David Anthony Sam

Age of Gold (after Rimbaud “Âge d’or”)

Something very else
above me
in cherubic haze
explains the greenness

of my ten thousand
questions branching
with their
rage and madness–

a gilt sunrise
of recognitions
rising from ice
like daffodil deceit.

Clouds must voice
their gilded silence
in some roiling song
of nimbus deception:

one voice, one clarity,
sister to my breath
but clear in her
philosophy of the unmeant.

Down here I
just get driven
like a screw into wood
or a spade into soil.

Nice castle, I say
to the phantasm
of cloud, as it
unveils immodest glory

in dissipation,
like a drunk
ignored by everyone
in his favored gutter.


Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam is the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria. For most of his life, he lived and worked in the Detroit area, graduating from Eastern Michigan University (BA, MA) and Michigan State (Ph.D.). He lives now in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam’s poetry has appeared in over 80 journals and publications and he has five published collections including Final Inventory, published by Prolific Press in October 2018. Sam’s chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest. His poem, “First and Last,” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award by Poetry Quarterly. Sam teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College where he retired as President in 2017. He serves on the Board of the Virginia Poetry Society.

In 2018, his poems were accepted by The Big Windows Review, Blue Unicorn, Burningword Literary Journal, Carbon Culture Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Dime Show Review, Dual Coast Magazine, The Flexible Persona, Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, Half Mystic Review, Heron Tree, IO Literary Journal, The Magnolia Review. The Mystic Blue Review, The Pangolin Review, Parenthesis Journal, Peach Tree Tavern, Peeking Cat Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Red Queen Literary Magazine, Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Two Cities Review, The Voices Project, Weary Blues Magazine, and The Write Place at the Write Time.