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

Mother

Photo by Priscilla Duprees from Unsplash

Mother

Mother

is proud of you

for every step you take,

picks you up every time you fall,

shows you how again and again,

and builds your confidence

to walk alone.

She’s proud!

Mother

hears your first word,

always listens to you,

wants for you what you want for yourself,

gives advice, knowing that someday

you will surely recall

what Mother said…

She hears!

Mother

sees potential

when those around you doubt,

has high hopes for you in tough times,

never, ever gives up on you,

even when you give up,

always loves you…

Always!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Happy Mothers Day!

This Sunday, May 9, 2021 is celebrated as Mothers Day in the US. Wherever you are, feel free to join in! Tell your mother you love and appreciate her. Spend time with her if you can. Call her, bring her flowers or candy, take her out to dinner…whatever is in your heart to do. If your mother is no longer alive, take a moment to remember her and all the good times you spent together.

To all the mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day!

Lots of love to you! ❤

Blog, Here I Come!

Photo by Julien from Unsplash!

Blog, Here I Come!

Second vaccine shot.

Fever, next day spent sleeping,

a few lazy days.

New prescription

with dramatic side effects

from three half-doses.

Days spent researching

dietary strategies,

drug alternatives.

No time for learning

how to use the new smart phone…

drinking cabbage juice!

Fighting frustration…

painting for relaxation…

Nothing I will post!

Blogging difficult…

computer going haywire.

Locked out of emails!

Done trouble-shooting

with scammers online…Today,

it’s Apple Pie Tech!

Equanimity!

Technology overhauled.

Blogging, here I come!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


I missed all of you! 🙂

I have had trouble commenting for several days, and then got locked out of my email. My WordPress seems to be working normally again. I am feeling better and glad to be back!

I hope you are well. Stay safe and be happy! ❤

Day at the River

Shenandoah River, Virginia, USA. Photo from Pexels

Day at the River

Glowing sunrise…

Going to the river.

Blowing breezes,

flowing water…

Floating downstream .

Slowing the pace,

growing mindful,

knowing serenity.

Glowing sunset…

Going home in peace.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Swan on the Shenandoah River near Edinburg, Virginia, USA. I crossed this historic 1942 river bridge daily for most of the 18 years I lived in Shenandoah County. Two of the four spans are hidden by the trees. Photo by Aaron Burden from Unsplash.
Swan on the Shenandoah River. Photo by Aaron Burden from Unsplash.

Thank you to My WordPress Family

500+ Subscribers

Your support and encouragement mean the world to me! You have helped me to get through these dark days of the pandemic, the isolation, and the health issues. WordPress bloggers are talented, inspiring, kind, and helpful…friends who have treated me like family! You are appreciated!

Kritika of “Valorous Bird”, thank you for discovering my website and encouraging me to start my blog. I will always remember.

My first post was on June 18, 2020, and this is post number 112. As of today, I have 505 subscribers. Thank you all!

Love,

Cheryl

❤ ❤ ❤

Plant a Tree

Triple Pygmy Date Palm, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

“I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as a tree.”

__ Joyce Kilmer

Plant a Tree

Beauty to delight,

oxygen to sustain life.

Watching trees growing.

Plant a young tree for Earth Day…

Receive nature’s gifts for life!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


With our allergies and our declining energy levels in mind, we re-landscaped our front entrance, hiring landscapers to do the heavy work. The palm tree’s expected ultimate height is 10-12 feet. The plants are low maintenance, drought-resistant perennials, and the river rock is an inert permanent mulch. The one high maintenance exception is the red-flowering Dipladenia vine, which likes frequent watering.

Foxtail ferns and a Dipladenia vine, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Grande Dame of Peace River

Old bridge in Peace River Park, Arcadia, FL. Now a pedestrian bridge. Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Grande Dame of Peace River

Classic arches…

time marches…

Soulless and faceless

utilitarian bridge replaces

grande dame’s graces.

Bridges side-by-side,

span Arcadia’s scenic pride,

Peace River, tannin-dyed,

where fierce alligators reside.

Now pedestrians on a lark

linger in Peace River Park

on the bridge, historic landmark,

viewing kayakers in waters dark.

Grande dame retains her spark!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


This historic bridge over the scenic Peace River in Arcadia, Florida holds fond memories for me. My father used to fish in the Peace River when I was a child, and our family vacationed in Florida. The Peace River flows into the Gulf of Mexico not too far from where we live now. Robert and I have walked along the river at Arcadia a number of times. Last year, my daughters and I took a breathtaking boat tour on the river near Arcadia.

Arcadia is a town that once had a fine train station and an opera house. Many historic buildings are now home to restaurants and antique shops. Mary Margaret’s Tea Room is one of Robert’s and my favorite restaurants located in an historic auto dealership and garage and furnished with antiques.

It is a tradition to go to Mary Margaret’s on my birthday, missed for the last year two years because of the pandemic. The restaurant has changed hands since the pandemic began. We want to visit again after it is over. I hope they still have our favorite crab Louis, quiche Lorraine, turkey sandwiches, flavored tea, and tea biscuits!

I have attempted to paint the old Peace River bridge several times over the last couple of years, but I could never quite capture my feelings for the place. I will try again, and post it if I get it right.

This poem is a Ziggurat, a form created by Paul Szlosek and presented by Eugenia at Eugenia’s Causerie. It consists of 14 lines and 4 stanzas. 2 lines, 2 words each, 3 lines, 3 words each, 4 lines, 4 words each, and 5 lines, 5 words each. The rhyme pattern is aa, bbb, cccc, ddddd. This was a fun form to work with.

Peace River, Arcadia. Photo by Cheryl Batavia
Robert and Cheryl at Mary Margaret’s Tea Room, Arcadia, FL

An Awkward Conversation with Mother Earth

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

An Awkward Conversation with Mother Earth

(Words of Mother Earth are in green.)

Mother Earth, you’re looking rather sickly!

Tell me what you need, and I’ll do it quickly.

It would help if you recycle…That’s easy to do.

I’m too busy to recycle. Wish I could help you.

Use nontoxic fertilizers and pest controls in your yard.

I’m sorry Mother Earth, but that sounds too hard!

You could choose organic food or drive an electric car.

I really want to help, but I couldn’t go that far.

Isn’t there something less costly that I could do?

Something less demanding, yet helpful to you?

You could vote for green energy or sign a petition.

Mother Earth, I am filled with contrition…

I am staunchly apolitical and maybe apathetic too.

Find someone else to take care of you!

If altruism isn’t something you can relate to,

maybe your own self-interest will motivate you!

Wouldn’t you enjoy cleaner water and air,

walking in the woods to see animals living there?

Maybe you love the oceans and want dolphins to thrive

or hope that your children will have long, healthy lives…

I’ll think about it, Mother Earth, but I really must go…

We’re taking the kids to see a science fiction show!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Earth Day is April 22nd!


To My Valued Fellow Bloggers,

I am sorry that I am so far behind with reading emails. I really wasn’t intending to take a break, but I have had a worsening fibromyalgia flare over the last few weeks. Though I have had fibromyalgia for over thirty years, flares are rare and usually only last a day or two. I have been dealing with some stressful issues and trying to do too much.

The good news is that energy and mental clarity are starting to return. I need to take it slow, but I will do my best to keep in touch. Thank you for understanding. ❤

I have a test and a couple of doctor’s visits coming up this month. It seems we may have found dietary solutions to the digestive issues. Too much caffeine and chocolate seem to be behind the tachycardia and palpitations. Time will tell. I finally got my first covid19 vaccine.

Happy Earth Day!

Cheryl

Ode to a Glass Jar

Mason Jar Wagon Wheel Chandelier, Photo by Bonnie Kittle from Unsplash

Ode to a Glass Jar

Grandma

fills her pantry

with Mason jar delights:

preserves, piccalilli, peaches…

Oh my!

Photo from Pexels-Pixabay

Dad saves

baby food jars

for nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.

He can fix anything that breaks.

Thanks, Dad!

Saltine Crackers, Photo by Annaj from Pixabay

Teacher

brings a jar of

sweet cream for us to shake

until we have butter for our

crackers.

Photo by Michael Longmir from Unsplash

Suzy

saves her loose change

in a pickle jar bank,

hidden with her socks. Shh…It’s a

secret!

Sonny

whistles a tune,

nightcrawlers in a jar,

cane pole on his shoulder…going

fishing.

Photo by Rula Subai from Unsplash

Grandpa

likes leftovers

stored in reused glass jars.

They go straight in the microwave…

Yummy!

Black-Eyed Susans, Photo by Autumn Mott Rodhea from Unsplash

Auntie’s

filling a jar

with bright black-eyed Susans

for a neighbor who’s under the

weather.

Tadpole, Photo from Pixabay

Jamal

brings a jar of

tadpoles for the fish tank.

His class will watch them growing legs…

Yay, frogs!

Photo by Mel Poole from Unsplash

Artist

rinses brushes

in a jar of water.

Clean colors make a beautiful

painting.

Photo by Fran Hogan from Unsplash

Uncle

loves to eat out…

barbecue…iced tea

in Mason jars. Nostalgia’s

not cheap!

Photo by Katarzyna Modrzej from Pexels

Mama

plants moss and ferns

in a big gallon jar,

creating a terrarium…

Lovely!

Fireflies, photo by Tengyart from Unsplash

Jenny

catches fireflies.

They twinkle in a jar.

Bedtime, Jenny! Good night, fireflies!

Fly free.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Think of all the marvelous ways to reuse glass jars!

Unlike plastics, they are nontoxic for storing and reheating food.

If you can’t use any more glass jars,

you can recycle them and keep them out of landfills.

Clouds

My Mom, Marian Nicholson, a Week Before Her 90th Birthday, Family Outing to Siesta Key Beach. Photo by Ellen Maher.


Clouds

Nearly ninety, Mom still liked to come

to Sunday dinner at our home.

After dinner, we’d watch an old movie,

Mom’s cat Kitzey stretched out by her knee.

Photo by Deric Yu from Unsplash

We’d call up relatives and have a chat

as she sat stroking her purring cat.

Our dog Clifford wanted petting, too…

That was something Mom was happy to do.

Photo by Shridhar Dixit.

Mom always enjoyed long country drives.

She would smile, her eyes coming alive,

watching egrets and cranes or horses and cows,

but most of all, she loved looking at clouds.

“Those clouds look like a fawn and a deer.

That one’s a man with a long white beard.”

Photo by Heyzeus Lozoya from Unsplash.

She never grew tired of seeing the sky of blue

and clouds with sunlight shining through.

I think she imagined Heaven to be in that space,

and she was going soon to that wonderful place.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” she’d always say,

and knowing she was happy made my day.

Photo by wuttichai from Adobe Stock Photos

When we were kids, Mom shared the charms

of an idyllic childhood on her family’s farm.

Now the farmers’ market was our place to go

to buy carrots to feed the horses and goats.

Mom visited the peacocks, roosters and hens,

pigs in the barn and roosters in their pens.

We bought pumpkins and chrysanthemums,

horehound, lemon drops, and Teaberry gum,

but no trip to the market would be complete

without an ice cream cone for a treat.

So many flavors, Mom could always find

a flavor that was one of her favorite kinds.

Mom loved her family, and nearly every day,

we talked about family members far away.

One day I was visiting Mom; she was resting in bed.

“You’ve been a good daughter to me,” she said.

Chrysanthemums, Photo by Christopher Lotite from Unsplash.

Though home was now an independent living,

she was still my mom, still caring and giving.

For her, things were not how they used to be,

but she always took an interest in me,

Marian Nicholson on Her 90th Birthday. Photo by Cheryl Batavia


Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places by Cheryl Batavia


My Mom, Marian Nicholson (1924-2015) always encouraged me in a love of nature, art, and poetry. At the age of forty-five she fulfilled a lifelong dream and graduated from nursing school. We were very proud of Mom. As she grew older, my sister and I increasingly looked out for her. The last thirteen years of her life, she lived near me and we did a lot of things together. This poem is about the last four years of Mom’s life, when she was in an independent living center suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. It was a sad time, but it gave us both pleasure to spend a great deal of time together.

I celebrate Women’s History Month by posting this poem in honor of my mother.

Ospreys, Two Poems

Osprey Hunting. Photo by Matthew Schwartz from Unsplash

Osprey, Death Angel

Osprey,

shrill death angel,

a sinister shadow

flying over fish in canals.

Is there premonition of death?

Does fear precede struggle,

death-flight to the

osprey’s nest?


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Ospreys, Loving Parents

Ospreys,

shrill birds of prey,

build nests in high places.

Ospreys fish to feed hungry chicks.

Powerful wings carry them home,

fish grasped in strong talons.

Caring for chicks,

ospreys fish.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Osprey Bringing Fish to Nest. Photo by Richard Lee from Unsplash

Mountain Memories

Dark Hollow Falls Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA, from Adobe Stock Photos

Mountain Memories

An antlered deer bounds to sheltering trees.

A doe and spotted fawn graze lush meadows.

Seeking sylvan sanctuaries of peace

in our youth, we find the hidden hollows.

We view mountain vistas in morning mist,

green valleys and winding river below.

Ravens glide on updrafts in sky-blue bliss,

silent above an ancient hemlock grove.

We descend a steep trail beside a stream,

water music echoes through the forest.

At journey’s end, the waterfall of dreams

is singing the “Hallelujah Chorus”!

My dreams now play reruns of old memories,

of blue mountains and green river valleys.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

View of the Shenandoah Valley from Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Photo from Adobe Stock