Hurricane Laura

Hurricane, Photo by NASA from Unsplash

Hurricane Laura

A killer hurricane named Laura

wrecked homes, fauna, and flora.

Roaring across the Gulf Coast,

raining and blowing, doing her utmost

to be remembered as a horror!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, US, on 8/27/20, reportedly the strongest hurricane ever recorded there. After causing widespread destruction, and six reported deaths, it was downgraded to a tropical storm and is currently headed north along the Atlantic coast.

Dreamers & Dreams

Shopping Trip, Photo by Jonjakkapat Parrueng from Unsplash

Dreamers & Dreams

Infants & Toddlers

An afternoon nap,

learning how to walk and talk,

a warm hug from Mom.


Watch cartoons with Dad,

birthdays and school days,

take care of your pets.

Middle School

Talk on your smart phone,

sleepovers and soccer games,

a new ten-speed bike.

High School

A date to the dance,

college entrance exam grades,

part-time job, first car.


Seeking vocation,

finding the perfect soul-mate,

looking for a job.


Building a career,

establishing a family,

children growing up.

Middle Age

Secure and stable,

serving the community,

children succeeding.

Senior Citizen

Love your grandchildren,

mentor next generation,

work on bucket list.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Tropical Storm Marco

Morning View from My Window, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Tropical Storm Marco

Bright Florida dawn.

Sun streaming in the windows…

Marco expected.

After morning tea,

comes tropical storm Marco,

gray sky and breezy.

Reading my emails.

Suddenly I realize…

it’s sunny again!

Preparing my lunch.

Wind! Sheets of silvery rain…

Marco blowing through!

Late afternoon sun…

Louisiana awaits

Marco’s arrival.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise, Photo by Aron Visuals from Unsplash

Gopher Tortoise

“Young man!…Hello!”

The boy was carrying

a gopher tortoise

toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“Don’t put that tortoise

in the water, please!

It’s not the kind of turtle

that travels the seas!”

“That’s an endangered

gopher tortoise, protected by law.”

“I didn’t know,” replied the boy.

“It’s the first one I ever saw!”

The boy put the tortoise

gently down on the sand,

and it crawled very slowly

up the beach to dry land.

I wish I had told the boy,

“Find ‘gopher tortoise’ in Wikipedia,

and tell your friends back home

how you found one in Florida!”

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Blue & White Mugs

Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Blue & White Mugs

Blue and white souvenir mugs

in our Miami Beach drug store…

art deco and wildlife scenes…

I bought four!

The kids grew; we planned to travel…

They wanted to help push Dad’s chair.

I looked forward to collecting

blue and white mugs from everywhere!

A three-generation Carribean cruise…

Dad’s last-minute illness caused cancellation.

We scheduled a Carribean cruise

for our family vacation.

I spent a night in the hospital with Dad…

They failed to draw blood despite many tries.

Dad checked himself out before daybreak;

we drove to the beach and watched the sunrise.

Then we went home to pack our bags

for the final voyage of the Norway…

Mom, Dad, and kids sailed that afternoon.

We had decided to “seize the day!”

The kids and I snorkeled. Our family

explored islands, listened to steel bands,

dressed for dinner, went to shows…

and we bought a mug, as I had planned.

The Batavia Family aboard the Norwegian Ship, Norway

Dad died within the year. I put the

Carribean mug where it wouldn’t break,

fragile, precious souvenir of the

only family cruise we would ever take!

Years later, I retired to the Gulf coast.

Just one Miami Beach mug remained

when we moved to our new house.

I thought about putting that mug away…

I chose to use both irreplaceable mugs…

I have tea with my memories every day.

One day the mugs may break,

and that will be okay!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Fountain of Youth

Photo by Mrjn from Unsplash

Fountain of Youth

Thirty years ago,

I drank from the Fountain of Youth

discovered by Spanish explorer,

Juan Ponce De Leon,

in St. Augustine, Florida.

The only change I noticed

was the taste of sulfur in the water!

My hair continued to turn gray;

the wrinkles deepened in my face.

If there were a Fairy Godmother

granting wishes to all who drink the water

at the Fountain of Youth,

I wouldn’t wish for hair dye

or a face lift or clothes

from the trendy store in the mall.

I wouldn’t ask to be fluent

in the latest slang…

These things can’t bring back youth!

If there were a Fairy Godmother

granting wishes to all who drink the water

at the Fountain of Youth,

I’d ask to have a youthful outlook…

Curiosity to continue learning,

Idealism to envision a better future,

Creativity to express our dreams.

Passion to work for positive change.

Yes, Fairy Godmother,

I wish to THINK young!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Candy Box

Box of Chocolates, Photo by Monique Carrati from Unsplash

Candy Box

A gold foil candy box

was my treasure chest;

candy was a sweet gift,

but the box was the best!

I filled it with love letters

and treasured photos

collected over a period

of five years or so.

I carried the box around

for more than fifty years.

This year, the box fell apart,

and I didn’t shed any tears.

I looked at the photos,

read the letters once more,

put them all in the trash,

and walked out the door.

We moved to our new house,

vowing we’d never move again.

Memories fade, but the photos

and letters are burned on my brain.

I remember a boy with slicked-back

hair and a crooked grin

and a handsome football player

who wanted me to marry him.

Then there was a fearless boy

who helped me learn to drive

and several others who

passed through my life.

I put the box away

when I married at eighteen…

and now the mementos are gone,

but the memories remain.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Everglades Gossip

Roseate Spoonbills, Photo by Julia Craice from Unsplash

Everglades Gossip

A roseate spoonbill was overheard to say,

“You’ll never guess who I saw today!

Gone from the Everglades for a hundred years,

flamingos have settled not far from here.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

The second spoonbill said, “It will be nice, I think,

having neighbors who also like to wear pink.

Maybe they won’t brag that their legs are longer,

or argue that their beaks are stronger.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

“We will have to be tactful and kind,”

said the first spoonbill, “and pay no mind

to flamingos’ skinny necks and feathery heads.

Some things are better left unsaid.”

“We have a lot in common. Let’s focus on that,”

said the second spoonbill. “We’ll have a chat

with our new neighbors. I think it will be good

to welcome flamingos back to the neighborhood.”

Flamingos, Photo by Dennis Eusebio from Unsplash

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals II

Environmentally-themed book series for readers aged eight to twelve

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia