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

Category Archives: Night

For Poets United, Thursday Think Tank, we were asked to think about the beach. I’ve lived in Santa Monica, where many nights were spent on the beach (under various influences); Bermuda, where the sand really IS pink… but for my money, there was a romance in the salt air of Puerto Rico that remains unmatched. No offense to Bermuda or LA! Amy

 

THE BEACH AT SAN JUAN

San Juan beach at twilight
Strolling barefoot on cool sand
Sandals looped round my finger
Arm round the waist of a sweet soul
Head resting on his shoulder

We stop to regard the city from this place
The casinos at full tilt, the street filled with tourists
Then, as lovers do, we turn away and disregard
the frantic pace and rumble of night life
to discover and rediscover the essence of closeness

The sky holds a sliver of silver, stars shining all the more
for the moon’s modest reflection
Tide moving gently, water licking our toes

We sit in silence/not silence
Rhythm of a shared heart
Swish of Corona sipped from bottles
Breeze playing brushes on tall palms
air tinged with salt and
heavy with jasmine
filled with promise

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


From Brenda Warren’s blog, A Wordling Whirl of Sundays (a new favorite prompt of mine – check it out!).  Words from the Wordle form appear in bold within my poem.  Check Brenda’s blog to see what other poets came up with, and to view the actual Wordle block, which for some reason would not reproduce here.  Peace, Amy

 

Twilight Ablaze

Deep in this planet’s twilight,
a confidently striding soul has fallen.
His head came up against a heavy branch; both cracked.
Now he lies still.

His cigarette smolders,
its sparks set dry leaves afire.

A light breeze spreads flames as
the night wind tails toward the valley below,
turning a slight accident into
the full-throated cry of hundreds of neighbors
afraid their homes will not be spared.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This poem is also at Poets United, my poetic collective home.  Click on their link and discover a WORLD of amazing poets!


Off-prompt today… soothing thoughts from the sickbed of yours truly… and it’s written in one of the few forms I have been able to capture with any sense of satisfaction – the shadorma. Peace, Amy

Late At Night (a shadorma)

Late at night
A fine resting place
‘neath the stars
on soft grass
bathed in moonlight still spilling
silver on the field

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This is also published at my Poem A Day home, Writer’s Island, and at Poets United.


At Three Word Wednesday, the prompts were: Dainty, Haunting, and Tantalize. Took me days to get to this place… and not one I relish being in. But some things must be said. Amy

Desserts (3WW: Dainty, Haunting, Tantalize)

Petit fours, marzipan
Dainty cupcakes set
in a tantalizing row
each night for his consumption

Little girls on display
Sleeping delights to his watchful eye
This patisserie from Hell
is haunting me still

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


While I am editing several poems on the public protest over workers’ rights here in Madison, I need to take a break and answer a call to a prompt. Too much politics leads to personal unrest, and self-care is a huge part of successfully managing my manic depression… so meditation and writing are a big help!

At We Write Poems, we were asked to write about “safe places.” I was a rover in my twenties, and these are but a few of the places were I laid my head to rest…

Safe Havens

An unheated, leaky garage at an old rocker’s compound

A couch in a flophouse

The egg-crate pads laid on the floor of a nudist commune

Haystacks in a barn, as we helped with the harvest

Marcia and Jesse’s closet, the door unhinged (as was I),
the most comfortable vortex of all…

The beach in Venice, where I lay under an umbrella of starts
watching the slivered silver moon dance through my tripping eyes

An SRO, hot plate heating Chunky Beef Soup

Looking back at these havens, all were safe
Some were filled with love.
others with the scent of cow patties
and the sweat of an honest day’s work.

And still others bore the sweetness of smoke
from Mendocino County’s finest…

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


I couldn’t resist this prompt from We Write Poems. Then I’m definitely stopping until February! The prompt was to revise an old poem, and this one was reworked for my chapbook, Dance Groove Funhouse (shameless plug: See right column to order a copy. I could use the encouragement! There’s nothing in there your grandma couldn’t read.)

I had to rework it because it had the “F” word in it (as well as “shit”) and I decided the first was too harsh and the second could be replaced with the infinitely funnier word, “crap” – even though I’m a salty dame, I was considering my readers and felt that this slight bowdlerism was apropos. Also, I kept the line about the airgun even though I’m a pacifist, because this is about feelings, not what you’d really do. Finally, I broke up the days more clearly.

What came out was, to me and to many readers, a better poem altogether. Let me know what you think! Amy

THE LARK

SATURDAY MORNING

Lazing after lush, lazy sleep I am
awakened by a lark
perched beneath my bedroom window
serenading me of the day to come
Thank you, God, for this blessing
the wakeup call from heaven
Birdsong on a Saturday morning

LATE SUNDAY NIGHT

Working 9-5
Long into the night, I tossed and turned 3 a.m.
again
The alarm will grant me 6:45
Then it starts
That stinking bird
Sackful of crap that will undoubtedly be dispensed
on my windshield
If only I had
an airgun

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Previously published in the chapbook, Dance Groove Funhouse


Sometimes you get a prompt from a blog… sometimes from the moon above. Peace to you all, Amy

THE LONGEST NIGHT

Solstice birthed a full moon
A bulging butternut squash
cleaved open to reveal pale orange flesh

No bleak midwinter’s night, this
My world illuminated by moonbeams
peeking through slits of hastily closed drapes

The moon reminds me of life
Life waiting its turn under downy blankets of snow
Life in stars half hidden by a light cloud cover

Life behind facades of houses on Main
as I make my way back from the market
where bored cashiers wish me “Happy Holidays”

Life beyond this Moon and beneath it
To be lived gratefully, audaciously, fully
with a child’s abandon and faith in tomorrow

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Sunday Scribblings wanted to hear thoughts about December. Long ago and far away, I was a Manhattanite…

CITY SNOW AT EVENING

Central Park in December
At dusk the sun has dipped below
the stark skyline
casting reflections of blue
on the new-fallen snow

It’s as if even the snow knows
it’s part of an urban landscape
the color of steel and
the crunchy crust it so readily forms
As if to say,
“Hey, there’s nothing fluffy to see here
Move along, now”

Making my way across 72nd Street
the heat of the subway has already risen
and melted this fresh blessing
into muddy pools of rusted slush

It’s City snow, all right
It won’t last the night

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


This is a poem from my first, self-published chapbook, DANCE GROOVE FUNHOUSE, available now! Read details to the right to order one for yourself! (Shameless self-promotion) Amy

THE LARK

SATURDAY MORNING

Lazing after lush, lazy sleep I am
awakened by a lark
perched beneath my bedroom window
serenading me of the day to come
Thank you, God, for this blessing
the wakeup call from heaven
Birdsong on a Saturday morning

LATE SUNDAY NIGHT

Working 9-5
Long into the night, I tossed and turned 3 a.m.
again
The alarm will grant me 6:45
Then it starts
That stinking bird
Sackful of crap that will undoubtedly be dispensed
on my windshield
If only I had
an airgun

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Thanks to progressive radio host (and proud WNYer) Stephanie Miller for the phrase “Stupid O’Clock.” She’s a wonderful antidote to Beck and Rush, along with Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes… if your city CARRIES progressive radio.

STUPID O’CLOCK STUCK (Writer’s Island past prompt)

Jagged maze
zigzagging from row to row
frenzied search for the Big Cheese
Cheating, skipping lines, flying across the labyrinth

Cornered by repetitions of
jumbled choruses
at stupid o’clock in the
late night of soul’s mourning

My frontal lobe
a lava lamp bursting with I don’t know
Each thought glomming onto the next
Floating in inky blue warmth

Even with the pillow
pulled tight over my head
desperate for sleep, still the sight
Molasses morass glowing

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil