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

Tag Archives: Nature

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,
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

Poetic Asides put out a call for welcoming poems. Apropos, since Robert and his wife Tammy welcomed their daughter Hannah Marie into the world this week! I used a form for the first time, one which builds from one syllable to ten (and in this case, down again); however, I cannot remember what the form is called, sorry. This poem is also at my poetic home, Poets United. Peace, Amy

The Mallards

moments in life:
A sudden coffee jones,
his surprise kiss on my neck
leading to unscheduled bliss.
Moonlit nights, quiet patio talks…
And every day, two ducks who waddle by.
Mallards come and go as they please,
making their way to the pond,
diving for daily meals.
Ducks are good neighbors,
Perfect mates,
souls at

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Poets United, Thursday Think Tank, we were asked to think about the beach. I’ve lived in Santa Monica, where many nights were spent on the beach (under various influences); Bermuda, where the sand really IS pink… but for my money, there was a romance in the salt air of Puerto Rico that remains unmatched. No offense to Bermuda or LA! Amy



San Juan beach at twilight
Strolling barefoot on cool sand
Sandals looped round my finger
Arm round the waist of a sweet soul
Head resting on his shoulder

We stop to regard the city from this place
The casinos at full tilt, the street filled with tourists
Then, as lovers do, we turn away and disregard
the frantic pace and rumble of night life
to discover and rediscover the essence of closeness

The sky holds a sliver of silver, stars shining all the more
for the moon’s modest reflection
Tide moving gently, water licking our toes

We sit in silence/not silence
Rhythm of a shared heart
Swish of Corona sipped from bottles
Breeze playing brushes on tall palms
air tinged with salt and
heavy with jasmine
filled with promise

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

From Brenda Warren’s blog, A Wordling Whirl of Sundays (a new favorite prompt of mine – check it out!).  Words from the Wordle form appear in bold within my poem.  Check Brenda’s blog to see what other poets came up with, and to view the actual Wordle block, which for some reason would not reproduce here.  Peace, Amy


Twilight Ablaze

Deep in this planet’s twilight,
a confidently striding soul has fallen.
His head came up against a heavy branch; both cracked.
Now he lies still.

His cigarette smolders,
its sparks set dry leaves afire.

A light breeze spreads flames as
the night wind tails toward the valley below,
turning a slight accident into
the full-throated cry of hundreds of neighbors
afraid their homes will not be spared.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

This poem is also at Poets United, my poetic collective home.  Click on their link and discover a WORLD of amazing poets!

Springing to Life Again

‘Tis the season of Winter’s evaporation
as Spring supersedes chill,
tugs at our trowels,
breathes into us tiny moments of joy.

Water, as mist, rising in the fields
as fodder for mudslides in the canyons,
as morning nymph, awakening seaweed
beneath the shoreline.

Water, released from stasis;
then, in Nature’s tightly embroidered womb
disappearing in the evaporation
that will bring the earth full cycle; back to balance.

World awakening.  Welcome!

(c) 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore

For A Whirl of Wordling Sundays, Writer’s Island, and as always, Poets United.

Wordle words:   tugs, seaweed, mist, tiny, released, breathes, slides, evaporation, embroidered, water, river, supersedes

The Thursday Think Tank at Poetic Asides asked for poems about “Hope for Japan.”


When the ground beneath her desk rolled like
a carpet shaken of its dust, like
the rollercoaster when Yuki screamed and laughed, yet like
something unnamed and horrible.

She thought, “This is IT.
The final moment, or the beginning of many
final moments.”

Crawling out of her cubicle,
scenes never to be erased from her memory.
Ten minutes before, she and Hayashi had shared a cigarette,
and a kiss, in the stairwell.
Now, he was pinned under a desk, eyes glazed;
a picture of their trip to Kanagawa as they regarded the roses
had fluttered to the ground, settling on his chest.
Was this the last thing he saw? His last good memory?
She prayed it was so.

Then came a blur of
walking nightmare people
bottled water
pictures posted with notes
questions without answers
Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster

And of course, government downplayed the severity of radiation

She and Kenji commuted inland daily from their home in Sendai;
Father enjoyed the view of surf.
Why had Kenji taken the day off?
She knew now her brother was gone, as well as their parents,
swept from earth as waves wiped the chalkboard clean.

Alone. Safe. Not safe. Scared.
A butterfly chose her at random, gracing her
with a dizzying dance of color and life.

“If only I had the mind of an insect,” she thought,
as bile rose in her throat. “At least butterflies hold the key to hope:
Living free for a season, surrendering peacefully to death.”

Her only hope was that the world see, and learn, what her grandmother
had told her, as she revealed the flowered tattoos of her Nagasaki childhood:
Men’s greed and grandiose technology will never defeat the ferocity of nature.

© 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!

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:
Shards and Shivers

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

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I couldn’t resist this prompt from We Write Poems. Then I’m definitely stopping until February! The prompt was to revise an old poem, and this one was reworked for my chapbook, Dance Groove Funhouse (shameless plug: See right column to order a copy. I could use the encouragement! There’s nothing in there your grandma couldn’t read.)

I had to rework it because it had the “F” word in it (as well as “shit”) and I decided the first was too harsh and the second could be replaced with the infinitely funnier word, “crap” – even though I’m a salty dame, I was considering my readers and felt that this slight bowdlerism was apropos. Also, I kept the line about the airgun even though I’m a pacifist, because this is about feelings, not what you’d really do. Finally, I broke up the days more clearly.

What came out was, to me and to many readers, a better poem altogether. Let me know what you think! Amy



Lazing after lush, lazy sleep I am
awakened by a lark
perched beneath my bedroom window
serenading me of the day to come
Thank you, God, for this blessing
the wakeup call from heaven
Birdsong on a Saturday morning


Working 9-5
Long into the night, I tossed and turned 3 a.m.
The alarm will grant me 6:45
Then it starts
That stinking bird
Sackful of crap that will undoubtedly be dispensed
on my windshield
If only I had
an airgun

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Previously published in the chapbook, Dance Groove Funhouse

Sometimes you get a prompt from a blog… sometimes from the moon above. Peace to you all, Amy


Solstice birthed a full moon
A bulging butternut squash
cleaved open to reveal pale orange flesh

No bleak midwinter’s night, this
My world illuminated by moonbeams
peeking through slits of hastily closed drapes

The moon reminds me of life
Life waiting its turn under downy blankets of snow
Life in stars half hidden by a light cloud cover

Life behind facades of houses on Main
as I make my way back from the market
where bored cashiers wish me “Happy Holidays”

Life beyond this Moon and beneath it
To be lived gratefully, audaciously, fully
with a child’s abandon and faith in tomorrow

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Sunday Scribblings wanted to hear thoughts about December. Long ago and far away, I was a Manhattanite…


Central Park in December
At dusk the sun has dipped below
the stark skyline
casting reflections of blue
on the new-fallen snow

It’s as if even the snow knows
it’s part of an urban landscape
the color of steel and
the crunchy crust it so readily forms
As if to say,
“Hey, there’s nothing fluffy to see here
Move along, now”

Making my way across 72nd Street
the heat of the subway has already risen
and melted this fresh blessing
into muddy pools of rusted slush

It’s City snow, all right
It won’t last the night

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil