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

Category Archives: Dreams

At Sunday Scribblings, the call was for the theme “manifesto.” This seems apropos as we approach the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am killer-diller of all manifesto proclamation days… you know what I’m talking about: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!


No matter what the resolution
I always messed it up
I confess, I’m mistress of the
revolution against New Year’s promises
all broken by Valentine’s Day

That year of the grapefruit diet
I fainted in the street
Lack of protein, said the doctor
Thus began the evolution of my desire
to quash sad manifestos

Friends who “will quit smoking on January first”
Suck ‘em up Dec. 31
Like a junkie determined to
wrench the monkey from his back
but keeps the tourniquet as a memento

Gyms are packed that first week of the year
Then one by one, they peel off
petals of a fading rose
that shrivels for lack of water
or that packet of crap you’re supposed to dissolve in the vase

Let’s face it.
New Year’s resolutions are
useless self-sabotage
Setting yourself up for failure
before the hangover even kicks in

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

My old friend George is about to embark on a journey most of us would envy… the kind where, when we’re old and sitting in a nursing home with a bib catching our drool, we rasp, “I should’ve done that, taken that trip, dropped it all and gone off to discover why I’m here and what life could have been.”

He stopped off for a last visit with Lex and me before liftoff. I scribbled these lines in hopes that he has a safe voyage and finds what he’s looking for… or it finds him!  Godspeed, my courageous brother.


Can there be
a better place
than what’s around the bend?

Goodbye once again,
and cramming into
his car, fairly brimming with

all the necessities.
A few luxuries:
DVDs to play once there

Sojourning toward Someday,
Will it end,
this road, this exquisite journey?

Or will he
touch down lightly
where peace and love collide?

Where he feels
alive at last.
At present, tense – but future…

Don’t give up
on these dreams
of belonging in the world.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I finally got around to creating a chapbook, self-published and quite the attractive little pamphlet, if I do say so myself.

Dance Groove Funhouse is a group of 23, count ’em 23 poems in an environmentally friendly format of 8 pages plus cover (I know, the purists say “one poem per page,” but I am not psychologically equipped to kill that many trees in the name of self-expression).

For just SIX BUCKS (including postage), you can thrill to poems about:

Dance Groove Funhouse (where anything goes)
Memories of washing clothes “the old-fashioned way” with Mom
A lark that morphs from songbird to a complete pain in the ass in two stanzas
Stargazing in upstate New York
A love poem to my husband (Nothing graphic. I said “love poem,” not “sex poem”!)
Amy Island (more of anything goes, but there’s beer on tap in this one)
The fork I found in the middle of a road… an actual fork. On an actual road.
My mother’s progressive comments on black musicians going in ‘the back way,’ circa 1940s
A locket with two views of my daughter, both entertaining

…and (as they say) much, much more!

I don’t have PayPal or any of that high-tech stuff, so let’s do some snail mailing, shall we?

Send a check for $6 (also covers postage) per copy and received your PERSONALIZED, AUTOGRAPHED COPIES soon. Order for friends! They also make great bathroom reading – ask my husband and neighbors!

Make the check out to Amy Barlow Liberatore and mail your request to:
Amy Barlow Liberatore
48 Main Street
Attica, NY 14011

…and don’t forget to include any dedications you’d like in the autograph. You know, “To Polly, for the bottom of your birdcage, Love, Amy” and stuff like that. Seriously, thanks for supporting this Sharp Little Pencil! Amy

Written for the “Envision” prompt at Writer’s Island, my Saturday hangout. Peace, Amy


Unthinkably vast
Earthly limitations banished
Swirling channels of gold
Soft, dry, enveloping
The comforting experience of a universe
you never recognized, yet never left

The essence of your spirit
breaks through an eggshell membrane
Penetrating a place that is not a place
but a pool, ocean, sea, sky
constellation of love and nothing more

Picture love’s embrace
in a place called Eternity

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At Poetic Asides, we’re writing about the future. This is my dream:

Bandaids will heal
Surgeons won’t harm
Counselors will hear
taking to heart
all the hurt
hidden in the heads
of those whose health
depends on wholeness


© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


I caught a glimpse of it, once
That shining “city on a hill”
Neither city nor hill
but neverending beauty the color of
champagne, equally intoxicating
but with neither hangover nor regret

I caught a glimpse of where we’re going
It shines, it glistens, it listens
Neither here nor there
but everywhere there is love
given freely and without precondition
and neither bought nor sold

I caught a glimpse when I needed faith
I cried out and was answered
Not with words nor with angels
but the feeling of arms about me
cherishing me for myself alone
and me with nothing to give but thanks

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


And she said, “Let there be no more war.”

She challenged leaders who had disagreements
to meet at round tables, with mediators

In the event of violence
the leaders themselves were escorted to a boxing ring
where they could keep their fight personal
and not send the young to die over what was essentially
hubris and hurt feelings

She was a wise leader who set the stage
for a new age of peace

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Another take on that lovely word, Imagine. Most of us fly in our dreams – sometimes it seems quite real…

FREE FLIGHT (Writer’s Island, Imagine)

Wandering into the enchanted field
petting daisies, grazing the tips of
grasses grown wild and tall

She centers herself
gripping damp ground with her toes
Eyes close and her face turns skyward

Arms rise from her sides and she
wills her body to follow
Heels peel off the earth, then her toes

Opening her eyes, she is just off the ground
hovering, delighted, a featherweight being
Now comes the real work

She launches into a vertical breaststroke
slowly, loving the feel of her fingers moving through
humid air as though along a pond

The field is far below her now; her house is
a Lego-sized block. She levels off her ascent
and pushes farther into the atmosphere

Over hills, touching the tops of Douglas firs
Swooping down over the river, she waves to
kids swimming on the lakeshore

Look, they whisper, Why don’t our parents
believe us? She doesn’t wait for night
She take flight when we can watch her

But the grownups are too busy, away from the
places in nature where she can be spied
so only children are inspired to try and fly

Someday, she muses, I will have a daughter
and we will take a night flight, hand in hand, close to
the harvest moon, as fireflies light the way

And when we’ve had enough of airborne travel
we’ll come to rest on our own roof
feet dangling over the eaves. Wondering, laughing

How many are blessed with the power of flight?
She doesn’t know, but thinks it must be very few
for she’s never seen another in all her travels

Her mother taught her the secret: Let go of the world
let the air fill you up past your lungs, so deeply
that you are the air. Let go and be free

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Sharp Little Pencil