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

Tag Archives: Activism

Singer, Poet, Activist

Sings of love, peace, acceptance
Writes of mental illness, protest, LGBT alliance
(plus incest, sexual abuse and other taboos)
Acts to make the second shed its shame and
be embraced by the first

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Trifecta, we were asked to write about “three things in one,” in exactly 33 words. Also at my poetic all-in-one site, Poets United (proud to be a member!). Peace, Amy


Black Sheep (a tale of three sisters)

Our mother, civil rights fighter

Big sister
Rebellious, slutty teen
Now Fundamentalist Rightie

Middle sister
Former activist
Now Tea Party

Little sister
Feminist, liberal Christian social activist

Two drank Kool-Aid

I’m an orphan

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Trifecta, the challenge was to use the “Rule of Three,” in exactly 33 words. Hope my sisters do not read this, but, hey, if they do, it’s true! The number three was always tricky, as Mom (social justice applying everywhere but in our home) often pitted us against each other.

Triangulation, thy name is Charlotte.  Love you, Mom, but really…!  Peace to all, Amy


DECLARATION OF AN ALLY OF THE QUEER COMMUNITY

Queer. That word stops
folks from my generation
dead in their tracks.
We don’t say that word.

Queer.
Always an insult, the word shouted
by football players before stuffing a
loafer-light boy into a wastebasket.

Queer.
Not right. Wrong.
In Matthew Shepard’s case, dead wrong.
Tied-to-a-bumper wrong.

Queer.
The word my daughter uses
in identifying her orientation.
She dresses boyish but loves women.

Queer.
They’re here. Your accountant, your dentist,
your kid’s teacher (not the one with the
porn on their computer, either).

Queer.
Homophobes use it to describe
boys other than their own sons, who
ship out in the Navy to prove they are “real men.”

Queer.
Mom explained it when I was five.
No graphic descriptions of sex,
just, “Uncle John loves Uncle Tony.”

It’s simple.
People are people.
Half the sexual acts straight couples do
could get them arrested in Mississippi.

Queer.
They’re here. Get over it.
They are committed couples.
They adopt kids straight couples don’t want.
They rehabilitate crack babies.
They are wonderful neighbors.
They shop; they pay taxes.
Some are slobs, some are fashionable.
Some drink wine, some drink beer.
Some go to church, some don’t.
They are human beings who are
capable of love, of compassion,
of snottiness, of loyalty.
They deserve life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.

Just like you.
Just like me.
Just like everybody else.

Amen.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter Q.

And no, that is not a picture of me.  It’s me in 20 years or so!


Wild in the Streets

Those crazy Wisconsinites
From Madison to Green Bay
They’re getting ready
The signs are up; protests continue

Bikers now pump their tires full
Those who walk are re-Scholling their shoes
Unions are getting out the vote
Churches are getting out the vote

Raging Grannies are getting out the vote
College students are getting out the vote
The handicapped are all accessible:
Teachers, farmers, union rank and file

Families on public assistance
People whose jobs were cut to give fat cats tax breaks
Women in general
(Hell, he doesn’t discriminate, he hates ALL of us)

Governor Doofus. Dumber than a sack of rocks.

We’re jumping in the pool
We’re jamming the polling places
We’re ready to make our stand
We’re gonna tell the Koch Brothers that

WISCONSIN IS NOT FOR SALE.

And when we’re done, we’ll meet
on State Street for some local brew
Scott Walker, start packing now
Save us the embarrassment of evicting you

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings (‘wild’) and for Poetic Bloomings, asking for poems based on a movie title.

“Wild in the Streets” is a cult classic about a pop star who eventually gets into politics.  Once he’s president, he mandates things like putting people in nursing homes on LSD.  It’s a true stinker, but the title was perfect for how some Tea Party members from other state view us, as we strive to get the incompetent man pictured above out of our everyday lives.  Teabaggers still don’t get that they have been co-opted by the Brothers Koch, who pull all the strings and want to privatize schools and end reproductive freedoms.  Silver-spoon trust fund babies; never really had to work because Daddy left them everything!


If you are a true Tea Party member, you might want to skip this one, since it defies the Gospel According to St. Viagra.

Prove It

If corporations are people,
why don’t they have
lungs and
genitalia?
Female corporations
are denied contraception.
Rush is a straight corporation?
He should do something procreative
with “beard” Wife #4 and prove it!

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta: Poem in 33 words that justifies having an exclamation point. Title not included in the word count.
Also at my poetic cafe, Poets United.


It’s Twofer… Thursday! Three prompts in two poems. Each prompt is listed under the appropriate work. It’s a sunny day, and things are looking up in Amyville! If you want your day to be even better, click on the links for the various poetry sites and look at the astounding work out there in cyberbeautyland! Peace, Amy

Just One Wish

If I could have just one wish…

I’d melt all weapons, from
handguns to tanks

Forge farm tools for land to be tilled by
hands that formerly pushbuttonlaunched drones
Hands that flew off wrists as Hummer hit IED.

Honest work for real pay,
homes for all, bellies full.
The sick tended,
violence ended,
people defended
by reason, not rockets.

By wisdom, not war.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Carry On Tuesday, prompt: Finish this poem, “If I had just one wish…”

And now… sidetracking into true ignorance!

Homophobes

“Deviant” is a concept
born of miniscule minds
and religious cherry-pickers
who have bad translations of the Bible.

They dwell on the trivial
while ignoring real problems
which require substantial effort…
and that are apparently not their concern.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday (Deviant, Miniscule, Trivial) and ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “H.”

Both are also at my poetic hangout, Poets United.


WARNING:  NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

———————————–

Two different views of the same woman – one from across the room, one within.  A true story, based on experiences with a multiracial social justice group.  Eventually, we came to an understanding… Amy

Dissonance: The Races, We Run

See that white lady
She so smug, so set
Grew up in suburbs
Daddy workin a steady job
Mom at home, waiting for kids from school

See that white lady
She grew up with privilege
No latchkey, no projects, no “free lunch” line
She told me they had a pool out back with sharks in it
What the hell she talkin

See the same white lady, staring in the mirror
See her take all those prescription drugs
to keep it together, 50 years after the fact
After the house on the cul de sac
Watch her heaving sobs in the therapist’s office

‘Cause some nights, the swimming ended and
The Shark grew lungs and feet and
a heavy, stumbling footfall
He’d open her bedroom door
and feast

Peel back the siding of the placid ‘burbs
Tread carefully the manicured lawns
Pick up a spyglass, examine the nasty underbelly
Throw open the drapes at midnight
Breathe deep – the stench of incest and vermouth

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Also for ABC Wednesday (brought to you by the letter “D”) and, as always, Poets United.


During all the recall mishigoss, I had time to write something more all-encompassing! Here’s to the new America, as envisioned by Newt, Rick, and (depending on the day) Mitt (featuring backup vocals by Michele and Sarah):

Anthem for a New Party

Harken to the new American song!
The mating call of the vulture.
“Take wing and we shall restore prosperity.”

Blood drips from his beak,
from his talons,
trickling down upon the rest of us.

The offspring of this vulture are
vile, virulent creatures
who cannot fly but still flock together,

plotting, under the right wing.
Taking tea with spiders whose backs bear
hourglasses, betraying the truth:

Time’s almost up.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic nest, Poets United.


Journalism and the Bush Years

Misinformation was the most potent weapon
of the Bush Regime. How soon we forget.

Remember him clowning at the Press Club?
Journalists laughed with him, not at him.
(The new crop of undereducated – but
photogenic – media types are a sorry lot.
Unlike Morrow, they’re not hired for their brains;
unlike Cronkite, they’re not to be trusted.)

“No WMDs under here!” he bozoed, to
wave upon wave of pandering giggles.

While I, the Christian,
and my Riley, the Jew,
and our friend Muna, the Muslim,
used to sit on her porch and drink “ka-hway”
(which is Arabic coffee powered by something
stronger than nuclear fission could EVER produce;
this bunker-buster brew with thick black syrup on the bottom
is the stuff of dreams except you never go to sleep
until two days later and even then
you are still talking VERY fast).

On 9/11 we sat in her kitchen and cried.
Later on Muna’s porch
(all too soon snarled at by passersby)
we sipped her coffee
and cried some more.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Also at the poetic oasis, Poets United.


The Greatest Aim of Humankind (an acrostic)

Pursue the beating of swords into ploughshares
Etch onto windowpanes, “The time has come”
Aiming to embrace all peoples as one family
Chanting, not dogma, but “Love,” in many tongues
Everyone will cry out, “Enough of war, time to live!”

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For a new site, Poetic Bloomings, to the prompt “a goal-oriented poem.” Please check out Marie and Walt’s new prompt site – I think you’ll love their pace, their vibe. This is also, as always, posted to my oasis from all chaos, Poets United.

Peace, Amy