I awoke, musing
(first thoughts of morning, always sharpest)
that President Obama’s endorsement
of Debbie Wasserman Schultz was
an implied endorsement of Hillary Clinton
(yes, I actually wake up thinking this stuff)
I then planned a tweet
to that effect
In my mind, typing abbreviated text
“Prez hypes DWS; tacet hype of HRC
Didn’t even close the quotes
Is it “tacit”? No, doesn’t look right
Is there a tacet/tacit usage comparison?
Should I google it?
Is “tacit” a word
or a typo?
Or is “tacet” wrong?
At that moment
This very morning, in my bed
I realized, “This is how it can start, with
a lost word.”
Hear this, cruel Fates:
I don’t lose words
I use words
to great effect
Naw, I’m screwin’ with ya now!)
Poets, writers, artists
write and paint their truth
Individual as brushstrokes
If my truth were
that mental facility would begin to leak
I watched the first grain of sand slip
and documented it here
Now, that would be ironic
That precision of loss
© 2016 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Connie Peters and I play Words With Friends. She asked this week whether I would be doing the April Poem-A-Day challenge. At that time, I told her that depression would probably get the best of me, so NO. After this experience, and her musing that “sometimes, it can help,” I have decided to take the plunge after all.
Thanks, Connie! See, we never know when the little words of encouragement will stick. Friends rock.
Alzheimer’s does not run in my family. Just the usual shot livers, lung cancer, and other addiction-related stuff that is preventable when you know what’s up. My real fear is that, since my mom lived a long time WITH fallout from addication, I will have to be put down like an old horse when I am 128. Find a quiet corner of the garden, you know…
For ABC Wednesday, the letter is L… for loss/lost. Amy
OCD (Overwhelming Crucial Demands)
Rituals ruled his life
Tapping the front window four times when passing
Adjusting his chair twice after sitting down
Most noticeable at table, where his mother
would fret over her son’s obsession
Each bit chewed exactly 18 times
and finishing first the meat, then potatoes, and finally
vegetables – no portion touching the next
as his dish was divided into three compartments
Followed by a milk in his blue glass
swallowed in five long, perfectly even gulps
Napkin folded into a perfect triangle threading it through
a silver ring placed just so on the table
Brooks arranged first by genre, then by author,
then by color – spines aligned in precise rows
He measure boundaries for his daily routine;
I understand the gravity of crack avoided
One thousand, two hundred and eighty-nine
steps to the psychiatrist’s office downtown.
Unfortunately, he never opened the door,
lacking a Kleenex to ward off germs
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings, “I Understand” was the prompt. Yeah, ya think?
Kids are cruel, and peers pick out students like this boy to bully, an easy target. While OCD is a minor part of my chemical imbalance, it loomed large when I was younger. One example: If I misspelled a word in English class, I first was compelled to complete writing it in full, and then, with a calm sweep, I would erase the entire word… but finishing it was critical. There were fingerprints by the exit to our bedroom from my habitual taps, and grazing a fence with a stick, if I missed a picket, it meant going back and starting the whole fence again. I get this kid because I was this kid, but the symptoms abated when manic depression started to take over. One pain in the ass replaced by another is small comfort.
Notice these traits and show understanding to the “different ones,” those who may not be diagnosed but whose disorders are easily recognizable. Good example, if you see a “twirler” who eventually singles out one hair to pluck, be aware. It’s called trichotillomania and can be managed NOT by drugs, but by behavior modification.
Peace and health – physical and mental, Amy
The Monster paid me an unannounced visit today.
It let itself in through the locked and bolted back door
on its way to another grief.
It took me in its arms as I,
limp as linguine and just as strained,
offered no resistance.
Its cowl became my heavy hood;
the weight of its robe dragged me to half-staff…
lugging laundry downstairs,
crying as I failed to muster strength to open a jar,
wracked with fear I’d be discovered here alone
with Same Old:
Telling me I’m worthless, a drag on my loved ones,
why bother with it all? Run away to a
thin spot on the icy lake…
Only my Boxing Gym of the Soul saved me.
My Trainer whispered spoke shouted in my ear,
“Slough off the robe, ooze off the couch.
Flop to the floor and exercise.
EXORCISE THE MONSTER!”
After my walk outside, the demon slunk in a corner.
Finally giving up, it didn’t bother to say goodbye,
But I make sure the door hit it in the ass
as it left to cripple someone else.
The Poets United prompt was Loneliness. This was my take on it. Peace, Amy
In My Solitude
He’s gone out the door for yet another
long, dour weekend with his mother
I am left to my own devices
TV never quite suffices
Hating the quiet, the isolation
I head out for café consolation
Alone in a crowd, it’s win, win again
Just me and my journal, my mind and my pen
Could call up some friends and do a flick
Then toast and get toasted until I’m sick
But I decide not to pick up the phone
The comfort: Control is mine alone
I hear music vaguely beguiling my mind
See dancing figures upon the blind
Phrases now pop up from deep recesses
These help assuage any “home alone” stresses
And with synesthesia, quick movement of eyes
Creates haunting noises that always surprise
I pray, I eat takeout, and sure, I do miss him
But sometimes a girl needs a break on a whim
© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
(Synesthesia affects me this way: When I move my eyes side to side, there follows a tracking, sort of metallic noise, not unlike the Six Million Dollar Man jumping sound. Sorry, it’s a US TV reference, my out of country friends!
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
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!
Silly to be scared of a number
But there it was
She was scared to celebrate
her first official “teen” birthday,
thought the house
would go up in flames
because one of the candles
would flare and
that would be that.
She could not move into a flat
on the 14th floor
because she knew
the numbers skipped
from 12 to 14.
Karma was bound to catch up
in the form of
falling out the window
being squashed by a toppled ladder
(even though she hadn’t walked under it)
or being slowly gnawed to bits
by a black cat.
© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Also at Writer’s Island in answer to their prompt, “Superstition,” and my poetic home, Poets United.