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

Tag Archives: Winter

WIsc WInter 001Artwork © Amy Barlow Liberatore

Wisconsin Winter Weather

Weather winces
Wisconsinites, whether
winkled or wrinkled

Why would we winter
where winds’re
wild, wooly?

Woven, wistful warmth within

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, as well as ABC Wednesday – this week, of course, the letter W! “Amy Bawwo Wiberatowe”



Sleeping on a park bench
Living in a Chevy beater
Winter covers each with
an unwanted blanket of snow

Downtown, shoppers
pay them no mind; while
searching for deep discounts,
they discount these folks

Tonight, under starlight that
sets the frost a-twinkle with
thousands of crystals, remember
Jesus is sleeping under cardboard

not too far from here…

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Michael Crawford sings this song with heart, with understanding.  May we all remember the homeless during this HOHOHO season of frenzied gift giving, as we fatten our credit card balances buying crap made by child slave labor in China.

For ABC Wednesday, the letter U.  Pick one:  Underfed, Underemployed, Under stress, Under cardboard boxes.  Also “in the margins” at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United.  Peace, Amy

Come, Spring (a cinquain)

Pour through my pane
Melt ice around my heart
Transform my frozen mind gently
Frost free

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Image from Wikimedia Commons, by Mohylek:  “I, the copyright holder of this work,
release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.”

NaPoWriMo #2, for Sunday Scribblings (seasoned, although mine is more seasonal). Also at “It’s Always Sunny at Poets United,” my wintering snowbird delight and haven!

Can you believe it? An unprompted cinquain. Spring must be coming… Peace, Amy

Participating in National Poetry Writing Month “A poem a day keeps the blues at bay.”

Snow Bizness

It is March in Wisconsin
and, any day now,
no matter how green the meadow,
how tawny the wrens who
flew in for Spring,
nor how green
the ivy grows,
we know our TV screens
will sketch the sad
Doppler Crayola scrawl:
One more blizzard.

Snow bury-
ing our lawns,
shunning the calendar,
sticking thick thorns into
Madison’s collective psyche.
As suburban assault vehicles
zigzag on the Beltway
(drivers oblivious to the concept
of SUV rollover ratings),
our guts are twisted and we
tend to cluster in bars,
seeking solace in our famous
Wisconsin micro-brews.

Shallow coping mechanism, I know,
but until we are assured the
stout-stemmed ironweed and
apple saplings are in bloom,
we await our twisted fate…
moods indigo, yet somehow

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

De Jackson of Whimsygizmo fame was gatekeeper in the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, and she gave us a huge list of words. A veritable cornucopia; in fact, I was only able to use most of them: Sketch, screen, march (well, March), Snowberry (um, snow bury-ing, groan), tawny, meadow, stout-stemmed, cluster (not tempted in any way, shape, or form to pair an obscenity with that word – see, I’m all grown up now), zigzag, leave, twisted, indigo, shunning, ivy, sapling, and thorns. I didn’t use elder, shallow, or adaptation. Dang!

Thanks, De, for one more chance to comment on the weather here in Madison. I really do love it here, but, dear Lord, would it possible for the snow to melt before June?

This is also posted at my poetic igloo, Poets United. Peace and silky long-johns, Amy

OK, I had to come up with a poem to meet my own prompt at We Write Poems!

The form is “3 + (x) = poem,” and today, as I rode the bus and hung out with a homeless Vietnam vet my age who’s been given six months to live, there was no place else to go but the steam grates and the fact that the two major refuges for homeless folks will be shut down this winter by our lame-ass governor, Scott Walker (brought to you by The Koch Brothers; paid for by same).

I’ll be away for the weekend, so pardon my not answering comments promptly. Have a peaceful Labor Day – if these guys get their way, that holiday will mean nothing in a few years. RIP, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory women – you are not forgotten. Amy

Homeless in Madison, Winter 2001

Homeless folks dread winter
This coming winter especially
We with homes worry for them, too
(Governor closed two safe havens)

Wisconsin is “penniless”
No money for “extras”
We with homes give to NGOs
(But the Guv has bucks to redo the Capitol Cafeteria – all winter long)

Ironic. That cafeteria provided
daily shelter for many residents
from punishing, sub-zero winds
(Merry Fucking Christmas)

Our governor “doesn’t hate anyone,
least of all, the poor”
We protest to remind him of his lies
(As he settles into his plush office for a toasty-warm Madison winter)

Politicians and the Constitution
don’t always agree… we need many
voices to speak on behalf of those in need
(and to recall this sorry excuse for a governor)

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


I’m a newly minted Cheesehead.

Wisconsinites call anyone
from the other side of Lake Erie
“an East Coaster.”

They fretted that we would
never make it through a
Madison winter.

I replied with one word: “Buffalo.”

Slowly they realized that, not only is
New York State snowy and cold and
a cheese heaven in itself,

but I have a Midwestern pedigree.
Mom grew up in Iowa.
I’m willing to eat all the ‘pig corn’ they put on my plate!

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “C,” and also on Poets United, my shelter from the storm.