Safe Harbor
by Sam Barbee

My dark beast surfs
by moonlight, ruin
on its tongue, rides
the wave of least resistance.

Sea-cadence: water
follows water, as breath
after breath. Dividing
energies found by pursuit.

Jetty’s finger dissects,
crooks, motions
. . . come closer . . .
disregard seafoam’s

brown blaze. Rip-tide’s
fist flexes into crag.
I am still waiting
for its spray over my face.

Storm turns upon itself,
seeks mercy. Poised
against dread, black water
begs dreams to take over,

those never hidden
in conchs, but weighted,
current carved. Offered
at this primitive site.

Shards pile on the cape
until moon signals enough.
Seagrass urges
                         inhale my sway.

PAINTING: The Sea by Julian Schnabel (1981).

Sam Barbee Pix

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sam Barbee’s poems have recently appeared in Poetry South, Literary Yard, Asheville Poetry Review, and Adelaide Literary Magazine, among others. His work has also been featured in on-line journals, including American Diversity Report, Exquisite Pandemic, Verse Virtual, The Voices Project, and Medusa’s Kitchen. His latest collection is Uncommon Book of Prayer (2021, Main Street Rag).  His previous 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). Sam 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.