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

Tag Archives: Heart

Guttural (Meditation on the Heart)

When Bible speaks of the heart
it really means the gut
Feel your heartbeat there
in the center square

Worries tether the gut
crowd the diaphragm
Anxiety’s program
from the great I am

We “feel in in our gut”
A gut feeling to avoid
that thug, that drug,
that way of lesser angels

The gut guides and
cautions us when we
need unspoken advice
God guides our gut


“The Gut Is a Lonely Hunter”
would not have sold many copies

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Let Your Heart Take the Reins

In Biblical times, the “heart”
was actually one’s gut.
To “know in one’s heart”
was to feel in the region
of the solar plexus the nexus
of thought and emotion,
an ocean of intuitive knowledge.

If you get that pain
in the pit of your stomach,
stop. Listen to your
better angels; let your heart
guide you, provide you with peace.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Kim Nelson at Poets United’s Verse First wanted a poem, in fewer than 13 lines, about our passions. Mine do not include brevity, so this was a good challenge for me!

Interpreting the Bible to relate to modern-day times is a passion of mine. So many folks use the Bible, as my friend Ben recently wrote, as a weapon… slandering gay folks, denying poor women health care. All the things Jesus decried when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Loving God brings me closer to doing the right thing. It’s hard, having manic depression and PTSD, to find that quiet place, but the ache in the pit of my gut I always pay attention to! Peace, Amy

Diva Heart in Denial

Her heart was not one that accepts age as
progress toward wisdom a crown of silver
Hot flashes were mere preludes

In tinny wraps, her stylish tinted glints of
highlights, long tresses still brisking bare shoulders
in waves of tragic peroxide passion

The insidious flaps under arms, on her belly,
her lazy limbs and gut splitskinned and resewn
A Bonwit Teller Raggedy Ann

French tip the perfect nails; affix false lashes:
Color her vivid. Boy Toy Nick not allowed to drift far
He stands flexed, assurance of her youth, her comeliness

She will not go gentle into that good night
but brittle, breakable, frightened, but
always with a mirror at hand

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For the Sunday Whirl (Wordle belw; thanks, Brenda!) and Trifecta, which wanted a poem about heart as personality or disposition. Also at my poetic salon, where we’re all GORgeous, Poets United. I’ve known women of means who have had their faces lifted so many times, their noses begin to turn inside out, a slight ring around each nostril.

Can be defeated by eating “to your heart’s desire,”
yet your heart desires it not,
only your want to fill
that empty spot.

A child hangs his Valentine on the fridge,
only to find the dog
thought it interesting;
she nuzzled it down, chewed it to bits.
He runs crying to Mom.

She now grants access carefully. Her heart
has been broken before,
but it healed, gained resilience.
The scars may show,
but she will live
to love again.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads: We were asked to post the song that helps us through our heartbreaks and write a poem about it. This prompt caught me by the tear ducts.
The YouTube track is, of course, Rickie Lee Jones (not “Ricky,” spelled wrong on the title page). Tom Waits wrote this song for her, and she sang it every night as the encore during her first national tour. I went to this song for solace time and again, in the years before Lex. She is a treasure trove of writing talent on her own, but here is where an angel’s voice meets the song the actual writer could never sing to great effect.

Bring Back My Heart, copyright details below

The prompt at Poets United’s Thursday Think Tank is “Music.” Hey, what an opportunity, right?
Here is a song from my CD, Jazz Baby Hits Her Stride.
You can hear me sing it if you click on the link above.
Hope you enjoy this little love song, recorded at the studio of my dear friend Jon Randel. Peace, Amy

Bring Back My Heart

Thank you for the visit, it really was sublime
To catch up on the news after all this time
I packed in such a hurry, some things got left behind
So if you wouldn’t mind…

My toothbrush and my dental floss, I left them on the sink
And a lone Peruvian earring, in the living room, I think
Some pictures of my daughter on a table by the door
And my lingerie we left scattered on the floor

It’s really quite the laundry list
But there’s one more thing I missed

Bring back my heart, return it to me
At the first convenient opportunity
It had just come off the shelf
And I had planned to keep it for myself

I didn’t leave it in the bedroom – I’m not blasé
That’s not the place where hearts are given away
Perhaps it was the restaurant where you took my hand
And told me life had not turned out exactly as you’d planned

You asked me whether I had hopes to share my life again
And I told you God had plans for me, but wouldn’t tell me when
My heart was mine alone
And until we kissed, I thought it had turned to stone

Bring back my heart, we’ll see what’s in store
Make my office gossip when you show up at the door
Bring back my heart, but until you do
I know it’s safe with you

So put it in your pocket, keep it close
Hold it with the treasures you love most
And when you return it, here is what I’ll do:

I will scent it with roses, wrap it in lace
Lay it in the lining of a golden case
And I will give it right back to you

© 2004 Words and Music by Amy Barlow Liberatore
Published by Beehat Baby Music, all rights reserved