Foreboding snap of twig beyond the hedge.
But I persist, knowing time is short.
Must prove our journey worthwhile.
Forgive companions, dismiss true-love’s flicker.
Excuse death and deceptions.
By sundown, gnawed proof and grief collaborate.
Taint my evidence with temptation and truth.
Saints at the arched stone gate cheer, make it bearable,
but know me as all thumbs with warmth or silver.
Grace must conquer, tie bows around the entire affair.
October leaves ignite and whisk haze among stars.
Breeze rustles grass in front of vanity’s tomb.
Intuition and outcome have proved the same.
Sam Barbee's poems have appeared Poetry South, The NC Literary Review, Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina, Georgia Journal, Kakalak, and Pembroke Magazine, among others; plus on-line journals Vox Poetica, Sky Island Journal, Courtland Review and The Blue Hour.
His second poetry collection, That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), was a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016. He was awarded an "Emerging Artist's Grant" from the Winston-Salem Arts Council to publish his first collection Changes of Venue (Mount Olive Press); has been a featured poet on the North Carolina Public Radio Station WFDD; received the 59th Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society for his poem "The Blood Watch"; and is a Pushcart nominee.