My Favorite Chair

My birthday is not my favorite day of the year. I don't dread getting older. In fact, I really enjoy getting older because it means I haven't let the grim reaper haul me away.

It's not my favorite day because of the gifts I get and it seems like the longer I live the more my family thinks I need gifts to prove their love for me. Also, the longer I live, the dumber the gifts keep getting. I get ties that I never wear, pajamas that I never wear and gift cards from Starbucks that I never use.  If you're on the back side of sixty I'm sure you know the routine.

Well, this year they outdid themselves. While my wife and I went out to a quiet breakfast to fortify ourselves for the afternoon onslaught of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, my sons removed my favorite chair and replaced it with the "latest thing" in personal comfort.

When we returned from breakfast, the entire family was waiting with happy expectant grins wrapped around their faces. A sea of white teeth spewed out the traditional "surprise". Then my daughters blindfolded me and led me to the back of my house and into my personal man cave.

Everyone crowded into the room and the girls removed my blindfold revealing a brand new black recliner made of some kind of material I had never heard of. According to them, it was supposed to do everything but cook my breakfast. I really wasn't surprised. My wife had been nagging me for the last couple of years to get rid of my old eyesore and get something that was more comfortable. However, we both knew it wasn't my comfort that she was thinking about. It was her desire to have furniture that didn't have to hide from our friends.

I was trapped because of my life long lectures to my children on accepting gifts which included a smile and a thank you to the gifter. So, with a smile on my face and a "I hate the damned thing" in my mind, I thanked my family for their thoughtful gift.

When the family left, my wife asked me if I liked it, even though she knew I didn't. However, she knew I was stuck. I had to say yes and thank her and hug her and sit in it and say how comfortable it was.

It wasn't comfortable. Comfort means to relax and let your muscles turn to jelly and your mind go numb and the chair and your wife not say nasty things to you because you spill your coffee or get food stains on it. That was my old chair. It didn't give a damn what I did to it. It was like a faithful dog, always ready to comfort me no matter how many times I left it out in the rain.

Oh well, I'll have to slowly break it in. I'll house train like a new puppy. I'll start by giving it a name. I think I'll call it Lo-Jack and then my wife can send it to fetch me when I'm sneaking a snort from my stash hidden in the wood pile. Maybe it'll get caught in the rain and become a real chair.
gs batty/2.17.2015

written for

Songs of the dead

I hear the voices of
the dead.
 sing the songs of life.

Their songs of life
follow me.
I need to stop and listen.

Their songs are
in the breeze
that rustles the light of the stars

Their songs are
in the morning
when the sun says hello

Their songs are
 the choruses of calm and peace
dancing in the meadows

I hear their songs
above the red rock canyons.
 wafting in the wind.

Their songs
sing to me
through the hawks that soar above

their songs
sing to me
through the lizards that flit across the rocks

I  walk through my life and
listen to their voices.
 sing the songs of nature.

It is the force that creates my soul.
Without their voices
my soul would be lost.


I wrote your name

I wrote your name in the sky
the wind blew it away

I chased your name across the sky
but it was like the end of a rainbow

always fading away
only to reappear and taunt me once more

 When I wrote those words upon your heart
instead of those wispy clouds of white

you stayed and let me hold you

now we will never be apart.

Coming Home

I walk in the park
crushing the fallen leaves
under the soles of my shoes

not for revenge
nor do I get a thrill
from their final destruction

I am looking for something
something that I had lost
a long time ago

a part of me
that drifted away

a part of me
that I set free

a part of me
that I was happy to let go of

until one day 
it dawned on me
that I had lost the best part

the part that made me 

the part that made me

the part that made me 

the part that made me

my feet walk among the fallen leaves
and crush the dryness of their souls

I can feel
my soul begin to
grow again

I can feel
the child in me
coming home 

depression filled the dryness
of my soul
something from the leaves

spoke to that 
inside of me
which was lost

awaking a lost desire
to laugh again
to feel again

where had I gone
where had I been
a presence of soul was lost

only the physical remained
not a zombie
but knocking on the door

to the presence of hell
fearing what was there
wanting the door to open

hoping for someone
to find me
and bring me home

the crushing leaves
awakened my soul 

                                       gsbatty/Feb 2015