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

Save Mother Earth!

Mother Polar Bear and Cubs, Photo by NOAA from Unsplash

Save Mother Earth!

Lawmakers and scientists

and assorted ethicists…

Each nation sent a delegation

to help Mother Earth find salvation.

Scientists made their presentations,

consensus of their deliberations:

Mother Earth is sickened by pollution.

Scientists proposed their solution:

Pesticides and poisons are lurking everywhere.

Clean up the land, sea, and air.

Resources are strained by overpopulation.

Keep wild lands and habitats in the equation.

The governmental delegations,

after prolonged deliberations,

agreed on enacting regulations

to be strictly enforced in every nation.

Ethicists were the next to speak:

“Your governmental coercion plan is very weak!

We must set hearts and minds on fire…

educate and motivate, persuade and inspire!”

Suddenly, youthful eco-activists appeared,

determined to make their message heard.

“The future belongs to us!” They chanted.

Protest signs proclaimed what they wanted:

“Save the Rainforest!” “Clean up the Sea!”

“Organic Food!” “Renewable Energy!”

“Save Wildlife Habitats!” “War is an Outrage!”

“Protect Polar Bears!” “Lower the Voting Age!”

Young speakers took the microphone.

They said, “No group of experts can work alone.

Scientists, governments, and ethicists must

work together to earn our trust.”

“The future belongs to us! We take a stand…

The children of the world demand…

Stop your games and endless debate

and save Mother Earth before it’s too late!”


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Environmental Protest, Photo by Mika Baumeister from Unsplash
Solar Energy Farm, Photo by Zbynec Burival from Unsplash
Wind Turbine, Photo by by Natalie Douglas from Unsplash

Raccoon Party

Baby Raccoons, Photo by Public Domain Pictures from Pixabay

Raccoon Party

Footprints,

festive dark stains

in exquisite detail…

a raccoons-only patio

party!

Photo by Pete Nuji from Unsplash

Raccoons,

I need to know…

why were we excluded?

Not even invited to watch

the fun!

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten from Unsplash

Humans,

are you clueless?

Garbage cans tightly locked…

You don’t invite us to dinner…

Ever!

Baby Raccoon, Photo by ebo23 from Pixabay

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Katey and the Great Texas Whiteout

My Daughter Katey During the Great Texas Whiteout

Katey and the Great Texas Whiteout

Florida was home.

Katey had not played in the snow

since leaving Russia.

Katey moved this year.

Texas snowfall surprised her…

First snow since age four!

Whiteout in Texas…

power off, roads hazardous.

Katey shoveled snow.

Historic blizzards…tragic.

Playing in snow…Katey’s joy!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Photos by Ellen and Katey


Texas is experiencing unheard-of back-to-back blizzards and below-zero temperatures. This may be one of many examples of extreme weather events due to global warming. Increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes and wildfires, craters forming in Russia’s Tundra, and melting polar ice are some other possible examples.

Texas is not well-prepared for blizzards. Items such as Snowplows and snow tires are in short supply. The low temperatures are overtaxing the power grid and causing power outages. Some people’s water pipes have burst. A few areas have orders to boil water. Many people are stuck at home with a dwindling supply of food and without heat. I am grateful that my daughters and their household have experienced only a very brief power outage.

My Daughters, Katey and Ellen
Rez Plays with Katey’s Snow Angel
Don’t Do It, Ellen!
Yay. Snow!

Walk with Me

Twin Fawns, Photo by Gary Meuleman from Unsplash

Walk with Me

My heart is in the mountains.

My feet are in the sea.

My head is in the clouds,

My arms around a tree.

We can talk to the animals…

Come, walk the world with me.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Identity Crisis

Photo by shot-by-ireland from Unsplash

An unexamined life is not worth Living–Socrates

This quote, as described in Plato’s Apology, is from the trial of Socrates, where he was convicted of “corrupting the youth” of Athens. Socrates believed so strongly in his philosophy that he chose the punishment of death rather than exile, and died by drinking poison hemlock. The “Socratic Method” teaches by asking questions and is still used today.

This poem contrasts the “unexamined life” in the first half of the palindrome with the “examined life” in the second half of the palindrome. I believe that we should not drift through life, accepting conventional wisdom without question. We should take responsibility for our own lives by asking the difficult questions to discover our true purpose. A purposeful life is meaningful and is in service to others.


Identity Crisis

Purpose of life?

Lassitude banishes purpose.

Here am I. Why am I?

Obscurity supersedes clarity.

Anxiety outpaces curiosity.

Crisis of identity.

Randomness overpowers intention.

Why wonder?

Complexity of world…

Perplexing!

World of complexity.

Wonder why…

Intention overpowers randomness.

Identity of crisis.

Curiosity outpaces anxiety.

Clarity supersedes obscurity.

I am why. I am here.

Purpose banishes lassitude.

Life of purpose.

Photo by Taylor from Unsplash

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


A Palindrome Poem.

There is a central word.

The first half and the second half of the poem

are mirror images of each other.

Hearts to You!

Photo by Susan Matthiessen from Unsplash

Hearts to You ❤

Hearts to you, WordPress Family!

You are empathetic and kind,

characterized by warm hearts

and open minds.

Perceptive and thoughtful,

in touch with your muses,

writing words of wisdom

that creativity infuses.

Photos and videos illuminate

humanity, nature, historical attractions.

Music is a multicolored source

of daily satisfactions.

Hearts to you, fellow bloggers,

you mean a lot to me.

Happy Valentine’s Day

to my WordPress family!

May the love and joy

you give away

return to you

each and every day.

May all of your dreams

and wishes come true

May all of your endeavors

bring success to you.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Roses are Red

Photo by Waldemer Brandt from Unsplash

Roses are Red ❤

Roses are red,

violets are blue.

I’ve always wanted

a Valentine like you!

Roses are yellow,

violets are white.

I’ll put on my red dress…

We’re going out tonight!

Roses are pink,

violets are yellow.

I’m your kind of girl…

You’re my kind of fellow!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Happy Valentine’s Day, Robert! ❤

Going out is postponed until after the pandemic,

but we will enjoy a cozy dinner at home!

To My WordPress Family

Photo by Renee Fisher from Unsplash

To My WordPress Family

I am often tired these days, I admit.

It’s become impossible to ignore.

I can’t push through it,

don’t have the strength anymore.

Mental clarity waxes and wanes.

Energy fluctuates unpredictably.

Well-being punctuated by pain…

I look forward to a return to normalcy.

I am sorting it all out…

A series of tests is underway.

For now, I have to slow down,

I’ll do the best I can, day by day.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


For the last couple of months, I have been having increasingly severe cardiovascular symptoms. I am not sure of the cause, but suspect so-called “long covid.” I had a mild heart attack in 2007 and have two stents in my heart. Maybe one is blocked.

I will let you know when I find out about what is happening. Until then, I will carry on the best I can. I would rather talk about ideas, emotions, family, the environment, nature, culture… and not my health! I just wanted you to know that if I don’t read as many posts as usual, it is not because I don’t want to.

Lost & Alone

Photo by jaime-fenn from Unsplash

Lost & Alone

Lost and alone you are now!

Destination unexplored.

Light becomes darkness,

day becomes night.

Friendship unanticipated,

unfounded fears…

companions are strangers!

Shared experience,

shared fire and food.

Seen and heard…

Empathy.

Heard and seen,

food and fire shared,

experience shared.

Strangers are companions…

fears unfounded,

unanticipated friendship!

Night becomes day,

darkness becomes light.

Unexplored destination…

Now are you alone and lost?


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


This is my first attempt at writing a palindrome poem. My thanks to David, at Ben Alexander for his explanation of his method for writing a palindrome and for his encouragement.

Lounging Around

Photo by olia-danlevi from Pexels

Lounging Around

Stretched out on green grass,

finding pictures in the clouds

and four-leaf clovers.

Supine in the snow,

arms and legs stretching outward.

Sculpting snow angels.

Photo by Vlad from Pexels

Sprawling on the rug,

playing with a new puppy.

Wiggles and wet kisses.

Lounging on the beach…

eating ice cream, feeding gulls,

talking, holding hands.

Photo by tima-moroshi from Pexels

Sleeping warm in bed,

snuggled under the covers,

alarm set for six.

Lolling on the couch,

old movies, buttered popcorn.

Relaxation mode.

Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Soaking in the tub,

warm bubble bath, soft music.

Children fast asleep.

Bedded in a tent,

cricket songs and coyotes.

Camping with the kids.

Photo by patrick-hendry from Unsplash

Dozing in a hammock,

taking an overdue nap.

Smell of fresh-cut grass.

Loafing on the chaise,

watching grandchildren playing.

Iced tea with lemon.

Photo by Barbara Webb from Pexels

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Florida in Red

Poinsettias, Photo by primalfelines from Unsplash

Red Leaves

Autumn at Christmas.

Red poinsettias linger,

welcoming the spring.

Photo by Ryan Stone from Unsplash

Red Sky

Red winter sunrise.

Short winter days grow longer.

Red winter sunset.

Male Cardinal, Photo by George Berberic from Unsplash

Red Birds

Cardinal’s crimson.

January…spring fever.

Woods ring with bird songs.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Florida’s Change of Seasons

The change of seasons is subtle in South Florida. Times given vary, but are approximate for where I live.

In Florida, most trees and plants are green all year, but some are deciduous. Red Maples and Virginia creeper are among Florida’s deciduous plants. Their leaves turn red in late December and fall around New Year’s.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and grow well in South Florida. They typically bloom in December, and their red bracts stay on the plants for several months. Pink and white are other popular poinsettia colors.

As is true in many places, winter sunrises and sunsets tend to be especially vivid.

Male cardinals get their bright mating plumage in mid-January, and the woods, which have been silent for a while, are alive with bird songs. Spring and baby birds will not be far behind.

United We Stand

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Our best days still lie ahead. Together we will choose hope over fear, unity over division, and truth over lies.

Joe Biden

Statue of Liberty, Photo by Joel Naren from Unsplash

United We Stand

We Americans are a strong people.

We will reclaim our democracy

and restore the American dream.

“Equal…under the law,”

“endowed…with…unalienable rights…

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,”

“a government of laws, not of men.”

“United we stand, divided we fall…”

United we stand.

Please see the sources for the quotes used in this poem at the end of the post.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Flag of the United States of America, Photo by Elements 5 Digital from Unsplash

Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Sources of Quotes in the Poem, “United We Stand”

“Equal Justice under the Law” adapted from the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Inscribed on the front of the US Supreme Court building.

“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” President Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

“government of laws, not of men” President John Adams

“United we stand, divided we fall.” Origin unknown. Motto of the State of Kentucky

Christmas Eve at Our House

Christmas Eve at Our House

Cozy Christmas Eve,

phone visits with family,

walks in the sunshine.

Red Virginia Creeper provides Seasonal Color for our Back Yard
Woods View from Christmas Eve Walk
Table Set for Christmas Eve, Centerpiece Created with Foliage from our Yard

Rustic centerpiece,

classic steak, baked potato,

just the two of us.

Our Christmas Tree Plays “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

Yuletide carols play.

“We wish you a Merry Christmas.”

Stockings are hung with care.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Good Intentions for 2021

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia from Unsplash

Good Intentions for 2021

I will

find a balance,

time for important things:

work, play, health, creativity,

romance.

I will

simplify life,

streamline daily routines,

minimize material things,

relax.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Looking forward to 2021, I think the situation looks very fluid. We will need goals, but even more, we will need to be flexible. I usually make New Year’s resolutions; this year, I have settled for good intentions! 🙂

❤ Happy New Year! ❤

How Long is Forever?

Photo by tristan-le from Pexels

How Long is Forever?

Dear One,

epitome

of patience and kindness,

will you stay with me forever?

Love me.

Promise

me forever…

tenderness and passion,

undying love and loyalty.

Love me.

How long

is forever?

Much longer than never…

an indeterminate journey...

Love me.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Happy New Year,

Wonderful Fellow Bloggers!

Things have gotten a little crazy here!

I am taking a break

and will do my best to catch up on my emails.

See you in 2021. ❤ ❤ ❤

Love Flourishes

Blackbirds at Myakka State Park, Florida, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Love Flourishes

Timeless memories,

shared hopes for our tomorrows,

we live in the now.

Our energy wanes.

Wit is replaced by wisdom.

Our love flourishes.

Love lights the twilight.

In winter’s chill, we are warmed

by each other’s gaze.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Cheryl Batavia and Robert Snyder at the Myakka River

Happy New Year!

❤ ❤ ❤

After six happy years together, we are making it official. We plan to be married in 2021 after the pandemic ends, probably late summer.

We wish you all the joys of the season and a peaceful and prosperous 2021. May love light your life and warm your heart! ❤ ❤ ❤

Barney, the Purple Dinosaur

Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, Photo by Katey Batavia

Barney, the Purple Dinosaur

In October, from Russia, Katey and Joe,

came to Florida twenty-five years ago.

Friends and relatives sent gifts of welcome.

Hanukkah and Christmas gifts filled our home!

That January, when Katey turned five,

we agreed that a book was the best gift to give.

On Katey’s birthday, when Papa came home,

the birthday plans all came undone!

When Papa came in, Katey was overjoyed.

Between Papa’s feet was a Barney toy.

From the wheelchair, Barney saw his new place.

A gigantic grin spread over Papa’s face.

Katey kissed Barney’s purple cheek,

and the talking dinosaur began to speak.

In his goofy voice, Barney said, “I love you.”

It was unmistakable, Katey loved him too!

We lost Papa six years later in January,

weeks before Katey’s eleventh birthday.

Barney lived with Katey for twenty-three years.

His demise last year left Katey in tears.

This year, I found on Amazon,

Katey’s Christmas present, a Barney clone!

Barney now lives in Texas, where he’ll say,

“I love you,” to Katey every day.

Katey Batavia and Barney, Photo by Katey Batavia

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


My late husband, Drew, and I adopted Katey and Joe from Russia in October, 1995. We lived in Miami Beach, and Drew, AKA “Papa,” was a very devoted father until his death in January, 2003. Katey now lives near Dallas, Texas with her older sister Ellen, a cat, a dog, and two other roommates. The new Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, just joined the household.

How Do You Spell Merry Christmas?

Santa by Tima Miroshni from Pexels

How Do You Spell Merry Christmas?

(Acrostic)

Manger scenes telling the Christmas Story

Exchanging gifts with friends and family

Relatives and friends visiting

Remembering to hang your stocking

Yummy food in December

Christmas Pageants with lines to remember

Hanging mistletoe up high

Reindeer flying across the sky

Invitations to parties and balls

Singing Yuletide carols

Trees we decorate

Making cookies and cakes

Advent wreaths with candles

Santa and his elves

Christmas Eve, Photo by Vicki Yde from Unsplash

Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


The acrostic is an old fashioned staple of school and Sunday school programs. Each child holds up a letter and recites his “piece.” The letters often spell MOTHER for Mothers Day, HAPPY THANKSGIVING or MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Christmas Wreath, photo by Cheryl Batavia

Merry Christmas!

Eighth Night of Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah!, Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Eighth Night of Hanukkah

(My memories from the 1990s)

On the eighth night of Hanukkah,

We’re celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa.

Candles will shed soft light

on the faces of our family tonight.

Children light the menorah carefully.

Their father smiles approvingly…

A quiet moment lingers like a dream…

before latkes, applesauce, and sour cream.

Enjoyed by glowing candlelight,

Hanukkah gelt is a sweet delight.

Children eagerly await

opening present number eight.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

We sing,”Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.”

Our pennies are on the table.

Spinning dreidels with Grandma, it’s clear,

“A great miracle happened here!”


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights that commemorates the rededication of the second temple. There was enough oil in the temple lamps to burn for only one night, but miraculously, it burned for eight nights. “A great miracle happened here!” is the message conveyed by the Hebrew letters on the dreidel. A dreidel is a top that is spun in a traditional gambling game. Our children and their grandma played for pennies.

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights. At sundown, the Hanukkah menorah is lit. One candle is lit on the first night. Another candle is added each night until, on the eighth night, all eight candles burn. Children receive a present on each night of Hanukkah.

A traditional Hanukkah food, latkes are grated potato pancakes fried in oil often served with applesauce and sour cream. The oil symbolizes the oil that burned for eight nights in the temple lamps. Hanukkah gelt is chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Our family also enjoyed chopped liver on matzos (similar to crackers) and matzo ball soup at Hanukkah.

Cactus-Tailed Cat

Cactus-Tailed Cat, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Cactus-Tailed Cat

In nineteen thirty-six, in Sunday school,

someone said: Did you hear about Harvey?

You mean that guy who always acts the fool?

I heard that he has Hepatitis B!

Oh, wow! I didn’t know that he was sick!

They think he could die. We might lose a friend.

We’ll cheer Harvey up. Think of something quick!

A dozen roses would be nice to send.

The Sunday school class wanted to be kind…

Roses were too expensive, it was clear.

A cat with a cactus tail…What a find!

What a perfect gift to bring Harvey cheer!

Harvey, my Dad, was too stubborn to die!

Fifteen-year-old Harvey dodged tragedy!

That cactus-tailed cat was the reason why

they joined the Church…Harvey’s whole family!

Harvey became a Methodist preacher,

devoted to service for fifty years.

He was a story-teller and teacher;

he visited the sick and calmed their fears.

My Grandma gave me the cactus-tailed cat

that changed the family’s way of living.

The cat’s now a gift for my daughter that

honors her life of service and giving.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


This poem is based on a true family story as told to me by my grandmother and my father. The first three verses are an imagined conversation showing how the Sunday school class decided to send the cactus cat to my father in the hospital.

The cactus-tailed cat is ready to send to my daughter, Ellen, in Texas. Ellen is an ordained Baptist chaplain and is taking seminary classes. She has taught Recovery classes for several years and is an administrator for the program.. I am not sure what her future plans are.

Disclosure: The cat is posing for this photo with an improvised cucumber tail. She is looking forward to getting a new cactus tail when she arrives in Texas.

Reflections on Thanksgiving

Native American Corn, Photo by Marcus Winkler from Unsplash

Reflections on Thanksgiving

1620 was a year of tribulation.

The Mayflower voyage was no vacation!

In America, one hundred Pilgrims arrived.

By spring, only fifty-three remained alive.

Befriended by a Native American tribe,

they grew corn and learned to thrive.

1621 was a year of jubilation,

harvest time at Plymouth Plantation,

when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag

gave thanks together and got along.

A time for gratitude and celebration,

plans for peace and co-operation.

Peace and cooperation were transient,

but Thanksgiving was a hopeful event.

Brotherhood, the spirit of Thanksgiving,

can transform our way of living!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Harvest festivals have been observed all over the world since ancient times. Several States claim to be the site of the first Thanksgiving in the US, but Plymouth, Massachusetts, though probably not the first, is the most well-known. Native Americans rescued several struggling American colonies in the early days. The Wampanoag befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, teaching them to grown corn and celebrating Thanksgiving with them.

The history of our country, as in many countries, has been blemished by racism, persecution of indigenous peoples, slavery, and religious intolerance. Many people have fought these evils, and many wrongs have been righted. The fight continues. The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation is a hopeful example of brotherhood and peace.

Abracadabra!

Photo by Ameen Fahmy from Unsplash

Abracadabra!

Questions work magic!

Great discoveries appear

when we seek answers.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


This poem was written in response to Ingrid’s EIF Poetry Challenge #8, and was awarded third place. My sincere thanks to Ingrid for posting the challenge on Experiments in Fiction and to Jaya Avendel of Nin Chronicles, who judged the challenge.

New Era of Optimism

The Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC, Adobe Stock Photos

New Era of Optimism

New leader chosen…

New era of empathy,

integrity, and truth.

New rule of law,

new dawn of democracy…

Call for unity.

Quell the violence.

Preserve the environment.

End the pandemic.

Rejoin the global family

in achieving common goals.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Joe Biden was declared President-Elect of The United States of America today, 10/7/20. Inauguration Day is 1/20/21.

Grandma

Grandparents & grandchildren, Photo by Aletia2011, Adobe Stock

Grandma

Our Grandma, Frances Ellen Tustin,

had to babysit, so she left after two years of school.

She had learned to read! She used that skill

to educate herself and lived her life to the full.

At twelve, Grandma worked as a hotel maid.

Married at seventeen, she had two sons.

She and Grandpa worked hard to support

their family during the Great Depression.

Our grandparents moved a lot, flipping houses.

Grandma wallpapered, painted, and plastered.

The last house they renovated was her childhood

home, using all the skills they had mastered.

Photo by Brett Jordan from Unsplash

Grandma lived there for more than thirty years,

raising chickens, planting grapes and fruit trees.

She grew asparagus, strawberries, and flowers,

and cultivated her garden into her eightees.

Grandma decorated her home with hooked rugs,

handmade quilts, and afghans she crocheted.

Her grandchildren were always proud

to wear the beautiful clothes she made.

Photo by Mae Mu from Unsplash

Cooking in restaurants and caring for the sick…

Grandma had many jobs over the years.

She was a long-time Sunday school teacher

who had earned the respect of her peers.

We always ate well at Grandma’s house…

Everybody loved her black walnut cinnamon buns!

Grandma fed us chicken cacciatore and cookies.

We gathered eggs in the henhouse. That was fun!

Photo by Natasha Skov from Unsplash

In summer, Grandma gave strawberries

to friends and neighbors and made strawberry pies.

A huge bowl of strawberries waited for us at

Grandma’s. We couldn’t eat them all, but we tried!

The Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls Grandma made

were in demand at local gift shops.

The dolls she made for her great grandchildren

were always loved a lot!

Photo by Non Vay from Unsplash

Most of my generation wanted to be like Grandma.

Great granddaughters, and great nieces, too,

are named “Frances” or “Ellen” or “Tustin,”

a gentle reminder: Be known by the good works you do.

Reprinted from Life in Inspiring Places


Copyright© 2019 by Cheryl Batavia

Two Armadillo Poems: Armadillo Neighbors/ Armadillo Territory

Photo by Victor Miyata from Pexels

Armadillo Neighbors

We lived near the beach

with armadillo neighbors

…not too neighborly!

At night, they dug grubs,

leaving holes and piles of poop…

We never saw them!

We filled holes, scooped scat.

They gnawed watermelon rinds

we left out to dry.

One evening at dusk,

I saw two dark shapes walking

along the hedgerow.

As I got closer,

I saw they were not raccoons…

Yes, armadillos!

They scooped out a den,

lived under our shed, eating

watermelon rinds.

One day they were gone.

We never met their children…

There were no goodbyes!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Armadillo Territory

Photo by Skeeze from Pixabay

Armadillo Territory

Our new neighborhood

is wooded…armadillo

home territory!

Out walking one day,

I met three armadillos

digging up breakfast.

They were cute, half-grown.

I stood there chatting with them…

They never looked up.

Recently, I saw

an armadillo stroll by,

armor slick with rain.

Undisturbed, he walked

along the edge of our yard

and into the woods.

One day I followed

a busy armadillo

all around our yard.

She went on eating,

politely ignoring me,

as she fed on ants.

She did not fear me…

No one shoots armadillos

around here, I guess!

That night and the next,

the armadillo dug dens

and abandoned them.

Armadillo’s gone!

House hunting in the woods?

We said no goodbyes…

An armadillo digs its way

into your heart.

Maybe she’ll be back!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Fright

Photo by call-me-fred from Unsplash

Fright

Masked monsters and ghouls

brought no fear last Halloween…

Now, fear grips us all!

Now it’s the unmasked

we fear at the food market…

Covid’s stalking us!

Oooooooooh! wear your mask in public!

Eeeeeeek! Keep six feet betweeeeen us!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


For a nostalgic Halloween poem read, “Ghosts of Halloweens Past/Ghosts of Halloween Present” if you missed it.

Scary statistic: a recent study found that 20% of grocery store clerks have undiagnosed Covid19 without symptoms and are capable of spreading the disease.

The Benefit of the Doubt

The following poem may be disturbing to some readers. The examples given are fictional.

Some people seem to have everything we want and don’t have. We might not be eager to change places with them if we knew their secret heartaches.

Many people have problems we don’t know about that would explain their negative behavior. Some may need professional help in solving their problems. Others could benefit from just a little kindness and understanding. Judging them isn’t helpful.

Although people must be held accountable for their actions, some circumstances call for a little leniency. Everyone accused of a crime deserves due process.

Photo by Khadeejah Yasser from Unsplash

The Benefit of the Doubt

Give everyone you encounter

the benefit of the doubt.

You don’t know all their circumstances,

and maybe you’ll never find out!

Photo by Zach Lucero from Unsplash

The woman who wears too much makeup

may be trying to hide

bumps and bruises inflicted

by her drunken husband last night.

That student who sleeps in school

may have spent the night

listening to his mother and her boyfriend

have a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Photo Courtesy of allgo-an-app-for-plus-size-people from Unsplash

That girl who weighs too much

may be comforting herself with food

over nightmares of childhood abuse,

and diets don’t do any good.

The boy who robbed the liquor store

has never harmed a fly.

He may be raising money for treatments

and hoping his mother won’t die.

Photo by Brent Gorwin from Unsplash

That guy who brews your coffee

may be sleeping in his car

and feeding an addiction that takes

all he earns at the coffee bar.

The man who hanged himself

maybe hadn’t figured out yet

any way to repay the bookie

an overdue gambling debt.

Photo by Matthew Schwartz from Unsplash

Give everyone you encounter

the benefit of the doubt.

You don’t know all their circumstances,

and maybe you’ll never find out.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Gandhi, Hitler, a Book, & Dog/God by da-AL plus Cheryl Batavia’s poem

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — supposedly Mahatma Gandhi said that. (Isn’t this picture of him great? He’s drafting a document at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. My novel-writer side can’t help but wonder if he knew that writing longhand enhances creativity — and I bet intelligence!) First off, he didn’t….

Gandhi drafting a document at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. By Kanu Gandhi – gandhiserve.org, Public Domain.

Second off, if anyone said it, is it true? I love animals and have followed a vegetarian diet for years. All the same, I’m definitely nowhere near a saint, particularly given my now-and-again deviations into the hypocracy of eating fish. My father was wicked to his family, yet tears rolled down his cheeks when he heard that local geese were slaughtered. Hitler and was a vegetarian for the last part of his life. And he adored his dog…

View original post 974 more words

The $5 Challenge

Photo by Joseph Greve from Unsplash

The $5 Challenge

I heard the stories as a child…

of Dad skipping school and running wild,

breaking the ice to go for a swim.

Skunky smell emanating from him…

sent home or banished to the hall.

Given his grades for playing basketball.

Joined the Navy by lying about his age,

used the GI Bill to go to college.

Photo by NeONBRAND from Unsplash

Dad wasn’t much help with study skills,

but he gave me an incentive of a five-dollar bill

for earning straight “A”s…a perfect report card.

In my sophomore year, I tried really hard!

Photo by Hello, I’m Nik from Unsplash

By dropping my hated typing class,

I thought I could get all “A”s at last!

But the honor roll with a “B” or two

just seemed to be the best I could do.

The quest became a pain in the neck,

and to this day, I still hunt and peck.

The next two years, until graduation,

I focused on directing my own education.

I abandoned chasing grades…No “busy work” for me!

There were books to be read as far as the eye could see!

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe from Unsplash

After that, I took art class seriously

and sketched my teacher in trigonometry.

Like my father before me, banished to the hall,

I read a book and didn’t mind at all.

I was multitasking in trigonometry…

Figuring that out, my teacher tolerated me!

Moved to the back of the room, not banished to the hall…

I sat drawing, learning, and having a ball!

Mt. Rushmore, Photo by Brandon Mowinkel from Unsplash

My history teacher was a boring jock!

Outline the chapter?…I think he was in shock

that my outline was heads and subheads. My grades slid,

but I got an education despite the rude things I did.

No “busy work,” copying sentences in grammar!

Zeros hurt my grades, but it didn’t matter…

I scored high on tests, so my grades were okay.

No offense, teachers…Just trying to find my way!

Photo by Anna1991anna from Unsplash

Married at eighteen, then job and family.

Night school part-time at twenty-six…I was ready!

At the beginning of each quarter, I always asked,

“What do I have to do to get an ‘A’ in your class?”

After all the drama, I finally had my four-point-oh…

Dad’s offer had expired…five dollars was a “no show!”

At forty, I graduated and consecutively

started teaching and earning my masters degree.

Elementary Classroom, Photo courtesy of CDC from Unsplash

Like my father before me, I say, “Don’t do as I do!”

Educating yourself is essential, but grades are important too!

Dad went back to school after I was grown.

He earned five doctorates…Who could have known?


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Word to the Wise

If you are a student, please don’t do as I did! Or as my father did, either! Find the balance between earning good grades and educating yourself about the things you want to know. Take it from someone who learned the hard way…Grades and following your interests are both important!

Remember to be kind to your teachers. Karma may get you if you are rude to them! As a teacher in inner city schools, I got back a little bit of what was coming to me. So, if you are ever tempted to give your teachers a hard time, remember my advice, and don’t go there!

The Joke & the Divine

Photo by Nikola Knezevic from Unsplash

The Joke & the Divine

Young Mary told a naughty joke…

The Reverend heard her as she spoke.

In stern rebuke, he raised his hand,

with eloquence gave reprimand,

and when that great Divine had done,

he walked away and stood alone…

He thought upon her clever wit,

and, quite unholy, laughed a bit.

He bowed his head in bitter shame…

and then, poor man, he laughed again!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


This poem was written when I was in high school, about 1966. I remembered it when I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. I am not sure whether my father, who was a minister, was pleased when I teased him by writing this poem. However, he may well have laughed about it when I was not around! He did have a sense of humor.

Great Discoveries of Love

Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction, Photo by Hikarinoshita Hikari from Unsplash

Great Discoveries of Love

Like Galileo looking at stars and planets

through his telescope,

I see the light in your eyes.

Just as dinosaur bones are found

buried in rock strata,

we discover a love as old as time.

Dinosaur skeleton, Photo by Adam Mathieu from Unsplash

Like Gregor Mendel’s

cross-pollinated peas,

our love is expressed in varied colors.

Just as Leeuwenhoek found the miracle

of microscopic life in pond water,

we find life’s wonders in ordinary things.

Photo of Earth from Space, Courtesy of The National Library Association from Unsplash

As cosmonaut Valentina Tereskova

explored outer space,

we explore the inner spaces of our minds.

Like the “forty-niners”

mining for gold in California,

I find my treasures in your heart.

Mathamas Gandhi Leads a March, 1930, Photo by WikiImages from Pixabay

As Gandhi changed the world

through nonviolent means,

we live in peace.

Nurse giving an injection, Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control from Unsplash

As Florence Nightingale

made hospitals survivable,

we take care of each other.

Oil from wells in Titusville

brought new energy to the world,

Likewise, you energize me.

Divers, Photo by Eduardo Nascimento from Unsplash

Like Jaques Cousteau,

diving deep into the oceans,

we explore the depths of feeling.

View of Mount Everest, Namche, Nepal, Photo by Ananya Bilimale from Unsplash

As Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition

climbed to the peak of Everest,

we climb the heights of inspiration.

The Lost City of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, Naples, Italy, Photo by Denise Jones from Unsplash

Even as Pompeii

was buried by Vesuvius,

we will soon be buried.

I hope, when we are discovered

under the ash and hardened lava,

I will still be holding your hand.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

What a Strange Creature is Man!

HOT & COLD, Poured acrylic painting by Cheryl Batavia

Detail of statue of a satyr, CS Lewis Square, Northern Ireland, UK, Photo by K Mitch Hodge from Unsplash

What a Strange Creature is Man!

A satyr rescued a freezing man and took him to his cave. The man began to blow on his fingers. The satyr inquired why the man was blowing on his fingers. “My hands are cold and I want to warm them up,” said the man.

The satyr prepared the man a bowl of steaming soup, and was surprised when the man began to blow on the soup. “Why are you blowing on the soup? “asked the satyr. “I am trying to cool the soup,” the man replied.

“What a strange creature is man!” the satyr remarked. “He blows hot and cold with the same breath!”

Satyr statue, CS Lewis Square, Northern Ireland, UK, Photo by K Mitch Hodge from Unsplash

Retelling of an ancient Greek/ Roman myth. A satyr is a drunken, lustful woodland god with the lower body of a horse or goat and the upper body of a man. I read this myth in Illustrated Classics when I was about eight or nine years old. I have always remembered this story and gradually came to understand the meaning as I grew older.

What does the saying, “What a strange creature is man! He blows hot and cold with the same breath.” mean to you?

Blue Light (Follow-up post at the end of the page)

Photo by David Travis from Unsplash

Blue Light

There was an old blogger on WordPress

whose computer time was endless!

When her eyes were exposed to blue light…

she suffered from blurry eyesight.

Computer glasses relieved her distress.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


After experiencing eye discomfort and blurry vision, I went for an eye exam. I will have a slightly updated prescription and the new glasses will have a specialized reflective coating that shields my eyes from excessive blue light.

My eye doctor told me that the blue light emitted by computer screens and other devices with screens can be a cause of eye problems, including macular degeneration, which can eventually cause blindness.

There are several options to protect eyes from blue light. If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, you may want to check with your optometrist. If you already use eye protection from blue light, feel free to comment about it. I’ll let you know how my experience goes.


Follow-up: After 10 days of wearing my new glasses that filter the blue light emitted by screens, I have not had another major episode of blurry vision. After some twelve-hour days on the computer, I did notice slight blurriness.

My eyes are definitely better with the new glasses than they were before. I am also using eye drops from the optometrist for dry eyes, trying to drink more water to keep from becoming dehydrated, and keeping room air humidified. I know I should cut my screen time further, and maybe more frequent breaks would help.

I have been noticing a return to my normal sleep patterns–seven hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights. Again, I know I should be getting off the computer a while before trying to sleep, because blue light can cause insomnia. I think the glasses are helpful in preventing insomnia caused by blue light.

Good luck to anyone who is having vision problems due to longer computer time. I appreciate all the helpful comments about this subject, and I hope this post has been helpful.

I Can Give You Many Things

Photo by Inna Lesyk from Pexels

I Can Give You Many Things

Flowers made of paper,

penny bubblegum rings,

a Monday morning caper,

the courtesy of kings.

Old newapaper clippings,

walking in the snow,

my last haircut snippings,

a collection of E. A. Poe.

If you want them, take them…

It’s very easy to see

you’re the only item

that’s ever mattered to me!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


High School Poem

“I can give You Many Things” is another one of my high school poems remembered out of the blue today. It also has a vintage melody that is only in my head and sounds like it could be straight out of 1900.

“The courtesy of kings,” is an old expression referring to being on time. I assure you, I was always late in high school! I might not have been able to keep that promise. E. A. Poe, of course, is the macabre American Poet, Edgar Allan Poe, a perennial favorite of high school students.

Another necessary disclosure: In 1965, you could buy bubble gum for a penny, but it came with a baseball card, not a ring. To get a prize, possibly a ring, you could buy Crackerjacks, a snack made of popcorn and redskin peanuts and coated with a sugary glaze. What can I say? I liked bubble gum and rings, not baseball cards. Maybe it was poetic license. 🙂

Ghosts of Halloweens Past/Ghosts of Halloween Present

Photo by Taylor Rooney from Unsplash

Ghosts of Halloweens Past

Cauldrons of magic potions steaming,

Black cats awakening from dreaming.

Cardboard witch astride her broom

cackles under the harvest moon.

Disney princesses in jeweled crowns

are panhandling all over town.

Frankenstein’s monster is resurrected.

Roaming mummies have been detected.

Blow-up ghosts hover mysteriously,

orange lights twinkle in shrubbery.

Hanging from the live oak trees,

paper skeletons dance in the breeze.

Photo by Conner Baker from Unsplash

Spooky music is beckoning,

roving children are threatening,

“Trick or treat! Trick or treat!”

on every suburban street.

Little pirate brandishes a toy sword,

winning him a sweet reward!

Cat Woman says,”Thank you.”

Neighbor says,”Have fun, you two!”

Jack o’lanterns glow,

grinning at the passing show.

Flickering candles beneath

backlight their jagged teeth.

Vampires in windswept black

pantomime a plastic-fang attack.

Howling werewolves with hairy arms

induce us to pretend alarm.

A little troll walks with a giant bunny.

Funny thing is, he calls her “Mummy!”

Diminutive dragons are holding hands

with a Cat-in-a-Hat they call “Dad!”

Wolfing down all the candy they can eat,

Halloween’s children fall blissfully sleep.

Mom chews bubblegum. Dad eats M & Ms.

“Oh no! We can’t stop! When will it all end?”

Ghosts of Halloween Present

Photo by Ben Shan from Unsplash

Corona virus’s real-life fear

has downsized Halloween this year.

On this Halloween night,

scary movies will inspire the fright.

Not as much soliciting door-to-door,

parties smaller than in years before…

We hope next year’s a different story…

Halloween restored to its silly glory!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

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