words rebel

once I wrote
some words hoping
 they would not die
I sent them across the prairies
on the wings of an eagle
but they came limping back to me
I nursed them back to health
repairing a verb and a noun and a funny participle
hoping they would fly
once again
they came home to me
all bitter and angry and begging to be free
send us back to where we're from
no one will accept us
we will be happier from whence we come
so I took the vowels
and sent them home
and sold the consonants to funny old gnome
he took those naked letters
and created a crier
that he sold it to the world as a word verifier
                                                                                          gs batty/march 2013
                                                                                       written for fun


Seasoned, you asked...yes
I believe that's me
seasoned like a stack of well aged hay
piled in the field of life
enjoying the sun
withstanding the wind and the rain
the weather has not bothered me
but only helped me grow
and contribute to the world
the horses, the cows and the sheep
will take from me
so I can earn my way
I give freely because I believe
there are better things in life
than to become moldy and waste away
                                                                                       gs batty/march 2013
                                                                                          for Sunday Scribblings

dang me - hang me

A cold wind blew down from the canyon causing the fire to flicker and jump. Every so often the pine that we were burning would explode like a small fire cracker and sparks from the fire would attacked anyone on the down wind side.

My dad had put some hot coals under our chairs and I was bundled up nice and cozy in a blanket sipping my tin cup filled with hot chocolate.

My granddad sat across the fire from me and was receiving the brunt of the wind and the sparks from the fire.  He was also trying roll a Bull Durham cigarette and not having much luck. He finally gave up and threw the makings in the fire and took a big swallow of his homemade moonshine and passed the jug to my dad.

When granddad finish his slug of nectar, as he called it, he let a big belch and said, "Now there,s a drink that old Roy Bean would have loved."

"Who's Roy Bean," I questioned

"He's the son of bitch that tried to hang me, that who Roy Bean is or now was.  The dumb bastard drank himself to death. Now if he had some of this stuff he would still be alive."

"Really, he really tried to hang you."

"Sure as I'm sittin by this fire.  Tried to hang for stealing my own horse and he used my horse to do it."

"Really, what happened? Why didn't he hang you?" I leaned forward in my chair and almost spilled my chocolate.

"Well boy, it was like this. I got in to a poker game and bet my horse and lost. Now a cowboy can't be without a horse so when I went out to show the card slick, cheatin bastard the horse, I just jumped on it and took off. But the card shark was also a good shot with a pistol and he shot me in the arm and knocked me off the horse.

Now Old Judge Roy Bean held my trial right there on the street with me bleeding.

"Does any man here believe that this lying, no good thief is not guilty of stealing his own horse. No?Then my boy, your are guilty and I sentence you to be hung with your own rope and your own horse."

They put my rope around my neck and made me climb on my own horse. Then they tied the rope to a big tree and while I was sitten there ready to meet my maker that old judge brought me a slug of cheap whiskey and took out his bible.

He said, "I know you don't cotton  much to what is said in this here book or you wouldn't be drinking, whoring and gambling so I am not going to send you to your maker with any of these good words. I'll just say that "times will pass, seasons will come and go" and you won't be here to see any of them."

Then he slapped the ass of that old horse and I knew I was a goner but they didn't tie that rope good enough to the tree and I went sailing out of town with that rope tied around my neck and dragging behind me. I just kept on riding and never went back.

"Taught me a lesson that I never forgot. I ain't never played cards again and you know sumthin, that sly old goat never hung anyone. They left that rope untied on purpose."

I said "Granddad, I bet you're fibbin me"

He smiled, rubbed a scar on his neck and took another sip of his "nectar".

written for Carry on Tuesday

Uncle Joe and Joe Btfsplk

Do you remember that name. I mean Joe Btffplk. Everyone knows an Uncle Joe or has an Uncle Joe.

Joe Btfsplk was the funny looking little man with the black cloud that  always hovered above his head in Al Capp's "Lil Abner" comic strip. I grew up reading Lil Abner and always pronounced the name "Bitsefpolk" and never bothered to really wonder how it was pronounced.  Now with "Google" I can almost interview Al Capp himself and find out how Btfsplk really is pronounced and so I did.

"Al, I have aways wondered how you pronounced the guy with black cloud's name?"

"Well, Old Grizz, "Btfsplk" is a rude sound that resembles a 'raspberry or Bronx cheeer'".
Capp closed his lips, stuck out his tongue and then blew air, creating a sound we call a "raspberry or Bronx Cheer and in the process spit all over me.

Whenever  Joe Btfsplk arrived something bad happened to someone, but not him.  As a young boy I was sure that my Uncle Joe had Joe Btfsplk sitting on his shoulder wherever he went.

Uncle Joe was just a poor man trying to raise a family but somewhere along the line someone or something attached a cord from Uncle Joe to Joe Btfplk and that bad luck bad cloud.

The first time the bad luck cloud of  Joe Btfsplk rained down on Uncle Joe was during the depression when a coal mine caved in on him. The mine was just a small two-man operation the he and my dad owned.  They dug the coal to trade for food.  Luckily they were able to dig him out and he only had a broken leg.

The second round of bad luck came when his wife, Delsa, left him and ran off with a traveling salesman.  She also left him with two boys and one girl to raise by hisself.

The third round of bad lick arrived when a huge saw blade at the lumber mill broke free and cut right up through his left arm leaving him only partial use that arm for the rest of his life.

After the saw blade incident and thirty something operations, Joe took his crippled arm and learned how to weld. He opened a welding shop in the small town where he lived and eked out a meager living for him and his kids.

Uncle Joe loved to deer hunt and wasn't always respectful of the tagging law. He believed the deer were there to kill and eat. When he needed meat, he shot himself a deer. My dad would go hunting with him every deer season and when I got old enough I went with them.

One year, Uncle Joe shot a nice big buck with a nice big trophy rack. He and my dad dressed it out and had it hanging in a tree when the local game warden came around. He went over to the buck, grabbed the antlers and tilted it's head and and the following conversation went something like...

Game Warden, "Nice buck...nice rack...who shot it"?

Uncle Joe, "I did."

Warden, "Where's the tag?"

Uncle Joe, "Don't have one."

Warden, "I'll have to confiscate the deer and issue you a ticket."

Uncle Joe, "Touch that deer and I'll blow your goddamn head off and you can take your ticket and shove it up your *%#*(>."

They locked eyes, the warden shrugged, got back into his truck and drove away.

Uncle Joe said some pretty bad words about the warden as a man. It went something like, "Chicken *#$#  S O B ain't got the balls to do anything about it. Then he took out his pint of "Everclear" 190 proof corn liquer from his back pocket and toasted his victory. I couldn't prove it, but I'm sure that old Joe Btfsplk drank right along with him. By then, they were friends and the black cloud was no longer raining on Uncle Joe.

                                                                                                   gs batty march/2013

work today...nah..nope...nada

energy to work
is inversely proportional
to the heat of the day
when the rays
of the sun
turn the cold of the moon
into a warm
sunny morning
and a hot afternoon
I don't have the energy
to do any work
but I do have the energy to play
                                                                                    gs batty for Sunday Scribblings

here, there, everywhere

Naturally, with my confused mind, I immediately thought of"Old MacDonald's farm".
..."Here a chick, there a moo, everywhere a quack, baa..."...or something like that...

so now...

I must apologize to my wife, to Keith, the Beatles and all of England because  I thought of a farm first and the love of a woman later. I wondered if it was because I'm getting older or to old and the poetry of love or the need of love is sinking (or has already gone kerplunk) into the sunset.

But, that;s not true. No matter how old we get we still need that special someone to be here, there and everywhere as so poetically written by Paul McCartney and sung by the Beattles.

I am lucky because I have that special someone who has always been here, there and everywhere for me as I have for her. I do not buy lottery tickets because I used up all of my luck when the lovely "Mrs Grizz", (notice I didn't say Mrs. 'Old' Grizz), agreed to become my wife.

I love you babe...and I will feed the chickens...later

                                                          written for Carry on Tuesdays by gs batty

did we - do they

"In youth we learn; in age we understand"

I am not so sure that this quote by Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach still holds water. I am of the belief that the world I live in is really a leaky old boat with the bilge pumps not working and the bailing buckets long thrown overboard because they were taking up lounge chair space.

The bilge pump (invented sometime just before or just after Columbus "sailed the ocean blue in 1492") was at first a simple suction pump (worked by manual labor) that developed into a vital piece of machinery needed to explore the vast oceans and the bowels of the earth.

Today they are sophisticated pieces of machinery that replace a mans need to do any physical labor unless (of course) they break down.  At that point we either bail out the waters using bailing bucket or the water does what it damn well pleases and at that point it is not planning on giving you a warm shower.

Because we have developed machinery suck as the bilge pump to do all the work for us, kids today just grow up basking in the luxury of laziness.  They do not have to think or learn. A 1931 survey found that "high school students were more likely to attribute their failing performance to laziness, while teachers ranked "lack of ability" as the major cause, with laziness coming in second."

Although I do not have any empirical evidence available, I believe in 2013 the rate of laziness has increased the same rate as the increase in modern technology has. I own a business and it is difficult to hire a young person that wants to "work", knows how to "work" and understands how to "work".

No Marie, the quote today should be, "In youth we take, in age we wonder what the hell happened"
and then we hold out our hand to government and say "it's not my fault".  Who knows?  Maybe it's not but that still doesn't get you out of the bread line.

                                                                            gs batty for Mr. kmeith and Carry on Tuesday

are they real

It's out there...right over there...look again..come here...see it? No,no,no...a little to the left..you have have to be blind. I can see it. There it is again...Oh, now it's gone.
It was too there.  I know I saw it.  Yes they do exist.  Come on, you weren't even looking in the right direction.

I'm not crazy...you're blind.  It was right there. Come on I'll show you. It was right over there by that rock.  Tracks? I don't know.  Maybe they don't leave tracks.

I have not been sipping on the wine to long and I am not drunk.

Yes, they are real. I've heard that if you don't believe, you will never see one. So, you will never see one. But I see them, because I believe.

Leprechauns are out there but only for the believers. Do you believe? If you truly believe, just look out your window, because, today is the day that they are out and about.

However, even if you do not believe. I offer you an Irish blessing...
May your days be as beautiful as this...

Some beautiful countryside.......some beautiful music......some beautiful thoughts.   Erin Go Bragh!! 

I Raise you

a man was catching some rays
when a girl caught his gaze
he said with a sigh
on my oh my
how I wish she would stand there for days.

a man was asking for a raise
but his boss had noted the glaze of his gaze
and said with a  smirk
I've not seen any work
from you for days

written for Mad Kanes "Limerick-Offs"

Pi day

Pi day today
but what does that mean
I'm not a mathematician
nor a Greek god
I'm only a man
pondering a word

that never ends
maybe that tiny word
really is eternity

is the secret
to everlasting life
tied up

in two little letters
a p and an i
coming together

agreeing to unite
and become
only one

maybe the
red and the blue
should listen to the Greeks

and come together
to better represent us
so we can become a country of one

                                                                                          gs batty/3.14/pi day/2013


the twig and I..and...

avoiding a fight 
a twig
a simple little innocuous twig
not in a tree or laying on the ground
but on my kitchen counter
waiting to be found
or was it lurking
waiting to attack someone
the first one to come around
and was that someone me
should I be so naive and stupid
to think it was only part of a tree
wait now you say
how dangerous can one little twig be
surely that little thing is no danger
to either you or me
maybe no danger to you
but lets think about me
were I to pick it up
and throw it away
would I be in trouble
with whoever put it there
or even worse
were I not to pick it up
and throw it away
would my ears be scolded
for letting it remain free
so I sit and ponder
that tiny little twig
wondering what to do with it
I guess the best solution
just between you and me
is to leave it alone
and pretend that
the poor little twig
was a trap I never saw
I'll just walk away
and drink my coffee
sometime later today

                                                           gs batty/march 2013

the green green sky of home

We stood together
on the edge of the abyss of damnation
I...hesitant, he...calling me
I was naked
before the world
for everyone to see
but really there
was only the two of us
just God and me
I reached out my hand
hoping to find
someone honest someone kind kind
a sea of green
somewhere to to dance and just be free
 was opened just for me
The sea seemed only a mist
 strange things and faces were seen down below
I could hear them calling soft and low

don't be afraid
said a voice from above
just step on out and you'll soar like a dove

I stepped onto that sea of green
and soared above the abyss
for all those faces to see

I danced with the clouds
walked on a rainbow
and rode a lightning bolt across the sky

for upon that Irish green sea
there were only the two of us
just God and I

                                                                                        gs batty/march 2013

written for....Theme Thursday


I opened a book
of beautiful poems
 to read
the morning was crisp but warm
the patio alive
with humming birds
flitting here and there
a Bewick Wren sang a duet
with a trickling stream
they filled
the sky blue air
with their morning serenade
swirls of cream
spun like an eddy
and painted my coffee
with ripples of sand
that led to
 an ocean of life
a sharp tangy aroma
from the depth of the cup
aroused the senses of my being
as I swirled my nectar
and watched it spin
the warmth of its life
caressed the souls of my fingers
I tried to read my life
and where it began
and where it was going
and where it would end
I heard the chirping of the wrens
the trickling of the stream
but any news from the nectar
was only to be a dream

gs batty/march 2013         



Instinct led me to the alley behind Smitty's Garage. I don't really know why, but for some reason I knew I had to go there. Like I said, I chalk it up to instinct. I didn't even know what I should should be looking for. I just had that strange feeling that something or someone back in that alley needed me.
When I rounded the corner I could see what appeared to be to people standing in the shadows at the end of the alley. I stopped, hesitant to go forward. I am not a big man nor am I trained in any of the self defense arts. My greatest claim to fame is when I beat Charley Johnson in a fist fight when we were in the eight grade.
But, this was way after the eighth grade and I hadn't fought anyone sense. Oh, I did do four years in the Air Force but they didn't waste any time teaching me to fight. I was sent to the air intelligence squadron which would be the first to be evacuated in case of a fight. That's was just fine with me, I always said if I were ever tortured I would probably talk my damned head off.  In my mind, I hoped that wouldn't true. Luckily, I was never tested.
To this day, I still couldn't couldn't tell you what made me go forward. but I did. I moved slowly towards the two shadows and then said in a very loud and strong voice, "What are you doing back there?" Again it was instinct that told me to sound loud and sure of myself. I could not make out either person except that they were real people and appeared to be men.
I mustered more courage and said in louder voice, "Get the hell out of here."
I could feel there stares, there inability to determine who I was and what threat  I was to them. I can only assume that my loud and strong voice convinced them it was better to leave than test me out. The alley had another exit just off to the right of them. I saw the shadows disappear in that direction.
When I got to where they had been standing I found a young man all bloody and out cold lying in the trash next to a trash can. I peeked around the corner of the alley where the two shadows had disappeared and they were gone.
I went back to the street and phoned the police from Sally's Cafe. He was taken to the local hospital whre it was determined he would be okay. He was a homeless man and when he approached the two man and ask for money they had just began beating on him.
Instint told me to go to the alley.  Instinct told me to sound loud and brave, and maybe instinct saved the boy's life. I hjave no idea if the two shadows were ever caught.

the road I chose

one led me to heaven
the other to hell
I chose hell
one led me to water
the other to dust
I chose dust
one led to a meadow
the other a cliff
I chose the cliff
from the canon below
the crossroads of my past
beckoned me
my voice my soul
echoed across the void
and pled for help
my pleas
hurtled across an empty sky
they did not return
gs batty/march 2013
written for Carry on Tuesday ...thanks Keith

I cannot deny it

it is there
I cannot deny it
but if I should try
I am
reminded by the stormy sea
it's angry waves reaching out to absorb me
It is there
I cannot deny it
but if I should try
I am
reminded by the blinding sun
it's scorching heat reaching down to absorb me
oh no
I cry
I am still a boy stomping in puddles
but is there
I cannot deny it
but if I should try
I am
reminded by the blowing wind
it's awesome power threatening to absorb me
oh no
I cry
I am still sixteen and on a date
but it is there
I cannot deny it
but if I should try
I am
reminded by the rain
it's silvery touch wanting to absord me
oh no
I cry
I am young and have a wife
but it is there
I cannot deny it
but if I try
I am
reminded by my aging body
it's aches and pains trying to absorb me
oh no
I cry
I am still needed by those that love me
but it is there
I cannot deny it
gs batty/march 2013

I welcome the souls that touch me

I stand among them
the wind the clouds the rain
wondering who they are

not lightning nor thunder
for they have no substance
only sound and light
but the others
the wind the clouds and the rain
are the souls of those that came before
could the wind
blowing in my face
have kissed  the face of Rumi
could the rain
that washes my soul
have washed the soul of Frost
could the clouds
that paint the sky
be painting the words of Poe
If I caress
the rain upon my face
will I touch the words of Whitman
does the wind
that blows my hair
carry the words of Thomas
could the shapes
that float across the sky
have influenced Carroll
all those souls
and all their words
are wisping through the air
all those souls
and all those words
are misting in my face
all those souls
and all those words
are singing from the clouds
I welcome them
the wind the clouds the rain
they are the essence of who I long to be
                                                     gs batty/march 2013

we are one

the sun  was burying itself in the ocean
 paths from different places
beckoned them
they met under a Banyon
and watched the sun say it final goodbye
 a soft breeze kissed their cheeks
their fingers touched
a marmalade sky warmed their hearts
his hand touched hers, hers returned the warmth
their souls touched a wispy cloud
they drew closer
each to steal a kiss
seeking to fill a need
droplets of moonlight
bound their hearts as one

each held the other
snuggled in the warmth
of their love
they did not feel the cool breeze
nor hear the call of the gulls

They saw the white clouds turn dark
felt the breeze become a wind
that tugged at their strength
lightning began to split the sky
sounds of thunder shook the ground

the wind grew stronger
attempting to separate their love
lightning thunder wind
gnawed at them
clawed at them

they stood as one
in each others arms
refusing to be destroyed
they faced the
wind thunder lightning rain

heads held high
rain wind lightning thunder lashed at them
they looked to the sky
hair clothing fighting against the storm
souls refusing to part

they turned from the storm
refusing to let
the wind the rain the lightning the thunder
shape them
they weathered the storm as one


there's a fight on tonight

a fellow was planning his flight
to begin in the middle of the night
but his wife caught wind
of the stewardess he was in
and now there's a hell of a fight
written for Mad Kanes "Limerick-Offs"

Dean Koontz

Yesterday I was privileged to hear Dean Koontz speak. To be truthful, I've never read one of his books. Even though I've heard a lot of people rave about his work I have never cared for spooky stories. The reason I went was to support one of the local city's library fund raising efforts.

I had no idea what to expect but I was presently surprised by a very nice man and a pretty good speaker.  He was funny and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of his speech. I even broke a long standing rule of mine and bought a book and then stood in line to have him sign it.

His is the first autograph I have asked for since I was rejected by by the Great Goose Tatum of the Harlem Globetrotters when I was twelve years of age. I had snuck into the basketball pavilion where the Trotters were playing one of their many one night stands via a heating tunnel that ran over 300 yards from the college's heating plant into the field house. I was waiting by the door of their dressing room and when they came out I asked him for an autograph.

I had purchased a brand new Voit basketball and was even ready with a pen. I remember being in total awe of of his height and stature. He was one of my heroes. I ventured to call him by what I thought was his first name,

I stood beneath him, a white boy staring into the eyes of a black iconic hero, holding a pen in one hand and a ball in the other, his eyes hard and flinty, my eye brown and begging, "Goose, would you autograph my ball for me?"

His words still ring in my ears, "It's bad luck boy, don't bother me."

I didn't go into the arena and watch him play. I went home, sad dejected, vowing to never ask for another autograph, no matter who it was and I have kept that vow until I heard Mr. Koontz speak.

But, I paid for a book and stood in line. However, even as much as I admire Mr. Koontz I would never seek him out and ask for an autograph. Yet, Mr. Dean Koontz was worth every minute of my time and every dime the lunch and book cost me.

The things that surprised me the most were first, he had body guards. I don't know why but, that surprised me. Second, the fact that he writes 6 days a week from 7 AM until 5 PM and does not eat lunch also surprised me.. Oh yes, there was one more thing that surprised me. He says he writes slowly and that he will rewrite one page as much as thirty times before he goes on to the next.

The book that I chose  was "Odd Apocalypse" in the hard back issue. I was immediately hooked when I open the first page and began reading. The book begins with a blond girl riding a black Friesian stallion. The girl and the horse are both ghost images and Koontz's hero, Odd Thomas, is the only one that can seen them. But, that mattered not to me. It was the Friesian stallion that caught my attention.

I am not a horse person so I had never heard of Friesian horses until a U-Tube video about them was sent to me by a friend only two days previous.  It is impossible to watch that video and not fall in love with that breed of horses and I did. No, I am not going to buy one but I found it intriguing that I had just learned about them and there one was in "Odd Apocalypse".

The second thing that drew me closer to this book was that it is about ghosts that have trouble moving to the other side. For one reason or another they cannot make the transition from the world of the living to the world of the dead.

I am trying to publish a story I call "My Huckleberry Friend".  It is about how our souls move from this world into the next world and why some of them do not make it.

Because I have never read one of Koontz's books I found that similarity and the fact that I have been writing in the same genre somewhat eerie. I guess I had better read more of it.

When I finish the book I will write a  review on it.

Summer of '38 review

Review and Critique "SUMMER OF '38" by Colm Toibin as published in "The New Yorker", March 4, 2013.

 Toibin story takes us to a town in Spain where an old woman is living out the last of her life. The woman is contacted by a writer that is researching a story about WWII and the occupation of her village by Franco's soldiers.

The writer had been in touch with an ex-officer in Franco's army who is comingto come to the town in hope of having lunch with the old woman and the writer.  The officer has requested that the woman be present and have lunc with them.

The story takes us into the mind of the woman as she relives her life in those perilous years and her relationship with the ex-officer. What was their relationship?  Will she meet with him? They are only two of the many questions and possibilities that float through your mind as you read the story.

Toibin does a masterful job of keeping the reader interested and wanting to know what happened and what is going to happen. The way he writes dialogue pulls you into the story and you feel as if you're in the room eavesdropping on the characters in the story.

What were they to the town, the war effort, to each other? Is she guilty of collaborating with the enemy? Is the writer really hunting for war criminals. Is the quiet old lady really a WWII war criminal?

The story is a good read and goes well with your morning coffee or your afternoon tea.

Highly recommended...