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

Tag Archives: School

VIOLENCE (a barlette)

Kids on playgrounds
play cops and robbers
(“Bang! You’re dead!”)

“Children’s programming”
mandated by FCC, any cartoon
(Lots of ‘heroes’ in bloody battles.)

Coaches in high school
Sometimes violence = cash
(A Benjamin if you take out the QB)

Gay teens shoved in lockers
for daring to be themselves
(“My pastor says they’re evil.”)

At home, children try to ignore
drunk mom and dad going at it again
(“Time to play Grand Theft Auto.”)

A Connecticut mom has five guns, all
registered, all legal, all for use
(Why give a troubled kid access?)

Unbalanced, alienated son
walks into school for reasons unknown
(First he killed his mom and took her guns.)

NRA: “Guns don’t kill people.
People kill people.”
(Morons. People with guns kill people.)

How many presents have been bought
for kids who are not coming home?
(And what will we do about the weapons?)

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

NOTES: A barlette is my own form. Two or three lines, followed by a commentary in parentheses. ABC Wednesday is on the letter “V,” and I was stuck… until today. Also on the rolling sidebar at Poets United.

I am a firm supporter of the Second Amendment, because many Americans (especially Wisconsinites) hunt and use the animals they kill fully, wisely. My brother-in-law, now deceased, used to shoot one deer and turn all the venison into marinated meats for the freezer.

All the same, “assault rifles” MUST GO. By “assault rifle,” I mean any gun or rifle that shoots more than one bullet with one pull of the trigger. It’s that simple. Banning certain models simply means manufacturers will modify that model a bit and skirt the law.

Ted Nugent is embraced by the Right (who seem to forget he dodged the draft in Nam by smearing himself with his feces and not bathing and acting like he was mentally ill). Now he’s a “good patriot” by opening his ranch to vets in wheelchairs and giving them assault rifles to shoot imported game. Probably the last thing a traumatized vet needs is a gun in his hands.

If I hear, “Obama’s gonna take my guns and then he’s gonna make this a police state” one more time, I’ll vomit. My old friend Leslie moved to  Newtown when we were in the fifth grade.  I visited her often when we were growing up; her heart is broken. She was the one who gave me the last line; as she said, “How many parents already have presents wrapped and hidden in the closet for children who aren’t coming home?”

I pray for the families who lost loved ones, especially parents whose small child was killed today. I pray that the president will take this incident and push for gun control that really works. And I pray that the fear that has gripped our nation since 9/11 (collective PTSD) will give way to dialog, to common goals, and to peace.  Amy

For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “A as in Amy.” There were two of us on State Street today, plus a Michael and an Alex (who is probably muttering, “A is for Alex, guys”). Also posted at my fave poetry saloon, er, salon, Poets United.

After All

Old friends, long time since last
we shared a table in a café

We talk old days, school,
kids when they were anecdotal fodder

Then politics, the dumbing down of America
The Hemlock Party and educating barbarians

Unions, pros and cons
Dems, Reps, Libs, and Cons

The future… they visited Glacier Park
and saw mostly wildflowers and a bit of ice

But after all our kvetching and laughter, it ends in this:

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At Three Word Wednesday, we were given:  Buckle, Evade, and Wedge.  OK, I fudged a bit on “wedge,” but art requires slight adaptations here and there…  Enjoy!  (You probably won’t if you were ever subjected to this bullying.)


The ultimate teenaged bully stupid stunt.
Grab the nerd by his buckle
so he cannot evade this torture
Then pull on his underwear waistband. Hard.

Next to swirlies (those delightful dunks
headfirst in a flushed toilet, which can be
perpetrated on either gender), performing wedgies
is the sign of the true moron.

The wedgie-wanton often become
successful used-car salesmen and
captains of dart leagues at beer-soaked bars.
They rarely, if ever, get laid… let alone married (for long).

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At Poetic Asides, we were asked to write about stacks. Stacking, unstacking, stacked decks, stacked (you can guess), unstacking, dismantling. Click on the Poetic Asides blue link to read them all! Here’s one of mine, attempting to form a poetic pyramid!


Never picked for
basketball or soccer.
Short, uncoordinated, shy.
The leftover, default choice.

I excelled in this singular activity:
The Pyramid. I was so little and so light
they proclaimed me The Ultimate Top Block.
(For just one class a year, they found me of use)

Sturdier girls lined up below like so many
Dawg House cheerleaders, and proudly
bearing the brunt to come… five rows
I had to carefully ascent to claim my
place as “Cleopatra’s Crown” (hey,
this was gym class, not history!)
A sudden sniff from Row Two.
Sue sneezes and CRASH!

Our proud
to rubble:
A jumble
of giggling
Jenga Jills.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil