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Archive for October, 2008

  HALLOWEEN

 

Spider-webs everywhere

And hissing black cats

Lots of scary noises

And low flying bats

 

Jack-O-Lantern faces

Peer from every porch

Showing off toothy grins

With a candle torch

 

Little ghosts and goblins

Knocking at my door

Holding ample treat-bags

To which I’ll add some more

 

Children all in costume

From tiny tot to teen

Parading all around town

Because it’s Halloween

 

If I was only younger

I’d be in costume, too

Instead, I’ll greet you at my door

And do what goblins do . . . BOO

 

 

10/10/88    Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Falls color

THE LAST DANCE

 

Fall leaves, ablaze with color,

release their sad desperate hold

and pirouette to the ground.

Now joining their brothers

on a wind-swept lawn, they cavort

in a brisk dance of death; breezes

singing their funeral dirge.

 

8/28/90    Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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A frosty hand rattled my door

     WINTER’S ARRIVAL

 

Winter stretched forth a frosty hand

            Last night it rattled my door

Hills now sleep under ermine robes

            As does the forest floor

Filigree patterns frost my panes

            With beautiful white fronds

Icy mufflers hug river banks

            And small cattle ponds

Roofs lie snug under snowy coats

            Fence posts wear white berets

Icicle pendants hang from eaves

            Crystals, in the sun’s rays

Long snowy beards adorn my sills

            After the night’s snowfall

And drifts form miniature mountains

            Against my garden wall

Trees that once reached for sun

            Have branches hanging low

Their graceful lines quite beautiful

            Under the weight of snow

It’s winter’s awesome arrival

            Here to stay awhile

Until nature keeps its promise

            Of spring’s big warm-up smile

 

11/4/88       Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

 

1’st … Arkansas NPD 1996

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     HER PARENTHESES

 

The weeping willow is her world

Where boughs form a room.

The golden coins scattered about

Are dandelions in bloom.

As I peer through curtained window

She’s lost in make-believe,

And I watch in fascination,

The stories she can weave.

With dolls and toys as audience,

She acts upon a stage,

Fulfilling all the sweet dreams

Expected of her age.

Just now, she’s Cinderella

Dancing at the ball,

As she wears my old satin gown,

And heels to make her tall.

But soon she is a Fairy Queen

With sequined wings of blue.

As she waves a small magic wand

Her wishes all come true.

And next she transforms to a Bride,

Who’s dressed with greatest care,

With curtain as a bridal veil,

And flowers in her hair.

Once again she changes modes

And breaks into sweet song,

Pretending she’s a great chanteus,                       

But it doesn’t last too long,

For now she is a perfect Mom.

With motherly concern,

She feeds her dolls and beds them down,

With a kiss for each in turn.

I’m quite engrossed in her pretense                     

As I watch her fantasize,

But scenes are quick to fade from sight,

When tears caress my eyes.

I wipe my eyes for better view

Of her parentheses,

And I am saddened then to find,

It’s all just memories. 

 

2/22/96        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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 TREASURE CHEST OF MEMORIES

 

I found a little chest today

Covered with years of dust

The hinges were bent and broken

The hasp covered with rust

 

I held it for just a moment

Then brushed away a tear

I knew its precious contents were

Treasures from yesteryear

 

The lid squeaked as I opened it

‘Twas closed so long ago

I lifted away some tissue

And saw Mom’s cameo

 

A glass ink pen of Grandma’s

Mom’s hanky, edged in lace

A beautiful jeweled hairpin

That held my hair in place

 

An old tintype of Grandpa

When he was just a lad

A bookmark with the Lord’s Prayer

That once belonged to Dad

 

A pressed corsage of rosebuds

That once was pink and white

A small dance card of autographs

From Senior Prom night

 

A younger brother’s Purple Heart

What anguish that had wrought

A pin that bears my old nickname

That a friend had bought

 

A celluloid ring and pendant

 (Treasures my brother made)

Some charms my sisters gave to me

When I was in tenth grade

 

A narrow piece of ruffling

From my wedding dress

A 1940-D penny

(It brought luck, I guess) 

 

Wee lovebirds from my wedding cake

In the box that held my ring

A beautiful golden locket

Now hanging from a string

 

Remembrance in a lock of hair

Carried throughout the war

By my handsome soldier husband

When he was twenty-four

 

Some precious little ringlets

In shades of yellow-gold

Mementos from my children=s hair

  When they were one year old

           

Some love letters tied with ribbon

A valentine or two

Some cards the children made by hand

That say, “Mom, I love you.”

 

A treasured memory of my son

(A pin in blue and gold)

He bought it with some money earned

When he was ten years old

 

A pin my youngest daughter made

Twenty-eight years ago

And from the other’s light brown curls

A faded yellow bow

 

Each token tucked within the chest

Recalled a memory

The scenes were played across my mind

In stirring reverie

 

I closed my eyes in memory

Again, I dried some tears

Then closed the chest, and put it back

Where it had been for years

 

 

5/12/86        Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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        NO ESCAPE

 

Children . . .

Full of life and love,

Take your heart and wrap it around

Their finger,

Then you’re forever mesmerized

Without a chance to  escape . . .

But who would want to.

Thanks, God..   

 

9/9/94            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck                            

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A MAN AND HIS GUITAR

 

The old guitar is silent now

And sits behind the door

It’s strings are loose and out of tune

Not played as once before

 

He made the instrument he played

With such amazing skill                      

Music filled his home with joy

But now those strings are still

 

The man that made that guitar sing

Now sits and stares at space

He can’t remember how to play . . .

Confusion clouds his face

 

Sixty years they were as one

And music filled the air

Then gradually the music slipped

Behind his vacant stare

 

The old guitar awaits his touch

A touch that’s not to be

Because it’s lost within his mind

Where even he can’t see

 

3/18/00          Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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