a circle of feathers,
as tiara shining like abundance,
like an enhancement of adverbs,
sadly reframed, neatly in vain.
Starlit narrative how the hunter
prevails -- talons’ plunder;
beak and jaw settle debate.
No taint or taunt hinder
the goshawk. Prey perished
at the edge of red azalea bed --
confirmed vulnerable --
crowns the green fescue sea.
Black corvid, hinterland captain:
mastery without mercy,
brute with no malice.
Morning wing shadows
remains. Earmarked pinion
restates the argument, elegantly,
in a tier without veal or gristle,
lower than angel or jackal.
Savage hour’s velour
extols before coyote’s sing,
Sam Barbee's poems have appeared in 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.