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

Category Archives: Seasons

WIsc WInter 001Artwork © Amy Barlow Liberatore

Wisconsin Winter Weather

Weather winces
Wisconsinites, whether
winkled or wrinkled

Why would we winter
where winds’re
wild, wooly?

Woven, wistful warmth within

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, as well as ABC Wednesday – this week, of course, the letter W! “Amy Bawwo Wiberatowe”


Fall Depression Full 001

Fall Moves In (a lament)

A hearty breeze brings
a shower of shattered shedlings
scattered on the lawn

At dawn, slippery, slothful
lying low; sunup warms and
wakes them to crunchcrackle delight

Within the crowd, can you see?
Lost souls… no tree to shelter them
Fodder for the loathsome length

of punishing, pewter-sky winter

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Artwork © Amy Barlow Liberatore (open image in new window for closer view)

More artwork from me, drawn this time for the theme of the poem.

I already have a head start on the winter blues.
Lots of you know what I mean, and I’ll take on the subject of “holly jolly consumerism” later on.
The thought gave birth to verse and art, so I guess something good came out of it!
For Poets United’s Poetry Pantry and Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.
Peace and light, Amy


The Underbelly of Spring
Riley Little Snow 001
In Vermont, they have two seasons:
Winter, plus a week of bad sledding.

In Puerto Rico, you wouldn’t know spring
if it rose up and bit you in your tanned ass.

In Wisconsin, it’s freeze, then thaw, then
freeze again… then roast in your bedding.

In Upstate NY, you go to school to get
ready for finals and sweat through class.

Spring is an unpredictable, mercurial,
unsentimental storm of hot and cold.

April may shower, but May does not
guarantee flowers or blue skies.

May is here, yet Spring has snowstorms
hidden in the seasonal envelope’s fold.

It’s muddy. It’s messy and inconvenient.
Spring hides behind a sunny-side disguise.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Izy wanted the truth about Spring… all the bad parts. I’ve been through the season in every place mentioned, and I guarantee that I never put away the snow shovel until after Mother’s Day. We once had a surprise storm on (no joke) May Day, and it dumped three feet of wet snow, made me pull little Riley back to the house from the ditched car on a plastic sled, and still the Jeeps and SUVs were out on the road doing donuts. That’s the storm that made possible the picture of Riley above! Whodathunkit?

Also at my poetic all-season resort, Poets United.  Peace, Amy


Wisconsin Mud

Autumn task
Baskets of weeds
Seeds fall to soil
Toil with the tiller

Clay ground first
Curse of my garden
Hardens like rock
Mocks my feeble shovel

Red, this level
Beveled by tilling machine
Green detritus mixes
Fixes a greyer hue

Potting soil on top
Prop myself with a rake
Stakes then reposted
Toasted from our labors

Add soil meant for pot
Plot now proper brown
Garden set for sleep
Steep some tea and rest

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Sunday Scribblings, the prompt was simply “mud.” I’m also putting this on a shelf in the Poetry Pantry at Poets United and spilling on the bar at dverse Open Mic Night!

Of course, the damnable ironweed of earlier in the season (CLICK HERE) refused to disclose the center of its evil web of roots, and the pye wede followed suit. Monica planted some spring bulbs in front; a failed daisy plant finally sprang into life in late autumn, surprise! More daisies will be planted, as well as tiger lilies, the bulbs go in now. Next spring, we hope to have a plethora of pots: Herbs, petunias, Sweet William, lobelia, and Johnny Jump-ups (my favorite).


Sunburn

Growing up, we had a pool.
This guaranteed us friends
during dog days, kids diving
for pennies, singing along to
my sister’s transistor radio.

I learned to be graceful there.
Normally prone to clumsiness,
I glided like a siren on her way to
a gig tempting sailors who’d crash
their crafts on the rocks below.

Underwater, the mermaid learned
how to swim a full lap in one breath,
then two laps. But the best part was
dinner hour, when the kids got called
home and I had the pool to myself.

Dad worked hard and drank late,
so we’d eat whenever he drove in.
One afternoon, I lay face-down
on a long raft, hands grazing water
as one bothers timothy grass in the field.

No one called me in for supper.
Result? Even Black Irish, brown-eyed
girls get the occasional sunburn, but
this was a blistering, “degree” burn,
with ointments and aloe and sympathy.

As the burn dried and began to peel,
my sister Jo used her nails to scratch
a perfect heart on my back. This artwork
grossed out the kids, which was, of course,
the point.

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Karin Gustafson, hosting dverse today, wanted memories of summer. This one stuck with me for two reasons; first, my sisters took after my English father, blonde hair and blue eyes, and they burned easily, so my mother’s brown-eyed Irish heritage usually saved me from that fate. Second, the fact that my sister Jo would take so much time creating on my back made me feel special.

Also at my poetic kiddie pool, Poets United. Peace, Amy


The first is for Sensational Haiku Wednesday (yeah, it’s Saturday, I know!), and the second was written for my friend Kelly’s blog but never posted. This is also posted at my poetic hearth, Poets United.

Peace be with you all. Amy

FOR SENSATIONAL HAIKU WEDNESDAY: “Anticipation” theme

Red leaf shivering
ready to drop to fertile ground
Life cycle complete

——————————————–

FOR EVERYONE, so they may understand what some call “crazy.”

THE OTHER-MINDED

I am one of the “other-minded”
We filter truth through a lens tinted by our mood
or lit by the fullest moon
to create art, to fulfill our promise

Who else will capture the infinite loneliness
of the slab mattress in the suicide ward?

The blurred visions of panic in a grocery store,
surrounded by cardboard people
blithely stuffing their carts with Cocoa Puffs?

Who else will bear witness to
the undulation of one’s naked self in a mirror,
mesmerized by the sheer loveliness reflected?

Who but we have days we celebrate
for their sheer boredom
Walking the fields of home
while ceiling-gazing in midcity?

We endure darkness, yet we bathe in
the glorious light that follows

We stumble, then venture down a path
the “sane” would never dare.

Our words, our artwork,
our songs and poems
breathe both bleakness and dizzying victories;
improbable stories of
real people they’ll think we made up
(if only it were so…)

We are labeled misfit toys
but we dance on the edge
of a rolling coin
that never comes to rest

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Three Word Wednesday prompted us with: Cease, Heat, and Nasty. A million ways you can go with that, but I was reminded of those punishing Manhattan summers. Thom G, thinking of you and my other NYC friends now.

This is also at our poetry collective, Poets United, which (if you scroll down to the second article) has an interview with… MOI! I was so honored. Thanks again, Sherry Blue Sky, for tapping into my brain. A brave chore, that! Amy

City Summer

City sidewalks
drink in summer heat
absorbing as through pores and
releasing a scalded, nasty smell:

Part spilled lattes
Parts updraft of subway tracks, their litter and rats
Part dog who missed the tree
Part dog owner who didn’t bring a plastic bag

Part bare feet of the homeless,
never to cease their quest for
the shelter of a bit of shade

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Writer’s Island wanted an answer to the prompt: SIZZLE. Perfect time of year to contemplate that notion! Also posted at my poetic home-away-from-blog, Poets United. Peace, Amy

Summer Sizzle

Surrender your boots and your tight-knitted cap
This summer, silk underwear’s taking a nap

Let’s throw all the earmuffs into winter storage
And stock up on ice cream, forsaking hot porridge

Unpack all the swimwear and beach towels as well
Sunscreen 64, lest I burn all to hell

The long winter’s passed, all we see is sunshine
Surrender to summer, a true state of mind

The burgers will sizzle out on the gas grill
We’ll put local microbrews on ice to chill

And speaking of “sizzle,” because I’m so teeny
Just wait ‘til you see me new hot-pink bikini

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Springing to Life Again

‘Tis the season of Winter’s evaporation
as Spring supersedes chill,
tugs at our trowels,
breathes into us tiny moments of joy.

Water, as mist, rising in the fields
as fodder for mudslides in the canyons,
as morning nymph, awakening seaweed
beneath the shoreline.

Water, released from stasis;
then, in Nature’s tightly embroidered womb
disappearing in the evaporation
that will bring the earth full cycle; back to balance.

World awakening.  Welcome!

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore

For A Whirl of Wordling Sundays, Writer’s Island, and as always, Poets United.

Wordle words:   tugs, seaweed, mist, tiny, released, breathes, slides, evaporation, embroidered, water, river, supersedes


At Three Word Wednesday, we were given the words, Breeze, Mellow, and Tickle.  I’m posting two!  Amy

Tickle of Spring

Wisconsin weather’s fickle,
so imagine my surprise
when a new-sprung weed did tickle my bare legs below my thighs.

The season’s first red robins
were singing in the trees
as waking wisps of summer
hummed softly in the breeze.

There’s nothing quite so mellow
as an overture to summer…
but lest a blizzard interrupt,
the shovel stays put. Bummer!

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil