Thrill of ozoned air
as one slate cloud
butts heads with another
Firmament’s daring exchange
First chains of switchblade
streaks; thunder strikes
from clouds’ loud clash
In love with customary
pelt of hail I walk
To stop me is to defy
another force of nature
© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image courtesy of Scotto Bear (free media use) at Wikimedia Commons, License detail HERE.
City or country, I have always been fascinated with the random, dangerous, glorious free fireworks of thunderstorms. I know it’s probably stupid to walk down the street in one, but I figure with my various brain spasms, a little lightning wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might help! Peace, Amy
Before I launch into the poem… It’s late at night, and I’m thinking about today’s horrific tragedy. I pray for the day when people won’t have to kill and maim others to “make a statement,” to draw attention to their cause, or whatever it is. The fact that today is also “tax day” may prove relevant, I don’t know. My prayers to all in Boston, to all who have lost someone or whose loved one is in hospital. My prayers that another entire class of people aren’t stigmatized because the perpetrator suffers from a particular mental disorder. My prayers for the soul of our nation as we continue to install puppet figureheads and then turn around a drop bombs on them when they don’t do our bidding. As we drop drones on innocents to “get” one “bad guy.” I guess I’m just praying for our world tonight.
I wrote this poem today while Lex and I lolled in a cafe, our favorite day-off pastime – this was written hours before Boston. Hope you can enjoy it despite what’s going on. This is for Poetic Bloomings’ prompt, Rain. Peace, Amy
Half a Rainstorm is Better Than None (Bermuda, 1987)
Favorite haunt in Hamilton.
A day-off treat, strong coffee
dense shortbread, and
small talk with a friend.
Sky darkens, pavement is
wet across the way.
We emerge, fully
Yet we’re on the “sunny side of the street.”
Rain spatters cobblestones in
a literal line drawn down the lane.
A meteorological DMZ.
Island storms are that specific.
I pass my hand into the storm and
pull it out again; palm to fingers, drenched.
It dries in the sun as we ponder miracles.
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
I still remember that day. I had never seen the “edge of the storm,” nor did I know the concept existed. I’m not even sure Riley believes me! (“Whacky mom stories,” like meeting Bob Dylan and realizing he has zero charisma… or that my right ankle is thick because of an unfortunate intersection of tequila, Quaaludes, and hopscotch.)
thick, ornery clouds gather
on my mental horizon
chasing my fanciful birds into trees
sending all manner of wild wildlife
into hiding, seeking sanctuary
even the chipmunk on the edge plays
“duck and cover” under the back stoop
it’s coming, the lack of light
of life as I like it
a tunnel, an abyss where
bliss is forbidden
and bright eyes dim to
an absent stare
a slackened jaw, a slacker me
i turn to my bible hoping for answers
“even though i walk in the
valley of the shadow of death
i will fear no… no…”
no words for this condition
no balm in this gilead
no spirit to comfort me
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
For Sunday Scribblings, the prompt was “Storm.” This poem started out as a real, physical storm and ended up, as with many of my offerings, with the onset of a bout of depression. Not so much a storm as a sea change, I suppose, but the warning clouds feel the same – and once the faucets open, it might as well be raining. Buckets.