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

Tag Archives: Three Word Weds.

Catching the last breath of Sunday Scribblings, laid low with flu that comes and goes. If I hear, “it’s going around” one more time, I’ll… cough unproductively!

Sunday Scribblings
asked for a sensation (in this case, I borrowed that of another), and Three Word Wednesday used Backward, Ease, and Omission. Seemed to go together… Peace to all, Amy

Tightwire With Glass Shards and No Net

Her uncomplicated memories of growing up
The ease with which she blocks out
who dad was and what he did…

Insisting he hung the moon and stars
Not a sin, but a shame, this omission.
She remains his prisoner, unbalanced,
dreams filled with violence,

legs kicking away at something,
she can’t quite see its face…
Look backward, angel.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic collective home, Poets United.


TWOFER! Because yesterday’s poem was such an unbelievable bummer (for me, too), I have two nice ones today. First, I’m flexing some haiku muscle for Sensational Haiku Wednesday; second, Three Word Wednesday gave us: Adapt, Glide, and Lie. These are also posted at my poetry haven, Poets United. Peace to all, Amy

FOR SENSATIONAL HAIKU WEDNESDAY

Falling Leaves (Haiku)

Leaves color, then drop
as though staying green so long
has left them weary.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

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FOR THREE WORD WEDNESDAY (prompt words in bold)

Heaven Sent

Pregnant teen Kit, big-time cocaine-addicted.
She knew that the baby’d be wholly afflicted
She tried to clean up; she didn’t abort;
but habits and lies and recovery fell short.

She put down her pipe just in time for E.R.
A stranger took pity, drove her there in his car.
He cell-phoned his wife, who rushed down for the birth
(To have their own, they’d have moved heaven and earth.)

Kit wouldn’t nurse baby, pleaded, “Don’t wanna see him.”
The couple, still there, never once thought to flee him.
A tough road ahead for a tough little guy:
a whole lot of tears, in purging the high.

A nurse saw the two, screaming babe in her arms;
“Maybe-Mom” glided over, her touch was the charm.
One look and they knew, so completely enrapt,
that they would not only adopt, but adapt.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Escape Can Be Forever

Authentic, unapologetic
Manic-depressive, chose Meth over meds
Yowling cat-scratch vocals

Wound-up top
Inviting us for a spin
Next to none, under your skin
Energetic, enigmatic
House-high beehive
Outrageous, bawdy “bad girl”
Undulating at the mic
Soul singer to the end
Everlasting, never built to last… Amy Winehouse

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

NOTE:  For ABC Wednesday, took longer to complete than I imagined, but wanted to get it right.  Amy Winehouse’s legacy is not just her incredible music.  She serves as a symbol of the confusion between addiction and mental illness.  It’s true that many times, as with my own mother, people who need other help self-medicate… the difference is, Amy was DIAGNOSED as manic-depressive (bipolar) and refused to take prescribed medicine or stick with therapists.

To say she was an addict and post “Just say no” on FaceBook does a great disservice to many people who might see themselves in Amy’s downward spiral and possibly seek medical help.  As a person living with manic depression and PTSD, I wanted this message to go out to as many folks as possible. 

Also posted at Poets United. RIP, Amy Winehouse, and peace to her family and fans, Amy Barlow Liberatore


Christopher Street
(for Jeffery, Jimmy, and thousands more)

Remember the good old days when
the word “immune” didn’t start with “auto”?
When a wine stain was something
he hand-washed off his shirt?

When, drenched with sweat,
two men would lie in bed all day,
not because they were sick…
they were just lolling in love.

Stonewall came and Gay Pride grew
‘til the storm clouds massed and
lightning struck down too many men
in the prime of their lives.

Christopher Street no longer radiates
the joy we knew back then, nor does
the Village hold the singular charm of
young gay lovers stealing a kiss.

Who would have thought a virus could
change our world in such a visceral way,
and never return us to yesterday?
Look back, remember, smile, cry, and trudge on.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday – Drench, Immune, Radiate.  Also on Poets United… Pray for a cure!  Amy


Crucifixion, Texas Style

Gov. Perry had a choice:
Listen to the appeal of experts who proved
the man did not start the fire which took
the lives of his children…

or think about his upcoming re-election.

Most Texans don’t take kindly
to governors who commute death sentences.
The Guv could have looked above.
It appears he chose to look the other way instead.

And now another innocent man
walks down the final hallway to his
sanitary, efficient doom.

Strapped down as the doctors ready the dose
of lethal legality, executing “humane” judgment.

Curtains are yanked open to reveal the scene.
Curious how this drama is presented
like a peep show from Hell.

The needle will pierce his skin
and another soul will be loosed
by the State of Texas.

The view from the chamber ceiling
is that of a man
tethered to a cross.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil for Three Word Wednesday (appear, dose, pierce) and Poets United.

This poem is based on the execution of Cameron Willingham, who spent 12 years on Death Row.  Many experts appealed on his behalf as to the pattern of the blaze, but Willingham had a history of abusive behavior and a 10th grade education, which don’t play well in courts, no matter how the facts are presented.

It’s not only Texas – many states have the death penalty; some have prisoners on Death Row, just waiting for the day the penalty goes back into effect. Texas does tend to execute the most people; in fact, when George W. Bush was governor, he “okayed” 152 executions, the most in recent history by any governor. I remain opposed to the death penalty, and the facts are in favor of pacifists:  More and more DNA evidence is proving the innocence of people on Death Row across the country.


Our First Actual Date

I fumble pouring beer from the pitcher
We banter:  Work, our daily bread, church
His gentle way assures me that
he doesn’t expect this date to end up in bed

We’re long-time friends, he respects
my role as a single mother, and my kid likes him
Then a simple glance, and we realize
we’re meant for each other

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Dedicated to my husband and partner of almost 14 years, Lex.
For Three Word Wednesday (words in bold), and the heartbeat my collective work, Poets United.