Poems

Online Publications

Barren Magazine“The Weight of Spit”

Barren Magazine 2019 Poetry Contest, 2nd Place: “To My Eldest at the Age of Burning”

Cider Press Review“How Mom Quit Saying Shit”

Cold Mountain Review (also in print): “Peeling Bark for Bread” & “A Tomato Sandwich for the End-Times”

Cumberland River Review: “The Black Snake on My Lawn”

The Lascaux Review: “When We Believed the World Wouldn’t End”

Longleaf Review: “And the Leaves, the Flowers”

Noble / Gas Qtrly“Six Crows”

Still: The Journal (finalist, “Judge’s Choice”): “The Gods Who Might be Geese”

Verse Daily: “To the Turkey Vulture Pacing the Field”

Wild Goose Poetry Review: “The Path to Bees,” “Building Fire,” & “Absolution at the Trash Compactor”

Print Publications

The Carolina Quarterly: “The Geese Who Might be Gods”

Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry (as “Featured Collection”): “Otter and Trout,” “The Collision,” “Waking from Tooth-Loss,” “How to Speak With the Dying When the Dying Cannot Speak,” & “Of My Friend Who Gives Good Advice”

Main Street Rag Magazine: “Tasting Wood Sorrel” & “Silence Like”

Pembroke Magazine: “To the Turkey Vulture Pacing the Field”

The Pikeville Review: “My Brother and His Friend Pause From Their Work to Raise My Mower From the Dead,” “Un-swaddling,” “Posthumous Harvest,” & “To the Whitetail Deer Who Fled the Field”

Pinesong (Awards Anthology of the North Carolina Poetry Society): “Speak of Rivers” (Sarah Bessent Hayman Poetry of Love Award, 1st Place), “The Church of Unmaking” (Poetry of Witness Award, 1st Place)

Witness: Appalachia to Hatteras: “Deathbed Fashion Show,” “Moon Clippings for Birds,” “On Teaching (Not Preaching) Poetry,” “Grendel’s Mom,” and “Dead Bird  Poem”

 The Geese Who Might be Gods

As though they could wash
darkness from their necks,

these geese dive deep
for what crawls
between stone and mud.

Webbed toes and feathered thighs
spark a flash of spray—
birthing stars

that shimmer
to death
within moments.

When the river
is more light
than water,

light-speed slows in eddy flows,
wrapping round
moss-crowned mounds

and slick, black bodies of fallen
trees, taming time’s whirr
to murmur and mumble;

the geese ride this drift—
upstream, downstream, ferry, or surf:
current makes no difference to them.

On river rock,
above water’s crawl,
they stand stoic as totems,

each neck curved from puffed
chest into an S
for all their secrets,

testing the air
for next season’s chill.
When it comes, they leave,

following the Lost Land’s
flyway, free of
the Titan’s load.

Heads stretch forward,
heralding like trumpets
as though departure were arrival.

Wings make
a great beating, shaking
river from undersides:

too little for a flood,
too cold for a blessing.