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

Tag Archives: mental health

Our Navy SEALS and other Special Ops units pay a terrible price for their extreme talent. They are exposed to sights and sounds the normal American citizen never considers. After hearing about a large number of SEALS being killed this week, and knowing a couple of former Special Ops folks myself, these are my thoughts about what they go through, and at what cost to their own mental health as they become vital cogs within the war machine.  Peace, Amy


He pledges to hold sacred even the most seditious plans of the military.
His head is shaved ‘til every blond tuft falls to the floor.

He will tread the nether worlds to hinder whichever enemy is targeted.
His missions sporadic, vital;
he is enmeshed in that zone of adrenalin and HOO-AH!
Tonight, he’ll get plastered with his buddies to ward off the sting.

Years later, waking in tremor, he is haunted by
horrors executed at the bidding of men
who felt no stigma about
stirring the global pot to suit their needs
and those of their investors.

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For The Sunday Whirl (Wordle words in bold), Sunday Scribblings (Forward), and, as always, the poetic collective, Poets United.

Poets United asked us to meditate on the word, “She.”


A dog-eared poster hovers near my desk, rebellious wallpaper
Detailed manifesto of the Women’s Liberation Movement
“Because woman’s work is never done and is underpaid…”
Words from a bubbling wellspring of hope and burned lycra
Demand for an equal stake in this country, still unmet

A postcard: Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein
keep me honest in all pursuits, artful and activist
as they stare me down in a loving way, like sisters
heart of depression beside the mother of us all
reminding me that women are worthy of everything

Klimt portrait, foil-embroidered woman
She stands alone, in no man’s embrace
yet framed by flowers, wearing a come-hither robe
Full black hat, ebony halo, distant gaze
Essence of loveliness, an equal part of my soul

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I Heard The News Today, Oh Boy

I note, fascinated, that
TV prophets cheerfully tender
the day’s torments,
as though yesterday left no scars,
no rusty bloodstains on the streets
of Kabul.

The sun has been swept under
a cement cloud.

Why chance a morning walk
when crawling will do?

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Sunday Whirl words are in BOLD. Try Brenda’s Wordles – they are fascinating!
Also on Poets United, my poetic collective home.

Poetic Bloomings, a new and interesting site, wanted poems about “lost and found.”  Then Brenda’s Sunday Whirl gave me words that culminated in the poem below (those prompt words are in bold).  Give these new sites a whirl yourselves!  And, of course, I’m on the right sidebar at Poets United! Peace, Amy

Lost in the Weeds

She is lost in the weeds.
She’s good wheat, but what sprouts near her
possess voices that pierce and keen.

No matter how strong her fortress,
an unfamiliar, frightening force
rattles the bars of her gate.

She needs an image to cling to,
wholly holy, distinctly divine.

A steadfast vision beyond this
jangling jungle of fear becomes clear.

She shakes off the weeds, uproots them,
and splinters the yoke of despair.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil