Cacophony without orchestrations, first violins
compete to silence second chairs.
Blatant bickering between the shiny flutes.
You Mozart about, so busy before the pauper's grave.
The unflappable maestro, you score us with purest heart:
instruments shoulder to shoulder, shaping your magnum opus.
Ah, homely but we oblige enchantment. All-call for an ovation
to the strum of a harp, but crescendo of iambic brass
trumps any heavenly solace. Percusses with a rumble,
an overture to adore like a mist upon blue hills,
within a smear of forest, and, in the center,
a pond of muck crowned with lotus,
where a single croaking toad secretes a wart
of contentment amid thunder's token harmony,
its lullaby dying between each clap.
Sam Barbee's poems have appeared in Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina, Potato Eyes, Georgia Journal, St. Andrews Review, Main Street Rag, Iodine, and Pembroke Magazine among others; plus online journals Vox Poetica and The Blue Hour. His second collection, That Rain We Needed (Press 53), will be published in April 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 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." Sam lives in Winston-Salem with his wife and has two children, and is the current President of Winston-Salem Writers. His day job for 31 years has been with the Winston-Salem Recreation Department.