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

Tag Archives: Jingle Poetry

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

FREE FLIGHT

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


WHATEVER COMES (for Poets United)

Whatever you think about me
I am human
I have feelings
Feelings that have been stomped on
or caressed
depending on the person and circumstance

I am an American from Europe
whose white skin
and heterosexuality
and youth in the suburbs
gave me advantages
over those who weren’t dealt the same cards
or even given cards from the same deck

I am a woman who still doesn’t have
the same Constitutional rights as males
but who can vote and speak her mind
who doesn’t have to wear a burqa
who doesn’t risk being stoned to death
because she dared leave the house without her husband

I am not threatened by TV personalities
who admit they don’t believe half their hate speech
(they are just doing what their sponsors tell them)
who have no degrees in journalism
(one a college dropout, the other a deejay)
They don’t speak from their hearts
but from their wallets
and they freely admit it
Sure, it’s mercenary and incites violence
But it’s a living

Powers of such as these are limited
only by the willingness of their listeners
to be sheep, to blame the least in our society
for their current woes
(this time it’s Mexicans and gays; last time it was Jews;
before that, Armenians, before that…)

When Jesus was surrounded by “unclean” street urchins
he told the disciples not to chase them away
but to let them come closer
He didn’t want them deported to another town
He didn’t call them unclean or unworthy
He didn’t charge co-pays when healing the poor
He acted out of love

He also raised a ruckus
that resonates to this very day
for to love one’s enemies is an almost impossible task
and to love one’s neighbor,
harder still when he brags he ran them over,
but they were “just Mexicans”

Jesus was hung because of words
and all his words were loving
If our poetic world was only Whitman, Dickinson, Dickens
bereft of Ginsburg, Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks
how poor this world would be

Provocation is healthy
What makes one’s blood course faster
makes one’s mind more nimble
Sure, I get provoked
But I stand by my right as an artist
to call out powerful hate-mongers

Plato banned poets because
he claimed they drew their inspiration
from imaginary worlds

Those of us who draw from the real world
do so in the name of justice
of compassion for the Other
regardless of religion or color
regardless of the consequences
in spite of whatever comes

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


BAD INHABITANTS! BAD! (For Jingle’s Blog)

After years of neglect
the elemental truth is this:

We have failed
as stewards of our planet
as guardians of
the seventh generation to come

Our rain is acid and
wells polluted as we drill for
The Next Big Thing to power our
Next Big Honkin’ Truck We Don’t Need

Industry, single drivers, and cow farts
Too many vehicles, not enough trees
Too much red meat, not enough veggies
have rendered the air toxic

Farming was once a family business
Now CAFOS and Con-Aggravation
slosh our ground with liquid shit
Poverty rapes the rain forests

Driving up SoCal’s Highway 1
some whack job flicks a butt out the window
That spark becomes a flames becomes a wildfire
becomes death and destruction

Water, Air, Earth, Fire
Elements of the earth
Elements of our dearth of desire
to let the seventh generation be born and have their say

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


SHE IS ELEMENTARY

She is air.
Refreshing caress of a soft breeze messing with
your carefully coiffed hairdo
She reminds you to let go
to bend with the wind

She is water.
Drip drip dropping from the faucet lightly
Listen: She’s intent on stealing your attention
She could boil
but chooses to stay cool

She is fire.
Dancing on a waxy wick
A flickering flame in your darkest moment
All she needs is your spare wood and
a match to warm you woolen soft

She is earth.
Freshly tilled soil, embracing new seeds
Covering, comforting each burgeoning life
Creation begins with her, even as
you are the soil from which she herself was sprung

She is your daughter
All the elements of a true force of nature

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil