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

Tag Archives: Sunday Scribs

Amy Bermuda cropped w  Bev

From Day One, I was
a wild child.
Well-schooled but wayward.
Never pleaded for parental pardon.

Worldly wise wisp
wrapped in ribbons,
wants to be unspooled,
twirled, awhirl with

winsome, wastrel wiles.
Wishes for what she wants;
wants more than she gets;
gets what’s coming to her,

all the while knowing
there’s way more in store.
Her wickedly wanton waylays
wend their way into herstory.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Wrote this for the “Wild Woman” prompt at Ella’s Edge in the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Also posted at Poets United, in the Poetry Pantry, and for Sunday Scribblings… their prompt was “energy,” and if this doesn’t fill the bill, I’m in big trouble. ALSO, Poetic Bloomings is celebrating 100 posts, and they wanted a “celebration of self.” Oh, yeah, honey!!

NOTE: I was feeling pretty down until I read Ella’s prompt. I summoned my inner Sherry Blue Sky, Shay/Fireblossom, Lady Nimue, Jae Rose, and a few more … and before you know it, I was as Edgy as Ella! Thanks, you wonderful wild women, o ye of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Rants. (Don’t look now, but Gretchen Leary is catching up to us!)

Finally, about that photo. It was taken in Bermuda at the Princess Hotel, where I was artist-in-residence for two seasons. Didn’t know it yet, but I was newly pregnant with Riley when this was shot. My girlfriend Bev, from the cast of their Dreamgirls-type show, is with me. (I still have the skirt, for Halloween costumes. I’ll wear it as a head wrapping!) Peace, Amy

ROOTED (dedicated to Miss Forward)

Mama never got over being on the road with bands.
“Keep your roots shallow,” she said,
“so you can pull up and move on when it’s time.”

Yet, after wandering for many years,
I find myself grounded, firmly rooted.
Maybe it’s the friendships we’ve forged.

My innate knack for blooming in any new
place I was transplanted (quite often) from coast
to coast, and sometimes in the ocean, small isles.

Relentless in my search for home, the
perfect church… a city with a full spectrum
of cultures, history, creativity (plus a few vultures)

Some artists of delicate mien, others rampant,
unrepentant rowdies, all with eyes and voices meant
to rejuvenate others, if only for art’s own sake.

Madison. Never bland; blooming flowers or snow banks,
it’s all good, as long as the local microbrew beer
and the silk long johns hold out.

Grounded, circles of friends interconnect, grapevines
forming beneath the surface of simple kinship.
Home isn’t where I hang my hat.

It’s where I have planted my soul, patting down soil
in this haven of lefties, young and old, rippin’ good worship, and
a golden lady on the capital dome, wearing a badger helmet.*

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

My first posting since hearing my brain MRI was negative… I mean, I still have a brain, but it’s tumor, clot, and stroke-free. This poem, for Sunday Scribblings (Grounded) and The Sunday Whirl (see Wordle HERE), is a celebration of sorts, as well as a love song for our adopted home, Madison, WI.  This is also posted at my poetic home, Poets United.

*The “golden lady” is called Miss Forward, and she shines at the peak of the dome. She can be seen from a mile away. She does indeed wear a helmet with the shape of a badger, our state mammal, on top. Everything here is Badger: basketball, local football, everyone wears red. BADGER red. Me? I’m more of a ‘honeybadger.’ (wink) Peace, Amy

Broken Record

Once I prayed for a lover who would
treasure me, pleasure me, measure me by
no other standard but my own.

Together on the porch swing,
humming that Simon & Garfunkel tune
(and what a time it was, it was…)

Me, the deer who steered clear
of headlights, and he, my
melancholy golden boy.

Long sweetsweat hours of
erotic coupling, rolling, gripping,
souls afire, blinding, shining oneness.

Picture him as he stays to graze,
then strays to the next aster-speckled
pasture, scent of honey drawing him away.

Betrayal, best rendered in coal black,
ebony spray to cover the mirror and the
rosy glasses though which a love

was seen blooming in pale, fragile hues
of pink and yellow, delicate colors
of columbine swaying in our meadow.

Uproot it all now, fling it into the coals
of after the afterglow. Let lost love
crackle until only powdered ash remains.

Once I prayed for a lover who would
treasure me. Golden was he indeed,
and golden still, shining out of my reach.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Triple prompt: Sunday Scribblings asked for Treasure, while Poetic Bloomings wanted Betrayal. Those two concepts seem like star-crossed lovers at times. Then the Sunday Whirl gave me inspiring words: Swing, Gold, Melancholy, Rosy, Pray, Spray, Powders, Glasses, Erotic, Pale, Fling, Strays, and Cover. Also posted at my poetic meadow, Poets United. Also for dverse Open Mic Night!


A girl’s first kiss should be
like baby’s breath,
not taken in the dead of
night by theft.

Her youth was stolen by
an old man’s greed.
She grew up certain that
to live is to bleed.

An angry woman from a
heartsick girl:
Her song is echoed
all over the world.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil (who looked a lot like the little girl on the left in the picture)

For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “X.” In this case, the saddest kiss of all was my first.  Also at my poetic safe room, Poets United.

PLEASE NOTE: To women, men, boys, girls: If this poem rings true for you, seek help, get counseling. If reading this hurts you in a vague, awful way and makes you want to drink or do drugs or seek other solace that’s unhealthy, try therapy – it’s worth the price to get your life back. Peace, Amy

Pity Party Marathon

Feels like forever, this situation.
So sure that she is unappreciated.
Confronting the conundrum:

Is it they who take advantage,
or she who is the doormat?
Their insensitivity,
or her need for deeds to be noticed?

Are they stoking the fire,
or has she tied herself to the stake,
begging for matches?

Martyrdom is a foolish pursuit,
one that drag on a lifetime.
Yet she, as fools do, faces it; embraces it,
forgetting Dolly Parton’s immortal words:

“Get off the cross, honey, we need the wood.”

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Self-esteem is a struggle for so many women, myself included.  Hard to know when it’s a valid complaint or too much navel-gazing.  For Sunday Scribblings, where the prompt is “Marathon,” as well as at my poetic hangout (where all the outcasts who created the real stuff stuck together in high school), Poets United. Proud to be a member!