Every Precious Day

Robert & Cheryl, Lunch at One of our Favorite Places, December, 2014

Every Precious Day

Sunny days, dark days…

We’re growing old together

every precious day.

You are intellect,

ethics, affection, passion,

thoughtfulness, and joy!

Magic of the moon,

Venus, Mars, and all the stars…

sunshine of your smile.

Wherever I go,

my thoughts are always with you…

Can’t wait to come home!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Birthday, Robert!

September 20, 2020


Photo by Ante Hamersmit from Unsplash


There is no relief

in the master of grief,

Ambition who has no soul…

He offers only a goal.

He lashes and goads

into stony roads

of passion and desire

where every step is higher.

Upward go I, though I grieve,

to heights I must achieve.

Ambition’s wanton slave,

I climb toward my grave,

and Ambition, I can swear,

has planned me tasks for there!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

A poem written during my high school years. I woke at 4:30 one morning with this poem on my mind, and wrote it down from memory.

Nobody Cares

Photo by Daan Mooij from Unsplash

Nobody Cares

Nobody shares

my sorrows…

nobody cares!

Nothing repairs

my broken body…

nobody cares

about my pain.

Society tears

my heart out.

Nobody wears

my shoes.

Everyone stares

when I am angry,

everyone glares

when I demand my rights.

Everyone swears

that I am wrong.

Nobody cares

about the law!

Nothing repairs

my broken heart,

no one shares

my lonely nights.

No one dares

to get close to me,

nobody’s there

to dry my tears!

No one cares

about my good intentions,

no one shares

my utopian dreams,

no one dares

to champion my cause.

All my prayers

go unanswered.

Everyone fares

better without me.

Nobody cares!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

This poem is an effort to portray the thoughts of a person who suffers from depression. In extreme depression, the person may feel hopeless, that the world is against him, and may be suicidal. Some are suffering from physical pain or are reacting to tragedies in their lives.

I have known two people who commited suicide. One had a wife and young children. One was a middle-aged man who had been an intelligent, popular friend when we were in high school. I have wondered many times what thoughts were in the mind of someone who would take their own life.


Male Cardinal, Photo by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash


Saturday morning…soup in the crockpot,

wholegrain bread rising, birdseed scattered

on the snowy porch. Cat at the window

watching cardinals, jays, and finches!

Photo by Sergio Arze from Unsplash

Sunday afternoon…packing a picnic,

dressing in long johns, boots, and mittens.

Daughter excited! Driving up the mountain

to George Washington National Forest.

Photo by Pezibear from Pixabay

Building a fire, soup pot on the grill.

Sledding downhill, trudging uphill,

sledding down again. Cheeks red with cold,

ice-matted sleeves, jeans wet at the knees.

Photo by Yvonne Huijbens

Steaming mugs of homemade soup,

homemade wholegrain bread.

Sitting tired and happy at a picnic table,

laughing, talking…making memories!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

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

BABY, Service Dog

BABY on the Job with Joseph Batavia

BABY, Service Dog

BABY’s not a pet…

she’s my service dog.

BABY’s well-trained;

she has a very important job.

BABY knows it’s time to work

when she is wearing her vest.

BABY reads my every mood.

She knows when I am stressed.

BABY loves to work;

I take her everywhere.

I am calm and safe

because my service dog is there.

BABY on the Job in the Forest, Photo by Joseph Batavia

Then we go home to chill;

I take off BABY’s vest.

BABY eats her supper

and flops down for a rest.

I find a movie on Netflix

and lock the door.

BABY cuddles up beside me,

and I listen to her snore.

BABY is my friend.

a member of my family.

I take care of BABY,

and she looks out for me.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl

Service dogs are trained and certified to help disabled people to live independently. The first and most well-known service dogs assist those who are blind, but service dogs and other service animals now help people with a variety of disabilities. For example, there are dogs who assist those in wheel chairs and people with epilepsy. Remember not to distract a dog who is wearing a service vest. Never pet or feed a service dog without the owner’s permission.

Honeybunch & Sunshine

Photo by The Lucky Neko from Unsplash

Honeybunch & Sunshine

Babysitter’s cat

had kittens. Wow! Honeybunch

was so excited!

Calico kitten,

Sunshine, was a birthday gift…

Honeybunch was three.

Photo by hp koch from Unsplash

Small girl and kitten…

Honeybunch and her Sunshine

became lifelong friends.

Sunshine was sunny…

swatting and chasing cat toys,

purring and snuggling.

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson from Unsplash

Cuddled in slumber,

Honeybunch and Sunshine roamed

in the land of dreams.

Hiking through the woods,

Sunshine walked with Honeybunch

down to the river.

Photo by omid armin from Unsplash

Honeybunch grew up,

Sunshine lived for fourteen years…

They were lifelong friends.

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


Photo by Jordan Whitt from Unsplash


Child in agony.

Parent watching powerless

to take pain away.

We share children’s pain…

from scraped knees to tragedies

to their misspent years.

If we didn’t love,

we wouldn’t feel the anguish…

wouldn’t share the joys!

Photo by Wonderlane from Unsplash

Copyright 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Hello, everyone! It’s so good to be back! 🙂 I have a new computer battery. Two new features, Archives and Categories, have been added to my site. Just click “Archives” at the top of the menu next to the folder icon, and you will find both of them there.

Over the next few days, I’ll be catching up on my emails. I know I’ll find some gems! ❤ All the best! Cheryl

What’s this World… Coming to?

Photo by Nashua Volquez from Pexels

What’s this World Coming to?

Costs today are skyrocketing.

Look how much the plumber’s pocketing!

Technology is changing way too fast!

Let’s continue doing thngs as we did in the past.

Singers today sound like sick cats!

Why do parents let kids dress like that?

Nothing these days is made to last.

Quality and service are things of the past!

You won’t hear me making remarks like this;

I may be over the hill, but I try to resist!

Well, you might hear me say a thing or two,

but only when I’m sure that it’s true!

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

This will be the last post for a while. I will be taking a break, doing some computer maintenance, and catching up on neglected tasks. When I return, I will need to reduce computer time to give my eyes more rest. All the best! Stay safe and be happy! ❤ ❤ ❤ Cheryl

Dreamers & Dreams

Shopping Trip, Photo by Jonjakkapat Parrueng from Unsplash

Dreamers & Dreams

Infants & Toddlers

An afternoon nap,

learning how to walk and talk,

a warm hug from Mom.


Watch cartoons with Dad,

birthdays and school days,

take care of your pets.

Middle School

Talk on your smart phone,

sleepovers and soccer games,

a new ten-speed bike.

High School

A date to the dance,

college entrance exam grades,

part-time job, first car.


Seeking vocation,

finding the perfect soul-mate,

looking for a job.


Building a career,

establishing a family,

children growing up.

Middle Age

Secure and stable,

serving the community,

children succeeding.

Senior Citizen

Love your grandchildren,

mentor next generation,

work on bucket list.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Mangroves at Everglades National Park, Florida, Photo by littleny from Adobe Stock Photos


Time for reflection…

a small space for solitude

brings me peace of mind.

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

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

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise, Photo by Aron Visuals from Unsplash

Gopher Tortoise

“Young man!…Hello!”

The boy was carrying

a gopher tortoise

toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“Don’t put that tortoise

in the water, please!

It’s not the kind of turtle

that travels the seas!”

“That’s an endangered

gopher tortoise, protected by law.”

“I didn’t know,” replied the boy.

“It’s the first one I ever saw!”

The boy put the tortoise

gently down on the sand,

and it crawled very slowly

up the beach to dry land.

I wish I had told the boy,

“Find ‘gopher tortoise’ in Wikipedia,

and tell your friends back home

how you found one in Florida!”

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Blue & White Mugs

Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Blue & White Mugs

Blue and white souvenir mugs

in our Miami Beach drug store…

art deco and wildlife scenes…

I bought four!

The kids grew; we planned to travel…

They wanted to help push Dad’s chair.

I looked forward to collecting

blue and white mugs from everywhere!

A three-generation Carribean cruise…

Dad’s last-minute illness caused cancellation.

We scheduled a Carribean cruise

for our family vacation.

I spent a night in the hospital with Dad…

They failed to draw blood despite many tries.

Dad checked himself out before daybreak;

we drove to the beach and watched the sunrise.

Then we went home to pack our bags

for the final voyage of the Norway…

Mom, Dad, and kids sailed that afternoon.

We had decided to “seize the day!”

The kids and I snorkeled. Our family

explored islands, listened to steel bands,

dressed for dinner, went to shows…

and we bought a mug, as I had planned.

The Batavia Family aboard the Norwegian Ship, Norway

Dad died within the year. I put the

Carribean mug where it wouldn’t break,

fragile, precious souvenir of the

only family cruise we would ever take!

Years later, I retired to the Gulf coast.

Just one Miami Beach mug remained

when we moved to our new house.

I thought about putting that mug away…

I chose to use both irreplaceable mugs…

I have tea with my memories every day.

One day the mugs may break,

and that will be okay!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Fountain of Youth

Photo by Mrjn from Unsplash

Fountain of Youth

Thirty years ago,

I drank from the Fountain of Youth

discovered by Spanish explorer,

Juan Ponce De Leon,

in St. Augustine, Florida.

The only change I noticed

was the taste of sulfur in the water!

My hair continued to turn gray;

the wrinkles deepened in my face.

If there were a Fairy Godmother

granting wishes to all who drink the water

at the Fountain of Youth,

I wouldn’t wish for hair dye

or a face lift or clothes

from the trendy store in the mall.

I wouldn’t ask to be fluent

in the latest slang…

These things can’t bring back youth!

If there were a Fairy Godmother

granting wishes to all who drink the water

at the Fountain of Youth,

I’d ask to have a youthful outlook…

Curiosity to continue learning,

Idealism to envision a better future,

Creativity to express our dreams.

Passion to work for positive change.

Yes, Fairy Godmother,

I wish to THINK young!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Candy Box

Box of Chocolates, Photo by Monique Carrati from Unsplash

Candy Box

A gold foil candy box

was my treasure chest;

candy was a sweet gift,

but the box was the best!

I filled it with love letters

and treasured photos

collected over a period

of five years or so.

I carried the box around

for more than fifty years.

This year, the box fell apart,

and I didn’t shed any tears.

I looked at the photos,

read the letters once more,

put them all in the trash,

and walked out the door.

We moved to our new house,

vowing we’d never move again.

Memories fade, but the photos

and letters are burned on my brain.

I remember a boy with slicked-back

hair and a crooked grin

and a handsome football player

who wanted me to marry him.

Then there was a fearless boy

who helped me learn to drive

and several others who

passed through my life.

I put the box away

when I married at eighteen…

and now the mementos are gone,

but the memories remain.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Everglades Gossip

Roseate Spoonbills, Photo by Julia Craice from Unsplash

Everglades Gossip

A roseate spoonbill was overheard to say,

“You’ll never guess who I saw today!

Gone from the Everglades for a hundred years,

flamingos have settled not far from here.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

The second spoonbill said, “It will be nice, I think,

having neighbors who also like to wear pink.

Maybe they won’t brag that their legs are longer,

or argue that their beaks are stronger.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

“We will have to be tactful and kind,”

said the first spoonbill, “and pay no mind

to flamingos’ skinny necks and feathery heads.

Some things are better left unsaid.”

“We have a lot in common. Let’s focus on that,”

said the second spoonbill. “We’ll have a chat

with our new neighbors. I think it will be good

to welcome flamingos back to the neighborhood.”

Flamingos, Photo by Dennis Eusebio from Unsplash

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals II

Environmentally-themed book series for readers aged eight to twelve

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia

I Heard Your Name

Woman Floating in the Ocean, Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Unsplash

I Heard Your Name

I walked through surf,

heart pounding,

blood rushing,

and I thought of you.

The sun warmed me,

cheered me,

and sparkled on the water,

and I saw your smile.

The sea held me,

rocked me, and

gently stroked my face,

and I felt your touch.

The breeze and

the seabirds and

the little waves spoke to me,

and I heard your name.

Reprinted from Wonders

Copyright© 2018 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 Clouds by Didgeman from Pixabay


As vapor in clouds

condenses and turns to rain,

so may I adapt.

Dandelion Seeds in Flight, Photo by Bruno from Pixabay

As wind carries seeds

to faraway locations,

let me move forward.

Sprouts, Photo by Alina Kuptsova from Pixabay

As soil welcomes seeds,

may my mind be receptive

to new ideas.

May sunshine relentlessly

enlighten me, mind and soul!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Netting in Lemon Bay

Left to Right: Gulf of Mexico, Manasota Key, Lemon Bay. Photo by Jin from Adobe Stock

Netting in Lemon Bay

For several hours that morning, in blazing sun,

our group waded in the knee-deep muck

of Lemon Bay, netting sea creatures

and collecting them in pails. Then we gathered

on shore with the naturalist to observe and

discuss the animals we had found:

juvenile flounder, shrimp, tiny crabs…

I left a bit early because I had a lunch date

with a man who lived nearby.

We had been communicating on Plenty of Fish

and were meeting for the first time.

Woops! There were no showers at the park!

I cleaned up the best I could with a wet towel.

Still sweaty on top and muddy on the bottom,

I went to meet my date at Chili’s.

We met in the parking lot with a hug

and a kiss on the cheek, not my usual handshake.

We talked for two hours over chicken fajitas.

Time flew by! I felt I had known him forever!

…That’s how I met my soul mate!

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

Robert and I have been together for six very happy years since that meeting at Chili’s. I was sixty-five, and he was sixty-six when we met. My husband had been dead for over twelve years before I started dating, and I had nearly given up on ever finding a soul mate… someone with whom I have so much in common!

Hanging Out with Stingrays

Naples, Florida Pier, Photo by Bailey Rapp from Unsplash

Hanging Out with Stingrays

I was visiting the pelicans on Naples Pier;

the sun was bright, and the water was clear,

I saw a school of stingrays far below,

swimming in The Gulf of Mexico.

Stingrays are flat fish with “wings”

and long, skinny tails with barbs that sting.

Swimming in schools, they stir up sand

to find their dinner of oysters and clams.

Stingray, Photo by Fernando Jorge from Unsplash

I wanted to join the rays…what a fun thing to do!

“Don’t step on them, and they won’t sting you,”

a nearby fisherman advised.

“Shuffle your feet and they’ll move aside.”

I shuffled my feet, and I stayed with the rays

’till the sun was setting at the end of the day.

Hanging out with stingrays was a lot of fun…

I was tired and sunburned, but I didn’t get stung.

Stingray Swimming, Photo by Jakob Owens from Unsplash

I learned that serious injury from stingrays is rare,

but incidents sometimes do occur.

Although I won’t overreact if I encounter a stingray,

I won’t wade with schools of rays like I did that day.

Stingrays in touch tanks have their barbs removed.

Some stingray encounters are sting-free too.

Stingrays enjoy being petted and like to play.

I’d hang out with stingrays at aquariums any day!

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals III

Environmentally-themed book series for ages eight to twelve

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

Rising from the Ashes

Photo by Andonyi Gabor from Pexels

Rising from the Ashes

Consumed by the heat of your body,

like the firebird,

I rise from the ashes.

Seduced by the powers of your mind,

I recreate myself

and fly away with you.

Reprinted from Wonders

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia

How I Won the Great Snail Race of Miami-Dade County

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

How I Won the Great Snail Race of Miami-Dade County

(with sincere apologies to Mark Twain)

In the middle of a snail population explosion,

inspired by Mark Twain’s short story,

“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of

Calaveras County,” we planned a snail race.

We thought snail races would be more fun

than frog races…longer to cheer,

longer to observe snail behavior,

and longer to shoot a snail video.

Calaveras County frogs get only three jumps…

Snails take their own sweet time

Photo by Tanika from Unsplash

Keesha’s strategy to win the race

was to choose the largest snail.

Seth just wanted to shoot a snail video

and win an award at the county fair.

Jo planned to lure her snail with lettuce.

Photo by Lajos Moricz from Pixabay

Clarence thought his snail would win

if he cheered louder than anybody else.

Clarence didn’t know snails can’t hear.

My strategy was to learn a lot about snails.

I did research. I drew a diagram and

labeled the shell, the foot, and the eye stalks.

I studied hard so I could pick the best snail;

I was sure my snail, Speedy, would win!

On the day of the snail race, we drew

two concentric circles on the tile floor.

Keesha had chosen a gigantic snail.

Jo had her lettuce ready.

We all put our snails in the center circle.

The first snail to leave the outer circle

would win the race. “Go, Speedy!” I whispered.

Photo by Nika Akin from Pexels

Seth had just started videoing the race

when Clarence began to cheer.

Even though snails don’t have ears

and can’t hear, they feel

sound wave vibrations

with their lower tentacles…

All the snails retreated into their shells!

“Shhh!” we told Clarence.

Speedy came out of his shell first.

Keesha’s giant snail had decided

never to come out again!

Jo’s snail was moving very slowly

away from the lettuce, leaving a slime trail

as it crawled into the outer circle.

Photo by Gene Pensiero from Unsplash

Speedy certainly was fast, but he

couldn’t seem to move in a straight line;

he careened aimlessly around the outer circle,

leaving little silvery squiggles behind him.

Jo’s snail was about to cross the finish line.

Clarence couldn’t keep still any longer

and began cheering again for his snail.

Jo’s snail stopped immediately, just inside

the outer circle, and pulled into its shell.

Speedy was so smart, he finally wandered

outside the circle and won the race.

If you don’t believe me, you can watch

Seth’s video at the county fair.

Photo by cablemarder from Pixabay

After the race, we released the snails

far away from vegetable gardens.

Keesha’s giant snail finally came out of its shell.

Clarence apologized for making noise.

We washed the snail slime off our hands

and enjoyed an ice cream party

to celebrate Speedy’s big win.

Maybe someday, I’ll write a story,

“Speedy, the Celebrated Racing Snail

of Miami-Dade County!”

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Inspired by a snail race in a sixth grade science class I taught in Miami. I am considering adding illustrations and developing this into a book for young readers, ages eight to twelve.

Peaceful Manatee

Manatee Cow and Calf, Crystal River, Florida, photo by Janos, Adobe Stock Photos

Peaceful Manatee

Peaceful manatee

grazing in Crystal River,

suckling your calf.

Friendly manatee,

Red Tide and boat propellers

are lurking dangers.

Playful manatee,

wintering in the hot springs,

hanging out with friends.

Manatee in Crystal River, Florida, photo by Janos from Adobe Stock Photos

Threatened manatee

swimming in warm Gulf waters…

Keep away from harm!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

West Indian Manatees, distant relatives of elephants, are found in the Southeastern United States. Antillian Manatees live in Central and South America. Another species is the African Manatee.

Behind the Scenes

Puppets, photo by Pablo Hermoso from Unsplash

Behind the Scenes

If I say I made my own luck, it may not be so.

Maybe someone helped me, and I didn’t know.

When I fell on my face, I could have been

sabotaged by someone I thought was my friend.

Though I’ve tried to help my fellow man

and do good deeds whenever I can,

I know I’ve made enemies inadvertently,

and maybe helped others in ways I can’t see.

I’m sure there were times that I was blind

to the needs of others; it weighs on my mind.

I’m sure I wasted energy trying to see

if somebody else was out to get me.

Life’s about making the world a better place;

it’s not about fighting to win the race

to the top of the ladder or to the bank

or sacrificing integrity for power or rank.

I take compliments with a grain of salt,

and being blamed doesn’t mean I’m at fault.

The opinions of others have merit, but…

it’s sometimes better to go with your gut!

If I’m out there seeking a pat on the back,

It may be best to forget about that!

Accolades I receive may not be

the most reliable measure of my humanity.

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

Miami Beach

Miami Beach South Beach, Ocean Drive, Art Deco District by Ellensmile from Adobe Stock Photos

Miami Beach

Sunshine on waves is an exciting show

for our daughter Katey and our son Joe.

Miami Beach is the perfect place to swim!

Mom and Dad keep an eye on them.

Zooming by slower folks is just great

for two little daredevils on roller skates!

It’s the nineties. Skating is all the rage

for rollerbladers of every age.

The warm sea breezes are pure delight.

We’re dining on Ocean Drive tonight…

pizza and ice cream in a sidewalk cafe,

people passing in an endless parade.

Coming in, like a wave, is a happy mood.

We’re listening to music and feeling good.

Mom and Dad still have dessert to eat…

Joe and Katey are dancing in the street!

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places

Copyright 2019© by Cheryl Batavia

Our family lived in Miami Beach for seven years in a 1940 Art Deco style house. We christened our house, inhabited by a dog and two very active children, “Bedlam on the Beach.” Miami Beach is a wonderful city with beautiful beaches, historic Art Deco buildings, great restaurants, and lots of interesting things to do.

“Fraidy” Old Lady

WATER, poured acrylic on canvas, by Cheryl Batavia

MINNOWS IN THE SURF, poured acrylic on canvas, by Cheryl Batavia

“Fraidy” Old Lady

A “fraidy” old lady at the Pompano shore

was afraid to wade, but not anymore!

Her ankles tickled when the little fish nibbled.

Their bite was so light, the old lady giggled,

“Why didn’t I try this before?”

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals III,

an environmentally-themed book series for readers eight to twelve

Copyright 2019© by Cheryl Batavia

This limerick tells a true tale about an old lady…me. The fish bit hard enough that it almost hurt, but not quite! My sister treated me to a fish pedicure when I visited her. It was a very similar experience!


Woodpecker, photo by Bill Pennell from Unsplash



powerful bird…

pecks his lunch!

Does your head ache,


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

There are many pileated woodpeckers living in the woods near our home. Sometimes I can watch one from my window.

Genius at Work!

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

Genius at Work!

Shh…Genius at work!

Except when you’re not…

not genius, I mean!


has inexplicably fled…

vacated the scene!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It’s a conundrum!

Oh! what’s a poet to do?

Quick! Write a haiku!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Post a photo…no, post two…

That’s it, genius, you’re all through!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash


In the morning when I wake,

I walk through the quiet house,

opening the blinds to green, leafy views.

Sun shining through the trees,

lighting up the flowers,

birds on branches singing, butterflies.

The sun streams in, revealing

dust on the chest of drawers,

cobwebs on the ceiling fan.

Time for a little housekeeping…soon.

I settle down to a cup of tea.

In the morning stillness,

I open the blinds of my heart,

gathering inspiration for the day.

The light shines in,

revealing the struggles and triumphs

of other people in the world.

Time to dust off compassion,

time to sweep doubts

and lingering grudges away.

Time to polish creativity

and beautiful thoughts

to see me through my day.

As daylight fades,

I walk through the quiet house,

closing the blinds.

We sit down to a simple supper

and enjoy some time together.

Then I close the blinds of my mind

and quiet my thoughts.

Time to rest…and dream.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Walking Hand in Hand by Epic Stock Media from Adobe Stock Photos


Dew, wet and cool beneath bare feet

Bunny munching technicolor grass.

Black racer crossing–elegance in motion.

Green bee sipping breakfast

from an orange flower.

Mockingbird incessantly repeating

his neighbors’ songs.

Clouds assemble, palms flutter,

sky darkens, thunder, lightning, shower.

From every tree, birds singing in the rain.

Incandescent sunset.

Stars twinkling in the pine trees.

Water dripping from the leaves,

Frogs singing love songs in the ditches

as we walk hand in hand.

Grass never grew so green.

Stars never shone so bright.

Nature’s music–never sweeter!

Wonders of the universe,

shared with the one I love.

Reprinted from Wonders

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia

“Wonders” is one of my favorite poems from my very first book, Wonders: Poems about Love and Relationships. It is posted on the website under “Excerpts, Wonders.” If you have read it there, I apologize, and I promise I won’t make it a habit to duplicate poems.

There is a story behind this poem. One night I was afraid that I was going to die, and Robert comforted me as I cried. (I almost never cry!) It turned out to be a false alarm. The next morning, I woke up, and everything looked incredibly bright and beautiful. This is a poem about that day.

Season of Flowers

Trillium blooming in Shenandoah National Park, by ChrWeiss from Adobe Stock Photos

Season of Flowers

Bare trees and warm rains,

before trees cast leafy shade…

the mountainsides bloom.

Yellow Lady’s Slipper Orchid, Shenandoah National Park, by Foap.com from Adobe Stock Photos

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Everglades Style

Egret Family, photo by homecare119 from Pixabay

Everglades Style

The style-conscious woman of long ago

wore Everglades fashions from head to toe:

egret feathers decorating her stylish hat,

alligator purse and alligator shoes to match.

Her taste in fashion was very fine,

but Everglades wildlife began to decline.

Egrets and alligators faced extinction,

and laws were passed for their protection.

Alligator on a Golf Course, photo by skeeze at pixabay

No longer endangered, these species survive.

Habitat protection allows them to thrive.

With continued protection and conservation,

wildlife will delight future generations.

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals II

an environmentally themed book series for readers eight to twelve

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia

Evolved Man

Photo of Robert Snyder by Cheryl Batavia

Evolved Man

Evolved in thought.

Not easily deluded.

Never self-deluded.

Laser-sharp focus on truth.

Divides the goats of reason

from the sheeep of folly.

Evolved in intellect,

educated, informed.

Repository of knowledge__

both factual and conceptual,

both trivial and profound.

Grounded, self-deprecating, wise.

Evolved in human interactions.

Eludes the treachery of villans,

never villanous.

Extends himself in acts of kindness,

expecting nothing in return.

Open, vulnerable, self-assured.

Evolved in his passions,

disciplined, moderate, civilized,

slow to anger.

Only in his libido,

primitive man survives evolution!

Reprinted from Wonders

Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia

To My Forebears

Photo by Ekaterina Shakharova from Unsplash

To My Forebears

I want to call you,

Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Dad,

when I have good news.

I want to call you

and hear you say one more time,

“I’m so proud of you!”

I want to tell you, “Thank you

for helping me on my way!”

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


Follow leaders, but don’t follow blindly.

Disagree with opponents, but do so kindly.

Look critically at different points of view.

Cast your ballot as seems right to you.

After the election, work cooperatively

to build your country and community.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

I am reposting this as we are getting close to US election day, and mail in balloting is about to begin. Cheryl

Cicada, Cicada!

Adult Cicada, photo by Dan Keck, Pixabay

Cicada, Cicada!

For seventeen years,

You’ve been asleep.

Now, what kind of

schedule is that to keep?

Cicada, cicada,

you’ve slept too long!

Come out of your shell

and sing your song!

You’re sure to enjoy

the warm summer night.

Come out, Cicada…

Enjoy your first flight!

Empty Cicada Shell, photo by Yukie Chen from Pixabay

Many types of cicadas live in eastern North America. They are harmless herbivores. Eggs, laid in the bark of a tree, hatch into nymphs that burrow into the ground. They stay buried from one to 17 years, depending on the species. The entire group emerge from their shells at the same time, find mates, and lay their eggs. Only the males have a mating “song” made by vibrating a membrane on their abdomen. Their “chorus” adds music to the summer nights.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Ferns in the Rain, photo by Darius Krause from Pexels


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

Skunk, Tough Guy

Photo of Skunk by Bryan Padron from Unsplash

Skunk, Tough Guy

The skunk is the tough guy

of the American woods.

Black and white fur is a

warning well-understood.

A skunk can spray about ten feet.

You can smell it for miles

driving down the street.

Intimidated by his stinky spray,

when he stomps and hisses,

even bears back away!

Skunks at Their Den, photo by Bryan Padron from Unsplash

Except great horned owls,

skunks have little to fear.

Skunks eat ‘most anything

and live ‘most anywhere.

Insects, salamanders, moles

…their diet varies;

for desert, skunks love

sweet, juicy berries.

Immune to snake venom,

They eat rattlesnake meat.

With fur to protect them,

bees and wasps are a treat.

Spotted Skunk, photo by Bryan Padron from Unsplash

If you ever crowd a skunk,

don’t be surprised

if this tough guy sprays you,

and you’re ostracized.

Soap and tomato juice

won’t make ammends;

you’ll be kept at a distance

by all of your friends.

You’ll have time for your

smart phone, TV, and tunes.

No need to worry…

You’ll smell better soon!

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals III

an environmentally-themed book series for ages eight to twelve

Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

White Pelican Island

White Pelican Island in the Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande, photo by Cheryl Batavia

White Pelican Island

Everywhere in Florida

you see brown pelicans…

They are frequently-observed,

year-round residents .

The more reclusive white pelicans

appear in fall and winter

at White Pelican Island and other

secluded Florida locations!

Photo of Brown Pelicans from Adobe Stock

During the winter season,

white pelicans migrate from

Louisiana to their second home,

White Pelican Island

in the Gasparilla Sound.

White Pelicans on Sanibel Island, photo by Diane Gainforth from Pixabay

Why do white pelicans migrate to

Florida, brown pelican territority?

Maybe, like human”snowbirds,”

they just like the warmer weather!

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Wading in the Creek, Image by Pezibear from Pixabay


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

My Time in Prisons

Image of Alcatraz Island by nocloset from Pixabay

My Time in Prisons

Locked down!

Imprisoned by the pandemic…

I think of all the prisons

I have visited.

Fort Christian in

Charlotte Amalie,

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

300-year-old Danish fort,

later, St. Thomas Prison.

Then the dungeon

became a museum.

We toured the dungeon

at Fort Christian.

I remember the coolness

and the rough, thick walls

covered with graffiti…

artwork and obscenities,

messages from inmates

killing time.

Alcatraz, San Francisco Bay.

Once a lightouse, military fort,

and military prison…

then a federal prison.


then occupied by protesting

Native Americans…

Now a museum.

We visited the cell block,

rusting human cages

and peeling paint…

We thought about the movie,

true story of an inmate,

“Birdman of Alcatraz”

who shared his food with birds.

This was the place

where Al Capone,

famous American gangster,

served time for tax evasion.

They never proved

his other crimes.

We toured a modern day

model prison in California…

remarkably like a college campus!

No graffiti here!

Locked down!

Imprisoned by the pandemic

and writing graffiti…

photos and poems

posted on my blog.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Bottlenose Dolphins by Duncan Noakes from Adobe Stock Photos


Blood, wherever it is shed,

is universally blood red.

We have ancient hates and fears.

We all shed bitter tears.

All over the face of the earth,

families celebrate a baby’s birth.

Universally, people share love

and look to the skies above

seeking hope and inspiration.

We all know setbacks and frustration,

but in our dreams, we all can see

a world of brotherhood and peace.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

World View

World View

If I know myself,

my self-concept is not based

on what others say.

If I am honest,

I won’t waste my potential

deceiving myself.

Having confidence,

I approach life with courage,

not averse to risk.

Having self respect,

I won’t lower myself

showing others disrespect.

If I love justice,

I won’t elevate myself

keeping others down.

If I love myself,

I find it easier to

love my fellow man.

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia