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

Tag Archives: Lex

I Beg Your Pardon… really

For my sisters, who have had to
put up with my leftie ranting and
defense of my gender-queer daughter…

I beg your pardon

For my daughter, who had to
endure a childhood with a single mom
who was not yet diagnosed as mentally ill…

I ask your forgiveness

For my husband, who has seen me
through hell and back, fat and thin, and
bears my depressions with understanding…

I’m sorry I’m a high-maintenance partner

For my dead parents, about whom I write,
who defend their actions, their hideous
alcoholism and abuse of their daughter…

I regret nothing

Finally, to myself, for all the mistakes, the
mysterious paths I’ve chosen, the years of
drugs, the booze, and the frozen career just thawing…

I repent. And I sharpen my pencil once again.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Fireblossom Friday at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads asks for poems about repentence. I won’t go into the God thing here. I’m keeping it tangible and earthbound. Shay, you rock! Peace, Amy

Of Love and More

First love lost; ‘twas not worth keeping
(or it’s cheap red wine a-speaking)

Then came city boys who gave
me lessons: How To Misbehave

(Married, briefly
Much grief, chiefly)

Then I found a righteous man
Values, charm; he had a plan

Liked my daughter, and loved me
She saw “dad,” I saw me

Going for another marriage
Diff’rent style; no horse-drawn carriage

Love was true that second time
Faithful, solid, and sublime

Now I know what life has taught:
Love is cheap when cheaply sought

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Kerry O’Connor at Imaginary Garden With Read Toads was celebrating the August birthday of poet Sara Teasdale. Reading Teasdale at first seems dated; but, like many poets, she has wisdom in those couplets and free-form writes. I read some of her poetry, per the prompt, and was inspired to tell the story of my rough-and-tumble path to Lex.

Also in the margins at my poetic love nest, Poets United! Peace (and real love), Amy

Amy and Lex

Moustache Man

Your moustache tickles me
You tickled me from the start
The enchanting, spirited glow that
dissipated sad old shadows

You were a daddy when
one was really needed…
more than a stepdad, a friend
who liked the Simpsons, too

When I think on the day I first
noticed you, I recall your smile
The kind that made others grin
when you walked in the room

Now, as the moustache is iced
with hints of vanilla grey, you
are more delicious than ever
We sing in harmony, always

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I finally got around to writing a rhapsody for Kerry at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. And what other subject but my Lex?  Also at my poetic hangout, Poets United. This pic came from the day we renewed our wedding vows, just before our 15th anniversary.  He and I were both on our second marriages (thank God we’re United Church of Christ; a lot of denominations frown upon divorce, even those that lead to this type of better outcome), and he’s my “last husband.”  Period.

Peace, Amy

Prelude to a Kiss
Lex & Amy Web
First time I saw him,
I had that feeling.
We would either be
friends forever…
or we would be, forever.

Eyes so warm and
chocolate brown,
that stubble after a day
of fighting The Man
for social justice.

His voice so warm,
slightly scratchy from
day-long phone calls
to legislators over
rights for others.

He showed up on my
doorstep, after leaving
a red heart-shaped vinyl
single of Bobby Caldwell
and a little anonymous card.

Admitting he was the
“secret admirer,” he
carefully waited until Riley
disappeared into her room,
leaned in with a smile, and…

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

That was what sealed the deal. We both knew it was fate, from the UCC New Members’ Class to his thoughtful, appropriate dealings with my daughter to launching a praise band to flirting while we helped at the kids’ fundraising car wash. The teen girls who had crushes on him asked repeatedly if we were sister and brother. I asked why, and they said it just seemed like we had known each other forever. From the mouths of budding “babes”!

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, the prompt was “prelude.” Couldn’t think of a sweeter introduction to fifteen years and counting.  Also at my poetic place for conjuring, Poets United.

Peace, Amy

Friends, this is the time of year when the pastor and his wife are very, very busy, so I will be taking a break between now and around New Year’s Day. But I had to post this poem at Real Toads’ Open Link Monday and at my poetic oasis, Poets United. This event happened today… it reminded me that there is so much to be grateful for, even as the nation mourns this week’s gun violence.

Take a moment to hug your kids and PLEASE let them know that, no matter what their friends say on Facebook, the world is NOT coming to an end on the 21st. I’m serious – kids are committing suicide and having panic attacks over the Mayan stuff. OK, a poem, like I promised!


in her twilight years, and yet
the youngest soul in our church

beloved husband, now at peace
and Marian said, “Amy, please play”

behind the piano at the funeral home
with songs, all familiar to this jazz baby

to Anne Murray and “Wing Beneath My Wings,”
closing with “My Way”

said, “I want lively songs for Merlin,
no ‘old rugged’ anything!”

left words to live by: “Pace yourself,”
“Nothing’s worth getting that worked up about.”

take Merlin into your arms and
shelter Marian’s strong but wounded heart

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I was honored to be asked by Marian, our favorite “praise band fan” at Lake Edge UCC in Madison, to play for her dear husband’s funeral. When I found out what she asked for, I was amazed. A really rocking gospel tune I had written, “Closer Than Close,” and “My Way,” delivered in the Sinatra style: uncompromising and rousing…

I am blessed to know this woman, who wanted a true celebration of her husband’s life, and twice blessed to minister with my husband, Lex. In the midst of the tragedies of the past weeks, there was something about being at a funeral where people were free to tell funny stories about Grandpa, or free to tearfully say that none of her friends at school even HAD a great-grandpa and how lucky she was to have known him… All of it, the tears and the joy, echoed by the baby grand. As ABBA wrote, I say to God: “Thank You for the music.” Blessings and peace to you all, Amy

MY MAN (the texture of his soul)

Jagged thorny corners where
nuns did a number on him

Nearby, a fountain that weeps salt
for this father, gone too soon

On one side, blown glass
Cool to the touch, warming now…

Burlap covers newly planted notions
He will wait for blooms

Devotions in denim, closed eyes
weary after work of worship

A patch of stubble – not 5:00 Draper
but his biting, familiar sarcasm

A kazoo juts out of one side
waiting to play “Bridge On The River Kwai”

Settling in to meditate will be hard
what with all the racket, but he’ll get there

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “M.”  Also for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

This seemed to be the week to write about Lex, who pastored during a Seder on Thursday, spent quiet time on Good Friday, went to the vigil with me on Saturday, and rocked the church with an amazing sermon on Easter Sunday. Love of my life; man of God; sweetheart of a guy. Trust me, you’d love him.

My Favorite Bouquet

Buy me no roses, I begged him.
Spare me the sight of their bloom.
They wither and die,
and depress such as I,
but I do so adore their perfume!

Two things – a vial of rose essence,
The other, a sunrise sweet kiss.
I love a nice gift,
one that gives me a lift:
Love, your self is my ultimate bliss.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Just because we’ve been married 13 years doesn’t mean I don’t love Lex more every day. May our Creator grant us the gift of growing old together. Peace, Amy

For Poets United, my poetic hearth and home.