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

Tag Archives: Coffee

Simple Summer Pleasures

simple things
seeing sunrise after a good night’s slumber
strrrrrretching to the tune of birdsong
Smell of Sumatran coffee, steaming and silky

A decent back scratch, administered by someone special
Some time in the garden amongst slinky, slimy worms and snickering birds (beaks full of seeds just strewn)
Sitting on the porch, swig of beer, clack of dominoes, sunset smiles

Snuggled on the couch, where in our house,
“Netflix and chill” means
watching an actual movie with the air conditioner on high

Sweet dreams, beautiful summer day
See you at sunrise

© 2019 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Beehat Baby Publishing

Thanks to Roger at ABC Wednesday for this prompt, the letter S. Was just out in the garden, surveying my new raised bed, built for me by Lex and our friend Stephanie. Will probably wax poetic about that little garden soon. Amy

Summertime 60s

Back in the 60s
Not the Beatles 60s and
before Carnaby Street
and Twiggy and Verushka

The Roger Miller 60s
Peter, Paul, and Mary
Nat “King” Cole
Peggy Lee still made the charts

Radio was on all day
Mom was calmer then
Her heroes had not
been gunned down yet

“Trailer for sale or rent”
Most songs, we’d sing along
Drinking coffee and
listening for the mailman

“Is that all there is?”
Yep. And it was enough

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

dverse Poets asked for the theme about each poet’s hisTORY. I poked along on this one and missed the chance to link this poem there, but do visit dverse and read some amazing poets!

Sure, there were difficult aspects to my childhood. Many of you can relate to parts of THAT story. But this felt right for the prompt, and it’s good sometimes to accentuate the positive. Peace, Amy

Cuppa Poem 001

To My Cuppa

Here we sit by a fire
The dynamic duo: Coffee and me
Dinosaurs of the old cliché,

“I was sitting in a coffee house
when this poem came to me.:
But that’s how it is.

Hands warmed by
ceramic cup, aromas of
roasted beans, baked goodies,

and the occasional
stinky college student
combine to create aMuse-ment

There is nothing so sweet
as a bite to eat and a sip of
my dearest co-conspirator

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Pictamy also © Amy Barlow Liberatore (click to enlarge)

Food and Writing, Writing and Food. Yeah, that’s the call from Kim Nelson at Poets United. It inspired both the pictamy® and the poem. Food and writing are an inseparable combination… unless you prefer Drinking and Writing, but than try reading what you wrote the next morning, much less tracking down all the cocktail napkins. You know who you are, ha ha.

While the coffee is first with me, always, there’s a nosh… Right, Buddah? Also in the margins at my poetic lilypad, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Peace, Amy


cup of
coffee is
curative brew
Excites my brain
Gets my train
back on

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons

Kim Nelson, at Poets United’s Verse First, asked us to edit, edit, edit and create a poem about something ordinary… in a handful of words.  Unaccustomed as I am to brevity… !

This also appears in the left margin of my home pad, Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.  Peace, Amy


Sad Girl

She lives in the past
Hindsight rules
Her head in the ‘coulds’


Tender Tummy

Gable scarfed cat food
in seconds
Wait, here comes… feed-back


Mornings With Mom

Gin bottles rinsed out
Coffee’s on
Time to wake her up

Tentative taps on
her closed door
Muffled confusion

Soon she will emerge
eyes squinting
hands, shaking and cold

Wrap them ‘round the mug
Warmth stops shakes
Caffeine soothes her pain

All Lunes © 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Three-quarters of the way through April’s Poem a Day for National Poetry Writing Month!  Today, Grace (AKA Heaven) of Imaginary Garden With Real Toads asked for “lunes.”  I chose the Kelly Lune form, an American haiku form based on syllables (one line of five, one line of three, last line of five; in a single stanza or multiples of same). The Collum Lune is based on number of words: Three, Five, Three; however, that form is for another day!

Thanks, Grace, for another lovely prompt from the Garden. Peace, Amy

Before I launch into the poem… It’s late at night, and I’m thinking about today’s horrific tragedy. I pray for the day when people won’t have to kill and maim others to “make a statement,” to draw attention to their cause, or whatever it is. The fact that today is also “tax day” may prove relevant, I don’t know. My prayers to all in Boston, to all who have lost someone or whose loved one is in hospital. My prayers that another entire class of people aren’t stigmatized because the perpetrator suffers from a particular mental disorder.  My prayers for the soul of our nation as we continue to install puppet figureheads and then turn around a drop bombs on them when they don’t do our bidding. As we drop drones on innocents to “get” one “bad guy.” I guess I’m just praying for our world tonight.

I wrote this poem today while Lex and I lolled in a cafe, our favorite day-off pastime – this was written hours before Boston. Hope you can enjoy it despite what’s going on. This is for Poetic Bloomings’ prompt, Rain. Peace, Amy

Half a Rainstorm is Better Than None (Bermuda, 1987)

Favorite haunt in Hamilton.
A day-off treat, strong coffee
dense shortbread, and
small talk with a friend.

Sky darkens, pavement is
wet across the way.
We emerge, fully
expecting immersion.

Yet we’re on the “sunny side of the street.”
Rain spatters cobblestones in
a literal line drawn down the lane.
A meteorological DMZ.

Island storms are that specific.
I pass my hand into the storm and
pull it out again; palm to fingers, drenched.
It dries in the sun as we ponder miracles.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I still remember that day. I had never seen the “edge of the storm,” nor did I know the concept existed. I’m not even sure Riley believes me! (“Whacky mom stories,” like meeting Bob Dylan and realizing he has zero charisma… or that my right ankle is thick because of an unfortunate intersection of tequila, Quaaludes, and hopscotch.)

Following a three-day “manic panic” and the PTSD (Post-Trampoline Stupid Depression!) that followed, I’m back on an even keel. Even tried a new form today, which is the first poem, and answered a Wednesday prompt within 24 hours! Now that’s what I call progress. Peace, Amy


My Blue Plastic Nurse

Compartments are labeled, one for each day
I’m keeping track of keeping track of me
Pill boxes can be fun if you like play
Varied colors bring mental harmony
Blue, turquoise, tangerine, help color me
Curved, tubular, round; all help shape my days
Some score scarred, others numbered clinically
Count it wrong and I’ll be in stupor gaze

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For dverse, the amazing Gemma (an Aussie whose blog is Greyscale Territory)schooled us on the Huitan – basic structure being eight lines of eight or ten syllables, with rhyme scheme A B A B B C B C. A much more instructive post can be found HERE AT DVERSE. My first time with the form, and I must say, it was more fun than I thought! As always, this is also at the blessedly formless, shapeless void of pure poetic love, Poets UnitedBut wait, there’s more!



Greenwich Village, Late 60s

The pulse of Bleecker
measured in bongo bangs
In the Beat poets’ Howls
and comic harangues

That mellow café scene
One coffee took all night
Pressure built over Nam
The Man made a fight

Scene took on substance
as poets and folkies
took on the rhythm
of Guthrie’s Oakies

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday, Beat, Pressure, Substance. Also at my poetic café, Poets United. Coffee’s always on and the conversation is fabulous! Peace, Amy

After tonight’s depressing turn of events here in Wisconsin, where a dunce has retained his cap because the King lent him $30 million – no strings attached, of course… ugh. Anyway, I had to think of something positive. And nothing is more heartening than a tale of a Madison small business that makes artists out of people who simply assume they have no talent. Kim, this one’s for you and your intrepid crew!


Workplayhijinks at
the local pottery shop.

Monica molds clay into
small discs; she’ll chisel

Celtic figures to fashion runes,
piercing each disc with a lace.

A mistake with clay?
Hey, crumple, start over.

At another table, colors
burst forth as Stephanie

dips her sponge to draw forth
bright discs of color on

a black cup; the design
beats any we’ve seen, as

intricate dots are dropped
into the circles in third dimension.

Karen splits her spoon rest
into shades that will please

her kitchen. She’s done this
before, you can tell, she does it well.

CRASH! Something goes
over the table edge.

Owner Kim sweeps up. She’s
earned every bruise on her knees.

She crouches to retrieve
shards of hardened “baked goods.”

I wonder what closing time is like.
The kiln, glazing over bits of art,

and Kim’s face, beaming as she surveys
her corner of the creative world.

The kiln, or Kim…
which glows more?

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For The Sunday Whirl: Bruise, Chisel, Crumple, Crouch, Crash, Edge, Split, Draw, Pierce, Burst, Beat, and Glow.

Image courtesy of, a royalty-free photo resource.

At FIRED uP!, owner Kim Stanfill-McMillan makes sure the members of her staff are all sassy, fun people. Girl Scout troops come in groups; home school kids have projects; and there’s a Ladies’ Night, where we all brown-bag our own bottles of Zin or beer… I combined two separate occasions because I wanted to mention all my friends and our projects!

Face Down in it When I Die

It’s my last wish
that I shall leave this world
drowning in chocolate cake

The dense layers slashed by
thick, sweet frosting and
dusted with Mexican cocoa

But for now, seeing as
I’m pretty much alive
and kicking, I’ll settle

for a plate, a fork, and
a cup of espresso,
swirling mocha on my tongue

The nearest thing to good sex
is rich, sensual, forbidden…
and sitting in front of me

Excuse me while I
indulge in the bliss of
this final piece of pleasure

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image from Dessert Devil
For the delightfully named Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, courtesy of Ella, whose blog appears HERE. She challenged us to write about food porn.  Also hanging about in the kitchens of Poets United. Peace, and whatever food porn floats YOUR boat, Amy

Bud is Bummin’

Bud’s buttressing his building,
same as yesterday and forever.
Paper cup kept jingling:
The classic ask.

I’m boy I’m embarrassingly I’m
so damned late,
I buzz by him without blinking;
must rumble through
the crowded sidewalk,

Almost to the conference door.
My heart screams;
conscience bubbles through my bloodstream,
hits my medulla “obligata.”

Turning tail to the nearest café.
Two large coffees, a cup of milk,
a banana (potassium) and bran muffin.
Sugar, yellow, pink, blue packets.
I don’t take sweet, but he might.

Back at the bastion,
Bud’s taking a break, huddled under a blanket
I offer him the tray;
he looks up and mumbles, “What’s this?”

“All for you, sir, except the second cup.”
I blush, grab my portion, bend to share a hug.
I run off.

Blessings abound.
Angels around.
Dependence is a two-way street.

If we want to connect with them,
let’s show respect for them

Let’s interrupt our previously scheduled lives
for a moment of grace.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Three Word Wednesday: Dependence, Kept, Rumble; for dverse Open Mic Night; and as always, for Poets United, my poetic hotspot!