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

Tag Archives: Flight

Rocket Ship To The Sun

“Last call for boarding the
Sharp Little Special Rocket Ship to the Sun!”
(now that’s what I call a red-eye flight)

(They’re all showing up because
it’s free, no matter the destination
That’s how dense they are, accepting my invite)

“Your pilot, George W. Bush (in a codpiece)
Co-pilot, Marcus Bachmann (he’s submissive)
Flight attendants, catering to your every whim:

“Britney Spears, Michelle Bachmann, that preacher who
keeps predicting the end of the world” (I just want to help)
“All the Wiggles (sorry, kids, it has to be done)

“Your mechanic, Ted Nugent (resume too long, see below)
Your super-secret incognito flight security man
will be Tom Selleck, replacing Charleton Heston

“The guys who checked you all in but will skip
the actual flight: Scooter, Glenn, Rush and Dick”
(should get those last two too close, it’s Dick Cheney)

“As for the passengers: Neo-Nazis, skinheads,
bullies, homophobes (too bad Anita Bryant didn’t
stick around for this one, she would have loved it),

“Christians who think anyone who’s not ‘their brand’
is banned from heaven, from America, and of course
from their church of undesignated affiliation…

It’s a mighty big ship, so there’s room for everyone.
No need for safety precautions; just sit back, sip
a martini, and enjoy the music, which will be

428 hours of Slim Whitman, plus an in-flight movie,
First Class’ Tom Cruise in “Rock of Ages” (barf bags provided)
After that, your final destination will be a relief

Enjoy your flight!

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Trifecta, who wanted us to use the world “flight” in a poem, as in: a trip made by or in an airplane or spacecraft; a scheduled airplane trip. Also at my poetic launching pad, Poets United.

My dear friend Jason Ward introduced me to the concept of planning his “rocket ship to the sun.” His roster changes from time to time, but mine is startlingly similar.

NOTE ON TED NUGENT: He’s a darling of the Right now because he offers his ranch to Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, mostly amputees. He gives them assault weapons and lets them shoot animals he’s imported for their killing pleasure. (Mind you, many of them have PTSD and this is the last thing they should be doing… if Ted really cared, he’d pay for their counseling and psych meds.) Yet the same TED NUGENT, when it was his turn to serve in Vietnam, smeared himself with feces and pretended to be mentally ill at the draft board. Anyone who avoided Vietnam, hooray, it was another stupid White Guys Know How To Rule Everyone war… but to come back years later and claim solidarity with people who actually served and were wounded? Please.

If you don’t see your favorite purveyor of hate and would like to have them added to the passenger list, feel free to mention them in your comments. I will review the list before issuing final invitations. (When Pres. Bush heard the pretzels were free and we’d have N.A. beer, he said, “Hell, yeah, when do we take off?”)

Yeah, I’m going to catch heck for this one, but somebody’s gotta say it. Amy

For the Sunday Whirl, a Wordle that gave us:  World, poem, thought, logic, whim, river, resist, twisted, buzz, instinct, galloping, and fluttered.  Thanks, Brenda, for another great challenge. This, as with all my poems, is present at Poets United.  Peace, Amy


…where I found a poem

On a whim, bereft of logic,
in a world of twisted thought,
a poem fluttered by.

I could not resist its bee-buzz:
Following my twisted instinct,
I went galloping after, alongside that
river of rhythm and bliss and memories

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Poetic Asides wanted “spring” poems; Sunday Scribblings asked for “free.”  A twofer!  Amy


Up – flying free
Down – springing back
Up by my toes
Down – springing back
Up, heaven knows
Down – springing
Up but not so well
Down – splat! on my fanny
Up a little
Down, Up, Down, spring, sprang, sproing – whew!


© Amy Barlow Liberatore/ Sharp Little Pencil

Sunday Scribblings gave us a simple prompt: Free. Also, Writer’s Island gave us Inseparable. So this is a twofer. Amy

A Mother’s Ferocious Love

Trapped like animals in their jungle village.
Strapped one to another: Young mother, daughter and son.
Shoved into ships, below deck,
so cramped, no room to stand.

The voyage was grueling.
Thin gruel was their mainstay.
These white masters with their whips at the ready
as steadily, her people died of fever and starvation.

The sound of the whippings, the whimpering.
Her son, finally succumbed to the wasting disease.
Now, as she wondered whether this boat would ever find land,
and she herself felt gripping pain in her gut.

Up on deck for the hosing down,
she clutched her baby girl in her arms,
inched her way to the rail and, in an instant,
they were both overboard, taken by the sea.

Her son had already been given to the water
after his death, tossed over like garbage.
At least now she and her baby girl would join the boy,
inseparable forever, engulfed in the endless waters. Free.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Sunday Scribblings asked us to write on the theme, ‘Friction.’ You can tell I’ve had too much coffee today. Enjoy!


Feeling friendly,
phoned Fiona Fleshpot.
Faded fashion filly
facing failed flick – fetid flop.

FLASH! (flotsam for females)
fancied former, firmer,
flexible, “fine” Fiona.
Furnished factoids.

Fix festivities.

Fry fast foods…
fling fresh fare
(fodder for former fatties).

Flaming flambes,
frozen Frangipani,
fudgy fondues.

Fiona feels friction falter;
feeds fairly fully…

finally, farts.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

It’s November Poem A Day (PAD) at Poetic Asides.  Today, we were asked to write on the theme of closing a door or turning a page.  We’ll be here all month – try the chicken cacciatore!   (Ba-dum-DAH!)  Amy


Close the door on yesterdays
Memories can burn
sure as acid
etching pain into your very bones
Strange Celtic text
something about Dad
something about trust

Close the door on yesterdays
People who hurt you
and in return were abandoned
deprived of your vitality
and also your venom
You don’t plan to study the language
There’s no point now

Turn the page
See a life unburdened by the past
where forgiveness reigns
in beauty
in hope
in trusting the words of one who
forgave so much more than you endured

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore

Our word at Sunday Scribblings this week was CURIOUS.


She trudged through our high school halls, lost
Aimless, claiming no one as her love,
let alone as her friend.
Defenselessness, defensiveness, born of low self-esteem…
Her mirror reflected no redeeming qualities – only questions.

She never knew we admired her aloofness.
It seemed like proof that you could survive high school
without a claque to back your every utterance

Graduation for Georgette was a slam of her parents’ back door
and a bus to the Left Coast.
The most she could score was a waitress gig,
but the tips were sometimes rolled in papers
or powdered, in neatly folded, palmable packets.

This was bliss. The otherworldly state, what was missing.
Communal living, easy giving
A belonging, a sense of family at last.
She offered her body to many men and
contracted various venereal diseases.
Still, she was pleased that she was wanted (though warted).

Dabbling in acid: Placid conversations with river frogs.
She produced artwork – optical delusions infused with
confused contortions of her new reality.

The hissing kiss of hashish in a hookah led to opiates of a wide variety,
side-winding her to limited life choices.
Not heeding her inner voice
(with its annoying mantra: “CAUTION!”),
she finally gave way to the needle.
Super Georgette, the heroin of her own life story.

Curiouser and curiouser.
Down the hold, harasses by nasty queens (and other tarts)
who wanted their money, honey.
Mad slatterns offered a spot in their stables,
and she complied… lied to her parents when she’d call for money
“I’m behind in my rent”
(I make rent using my behind)

smaller and smaller georgette shrank
until one day, shanked and shriveled,
she ceased to be at twenty-three.

Curiosity killed the kitten.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This was written awhile back for Writer’s Island, and we had a request for a re-post from Jingle Poetry! Dream on, kids… Amy


Wandering into the enchanted field
petting daisies, grazing the tips of
grasses grown wild and tall
She centers herself
gripping damp ground with her toes
Eyes close and her face turns skyward

Arms rise from her sides and she
wills her body to follow
Heels peel off the earth, then her toes
Opening her eyes, she is just off the ground
hovering, delighted, a featherweight being
Now comes the real work

She launches into a vertical breaststroke
slowly, loving the feel of her fingers moving through
humid air as though along a pond
The field is far below her now; her house is
a Lego-sized block. She levels off her ascent
and pushes farther into the atmosphere

Over hills, touching the tops of Douglas firs
Swooping down over the river, she waves to
kids swimming on the lakeshore
Look, they whisper, Why don’t our parents
believe us? She doesn’t wait for night
She takes flight when we can watch her

But the grownups are too busy, away from the
places in nature where she can be spied
so only children are inspired to try and fly
Someday, she muses, I will have a daughter
and we will take a night flight, hand in hand, close to
the harvest moon, as fireflies light the way

And when we’ve had enough of airborne travel
we’ll come to rest on our own roof
feet dangling over the eaves. Wondering, laughing
How many are blessed with the power of flight?
She doesn’t know, but thinks it must be very few
for she’s never seen another in all her travels

Her mother taught her the secret: Let go of the world
let the air fill you up past your lungs, so deeply
that you are the air. Let go and be free

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Sharp Little Pencil

Writer’s Island prompt:  Another poem with song titles, this time from one of my favorite Beatles albums, Rubber Soul:


If I needed someone in my life
it wouldn’t be you, said Michelle

I’m looking through you, toward the future
and neither seem too bright

I need someone who says
Think for yourselfin my life

Don’t wait for me in the Norwegian Wood
You won’t see me there

I’ll drive my car far from you
My mind whispering, “Run for your life

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


The girls are taking it with them
The secret shame, the reasons why
The scattered scars of late-night carving
The feeling fat starved unpopular neglected
Unprotected sex with unworthy boys
One took the bun and the oven too

They’ve left it all behind
School, grades, finals, college apps
Took off debt-free; no degree, no debris
No suitcases or makeup bags
No books or beanie babies collected at the mall
perhaps on weekends when they still hung with girlfriends

The farm is minus one pair of helping hands
And the family room, one less Bills fan
The market, one less cashier
The camp, one less counselor
Their school stripped their lockers of all reminders
and called in counselors because

Two girls left our town forever this month
No notes, no clues, no cries for help, no cues
Each in her own way on a different day, in a different way
Finally having their say: This is my life and I’ll do what I want
And that they did – one with drugs, one with a rope out back
They’re gone and they took it all with them

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil