Hometown Parade

Classic Car, California. Photo by Neon Brand from Unsplash

Hometown Parade

I’d like to stand again on a tree-lined street

on a sunny summer day

in nineteen fifty-six. My joy would be complete

when the high school band begins to play.

The majorettes in their tasseled boots,

little short skirts, and ponytailed hair

march and twirl amid claps and whoops

and toss their batons in the air.

Marching Band, Canada. Photo by Vladistav Vasnets from Pexels.

The high school band marches along,

all spiffy uniforms and shiny brass,

playing a medly of marching songs.

The crowd applauds them as they pass.

Little kids march in place,

imitating the high school stars,

as mostly harmonious notes fade away,

we see big-finned convertible cars.

Classic Convertible. Photo by Rodnae Producti from Pexels

Chariots of small-town beauty queens

seated atop their mobile thrones,

regal in reds and blues and greens,

rhinestone tiaras and strapless gowns.

Girl in a Ballgown. Photo by Becerra Govea from Pexels

Poofey skirts spread like shimmering clouds,

queens smile ruby-lipped smiles and wave their hands

at the whistling, cheering crowds.

Then comes the mayor, his car equally grand.

Veterans of Korea and World War Two,

in uniforms of army, navy, and marines,

march behind the red, white, and blue.

Faded dreams of glory, memories of battle scenes.

The children in town are invited

to walk in the parade with their pets.

Children come down the street excited,

dogs wearing ribbons around their necks.

Farm wagon floats are dandy,

transformed by crepe paper festoons.

Business floats are throwing candy.

Church choirs sing patriotic tunes.

Jonah sits near a crepe paper whale,

a Forest Service float features Smokey Bear,

4-H kids perch on hay bales,

Historical tableaux are everywhere.

Vintage Fire Truck. Photo from Pixabay

Shriners maneuver tiny cars around.

Arabian horses prance in fancy gear.

Volunteer firemen are the heroes of our town…

At last we hear a siren. The fire truck is here!

I’d like to listen again to a high school band

on a sunny summer day

with a cold, five-cent Coke in my hand.

Reliving nineteen fifty-six, I’d pass the time away!

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

I Would Be Angry, but…

Old Chinese proverb: “Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

A traditional oil lamp, Photo by Prateek Gautam from Unsplash.

I Would Be Angry, but…

I would be angry, but…

those who are disagreeable

are acting out of their own frustrations

and unfortunate situations.

I would be angry, but

those who provide poor service

are acting out of their own incompetence

and may be doing their best.

I would be angry, but

those who execute unfair policies

are following orders from above

and live in fear of losing their jobs.

I would be angry, but

those who impose their beliefs on others

are misguided and unenlightened,

limited by their narrow view of the world.

I would be angry, but

those who take unfair advantage of others

are acting out of their own moral poverty,

likely to be hated and feared by others.

I would be angry, but

I myself am far from perfect.

I make mistakes that may anger others.

I too, am in need of understanding.

I would be angry, but

anger clouds my judgement,

diverts my attention and energy…

Better to calmly take considered action.

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Fragrances & Flavors of Our Lives

Sea Salt, Elton, Russia. Photo by Pavel Neznanov on Unsplash.

Fragrances & Flavors of Our Lives

Flavors shape cultural identity

and turn the tides of history.

The Roman Empire, in its day,

issued salt as part of army pay.

Explorers in antiquity learned to subsist

on salted meat and salted fish.

Gandhi led a peaceful march to the sea

to evaporate seawater and set India free.

Indian Spices. Photo by Ratul Ghosh on Unsplash

The Silk Road brought spices to Europe.

Christopher Columbus sailed in the hope

of finding a safer route to “The Indies”

to trade for pepper and other delicacies.

He was funded by Queen Isabella of Spain,

who did not sell her jewels in vain.

In the “New World,” where Columbus landed,

grew tobacco and cocoa, soon in demand.

Vineyard, Germany. Photo by Marcus Winkler on Unsplash

Tobacco, wine, peyote… ceremonial provisions

used to negotiate peace and summon visions.

Coca leaves chewed for energy,

opium dreams to enhance creativity…

addictions to subjugate humanity.

Medicines to relieve pain and to restore health…

violence, illegal trade, and ill-gotten wealth.

Nature’s gifts come from Mother Earth.

How they are used determines their worth.

Traditional Chinese medicine. Photo by Marion Botella on Unsplash

“Let food be thy medicine!” declared Hippocrates.

Since ancient times, food has fought disease.

Ginger and turmeric season our food,

ease pain and dyspepsia and thin blood.

Garlic, a worldwide perennial favorite,

has a multitude of health benefits.

Chilli peppers soothe pain and add heat to curries,

savory stir fries, and Texas chilli.

Sassafras is a tonic that flavors root beer, teas,

and file gumbo, pride of New Orleans.

Hakuna Matada Spice Farm, Dole Zanzibar. Photo by Daniel DeNadai on Unsplash

Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and cardamon,

cozy flavors that remind us of home.

Home-cooked sweet memories,

a flavorful shield against disease:

Cilantro, rosemary, mint, and dill,

tarragon, oregano, and fennel,

basil, anise, lemon grass, and more…

These are a few of the herbs we adore.

Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal tea, Australia. Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Herbs and flowers smell enticingly sweet

and exquisitely flavor the foods we eat.

It is said that Cleopatra, legendary beauty,

favored fragrances made from patchouli.

Rose and jasmine fragrances, jasmine tea.

Orange blossom perfume, orange blossom honey.

Candied violets decorate fancy cakes.

Natstutiums in salad impart spicy taste.

Cotswold Lavender, UK. Photo by David Stratton on Unsplash

Scents and flavors bring to mind

life experiences of every kind…

The people we’ve known, the places we’ve been,

culinary travels to lands unseen.

Condiments and their role in history.

Glimpses into the mysteries.

Teasing the palate, inspiring creativity…

All thanks to Mother Nature’s generosity.

Delicious spices at a market, Turkey. Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


To my fellow bloggers,

I continue fighting very slow, unresponsive emails even after updating my computer with Apple, and still need to check out the problem with our internet provider as well as WordPress. Our TV reception, on the same system, is also having problems. I am reading a few emails when I can between doctor and dentist appointments. Also, I am now the designated driver for both of us. I look forward to being back full-time on WordPress soon after Robert’s cataract surgery is completed in September. I hope life is treating you well.

All the best! ❤ Cheryl