Fatigue; Time to Take a Break!

Sleeping Hippo. Photo by Tim De Pauw from Unsplash.


Refusing to stop,

counting on powering through;

just keep on going!

What arrogance to ignore

the body’s urgent message!

Living in a fog,

forgetful, disorganized,

zero energy.

What arrogance to ignore

the body’s urgent message!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Time to Take a Break!

Stress, medical and dental appointments, health issues…all easily resolved problems, I believe. It’s time to pause and regroup.

I will miss my blogging friends every day. ❤

Beautiful Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo by Chaiwat Hanpitakpong from Unsplash.

For Eugenia’s Moonwashed Weekly Prompt #143-5/16/23, Picturesque


Beautiful Ukraine

Pastoral landscapes,

wheatfields and sunflowers…

Exquisite Ukraine!

Picturesque small towns,

lovingly tended gardens…

Enchanting Ukraine!

Modern cityscapes,

historic landmarks, green space…

Elegant Ukraine!

Brave Ukrainians

enduring, working, defending

Beloved Ukraine!

Envisioning peace,

time to restore and rebuild

Beautiful Ukraine!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

War Image. Drone Photo above Lutsk, Volyn, Oblast, Ukraine. Photo by Ivan Serediuk from Unsplash

Beach, Odessa, Ukraine. Photo by Sasha Mattveeva from Unsplash.

Honeybees Pollinating Sunflowers, Ukraine. Photo by Audrius Sutkus from Unsplash.

Historic Opera House, Lviv, Ukraine. Photo by Pavlo from Pixabay.

Ukrainian Child in a Field of Poppies. Photo by Viktor Kondratiuk from Pixabay.

Work Songs

Know any Sea Shanties, anyone? Tall ship, Europa, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Photo by Wayne Linton from Pixabay.

Written for Colleen M. Chesebro’s

TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No.320, 5/15/23


Work Songs

lonesome drudgery

comraderie of work songs

brings exuberance

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

About Work Songs

Work songs are traditional songs found in many cultures that coordinate the efforts of people working together. They also provide relief from monotony and form bonds among workers.

I first became aware of work songs as a nine-year old piano student learning to play “The Volga Boatmen.” As a young adult working in a clothing factory and in a printing company, I heard other workers singing along with Loretta Lynne and Elvis Presley as they did their routine work.

Here are some examples of work songs:

Wellerman (Sea Shanty)

Nathan Evans

Pick a Bale of Cotton

Lead Belly

The Song of the Volga Boatmen

(in English and Russian, with beautiful paintings)

Paul Robeson

A Message to My Children

My three children: Ellen Maher, Joseph Batavia, Katey Batavia, and Joe’s dog BABY.

A Message to My Children

To my oldest daughter,

Before you existed, I wanted you.

You were conceived in love;

The next morning, I sensed your presence.

Before you were born, I loved you.

When I felt you move, I was overjoyed.

As your father placed his hand on my belly

and felt you move, I knew we were a family.

Hearing your first cry, I cried tears of joy.

You were named for my beloved Grandma.

As I nursed you,

I wished you a long and happy life.

When you gripped my finger in your tiny fingers,

I was filled with wonder.

Watching you first begin to crawl,

I knew I would have killed to protect you!

Your first word was not “Mama” or “Dada;”

You looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hi!”

Oh, the delight of that first conversation!

For a while after that, you mostly listened.

People wondered why you were so quiet…

Then everyone was amazed to hear you

suddenly speaking in complete sentences.

As you took your first steps,

I was proud of your growing independence.

With every little illness, every accident,

I felt your pain.

When you went off to kindergarten,

I had high hopes for your future.

As you grew, your every milestone

filled me with pride.

As you made a life of your own,

I watched with admiration!

To my adopted son and daughter,

though you were never in my body,

I always loved you, just the same.

You were often in my arms,

and always in my heart.

I loved you before I met you,

and I have loved you every moment since.

Your father loved you deeply

for the rest of his days.

As I have watched you grow,

your struggles have been mine.

Your every accomplishment

has earned my admiration.

Your wishes for the future

have always been my wishes for you.

Your kindness and empathy,

your courage and determination

fill me with pride.

To my three children,

Thank you for loving me.

Know that I am grateful to be your mother;

You mean the world to me!

I will always love you equally,

always be proud of you, always hope for you.

I will be cheering you on

with my final breath!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers Everywhere!

We celebrate our mothers. ❤

We honor the memories of our mothers. ❤

Photo by Waldemar from Unsplash.

Of the Water

Gulf of Mexico, Englewood Beach, FL. Photo by Eve Ellen Maher.

Of the Water

We exist, submerged

in the womb, that inner sea,

until our first breath.

In our veins flows blood

with the sea’s salinity…

seas…where life began.

Water in our cells,

water in our mother’s milk,

water in our tears.

We are of water…

bodies more than half water.

Water sustains us.

Water in rain clouds,

streams, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans,

aquifers, ice caps.

Beauty of water

soothes our spirits, inspires us…

Water refreshes.

Every living thing

needs clean, life-giving water

for body and soul!

Boat wake in Biscayne Bay near Miami, Florida. Photos by Eve Ellen Maher.

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Saving Mother Earth

Mother Earth. Image by Vogue 0987 from Pixabay.

Saving Mother Earth

We find ourselves now

in daunting circumstances…

No time to give up!

Optimism propels us…

Innovation and effort!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Image by Jasmine 777 from Pixabay.

For a cautiously optimistic view of saving our planet, go to YouTube and type “Chasing Carbon Zero/PBS/NOVA/Full Documentary.” in the search bar. This worked for me. (When I tried posting the URL, there was a message that the video was unavailable.)

Photo from NASA.

Make Every Day Earth Day!

I Am the Moment

Sea turtle hatchling racing to the safety of the ocean. Photo by Christopher Farrugia from Unsplash.

I Am the Moment

I am that flash of green as the sun goes down.

I am the crest of a wave before it breaks on the shore,

a lightning bolt that ushers in a clap of thunder.

I am the moment of a butterfly’s first flight,

the rush of sea turtle hatchlings to the safety of the sea.

I am the moment when lovers’ eyes first meet.

I am that half-forgotten melody that lingers in your mind,

a half-remembered dream that eludes you when you wake.

I am that pang of regret for a kind word left unspoken.

I am the blink of an eye, the shadow of a smile.

I am that rare, pivotal moment when opportunity knocks.

I am the moment…and then I am gone!

Sea turtle hatchlings. Photo by Ricardo-Braham from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

To My Fellow Bloggers:

This poem woke me up in the middle of the night a few nights ago, so I got up and wrote a rough draft before going back to sleep. You may also have had similar experiences. I would be interested in hearing about writing inspirations from your dreams or those that wake you up demanding to be written. ❤

Earth, a Fragile Paradise:


Extinctions & Recoveries;

Pollution & Climate Change;

Finding Environmental Solutions;

Earth, A Fragile Paradise

Whale Mother and Baby. Photo by Max Lissenden from Unsplash.

Earth, a Fragile Paradise


In the early days, Americans

burned whale oil in their lamps,

wore fragrances made with ambergris,

(a waxy substance produced in whale intestines),

and laced themselves into corsets

stiffened with whale bones.

Whales, once threatened by hunting…

became popular attractions

for the eco-tourists of today!

Racism, genocide, and greed

decimated the bison,

mainstay of Native Americans

living on the Great Plains.

Hunters killed them for their hides,

leaving carcasses to rot on the plains.


drove Native Americans onto reservations.

Wanton slaughter

brought bison to near extinction.

Some bison today are domesticated;

others roam free in National Parks.

Whims of fashion:

egret feathers adorning ladies’ hats,

alligator shoes and luggage,

elephants, slaughtered for ivory tusks,

baby seals, annihilated for their skins,

glamorous women in leopard coats,

fashionable men in beaver hats.

Many species, once threatened, now recovered;

battles to save leopards and elephants…


Appetite for wild meat is threatening

many species, including humans.

Diseases cross over from animals to humans:

ebola virus, thought to have originated

in bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, and antelopes;

bats in animal market blamed for Covid pandemic;

AIDS reportedly passed

from chimpanzees to humans.

A desire for exotic pets

brought many alien species

to Florida’s Everglades National Park…

abandoned when they grew too large,

escaped, or were released into the wild.

One species is hunted there once each year…

Burmese pythons, grown enormous

preying on deer and alligators!

Everglades rabbits, easy prey for pythons,

soon disappear when reintroduced.

Sadly, prolific pythons may be permanent

Everglades residents.

American Bison. Photo by Jonathan Mast from Unsplash.

Extinctions & Recoveries

Relentless hunting famously

caused the extinction of the dodo bird.

Some American birds have also disappeared.

Carolina parakeets no longer inhabit

the Eastern United States.

Passenger pigeons are gone forever,

Ivory-billed woodpeckers are no more.

The American flamingo and the wood stork

have re-established themselves

in the United States

after being absent for many decades.

Whooping cranes are still hanging on,

supported by conservation efforts.

White-tailed deer were reintroduced

into Shenandoah National Park.

Predators that used to

control deer populations are gone.

Feeding programs now prevent deer

from starving in winter

or being shot in cornfields outside the park.

Wolves, a bounty on their heads

for preying on livestock,

long absent from some of their range…

successfully reintroduced a few years ago

to Yellowstone National Park,

restored the balance of nature.

Monarch butterfly numbers dwindling,

Milkweeds and wildflowers vanishing

along monarch migration routes.

Pollution bleaching coral reefs,

habitat of marine animals and fish.

Wetlands, nurseries for sealife,

disappearing due to development…

Just a few examples of many animals

endangered by human activity!

Great Egret Family. Photo by homecare119 from Pixabay.

Pollution & Climate Change

Bald eagles, emblem of the United States,

barely escaped extinction.

In the years after DDT was banned,

bald eagles repopulated their former range

and can now be sighted

in every American state except Hawaii.

Ugly faces of pollution:

animals foraging in landfills and garbage dumps,

sea turtles entangled in plastic debris,

seabirds coated with oil, fish whose mercury content

makes them dangerous to eat,

microplastics in the food chain, now found in fish

and in humans who eat them.

Red tides, massive algae blooms in oceans,

blue-green algae blooms in rivers.

Toxic overgrowth, caused by pollution,

results in massive fish kills,

deaths of dolphins and endangered manatees.

Aerosolized red tide neurotoxins cause

respiratory irritation and illness in humans.

Exposure to blue-green algae

may result in permanent liver damage.

Everglades, stressed by climate change,

recent hurricane damage…

small communities struggling to rebuild.

Everywhere in Everglades National Park

staff gauges indicate water levels,

warn about effects of rising water.

Just a few more feet of water,

and beautiful mangrove forests,

home to alligators, dolphins, birds, fish,

and endangered manatees,

will be gone forever!

Global warming

is melting arctic ice at an alarming rate,

stranding polar bears on shrinking ice floes.

Can they survive global warming?

Can life on earth survive?

Polar Bear Cubs at Play. Photo by Hand Jurgen from Unsplash.

Finding Environmental Solutions

Zoos, once prisons

for kidnapped animals,

have become a refuge

for endangered species.

Captive breeding programs seek to

re-establish animals in the wild.

Shrinking habitat is being augmented

by setting aside land

for wildlife parks and preserves.

Magnificent animals of Africa and Asia,

tigers, snow leopards, and elephants,

require large territories.

Preserves protect them from extinction.

Tourists on safari now hunt with cameras.

Poachers are punished.

Villagers are compensated for livestock

killed by protected predators.

Europeans take great pride

in preserving vintage varieties of livestock,

cultivating heirloom flowers, fruits, and vegetables,

maintaining animal preserves.

Florida panthers, symbols of Florida,

inbred and endangered,

were infused with new genes

from Texas pumas, a closely-related species.

Florida panthers require large territories.

Land has been set aside;

tall fences now protect panthers

from collisions with cars.

Unlike reclusive Florida panthers,

Florida bobcats,

adapted to living near humans,

are frequently seen strolling through

suburban neighborhoods.

Blackouts on Florida beaches

protect sea turtles during nesting season.

Manatee zones shield

manatees from boat propellers.

Many programs rescue

injured manatees, sea turtles, and birds.

What’s it all about? Photo by Chen Lei from Unsplash.

Earth, a Fragile Paradise

Earth is a fragile paradise…

experiencing both environmental

degradation and preservation;

some people destroy; others rescue, restore.

Life on earth is threatened.

Working together, people may yet

save this fragile paradise!

Copyright © 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Please Note: This post was written from my own experiences in Florida. I learned about environmental topics from news and documentaries, and I did some basic research while writing poems about Florida animals. I am not a scientist, just a retired elementary school teacher who cares about the environment.

It’s a big world! Please feel free to provide additional information from your experiences and perspective in the comments. Thank you. 🙂

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day All Year Long!

Earth Day, April 22, 2023

Why Do You Weep, Mother Earth?

A Conversation Between the Sun & Mother Earth

The Sun, empathetic friend of Mother Earth.

The Sun’s words are in gold.

Photo by Hans Isaacson from Unsplash.

Mother Earth, friend of the Sun.

Mother Earth’s words are in Green.

Photo by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay.

Why Do You Weep, Mother Earth?

A Conversation Between the Sun & Mother Earth

Why do you weep, Mother Earth,

as if your heart would break?

Do I not shine each day

for your precious planet’s sake?

Oh, Sun, my gratitude is boundless,

and your service is first-rate,

but noxious smoke obscures your light.

Cleanup may come too late!

Mother, after all you’ve done for humans,

how can they be so thankless?

Persuade them to stop polluting

and clean up their toxic mess.

Do you remember, Sun, the old days?

Some humans worshiped you,

just as they venerated me.

Sadly, that is no longer true.

Oh, Mother Earth, whom do they

worship now, if neither you nor me?

Earth’s waters are choked with garbage,

so I’m sure it’s not the god of the sea!

Dear Sun, it is clear that humankind

does not revere the sea,

and they desecrate my sacred forests,

cutting down life-giving trees.

You, Mother Earth, are burning…

I see raging storms and rising floods.

Wild creatures are dying;

The earth is bathed in blood.

Surely, Sun, life is essential!

What could humans value more?

Why are they destroying the mother

they always used to adore?

Someone must bring you the sad news…

Mother Earth, I guess I’m the one.

These are the things humans value:

privilege, power, and possessions.

Sadly, sun, it won’t be long

until I am no longer here.

You will shine on a dead, empty planet.

Will you still remember me, Dear?

Oh, Mother Earth, don’t give up yet!

Dry your weeping eyes.

Today, I saw something hopeful.

I admit I was surprised!

Don’t keep me in suspense, Sun.

Bring me a bit of cheer!

What did you see today?

I am anxiously waiting to hear.

Dear Mother Earth, I saw wind turbines,

solar panels producing energy!

Young people marching…”The Future is Ours!”

on signs for all to see!

Oh, Sun, do you really think

younger generations can rescue me?

Do you think they really care?

I guess we will wait and see!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Earth Day to People

All Over the World!

Sculpture with sun from a church, Dom Fulda. Photo by Tom from Pixabay.

Love Endures, Happiness Thrives; Ongoing Effects of Hurricane Ian & Other Disasters; Karma

Photo by Freestocks from Unsplash.

Love Endures, Happiness Thrives

A baseball cap on your profile page?

You were recommended to me,

so I’ll try to engage.

You’re probably bald, but we shall see!

Someone in emails, so much like me.

Southern drawl on the telephone.

I’m sure we’ll discover an affinity…

though I don’t know if you’re “the one.”

A two-hour lunch we’ll always remember,

sharing fajitas and conversation.

Feeling like I’ve known you forever;

from that day on, I had no reservations.

Joyful hours and days when time flies,

coming to know we are soul mates,

making promises, merging our lives.

Lucky we met. We thank the Fates.

Day by day, we grow old together…

A decade of wonder and surprise.

Through all the storms we weather,

love endures, happiness thrives!

Ongoing Effects of Hurricane Ian & Other Disasters

I think the internet is finally fixed! Monday the technician tightened a loose wire at the central box! Our internet, TV, and house phones were off for five days, the third such outage since the hurricane shook things up. Robert is out $250 for a modem the internet provider had recommended. It didn’t solve the problem, and Robert returned it, but they said they had never received it and refused to refund the money.

I got up one morning last week and discovered that a tree had fallen from the wooded lot behind us onto the power company right-of-way behind our house… five months after the hurricane!

It cost $1, 200 to get this large oak tree cut up and removed. The new roof, wall repairs, and previous tree removal are covered by homeowner’s insurance, but not this tree!

What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world

and loses his own soul?

Bible, New International Version, Mark 8:36

No good deed goes unpunished!

Oscar Wilde


A corrupt quartet

sought profit from others’ loss,

but karma stepped in!

Inflicting loss on others,

without gain, they sold their souls.

On Saturday afternoon, I was shopping at Publix supermarket when a woman, who apparently spoke little English, came up from behind me. Saying “Please,” she pointed and gestured for me to reach a product on a high shelf for her. Two times I tried, and she shook her head, but the third time I handed her the item, and she said,”Thank you.” When I went to the checkout a few minutes later, I discovered that my wallet was missing.

Suddenly, I realized the significance of my encounter with the woman and told a manager what had happened. Publix security cameras clearly showed a man acting as a lookout, a woman distracting me by asking me for help, and another woman removing my wallet from my tote bag in five seconds! The theft was recorded at 3:59. At 4:15, before I even missed my wallet, the security camera at the Walmart across a four-lane highway recorded the thieves trying to use my credit cards to pay for $504.94 worth of drinks and other groceries.There must have been a fourth person filling the cart at Walmart while the other three were robbing me.

All the cards they tried to use were declined because the credit card companies’ records show that I rarely spend more than $100 at the grocery store. All the four thieves got for their trouble was $8 in cash and incriminating videos in two stores. I hope they are caught and can never again do this to anyone else!

The wallet contained my drivers license, voter registration card, insurance and credit cards, checkbook, and my $450 car key fob. I will never again put my key fob, check book, and every card I possess in my wallet. I will never again leave my wallet in a tote bag, but will carry it in a small cross-body purse or a fanny pack. You are never too old to learn to do things differently!

A Publix Manager said that in the seven years he had been at the store, no customer had ever been robbed. Lucky me…I am the first! After I waited for two hours at Publix for the police, The manager gave me my groceries for free, and one of the Publix employees took me home and brought Robert back to pick up the car. I soon had to return to the store to fill out a police report. Finally, late that night, I got a chance to cancel my cards and order new ones.

The next three days were spent at Motor Vehicles (twice) who wanted proof of residence, the bank (twice), who needed my driver’s license, and the bureau of elections. I had to change my checking account and online banking and call Social Security and insurance companies about changes in my direct deposit. I contacted Medicare, AAA, AARP…The details are endless, but I am gaining on them. Though everyone has been unbelievably helpful, it has been an ordeal!

I don’t know how I could have managed without Robert’s help! While I was waiting at Motor Vehicles and the bank, I wrote a Valentine poem for Robert and later made it into a card.

Yesterday, we went to the car dealership to replace my key fob and reprogram Robert’s. When we returned, there were eight roofers on our roof installing new shingles. Robert and I were nervous about the shingles we had selected, but we are very happy with the finished roof! The next thing we have to do is hire someone to repair the numerous hairline cracks in our walls that appeared in the weeks after Hurricane Ian…

Robert followed up his recent pacemaker surgery with a cardiologist last week. Many tests are scheduled, some this week, some after Robert’s daughter visits in a couple of weeks. Then my daughters are coming in March, and we are planning a road trip. I will post the photos!

No need to worry. I promise you, I will not be bored anytime soon!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! ❤

February 14th

May you enjoy the love of the special people in your lives on Valentine’s Day and always!