Posts by Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

A retired teacher, I live with my significant other on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I enjoy the beach, walking outdoors, movies, and reading. Hanging Out with Wild Animals is a book series of photos and poems about my encounters with Florida animals. Wonders is a book of poems inspired by the men I have known and loved. Life in Inspiring Places is a book of photos and poems about the places rich in history and natural beauty that I have called home. Excerpts from the books and additional poems can be found on my website and blog. Cheryl Batavia

Spider’s Psychedelic Masterpiece

This morning I was mesmerized by a spider web constructed very much like this one. Photo by Alexy Demidov from Pexels.

Spider’s Psychedelic Masterpiece

Suspended in space,

densely coiled gossamer disk,

buoyant in the breeze.

Pulsating neon colors

iridescent in sunshine.

In the morning sunshine, each damp strand of the spider’s web became a tiny prism, shimmering in the breeze. The colors of the web were vivid like those in this soap bubble. As the web dried, the colors slowly faded. I wish I could have captured the moment in a photo. Maybe one of the photographers out there has such a photo. I found only pastel-colored webs online.


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Two Poems: “Quoting Mom” & “Antiquated Sexist Nonsense”

Photo by Sophie Dale from Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Krosky from Unsplash

Quoting Mom

So often these days,

I find myself quoting Mom…

proverbs, quips, sayings…

Mom had a real treasure trove

of wisdom she shared with me.

“Treat other people

as you want to be treated.”

That one is golden!

It was Mom who taught me that

reliable guide to life.

Mom was unfailing

in her caring and concern.

She gave great advice,

but, in matters of romance,

was a woman of her time.

Mom’s take on romance

was antiquated sexist

nonsense, best ignored.

Mom’s true advice to follow

was, “Think for yourself, Honey!”

After thirty years,

Dad found a younger woman.

Mom kissed a few frogs;

Prince Charming never came, but

Mom found her inner Princess!

My mother, Marian Nicholson, on her ninetieth birthday!

Antiquated Sexist Nonsense

“It’s a man’s world,” was the mid-twentieth-century consensus.

My mother passed several of the following outdated gems along to me:

Always let boys win if you want them to like you.

Act helpless. Let a boy be your hero and lift heavy objects for you.

Play “dumb.” Laugh at all of his jokes. Always agree with him.

Pretend to enjoy doing all the things he likes to do.

Don’t chase after boys. Make them chase after you!

Play hard to get. Never be the first to say, “I love you.”

Hide your passions. You don’t want him to think you’re “easy.”

If you “give in” to a boy, he’ll “dump” you and “kiss and tell.”

Go to college to find a husband, even though you know

you will be a homemaker after you marry.

A woman must never make more money than her husband…

His delicate pride can’t handle it.

Let a man think he’s boss…

Use “feminine wiles” to get what you want.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…

Cook all of his favorite dishes.

Men are like little boys…They like to be told

how handsome, strong, and smart they are.

Make a habit of paying exaggerated compliments to men…

It builds their fragile egos.

Men are unable to control their impulses.

Women must be the guardians of morality.

If a woman wears a short skirt and gets assaulted, it’s her fault.

Sex is something a wife must endure for the sake of her husband.

Fortunately, I never fell for any of this antiquated sexist nonsense!

Sorry, Mom, but I don’t believe in playing games.

I was paying attention when you taught me to be honest and to

“Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”

With respect to this poem’s dubious advice, I quote Mom,

“You might as well laugh as cry!”

Photo by Jason Briscoe from Unsplash

*Cautionary note: Some of the antiquated advice in this poem may appear to work in the short term, but some of it could come back to bite you later! Authentic relationships tend to be based on honesty and mutual respect. How long would you be willing to pretend you are enjoying a food you actually detest? How would you feel if you found out that someone was playing you? Better to be real!


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Show love to Mothers today and every day! Remember to cherish your mother’s wise advice, but don’t forget to “Think for yourself.” 🙂

Veracity

Hypocrites and Liars. Photo by Mohamed Matar from Pixabay.

Veracity

Sometimes,

it is difficult

to determine what is true…

even more difficult…

to admit

when we have been misled.

Outright lies,

deceptive advertising,

political spin…

Ever wary,

we yearn for authenticity.

We yearn to trust.

Insincerity,

insinuation,

little white lies,

half-truths,

exaggeration…

Everyday dishonesty erodes trust.

Speaking truth,

we long to be trusted,

but we are met with skepticism.

We wonder why…

Do we all suspect in others

the faults we harbor in ourselves?


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Environmental Gems & Green Haiku

Photo by Dustan Woodhouse from Unsplash.
Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash.
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur from Unsplash.

Environmental Gems

Reduce,

Reuse, Recycle!

Choose organic foods.

Use green energy sources.

Protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Stop pollution of the land, air, and water.

Manage forests to control fires and prevent floods.

Maintain public lands and nature preserves.

Use plant-based plastic substitutes.

Develop green energy sources.

Practice organic farming.

Plant trees.

Vote.

Photo by Joanne Francis from Unsplash.
Photo by John Middecoop from Unsplash.

Green Haiku

Create; don’t destroy!

Clean up the messes we’ve made.

Make peace with nature.

Ruins of war, Syria. Photo by Mahmood Sulaiman from Unsplash.
If we don’t work now to save the environment, we may all become as extinct as the dodo!
Photo, McGill Library from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Earth Day!

Go, Little Ladybugs, Go!

Photo of a ladybug by Adryan RA form Unsplash.

Go, Little Ladybugs, Go!

Welcome aboard!

Go, little ladybugs, go!

Please save

our poor little palm tree!

A mealybug feast awaits you…

Bon apetit!

Maybe you can

succeed where homemade

potions and “harmless” pesticides

have failed.

We’re fighting for survival here!

Somebody has to die,

but not the little palm tree, and not

the ladybugs, or us!

It’s a bug-eat-bug world, I guess!

Go, little ladybugs, go!

Our little palm tree before the mealybugs arrived.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I just purchased a new email with Word to use on some writing projects. I will share those projects on this post at some point in the future. For the moment, I am struggling with a learning curve and technical issues. I will try to be present on WordPress as much as possible!

All the best!

Cheryl Batavia ❤

Welcome, Orchids!

Orchids on the lanai.

Welcome, Orchids!

Orchids…

sunshine yellow,

rosy pink, white, crimson…

old friends reappear and linger.

Welcome!

Orchids

delight my days!

Luminous elegance,

vivid on our shady lanai…

Cherished!

Orchids

encourage me.

When TV news is grim,

I glance out the glass door. Orchids

bring hope!

My favorite yellow orchid has three stems covered with buds, but no blooms yet. Pink and crimson orchids are beginning to bloom.

Allergies limit our gardening and prevent us from having indoor plants, but orchids love being on the shady lanai and bring lots of joy. Orchids require very little care, bloom a couple of times a year, and blooms last for many weeks. In cold climates, they can be grown indoors.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Mirrored Image

Photo by Gaetano Cessati from Pixabay.

Mirrored Image

I like my gray hair.

Wrinkles, age spots, double chin…

I don’t like so much!

My mirrored image looks best

when it’s smiling back at me.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.
Photo by Mofeda Dabaloo from Unsplash.
Photo by a-m-u-t-o-n from Pixabay.

Copyright © 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Putin, What Will Your Legacy Be?

A recent Moscow protest of the war on Ukraine. Photo by Valery Tenevoy on Unsplash.

Putin, What Will Your Legacy Be?

How did you use

your position, influence, resources?

Did you exercise your power

to enrich yourself,

to oppress your fellow citizens,

to be above the law?

Or did you use your power

to uplift humanity,

to build a world

with opportunity for all,

to be an example

of integrity and courage?

What will your legacy be?

Will you leave behind

roads, hospitals, universities?

What are you known for…

justice, peace, progress?

Or are you infamous?

Are you the one who

invaded his neighbor,

committed war crimes,

ruined his nation’s economy,

silenced protests and media,

ignored pleas for peace?

Do you think

no one will notice?

Do you think

no one will remember?

Eventually, you will be known

as you truly were!


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Two Poems: Storm Clouds & Sunbeams

Storm over Tampa Bay, Florida. Photo by Artturi Jalli from Unsplash.

Storm Clouds

Storm clouds

foster fears.

I view this world

through a veil of tears.

Loss of courage,

lack of trust.

Ashes to ashes,

Dust to dust.

Sunbeams. Photo by Pawel Czerwinski from Unsplash.

Sunbeams

Bright hopes

shine anew.

I view the clouds with

sunlight breaking through.

Summoning courage,

building trust.

Living joyfully

until I’m dust.


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia