Archive for June, 2008



I was given to my master

When I was just a pup

Oh, yes, he really wanted me

That is, ’til I grew up

I was pampered by the family

They brushed me everyday

I was always fed and watered

And never lacked for play


They taught me many fetching tricks

And I learned well, with ease

But then, they tired of the games

Though I tried hard to please

I’m no longer just a puppy

And they treat it as a sin

I wish they knew there’ll always be

Some puppy still within


I’m banished to an old wire pen

My world is five foot square

My house is barely adequate

It doesn’t seem quite fair

No one ever walks me now

Sometimes I don’t get fed

My pen is not too clean at times

A concrete floor’s my bed       


I miss those nice warm register

I miss those thick soft rugs

I miss lying at their feet

I miss the children’s hugs

Perhaps they just don’t understand

How loyal I would be

And that I’d give my life for them

While guarding faithfully


If they just knew about these traits

Things just might look up

Perhaps they’d treat me like they did

When I was just a pup



6/20/84 –  Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


1’st … Indiana NPD 1989

2’nd … Arkansas NPD 1997

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       CLASS REUNION           


It’s our High School Class Reunion,

And we are gathered here

To renew old bonds and friendships

And memories we’ve held dear.


Will we recognize our classmates

Once so lean and spry,

Now showing life’s sad changes

From years that seemed to fly?


For time has grayed most every head,

With some as white as snow,

And destroyed the hair on some heads

So shiny scalps now show.


And some of us have put on weight.

Yes, I am one of those.

There’s furrowed brows and double chins;

There’s bunions on our toes.


Some middles display so much girth

That belts are worn half-mast

And many eyes are framed and lensed

So fading sight will last.


Just look at all those dentured smiles

And orthopedic shoes.

And look at all that wrinkled skin …

Time sure does sing the blues.


I scan the room, but I’m perplexed,

For faces look so strange.

The ones I thought I’d recognize

Are showing too much change.


It’s really true! The chunky one,

With apple dumpling face,

Was once our Beauty Queen of note,

Thin and full of grace

And what about the gent with cane,

Unsteady on his feet?

If I am right, he used to be

Our favorite athlete.


I look aound at everyone.

I guess we’re all the same,

For youth no longer favors us

In life’s elusive game.


But men will offer handshakes.

The girls will surely hug.

We’ll sing and dance and reminisce

And feel our heartstrings tug.


Then we’ll finish off the evening

By raising glasses high,

In toast to youthful High School years,

Dear friends … a fond goodbye.


4/29/92 –Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


Used by Griffith, Indiana High School Classes of ‘40 and ‘41,and requested for use by two other classes.

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It was just one of those mornings

When nothing would go right

The alarm failed to awaken me

And I looked an awful sight


Preparing oranges for some juice

I got a nasty cut

I dropped the eggs, slipped in the mess

And landed on my butt


My slippers flew, the dog grabbed one

And ripped the thing to bits

The toast was burned, the bacon, too

My pancakes were the pits


The newscast promised sunshine

Of course, it’s raining hard

My paper is a soggy mess

Out in my big front yard


My husband peeked around the door

And asked with a grin

“How come you’re up so early, Dear?

It’s your day to sleep in.”



3/9/00 – Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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Coat Hangers




Oh, those blasted wire hangers

    I swear they have a brain

For nothing is so obstinate

    Nor causes so much strain


No matter how I hang them

    They tangle every time

I think it’s done on purpose

    And I call that a crime

It really takes Job’s patience

    To remove one from a pile

And even though in cheerful mood

    I quickly lose my smile

I come very close to swearing

    When I try to hang a dress

Because they see me coming

    And become a tangled mess


I’m sure I’ve heard them whisper

    “Let’s drive her up the wall “

‘Cause soon as they’re untangled

    Several always fall

They hang around in ugly clumps

    And mesh with all their might

And while they plot their evils

    They gather strength to fight

I haven’t won a battle yet

    No, not even one

For patience is exhausted

    Before the fighting’s done


It isn’t any secret

    That the hangers won the war

My clothes are draped here and there

    And some lie on the floor



8/26/80     Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck   


2’nd … Arkansas NPD 1988

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The puppy piddled on the floor

And then he did a little more

The kitten snagged my favorite chair

There’s cat and dog hair everywhere


The dog chews everything he sees

And spends much time just scratching fleas

The cat climbs drapes and jumps on stuff

Oh, having them is mighty rough


They let you know you’re there to serve

They do it fast, with guile and verve

Before you know it, you’re on a hook

And they can do that with one look


But I’m rewarded every day

When they get tired of games to play

They curl upon my lap to sleep

Entwined in one small furry heap


2/10/00 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Where once there was a wooded hill

The earth is flat and much too still

Trees cut down, dirt hauled away

This is progress, so they say


Gone are trees that once housed birds

Who chorused music without words

Gone, giant oaks with arms spread wide

That were the forest’s greatest pride


The tangled brush on forest floor

Will not be seen here anymore

Gone are vines, and berries too

Sweet and succulent where they grew


And where did all the wildlife go

The tiny fawn and sloe-eyed doe

And squirrels who entertained each day

With lively acrobatic play


Raccoons, rabbits, and chipmunks too

Gone forever, as if on cue

And no more den with fox and kits

There’s nothing left, not even bits


Because where groves of trees once stood

Are buildings made of brick and wood

And even some of steel and glass

With tiny lawns of pampered grass


The hill and woods took years to form

Surviving cold, surviving storm

But in a month ’twas gone for good

Progress stands where nature stood


4/4/92    Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


1’st … Indiana NPD 1997

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