Region of the Black Rose By Sam Barbee

                                                        Region of the Black Rose

                                                                                                        Bodmin Moor
                                                                                                        − Cornwall

My love, I must answer daybreak’s bleak chime,
rise to defeat the rising clang’s rhymes of

truth and transgression. Prepared to again
ride out and prove all commitment to you,

reveal latitude and parallels, all
geography where called to battle gloom,

assail their muddling meridians,
reinfuse our petals of red and white.

Clouds, variegated with rusty trimmings,
float, as they will, into our hemisphere:

here, where you dream on our gilded pillow,
beneath the uncharted heaven. I sense

the black bloom’s encroach, so I lift the veil,
readied for war, unsheathe my sparring blade.

But you wake and part this fog, nudge the gloom
from sunup, and solve mystery’s lament.

Discord on their countenance, your honeyed
song overwhelms all drear, un-snags specters,

prunes dry bouquet of stale words and genres.
You strip thorns: joyous petals reassure

clear pardon for my phantoms and actions.
Our celebration can begin, pierce bright

horizon’s bough. I am saved, each stem braced,
replete within passion and sacred vow.

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, The Voice Project, Courtland Review and The New Verse News. 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); and is a Pushcart nominee.

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