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

Tag Archives: Night

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

THE LARK

SATURDAY MORNING

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

LATE SUNDAY NIGHT

Working 9-5
Long into the night, I tossed and turned 3 a.m.
again
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

THE LONGEST NIGHT

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…

CITY SNOW AT EVENING

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


This is a poem from my first, self-published chapbook, DANCE GROOVE FUNHOUSE, available now! Read details to the right to order one for yourself! (Shameless self-promotion) Amy

THE LARK

SATURDAY MORNING

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

LATE SUNDAY NIGHT

Working 9-5
Long into the night, I tossed and turned 3 a.m.
again
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


Thanks to progressive radio host (and proud WNYer) Stephanie Miller for the phrase “Stupid O’Clock.” She’s a wonderful antidote to Beck and Rush, along with Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes… if your city CARRIES progressive radio.

STUPID O’CLOCK STUCK (Writer’s Island past prompt)

Jagged maze
zigzagging from row to row
frenzied search for the Big Cheese
Cheating, skipping lines, flying across the labyrinth

Cornered by repetitions of
jumbled choruses
at stupid o’clock in the
late night of soul’s mourning

My frontal lobe
a lava lamp bursting with I don’t know
Each thought glomming onto the next
Floating in inky blue warmth

Even with the pillow
pulled tight over my head
desperate for sleep, still the sight
Molasses morass glowing

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


From the Poetic Asides prompt, “Setting The World On Fire.” Remembering some great gigs!

JAZZ AFIRE

Spotlight’s hot tonight
Fresh coffee on the side table
My fingers touch the cool ivories
and all hell breaks loose

Thumping the bass line
Reaching deep, drawing out
the raw fire of jazz within
Souls of legends aflame as I call to them:

Feed my soul, strike the match
Light a fire under my piano bench
til I burn with desire to shout it true
Til the keys melt at my touch

Hellzapoppin at this piano bar
Crowd heats up and calls for more
Coffee’s cold, neglected
but I’m a pyre of pure jazz afire

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


One Single Impression asked us to write a poem around the theme, “Dawn.” I was going to write about Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island, Dawn Wells, but darned if I didn’t go a little deeper!

IT DAWNED ON ME

It dawned on me during a down
that depression is a gift
A room all to oneself
dim, yet habitable

with the sure knowledge
that gloom will fade; the haze will lift
Shifting moods
sifting sand between my toes

Depression’s night is so dark
one doesn’t look up
seeking stars
nor speak of the moon

The lifting is like dawn
a clean new day
made for venturing
beyond the front door

Flowers’ scent sweeter
sun illuminating
individual blades of grass
as they cast minute shadows

And then there’s
the thanking God part…

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore, Sharp Little Pencil


Insomnia never felt so good.

MOONSTUCK (Stuck, Poetic Asides prompt)

Slip of a moon, sideways smile
beguiles me from my perch
Searching for words and
lingering long past bedtime

To find the perfect phrase
Elusive, diffused thoughts race
out my ears, past my face and
Oops! Out the window back to the moon…

monthly changing yet
ever my constant companion
as I’m stuck in my room alone
awaiting the whisper of words

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil