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

Category Archives: Racism

Clueless Crux of the Klan

Bound by
blood-spilled ties
Lies lingering
on forked tongues

Generations of

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’
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 –

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

OK, I had a HUGE blast of energy after the sun came out, my cough abated, my lungs cleared, and I rode a bike for the first time in 7 years! THREE, count ’em, THREE poems today, so scroll all the way down. One haiku, one thumping Trump (hey, who doesn’t wanna do that?), and a final meditation to bring it all to a proper close. Peace to all who visit this blog, and remember, the Mayans didn’t predict Cortez, so quit sweating 2012!   Amy

First, for ABC Wednesday and that pesky letter, “O,” as well as Sensational Haiku Wednesday:

“O” is for Obama

Birthers, just admit
since proof of birth has been shown:
You hate his black skin.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Now, this is for ABC Wednesday and any blog that included prompts about idiots, f***wits, greedy rich straight white men, and egotists in general:

Obnoxious and Overbearing

Reporters live for this crap
(as Murrow turns slowly in his grave).

The brave blond/redheaded billionaire,
multiple times bankrupt
(and that’s just financially speaking)
arrives in his airbus.

Airbrushed hair sculpted to his scalp
(paging Mr. Softee!).
Face like a sphincter
mind like a gumball machine
mouth like a garbage disposal
spewing mindless accusations about
Place Of Birth and how Proud He Is Of Himself
that He forced the airing of Proof,
the truth that our president is…
well, our president.

TV reality show host,
scion of the sleaziest game in town:
Casinos (the house always wins,
but he still manages to go belly-up again and again).
Three wives (so far), but he’s rich again;
there may be more.

Anderson Cooper’s,
Jon Stewart’s, and
Stephen Colbert’s
collective wet dream:

Trump/Palin 2012!

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Finally, for Three Word Wednesday, using the words, Foolish, Mercy, and Relish. It’s Threefer Friday. Freaky Friday. A good Friday. Peace, Amy

Dry Bones

Bones weathered, dry, sun-bleached
Souls weary, drained, damaged

Who will raise them?
What will give them life, the power
to give and to receive love?
How will they rise from death?

Miracles happen.
The Bible says Ezekiel witnessed
the stop-action resurrection
of a thousand Jack Skellingtons.

Miracles happen
when we see ourselves
in the eyes of the homeless, the starving, the addicted.

Miracles happen
when we see past
our plasma screens, Starbucks, Mastercards
the restaurants we relish,
the foolish ways we overextend ourselves…
and show mercy to those who have nothing.

Miracles happen
when we listen to
our better angels.

Look past things of this world,
take on the burden.
Walk that mile.
Reach out to those who need your touch,
and your sorry, dry bones will be renewed.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also posted at my NaPoWriMo home, Writer’s Island, and at Poets United. Thanks to Rob at Writer’s Island for giving us all a prompt-free space for posting. Allows all of us to use prompts and ideas from different sites, as well as free writes from our own musings. A real blessing to me this year! Kudos, Rob.

Last chance for ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “I.” Please know that I don’t believe ALL Tea Party members are misinformed racist birther idiots. Just most of them. My only prejudice:  bigots! My only problem is with a marked insistence on a refusal to learn throughout one’s lifetime.   Amy


“If he indeed isn’t Indonesian, we insist he prove it.”
(“Was Hawaii an individual state back then?  I wonder…”)

If you’re an ideal American, display flag insignias,
fly Old Glory in front of your home in sun, in rain, in inky night.”
(Incorrect, incidentally; in fact, improper.  But
idiots don’t listen.)

Ignorant, imbued with INSTANT TRUTH
(inscribed illegibly on a chalkboard).
Instilled with self-righteousness by
spiritually insulated evangelists.

Illiterate, or might as well be, when introduced
to a newspaper.
Insisting they already know – don’t confuse them with
intelligently researched facts, in-depth analysis.

Ignorance is bliss.  Idyllic idiots.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Sunday Scribblings posted the prompt, “raw.”  Doesn’t get much rawer than this.  Never forget.  Amy

Raw Nerve

When paneled vans began patrolling towns
in 1930s Germany, offering rides to vagrants,
making house calls on parent
of oddly-formed children,
no one seemed to notice.
No one cared.

When, street by street, whole families of Jews
“moved on” in the middle of the night,
it just have been to another town,
thought the good townspeople.
And though they would miss
Mrs. Weiss’s braided breads,
no one cared.

When each morning smokestacks rained
strange white ash on village streets,
people whispered, but no one spoke aloud.
No one cared.

When swastikas and crosses blurred in symbolism,
the good Christians didn’t think twice.
No one cared.

The secret to brutal injustice,
to tyranny and genocide,
hinges on this:
The majority’s apathy.

No one cared,
much less dared to ask
what the hell was going on.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

… at least I hope I won’t! Voices are for pleading the cause of justice. And for singing! Thanks to Three Word Wednesday for the prompt: Abrasive, Loss, Handful


She’s always been a handful, that Barlow girl
Opinions up the wazoo
and a mouth on her, too

Not the type you’d ever want to curl
up next to for quiet talk
She’s one to squawk

about injustice, poverty, and greed
She never stops
She never drops

the subject, will never heed
warnings from friends
that this stuff ends

with FBI files, a permanent docket
She says what they can bite
if they have the appetite

Her heart is a silver locket
filled with blood and heaven
Film at eleven

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Hey, it’s Thanksgiving. Probably no better time to talk about freedoms (and lack of same) in our country. Oh – and if you’re flying this weekend, please, don’t wear Speedos at the security counter! Your country thanks you for your discretion.  (LOL)  Amy


Our country is bowed, not broken
no matter that Rush and Glenn nay-say
The president erred when he trusted
that Congress believed in fair play

But lobbyists hold all the power
and companies claim their “free speech”
As long as control’s made of dollars
no president can heal the breach

Let’s face it: We all are Americans
regardless what party we choose
So please show this president loyalty
that goes with the reds, whites, and blues

And if you are drawn to militias
just know that you make no sense, just noise
When Bush was in, we didn’t run out of words
So holster your guns, there, cowboys

Our country was founded on precepts
like freedom, rights, and education
If one is in chains, then no one is free
Remember that – you’ll heal our nation

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

OK, I know I’ll get heat for this one… another “stacking” poem for Poetic Asides.


What is holy about the Holy Land?
The Dome dominated by one faith
as Americans do little except contribute
to Israel’s continued building of a wall
choking off Palestinians under slabs of
mentality and political polemic.

“It’s in Israel’s defense and protects American interests.”
It prevents Arabs from getting to the doctor.
How Christian, how Jewish, how holy is that?
And Americans, who cannot feed and clothe
and care for their tired, poor, hungry,
are footing the bill for the contractors.

People who defend Palestinian rights
are called “anti-Semites,” even the Jews who
choose to show mercy on Islamic people.
As though the heads of the State of Israel
speak for all Jewish people around the world.
Tell that to Jews who think Zionism is just another power grab.

Apocalyptics take joy in much of this,
feeling we’re stealing ever closer to the Rapture,
sure they know the year, if not the day and hour,
surer still that they and they alone
will ascend with Jesus, patted on the head,
and to Hell with everyone else!

Until true Godliness prevails, when
Jews, Christians, and Muslims remember
they all worship the same God,
Jerusalem will remain divided at its heart.
So many languages, so many translators,
but no one is listening in Babel.

Spare me your prophesies and Revelation.
If you really love Jesus, you have to love us all.
If you really follow the Torah, you have to love us all.
If you really follow the Prophet Mohammad, you have to love us all.
Israel is not real estate; Israel is a people.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

After the debates in the NYS Gubernatorial race, I was soooo pleased that Poetic Asides posted the prompt, “What I Like About…”  This is an equal opportunity offender!  Even the Dems get it in the butt!


Sure, Cuomo’s in
but I watched the debates anyway
Hoping to see Paladino explode
but he ran offstage to do his exploding in the men’s room
He must have been tranquilized
I didn’t hear a single remark about gays being damned or that his son is STRAIGHT, dammit

I have no horse in this race
since the all-but crowned winner
is same old, same old
and his daddy held the office first
and I saw how that played out in the White House

But the also-rans were great
A former madame for the Anti-Prohibition Party
who, while endorsing legalized marijuana and casinos,
did not endorse legalizing prostitution
Now there’s a confused person

I swear, I couldn’t make this stuff up
Col Sanders is now black
And while rent may BE high
I cannot in good conscience give them my vote
Because the correct name should be
The Rent Is Too DAMNED High Party
I hate bad grammar

Loved the Greens cause they love the earth
Great agenda on the environment
They understand that ‘hydro-fracturing’
is actually ‘hydro-chemicals-including-methane-fracturing’
You can’t frack without chemicals
As Starbuck would say, “Don’t frack with me”

Libertarian, suitably stern
Would privatize everything
and we’d watch our houses burn
if we didn’t keep up our fire dept. payments

Cuomo, silk-suitably smug
Talked like a weiner
I mean winner

There were more candidates, I think
But these were the standouts
I’m going to start my own party
and call it:
The Price Of Prostitutes Is Too Damn High/Don’t Frack With Me/Legalize Pot/Tax The Rich Til They’re Poor/Health Care For All/If You Want To Wear A Hijab or Other Arabic Dress In Public, Juan Williams Will Have To Get The Hell Over It


Sure to tick off the White Separatists and the Black Separatists and… go ahead, give me your best shot in the comments section! Just remember, if you burn a cross on my lawn, my husband is a pastor, so you’ll look really dumb. Amy


In Sunday School we were taught
subtle suburban racism
“Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight”

Less a melting pot than a box of crayons
Let’s lay it down:
We’re all shades of brown.

Humans began in one place
Call it Garden of Eden
Cradle of Civilization
Where the Aliens Landed and Changed Stuff
It was Africa, and we all know it

Some roamed to the north and
their penance was loss of melanin
Climate, diet, you can’t deny it
Beige, buff, tan, taupe
Copper, bronze, sienna
Native Americans are not colored henna
Asians aren’t yellow
(nor are they “inscrutable,” so stop saying that)
Africans aren’t black, but ink is
And this page is white.

If we were made in God’s image,
why do we pick creation apart with prejudice?
Questioning God… the eternal flaw, the ever-present sin

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil