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

Tag Archives: Travel

Utah pink
Isn’t this prehistorically fantastic? A sci-fi movie buff’s dream!

Westward into the Sun

Chuggin our old used one
cross country, west of west
Buffalo to LA; I know
how these solo road trips
settle my nettled head

Riley-bound; she needs
the wheels but so chill
she was willin to wait
for a not-so-late model
sun-bleached redmobile

Utah. At first, a burst
of tumbled weeds and
You can have this, Brigham
Gradually it blooms with
looming, wise granite cliffs

as if the earth began here
I see the turtle’s back, legend
of indigenous peoples and
remember we are but riders
on this weathered, whirling rock

In my sights, a magic range
Undeniably and completely pink
I think, where is passage?
Answer: Men blew a hole
straight through, a stark arch

How rude, I say aloud
Typical of humans to blast
a magnificent thing of beauty
in order to accommodate
RVs, SUVs, and I, who

would have driven many miles
to go around this mound
of natural wonder. Now I
understand why the Mormons
saw this as paradise on earth

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

dverse Poets wanted poems about the road. This was one of the best trips in my life; on my Bucket List, actually, to make a cross-country trip. Stayed with friends, saw my girl. Happy time. Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.  Peace, Amy

And So, He Goes
(for our traveling friend, George)

Can there be
any better place
than just around the bend?

Goodbye once again
His car crammed with stuff,
fairly brimming with

all the absolute necessities
plus a few luxuries- an old quilt
to nestle in, dreamgazing

Sojourning toward Someday
Will it end, this road,
this exquisite journey?

Or will he fall
Touch down softly
where peace and love are waiting?

Where he feels
alive, vital at last
At present, tense – but future…

Don’t give up on
these outrageous dreams
of belonging somewhere as unique as you are

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Three Word Wednesday (Fall, Absolute, Nestle), and posted at The Poetry Pantry, Poets United.

Our friend George (buddy since high school) has been traveling for so long, it’s almost a game, like Where’s Waldo? Where in the World is George Sandiego? He’s on the type of quest we all dream of making, once we’re of an age and a mindset to understand the meaning of the Taj Mahal while standing in front of it. He’s taking his time, keeping in touch, and Lex and I pray for him always, as he figures out this grand scheme, this labyrinth of possibility we blithely refer to as Life.

Another take on the Writer’s Island prompt, Embark. The journey many of us would love to undertake.


O, to travel through time…

To the Harlem of Langston Hughes
To feel jazz wash over me and see
faces reflecting the culture of America

To the never-was Wessex of Hardy
To view broad expanses of countryside
and drink warm ale wearing home-sewn clothing

To trace the footsteps of Jesus, follow his sandals
to the lake share, witness the dropping of nets,
the spark of belief in a widow’s face

To occupy even the worst seat at a concert
featuring Jacqueline du Pre or Glenn Gould
To see Billie at Carnegie; Judy at the Palace

To hear firsthand Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”
echoing through every hidden corner of
streets in the Beats’ Greenwich Village

O, to travel through time!

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

OK, I know I’ll get heat for this one… another “stacking” poem for Poetic Asides.


What is holy about the Holy Land?
The Dome dominated by one faith
as Americans do little except contribute
to Israel’s continued building of a wall
choking off Palestinians under slabs of
mentality and political polemic.

“It’s in Israel’s defense and protects American interests.”
It prevents Arabs from getting to the doctor.
How Christian, how Jewish, how holy is that?
And Americans, who cannot feed and clothe
and care for their tired, poor, hungry,
are footing the bill for the contractors.

People who defend Palestinian rights
are called “anti-Semites,” even the Jews who
choose to show mercy on Islamic people.
As though the heads of the State of Israel
speak for all Jewish people around the world.
Tell that to Jews who think Zionism is just another power grab.

Apocalyptics take joy in much of this,
feeling we’re stealing ever closer to the Rapture,
sure they know the year, if not the day and hour,
surer still that they and they alone
will ascend with Jesus, patted on the head,
and to Hell with everyone else!

Until true Godliness prevails, when
Jews, Christians, and Muslims remember
they all worship the same God,
Jerusalem will remain divided at its heart.
So many languages, so many translators,
but no one is listening in Babel.

Spare me your prophesies and Revelation.
If you really love Jesus, you have to love us all.
If you really follow the Torah, you have to love us all.
If you really follow the Prophet Mohammad, you have to love us all.
Israel is not real estate; Israel is a people.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Should the shipwreck come
and I and my truck be washed ashore
Here’s what remain to call my own
sustaining me in my bamboo hut:

Tangerine candles and wooden matchsticks
A jar of honey
A box of African Red Bush Tea
My favorite honeybee mug
A volume of Neruda and one of Hardy
Paper and pencils
Pictures of my family and friends
A few sports bras and tramparound clothes
One little black dress, unusable in these circumstances
Hopefully, my bifocals would survive the swim

But most important of all:
My wit
My faith
My ingenuity, soon to be tested
My name
…even if I am the only one left alive to say it

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore

Dedicated to the GAFB/HiPockets/Poppy Star reunion 2010, with love to all, Amers


Abandon hangups
all ye who enter here

Abandon your present
your what-happened-since-then
Embrace the ever-present past

Pick up a tambourine
Beat it til your hands bruise
Sing til it hurts
Play til your fingers remember
where their callouses were

Laugh til you cry
Live like it’s your last day on earth
Like it’s the end of your shift

Grab a cold beer, flop down here
and tell me all about it

We remain gypsies
no matter what path we chose
The world will never see anything like it again

Time and place
Ribs and space


Amy Barlow Liberatore
Santa Monica, August 15, 2010 (the morning after)

Bobby Francavillo, an old school buddy, turned me on to this young singer/songwriter.  She’s phenomenal and so is her story… look her up on YouTube for an interview about how, after a car accident left her unable to walk, holistically working 24/7 on her music helped her neurons reconnect her brain and legs, which has enabled her to enjoy a rich, full life.  Her voice is like… if Jean Arthur could sing.  I cannot say enough about her talent, nor thank Bobby enough for mentioning her on FaceBook.  I’ve bought 2 of her releases, and she saved MY mental health in a crowded layover at NYC’s Penn Station.   Proof positive that magic is all around us, healing comes in many forms, and friends are meant to share the best things in life.


Penn Station cacophony
The really big noise of
crunchy humanity made moist
by lack of air conditioning

Bad tempers, worse hygiene that
fails to be tamed by perfumes
each more putrid than the last
and all available at WalMart

I park my pack, stack my stash
under weathered and weary sandals
Pull out headphones, cause
it’s gonna be a long layover

Wheel the reel of my IPod to
Melody Gardot, she of the
quirky scat, scratched slightly
broken voice, sleek songs

Eyes closed. I serenely
accept this comfort
as it’s offered up
in her lazy tones, slowly

Crabby folks suddenly wash away
in a flood of lush love songs
Colors appear beneath my eyelids
Vivid purples and greens

Audio visual mental lava lamp
undulating, glowing jazz
In the midst of Amtrak chaos
Suddenly, vibrant beauty

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil