To-Do List

To-Do List
Candle.JPG
Scour bathtub, walls, etc.
Set aside bubble bath
Find candles, matches
Freeze sundae glasses
Find Sinatra mix CD (Reprise cuts, Jobim bossas)
Run hot bath, extra bubbles
Kick off sneaks, rinse stinky feet, etc.
Brush teeth
Boot up sound system, insert mix CD
Call Lex, tell him come home ASAP
Pour Capital Amber into sundae glasses
Set beers, candles on table by tub
Put cat in closed room with treats
Hit “Play”
Greet Lex at door (red nightgown?)
Let nature take course

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
“Candle” by Christoph Michels – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Shay’s “Fireblossom Friday” at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads challenged us to make a list, any list that spoke to us. I’ll be away for two days and when I come home, I will have just missed Lex, who’s attending his family reunion this weekend, so…

…this was the only list worth making.    ;^)    Hope Y’ALL have a fun night!  Peace, Amy

Blinded by the Pattern (dverse)

Blinded by the Pattern

Front room blinds
Lines and ever more lines
Perfect symmetry, vertical, straight
Setting sun squeezes through, says it’s getting too late
Too late for punishing gym workout
Too late for art workshop
Pajamas

I don’t care
I’ll sit here in my chair
Imagining pushups and treadmill
Feign guilt at missing tonight’s yoga (I’m so ill)
Wish giddyap would trump inertia
Blinds help me stay blind to
this pattern

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of WikiCommons, thanks to photographer Petrolli, who graciously uploaded the file for all to use! License can be viewed HERE.

Victoria C. Slotto is the bartender at the dverse Poets Pub, and her prompt was ‘patterns.’  This poem is called, I believe, a triquain, relative of the cinquain.  My syllable scheme for each stanza was 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 – 9 – 6 – 3.  Thanks to the Toads for turning me on to the form, even though I didn’t participate in their take on it!!

I spend many days watching various arrays of sunlight as they stream through the venetian blinds. By the time I’m done pondering their endless lack of diversity (!), I find it’s simply too late to go out.  My new therapist suggested replacing “should” in my mind (as in, “I should go to the gym”) with WANT TO (“I want to go to the gym”). It helps me, honestly! She also said (and I love this), “Stop ‘shoulding’ yourself.” Get it? Got it? Good.

Peace, Amy

Frrp, frrp, frrp…

Frrp, Frrp, Frrp…

Frrp, frrp, frrp, frrp…
His slippers drag in the hall
Pulls the blanket over her head
It’s Daddy’s nighttime call

She has a lot of sore throats
and trouble swallowing pills
Doctor never questions
rashes that sting like quills

And Daddy took her to the hill
to watch the stars at night
And Daddy brought her home so late
She can’t remember things right

Frrp, frrp, frrp, frrp…
The sound will haunt her dreams
Even though he’s dead and gone
He still looms large, it seems

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

If you’re new here, I hope you will take this recollection of being sexually molested for what it is: Dark truth, frank as blood from a tapped vein. I was a victim; eventually, with work, I became a survivor. This is for anyone who gets a flutter reading this poem. Think about starting therapy. There could be something worth harvesting… and throwing away.

For ABC Wednesday, the letter “F.” Check out the link and find some amazing poets! Amy

Carpe See ‘em

Carpe See ‘em

Homeless souls – some call them “bums on the street”
Folded small into their desperate beat

Solo bench or so-low depressed bunch
Waiting for a handout or maybe a lunch

One lady says, “Why bring him into this place?
I don’t mind bums but, right here in my face?”

She’s talking about Ed, who’s depressed, just like me
We’re cousins in ways other people can’t see

Tells me over bagels, he’s long out of work
Routed from working by some kinda jerk

who left a buzzsaw blade-out where he shouldn’t
Blindsided my new friend Ed, who couldn’t

avoid it, no matter how cautious… so now
Ed lives on a deadwood bench – but somehow

he knows “sometimes better’s bound to come”
His faith is real strong… so now who’s the “bum”?

Aforementioned lady attends church every week
I say, “You know, you just called Jesus a freak”

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image obtained through Creative Commons thanks to psyberartist – see licensing HERE.

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Grapeling challenged us to “carpe diem” and remember Robin Williams and his struggles with depression by choosing some words from a list and writing on the subject in whatever way we chose. Since I live on Bipolar Boulevard, all I had to do was walk outside, take this guy to lunch, and we ended up having a great conversation. He turned me on to a bagel place I’d never heard of; we had strong, fair-trade coffee; and over the speakers, I was gifted with a song I will use in ministry tomorrow… but that’s a story for another day.

Robin Williams used to make my hands shake a bit, remembering the cocaine days as he’d imp and jester his way through routines at spitfire pace. But I also recognized what lurked under the surface, as with Jonathan Winters (who was given a gig on “Mork and Mindy” at Williams’ insistence), Lou Costello of Abbot and Costello (whose depression was compounded when his two-year-old son drowned in his family’s new swimming pool, there’s Hollywood irony for you), and so many more. Lots of comedians learn their craft as children, trying to cheer up a family member or escape bullying or simply stand out. Jim Carrey comes to mind.

The woman in this poem actually ‘called me out’ while Ed took a bathroom break. It’s like people don’t want to see the homeless, but they don’t mind bitching about them when they are not in the room.  She’s the kind of “Christian” who gives the rest of us a bad name.

May Robin’s family find peace.  Thanks for the laughs, Robin. I’m sorry you couldn’t see a tomorrow in sight.  Peace, Amy

O, the Dreams We Conjour

O the Dreams for blog 001

I wrote this straight to art paper before I went to sleep the other night. Iraq, US-backed Israel vs. “we already bombed the hell out of the Arab world already” Palestine. Children deserve better. All of us deserve better.

(800) 456-1111, toll-free number for the White House.

Linked to Poets United, Poetry Pantry, free write and who knows what hijinks any one of us will be up to at any given moment?  Give it a try!  Also, although I missed the dverse deadline by TWO DAYS (!), I still want to give you the link for this dverse “small world” PROMPT. There are great things happening at many prompt sites around the WWW (Wonderful World of Words); this is one of my favorite places. That it is called a “poets’ pub” can only enhance! Peace, Amy

BOYCOTT Monsanto (and RoundUp) POST #800!

BOYCOTT Monsanto (especially RoundUp)

Honeybees have my heart
They toil and twirl
Gather and gossip
Buzz and build
Hive and jive

Dandelions earn my smile
They play and paint
Persevere and pop
Sway and spread
Grow and blow
(..seeds on neighbors’
lawns and then man,
are you in trouble
because EVERYone
wants a super double
pristine green lawn)

Dandelions and
honeybees are
best friends! The
flower provides a bit
of power to the
insect in early Spring
when (if one were to
inspect one’s garden)
there are no other
blooms to help
the bees boom.

Don’t RoundUp!
Spare the dandelion.
Don’t buy Monsanto!
They spray craven
substances that can
blow like snow over
fences into defenseless
organic farms.

You like life on this planet?
You can’t do it without bees.
You CAN do it without Monsanto.

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, freely shared by photographer. View original and license HERE.

For a song by my late friend Marques Bovre about Dandelions, click the player. Hope it works!

I didn’t know until recently that the lovely yellows popping up so early in spring are also practically the only source of bits of pollen for the honeybee, helping it to survive until the pollen-rich flowers bloom. That goes for bees cultivated by keepers as well as wild honeybees.

Without honeybees, OUR species would all be gone within weeks. THAT is how crucial bees are to our environment. So even if you like green, green grass, hold off cutting the lawn until the first dandelions wilt. And never EVER use anything from Monsanto. The chemical glyphosol, main component in RoundUp, has been found in breast milk!

Let the dandelions’ freak flags fly!  Thanks to Poets United for the prompt, BOYCOTT.  Man, they have my number, huh?  Amy

Clueless Crux of the Klan

Clueless Crux of the Klan

Bound by
blood-spilled ties
Lies lingering
on forked tongues

Generations of
isolation
indignation
under-education

Toddlers in Klan hoods
pointy as their parents’ heads
Gleaming white dunce caps
Halloween meets HollowHead

Legacy of spittle-drop
shouts and
conspiratorial whispers
“…president is a n*****”

Dude once told me blacks are
‘taking our women’
‘YOUR’ WHAT?
responded/resounded I

Got to
Got to
Got to
keep that bloodline pure

(Just like Hitler, soooo original)

Nazi Yahtzee
Roll the dice
We lose twice

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; view the original image HERE.   “Klan-sheet-music” by Original uploader was Bcrowell at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Klan-sheet-music.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Klan-sheet-music.jpg.

You can’t spell FASCIST without the letters F-A-C-T-S.

The more we learn through calm engagement of racists, the more we understand the root causes. Self-hatred, parental abuse, moms who were subjugated servants, the crass collage; the bleachbright hoods of ultimate cowardice: “I will declare myself the ultimate arbiter of God’s justice, but I’ll do it in disguise.”

Yeah, you so macho.

Thanks to Roger and Mrs. Nesbitt at ABC Wednesday for getting my righteous indignation flowing over the letter “C.” Just remember, I could have picked a worse word!! Peace, Amy

Absinthe Minded

Absinthe Minded

With the grace and delicacy
of a tea ceremony

Wedge-lipped crystal
with bulbous bottom

aswirl with the
green fairy muse of

Wilde and vanGogh
and so many others

A magnificent silver spoon
to pour water over

a sugar cube, to stir
the emerald drowse

Sipped silent/slowly
Connoisseurs’ craving

Slip into halcyon heaven
Linger and luxuriate

Imagine
Create

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse Poets’ Pub, the third anniversary of a vital, vibrant voice in our community. Hope they have the proper equipment behind the bar to pour a round of these! Peace to all, and thanks to Brian, Claudia, and the bartenders for continuing this wonderful tradition. Amy

Dance With Me

Dance With Me

Possessed of a prominent nose
Sloe eyes and sensuous smile
Regina, dancing muse
Real-deal belly dancing, repleat

with silver – snaking around
slender arms, on her ankles
shandangling about her svelte,
supple, flexible waist and hips

Her ultimate adornment was
her boa, whose name time has
swallowed, but whose image is
indelible; the trust, the sure

partnership, he lovingly
encircled her neck and arms,
living jewelry and friend

Slow their duet, slithering
in a Roma-tinged tango,
she so proud of her partner
The two cast a potent spell

Regina often allowed me to
help deliver him back to the
safety of his Indian woven
basket, his genie bottle

He graced my arms with
a cuddle. Warm skin, still
damp with her sweat from
his beloved perch, Regina.

Years later, still dancing,
Regina contracted that
slow-eating cancer, yet retained
her smile, her love of life

Now Regina has crossed over
to the side where pain is no more
Snakes in the hereafter are lining up
for the chance of just one dance

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Regina Star was just that – a queen and a celestial being. She worked with us at the fabled Great American Food & Beverage Company. I have combined several instances in her life to create this portrait. Having love snakes all my life, I was humbled by Regina’s trust that I carry Jack’s basket around at the GAFB 30th anniversary. Cancer had ravaged her body, and yet she danced with the same grace and self-assurance, Jack extending his head past her hand to view the audience. A whirling force of nature, our Regina. May she be at peace.

Oh, and one word to the “eeeew, snakes are slimy” crowd: The next time you are near a boa constrictor (preferably one recently fed!), if you aren’t game to have it be on your body, at least caress it. The smooth skin, the warmth, the decidedly non-slimy nature of snakes… trust me, you’ll dig it!

Written for the Poets United prompt for poems in praise of snakes. Peace, Amy

Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck

Thrill of ozoned air
freshbursting scent
as one slate cloud
butts heads with another

Firmament’s daring exchange
First chains of switchblade
streaks; thunder strikes
from clouds’ loud clash

In love with customary
pelt of hail I walk
To stop me is to defy
another force of nature

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Scotto Bear (free media use) at Wikimedia Commons, License detail HERE.

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Michael (AKA Grapeling) gave us a list of words. To see that list, along with links to myriad original contributors, please click HERE.

City or country, I have always been fascinated with the random, dangerous, glorious free fireworks of thunderstorms. I know it’s probably stupid to walk down the street in one, but I figure with my various brain spasms, a little lightning wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might help! Peace, Amy

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