Archive for July, 2008

Nature’s Symphony



Listen to the sounds of night

  Such matchless orchestration

Hear those tiny creatures

  Employ their syncopation


Birds sing bedtime vespers

  Mosquitoes hum along

Beetles click their castanets

  As night breaks into song


Crickets tune their fiddles

  As bullfrogs start to drum

Cicadas add a shrill whir

  And there is more to come


Dragonflies rattle crisp wings

  As they dart out of reach

A watching owl gives forth

  A high vibrato screech


An old oak tree creaks a bit

  Adding a note or two

Its leaves tap, tap a window

  Making their band debut


An earlier rain contributes

  A gentle rhythmic sound

As drops of rain plink, plink, plink

  From leaves onto the ground


As evening starts its tune-up

  Sounds blend in harmony

And the orchestration that is heard

  Is Nature’s Symphony



04/20/86 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Will You Be There?



Some time when I am very old

I’ll need your steady hand to hold

When my eyes grow too dim to see

Will you  be there to read to me


When I no longer comb my hair

Would you then  give it needed care

And cream my face as I once did

To keep my aging wrinkles hid


Zippers, buttons, and things to tie

May go undone if I must try

Because the one who once was me

Has been reduced to infancy


So helpless, and I’d wonder why

I can’t do anything I try

So when my eyes are filled with fears

Will you be there to dry my tears


5/27/00   Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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Favoring Rhyme



I love to write a rhythmic poem,

With words that rhyme, like dome and home.

A poem in which the written word

Is understood and not absurd.


A poem that has a story line,

That doesn’t border asinine.

A poem in which the first verse read

Doesn’t clutter up one’s head.


Not cloaked in obscure masquerade,

Confusing what’s to be conveyed.

A poem for heart and soul and mind.

A poem that now seems hard to find.


I guess I’ll write some for myself

And place them high upon the shelf.

Then if the future favors rhyme,

They’ll be accepted at that time.


You’ll read the written word with ease

About such things a poet sees,

When complex forms are out of style

And rhyme returns in high profile.


9/3/93      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Twist of Fate



I passed him by the other day,

And sadness made me turn away.

A shapeless lump, once tall and straight,

Reduced to naught by gin and fate.


A paper sack held in his hand,

Inside, a pint of cheapest brand.

He raised the pint to sun-cracked lips

And gulped it down, beard catching drips.


Unshaven face and uncombed hair.

Bloodshot eyes with vacant stare.

Tobacco spittle on his chin.

His shirt held closed by safety pin.


A shapeless coat worn quite awry.

Another pin held shut his fly.

No shoes upon his leathered feet.

His home, a box upon the street.


Unwashed so long, except by rain

From in the gutter where he’d lain.

And when he dozed, a cloud of flies

Investigated nose and eyes.


I could not shake him from my mind

And so to let my thoughts unwind,

Returned to aid him, if I could,

But there was naught where box had stood.


So there’s no chance to change his plight,

For whiskey claimed his life last night.


9/5/92 –  Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


1’st … Arkansas NPD 1994                                        


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An ageless Ritual



They meet there almost every day

At the courthouse on the square

A group of aging kindred souls

With thinning snow-white hair


With denim shirts and galluses          

Straw hats and high-top shoes

They muse about their yesterdays

And current rural news


Some meet for chess or checker games

And others whittle sticks

Some just doze in the morning sun

Against the crumbling bricks


Tall tales are told and stories swapped

About their years of youth

They solve the world’s problems there

And often stretch the truth


The ritual of their gathering

Is crucial to their day

For they form deep bonds of friendship

As the hours tick away


It’s been the same for many years

This custom that they share

And time hasn’t changed the meetings

At the courthouse on the square



6/7/94 – Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck         


6’th … Indiana NPD 1994

4’th…. Indiana NPD 2002

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It’s said my dogwood murmurs
But the sound comes from bees
As worker-bees stuff pollen
In the pockets on their knees

9/12/00 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Mimosa fans, edged in pink,
Arrayed in dainty clusters,
Float on down like whirlygigs
Or mini feather dusters.

7/12/00 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Fragile gossamer wings
Dip to kiss a dandelion,
Creating a minuscule breeze
And an explosion of tiny parachutes

8/3/90 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

1’st … Arkansas NPD 1990

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If I had wings to soar on high

I’d watch the world go passing by


I’d scan the earth for beautiful things

Like iridescence  a rainbow brings

The kiss of sunlight on earth below

And old Mother Nature’s ebb and flow


The sculptured mountain’s imposing might

Shimmering water in full moonlight

Gauzy clouds floating peacefully by

And birds on wing caressing the sky


Huge quilted fields with hemstitched rows

Sandy beaches where a river flows

Floral beauty blooming everywhere

Butterflies riding currents of air


Blue streams snaking the valleys and hills

Flat plains, lush forests, and nature’s frills

Laughing children, so busy at play

Sunrise and sunset perfecting the day


I’d watch the world go passing by

If I had wings to soar on high


9/7/91    Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


1’st … Indiana NPD 1991

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