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

Tag Archives: Madison

Strolling

Today, I’ll stroll to Mary’s place.
The patio screen scritchscratches with my departure.
Why lock it? Next Door Nan will be at home.

Sneakers on grass, bristling the sunburnt ground cover
The brush of palm fronts bending to grant me passage
And all along the way, crickets chirping

Now my sneaks scrape along the sidewalk,
past Pete the shoe repair guy, who waves.
“Time for that again?” he jokes.

“Yupper,” I shout, as my finger makes
little circles around my ear. “I’ll bring my
sandals over tomorrow, hope you can save ‘em!”

A profusion of orange flowers, “ditch lilies” they call them here,
but I dead-head the wizened, faded flowers,
pitch them into the fray, mulch for another day.

(Someday, I will be wizened and faded, too –
but if they want to toss me into the mulch pile,
they’ll have to catch me first!)

Finally the clip-clop upstairs, into the waiting room
with the fountain that always makes me need to pee.
Then, the soft inhale of a door opening:

“Amy?” smiles Mary, my therapist.
“Let’s do this sucker,” I laugh, and whoosh!
The door shuts. Tears to be shed, secrets to keep.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For We Write Poems‘ prompt, Walk. Also on display at Poets United! Peace, Amy


Cheesehead

I’m a newly minted Cheesehead.

Wisconsinites call anyone
from the other side of Lake Erie
“an East Coaster.”

They fretted that we would
never make it through a
Madison winter.

I replied with one word: “Buffalo.”

Slowly they realized that, not only is
New York State snowy and cold and
a cheese heaven in itself,

but I have a Midwestern pedigree.
Mom grew up in Iowa.
I’m willing to eat all the ‘pig corn’ they put on my plate!

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “C,” and also on Poets United, my shelter from the storm.


This is my first post for Poetic Bloomings, begun as a joint venture by Marie Elena and Walt, two of the first poets I met at Poetic Asides.  Their story is unique in that they have never actually met – but collaborate often.  They are seeking poems of beauty and goodness; they post prompts.  They are accentuating the positive, so I’m probably the last person they will expect to see, LOL.  Peace, Amy

Deer One

She drifts blithely through the trees
just beyond our parking lot.

She is the only, lonely deer of Tenney Park,
situated between apartment complexes which
must seem to her monoliths inhabited by aliens.

I call her Deer One.

Neighbor Lynne, soft spot for all living things,
feeds her birdseed, her snack of choice.
I know they say we should not encourage species
to live where they should not be, but frankly:
She was here first. We built around her habitat.
She is a Native American.

The other day, I spied Deer One
and she spied me.
We froze in one of those moments of
curiosity (mixed with dread on her part, perhaps).

I backed into my apartment and retrieved
the ripest apple I could find and,
gently,
rolled it across the parking lot.
It skipped the curb, landing at her feet.

I could swear she smiled at me!
I went to my car, humming, “When I See An Elephant Fly.”

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


At ABC Wednesday, we’re still on the letter “M.” Also, as always, posting to Writer’s Island, so bop over to both sites and see what other poets are doing! Peace during this holy week, Amy

Mmmmmmmms

Snuggling as we watch the sunset together from the patio

Hoisting a Wisconsin ale with new friends

The crumbly crunch of fresh shortbread

A quick call to my best friend that turns in to two hours of
trying to right the wrongs of the world (while taking time to
trash Joan Rivers’ new show)

Occupying small space in a roomy chair,
scribbling poetry as I ponder life oozing by on State Street

My first bite of Barb’s Angel Cake

How the wick crackles when first I touch match to candle and
knowing the sweet mysteries that will unfold when he
sneaks into the room

So many moments that make me say,
“Mmmmmm, life is good”

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Sunday Scribblings posted a new prompt today:  Nearly.  Gov. Scott Walker, can you feel fate breathing down your neck?  We are a peaceful group of protesters, no matter how FOX spins it… no matter how many of your cronies plant bullets on the lawn of the Capitol Dome… no matter how long you hide in your office (except when you weasel out to address groups of white businessmen in black silk suits).  We are here.  We are NEAR.  Get over it.  Your time in office is almost up!

Nearly There (Madison, WI)

So close I can sense it
So strong, its pulse
So long, its road
So loud, its roar

Freedom is near
Freedom from overbearing robber barons
Freedom from locked and chained Capitol doors
Freedom from the stifling of public discourse

He’s in power for now
He’s almost gone
He knows his hour has come
He hears the word “impeachment” ring, a clarion call

The people of Wisconsin will not be silenced
The people of Wisconsin will not be trampled
The people of Wisconsin will not abandon unions
The people of Wisconsin have only begun to fight

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


At Three Word Wednesday, we were given the words, Breeze, Mellow, and Tickle.  I’m posting two!  Amy

Tickle of Spring

Wisconsin weather’s fickle,
so imagine my surprise
when a new-sprung weed did tickle my bare legs below my thighs.

The season’s first red robins
were singing in the trees
as waking wisps of summer
hummed softly in the breeze.

There’s nothing quite so mellow
as an overture to summer…
but lest a blizzard interrupt,
the shovel stays put. Bummer!

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Here in Madison, we are fighting for unions and for fairness – PEACEFULLY.  Don’t believe the FOX BS.  There have been no laws broken, except by the Governor and the Legislature.  Please read and remember – I have been there, on site.  I tell you the truth:  There are no marauding throngs of thugs (unless the Gov. decides to plant them, as he has admitted on tape to considering); there have been NO windows broken at the Capitol Dome (that report was retracted.)  In fact, the Gov. ordered the window jambs sawed off to prevent them from being opened, patently illegal and a safety risk – this is why the “cleanup” of the Dome is up to $7M.

Yes, I’m an activist, and proud of it.  So sue me.  Make a lawyer rich with another frivolous lawsuit!  For ABC Wednesday.  Amy

Here, Heroes

Have you heard?
Hope is heralded here in Madison.
Hands up if you heed the Constitution.
Hands up if you’ve heard about Mother Jones,
Headlining the cause of unions
with the heart of a lioness.

Heading to the Capitol Dome,
heeding our call as citizens
to have our grievances heard.
Head of Wisconsin, the poster boy
for hubris, hedonism, and dishonesty.
Have you heard?  Do you care?

Heads up:  Greed is heading for
your hometown next.
Wisconsin is ground zero:
It will halo out from here.
Jesus said, Help the hungry, the homeless…
or are Hannity, Beck, and Hagee your only heroes?

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Super Bowl in Wisconsin 2011

Cheese
More cheese
Cheese on chips
Cheese in dips
Cube and tubed
Fried and dyed
Cheese on breads
Cheese on heads
Mixed up and fixed up
Grated and plated

Guacamole
Beer and Stoli
Microbrews
Harder booze
7-layer dips
smeared on lips

Kicker misses
Groans and hisses
Green and Gold
bright and bold
Shrieks and grins
GREEN BAY WINS!

Cheesehead’s dream
LOVE our team

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


At Jingle Poetry, we were asked to write about AMBITIONS. Having just moved to a new city and state (state of mind as well as geographical), I’m ALL ambition this week! Enjoy, Amy (PS What a month to move to Madison, WI! Super Bowl champs, but most importantly – no one was seriously injured. Amen.)

Making it Home

Boxes unpacked
Stuff sorta stored
Cat comfortably curled in
his new niche

Even the throw rugs and
coffee paraphernalia
have found their place

Pictures yet to hang,
but that takes
time
thoughtful placement
and permission from the wall
to be pierced by a nail

But until tonight,
as we snuggled in the delicious intimacy
of true lovers,
jigsaw pieces in a perfect fit,
this apartment was not Home.

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


BIG NEWS! Just found out I am one of 49 poets chosen for Poets United’s first Anthology! I am thrilled to be part of such an inspired group of poets. I’ll give you info when it comes out… but for now, it’s all about the good vibes! Thanks to Robert and the Poets United group for choosing my work.

Our first week in Madison, WI, and we got pounded by a blizzard. Thrilling. Brought back memories of growing up at the top of a hill in Apalachin, NY, and praying for a snow day with Kim, Vaughna and the gang!

MADISON MIDNIGHT
Full-tilt boogie of a blizzard
A whirling curtain of snow flutters in a stiff wind
Up, down, sideways, manic, tornadic

Drifts recall the dunes of San Juan
But these surfaces are not calm, nor smooth
Small patches plot courses to oblivion

A moment of calm; street lights visible across the courtyard
Suddenly, wind shouts commands
and snow obeys

The Dance of the Seven Veils, inverted;
one layer piles upon the next:
Powder
Flakes
Crystals
Tulle
Gossamer
Shards and Shivers

The wind may bellow and billow
But snow takes wing in whispered abandon

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil