Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Category Archives: Back Yard

Simple Summer Pleasures

simple things
seeing sunrise after a good night’s slumber
strrrrrretching to the tune of birdsong
Smell of Sumatran coffee, steaming and silky

A decent back scratch, administered by someone special
Some time in the garden amongst slinky, slimy worms and snickering birds (beaks full of seeds just strewn)
Sitting on the porch, swig of beer, clack of dominoes, sunset smiles

Snuggled on the couch, where in our house,
“Netflix and chill” means
watching an actual movie with the air conditioner on high

Sweet dreams, beautiful summer day
See you at sunrise

© 2019 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Beehat Baby Publishing

Thanks to Roger at ABC Wednesday for this prompt, the letter S. Was just out in the garden, surveying my new raised bed, built for me by Lex and our friend Stephanie. Will probably wax poetic about that little garden soon. Amy

Hydrangeas on Block Island, 1988
Image by Joanne Bergenwall,
licensed under Wikimedia Commons

Blooms began to give way to age
as summer heat set in, bushes and
hedges of hydrangea, a veritable
fantasy of violet on the small island.

The guys were gigging there and I
was large with Riley, up early each
morning to watch blossoms adorning
the pathway to town. I walked down

to the gate and set out around the block
taking stock of purple bunches, hung
on branches like ornaments. The most
lovely stage of the hydrangea is in its

swan song: Faded to a pinkish hue as
crisp brown edges form, they look like
the silk inside of my Grandma’s purse.
Violet, you were never lovelier than

that summer, me in full childbearing
bloom, you holding on long enough
to strut your stuff and bring me peace
before the band awoke, grumbling.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Riley’s father had a gig on Block Island, just off the coast of Rhode Island. I skipped a lot of the performances, preferring to sit on a rocker on the front porch and talk to our hostess about our baby to be. We’d watch as an elbow or foot almost punched through my thin summer dress, chatting. We spoke of the bushes, and violet was the choice of everyone on her block. In Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple, the character Shug declared, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” I think she was onto something.

This was for Kim Nelson’s “violet” prompt at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.  During my meditation today, I was whisked back in time, when I was in as full a bloom as the flowers.  Peace, Amy

Hey, y’all, sorry I have not posted for a couple of days. Lex presided at a wedding – lovely couple, loving family, lively friends. I was involved as a “second pair of hands” with things like, “WHERE ARE THE BOBBY PINS!!??” and offering to run to the drug store for that, some Advil… you know the drill. Rewarded with a beer on the Bridal Bus while the couple were taking pictures. Adventure for those two just beginning. (CUE THE CARPENTERS)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a hymn to back yards everywhere.


Step out our sliding back door
and step into a condo-life miracle.

A huge yard, formed by buildings
on every side, protected play space.

Little Graham next door draws
on the back stoop: smell the chalk.

(Oops! He also needs a change,
says my keen mommy’s nose.)

His Dad drills heavenly brats and
neighbor Diane drools, “I’ll take three.”

We sit in lawn chairs, share local
beers; a whiff of malt wafts on the breeze.

Freshly mown grass, green aroma
mingling with fading lilacs.

And now Jean’s baked muffins add
a gentle vanilla to the other scents.

One perfect June evening… with
our neighborhood potpourri.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Triple Oaks Nursery and Herb Garden of South Jersey. Check out their page – beautiful blooms abound!

For Poetic Bloomings, to the prompt, “In the air.” Also at my poetic playground, Poets United. This new neighborhood has brought back some wonderful memories, especially the yard… it’s patrolled by every stay-at-home parent and home-office resident. We have all planted gardens to our own taste, and it’s burgeoning blooms here in Madison! Peace, Amy