THOMAS A. BATTLE
           Death Row,  CALIFORNIA



   
My name is Thomas Anthony Battle, and I have recently been condemned to California's
Death Row at San Quentin State Prison....I am 29 years old, 5'11", and 200 lbs.  I enjoy
reading and writing, music, poetry, sports, and outdoors.  I also try to keep up with current
world news.  (Below) there is a writing that reflects me- who I am and what I am about....


                    THE INVITATION . . . TO THOSE CURIOUS

It doesn't interest me, what you do for a living.  I want to know what it is you truly ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts, true longing.
It doesn't interest me, how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love, for your dreams, for the very adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me, what plants are squaring your moon.   I want to know if you have
touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have
shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain,  I want to know if you can sit with the pain,
mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness,
and let the ecstacy fill you to the tip of your fingers and toes, without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me, if the story you are telling me is true.  I want to know if you can disappoint
another, to be true to yourself;  if you can bear the accusations of betrayal, and not betray your
own soul, if you can be faithless, and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when its not pretty, everyday, and if you can source
your own life from its presence.  
I want to know, if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake,
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "YES!"
It doesn't interest me to know where you live, or how much money you have.  I want to know
if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what
needs to be done, to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me where you have been, who ya know, or how you came to be here.  
I want to know, if you will stand in the center of the fire with me, and not shrink back in fear
and doubt.  
It doesn't interest me where, what or whom you have studied.  I want to know just what
sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.  
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and truly like the company you keep,
both in the shadows and empty moments of your life.
This, is the invitation....to those curious.  


MAILING ADDRESS :

Thomas A Battle  V05994
P O Box 4EY50
SAN QUENTIN  STATE PRISON
SAN QUENTIN, CALIFORNIA
94974  USA



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This page was last updated March 23, 2005         Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie in Toronto, Canada