Beauty Berries

Female Cardinal
Male Cardinal

Photos by Joshua J. Cotten from Unsplash

Beauty Berries, Photo by Cheryl Batavia


Beauty Berries

Cardinal perches, so alive,

atop a beauty berry bush,

fluffing feathers, bright-eyed,

she surveys the bounty.

Clustered along the branches,

green pearls ripening

to plump, shiny berries…

magenta meals for birds.

Fuzzy leaves fading

at summers end,

reveal beauty berries

in all their autumn splendor.

Echoing in the woods beyond,

cardinals are calling…

rippling silver songs

of unadulterated joy!


Copyright 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Purple Ruella

Purple Ruella, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Purple Ruella

Ruella flowers open

with the sunrise,

bringing joy…

and vivid butterflies!

Ruella mingles with stick-tights,

so you think it’s a weed?

You must be joking, friend…

a weed? No, indeed!

Mexican petunia

is its other name.

Even if it were a weed,

I’d love it just the same!

The garden book warns

it’s invasive; don’t be surprised

if you hear me describe ruella…

as “naturalized!”


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

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.

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

Morning Walk

Florida Woods, Photo by Cheryl Batavia


Morning Walk

On a humid August morning,

heading out the door,

I am greeted by the sweet fragrance

of cabbage palms in bloom.

Long strands of Spanish moss,

gracefully draping oak trees

and swaying in the breeze,

glimmer silver in the sunshine.

Vulture, Photo by Mark Boos from Unsplash

High above the trees,

vultures glide magnificently

beneath a fading slice of moon,

pale against an azure sky.

Moon, photo by Rustell Mania from Unsplash

Cicadas sing ubiquitously.

I pause to rest in the shade

of a sprawling oak tree;

the cicada chorus is deafening here!

I pass a sandy clearing

where gopher tortoises

like to sun themselves…

They seem to be in their burrows today.

Photo of black-eyed-susan by Cheryl Batavia

Some wildflowers are still blooming,

scattered along the edge of the woods…

my favorite black-eyed-susans

and some bright gold coreopsis.

Beauty berries, tiny green spheres

clustered along the branches,

are ripening to a vivid magenta,

a favorite food of birds.

Gulf Fritillary Buterfly, Photo by Jonathan Borba from Unsplash

Gulf Fritillary butterflies,

orange against the green,

flutter along the quiet street

as I head for home.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Rain

Ferns in the Rain, photo by Darius Krause from Pexels

Rain

Ribbons of light streaming down

implant moist kisses

on earth’s trembling mouth.

The green land, the green land

standing tall and crouching under…

the land that reaches for the sun

is stretching fingers to the rain.

Greens and golds

evidence the fertility of the mold…

Rain is a vibrant impregnation.

Published about 1966 in Nos Plumes,

Buffalo Gap High School Literary Magazine, by Cheryl Nicholson


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Barefoot

Wading in the Creek, Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Barefoot

Bright spring afternoon

wading barefoot in the creek,

scooping up tadpoles.

Warm summer evening

running barefoot through the grass,

fireflies in a jar.

Blue-sky autumn day,

playing barefoot in leaf piles,

watching geese fly south.

Cold winter morning,

barefoot in new-fallen snow…

screaming and laughing!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Hike to Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park

Ferns in a forest in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, by jonbilous, Adobe Stock Photos

Hike to Dark Hollow Falls

Through the green forest

we descend a shady path

to Dark Hollow Falls.

Bright sunlight sparkles

on the cascading water

as it thunders down.

Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, by Bram, Adobe Stock Photos

Taking off our shoes,

we splash in the icy pool

at waterfall’s end.

Our spirits refreshed,

we begin the steep ascent

as the sun goes down.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

This was my favorite hike in Shenandoah National Park when I lived in Virginia. There are half a dozen trails leading to gorgeous waterfalls in the park, as well as trails to beautiful overlooks of the valleys. I have fond memories of hiking many of those trails with family and friends.