapolis, where he has lead the popular Cuban-style mambo orchestra, Urbanos, his literary soul is pure Philadelphia. As a solo acoustic artist and songwriter he appears as "Philadelphia Phil". 

He has previously published poetry in The Haight Ashbury Review and Blue Collar Review, credited to his one time stage name, Philip Ipos. Under his given name he has published work in Gargoyle, The Caribbean Writer, Cokefish, Stepping Stones and YašSou! Online. His poems are slated to appear in New York Quarterly, Lullwater Review, Hazmat Review, Cokefish and Indented Pillow.

Between gigs, Christopher is attempting to publish, along with a host of poems and short stories, a novel completed early in 2005. Both the writer and musician can be reached at urbanosmusic@sbcglobal.net 

 


I Have Not Heard This Before


I have not heard this before,
not the boom of the marching drum,
rat-at-tat field snare triplets,
slow and steady, like
caissons crawling 
carefully constructed causeways
on causes carefully concocted,
rolling across connivances, contrivances,
have not seen before
guidon flags flying brazen
in dessert sirocco,
not seen silent widows drained of tears,
not seen swift fury mutate
into creeping sorrow heroes 
laboring on slow wheels,
withering over imperturbable sidewalk
suction cup stick and release
concrete and crutch rubber,
not seen streams run
the color of raspberries
or sand the color of the sun
streaking daybreak warning sky
to sailors of wind blown dunes,
not seen hot red and yellow
blue flame spitting shrapnel before,
not heard concussions 
over cowering cities before,
not seen brass band brigades,
not heard blood stirring marching music,
not heard burnished-like-bronze bugle blow taps,
not heard roar of engines pierce 
peace of rice paddies,
not seen streaks of vapor trails
over flaming villages,
not seen Fourth of July napalm 
rolling like lava over
disappearing fields of green,
not seen carpet bomb threshing machines 
harvest fragile stalks of life 
gone in stilled heartbeat,
not heard orphans cry in empty nursery,
not heard mothers cry in burned wheat field,
corn field, 
rice field,
killing field, 
black as soil charred like 
bodies not seen
human cinders under 
stealthy black sky bomber night,
not seen talking head mouth
gesticulate lies for justification,
not heard mumbled expletive
beneath articulate pronouncements,
not seen covert jungle assassins,
not heard bullet bracing body,
not heard saints and sinners
sing solemn songs in unison,
not seen shadow soldiers stand 
like silent phantoms,
not seen tricolor boxes
on dead of night tarmac, 
not seen red sky,
not seen towers crumble,
not seen sand ignite,
not heard a last feeble sigh,
not seen an empire die. 

 

 

 

 

copyright Š Phillip Henry Christopher