Archive for October, 2008

            PAPA’S VIOLIN


When Papa played the violin

          Mom rolled the rug away

We children smiled because she knew

          We’d rather dance than play

As Papa raised the tempo

          Our feet kept cadenced time

Mama often sang along

          With words in perfect rhyme

We’d dance until the music stopped

          Then fall into a chair

While Papa changed the tempo

          With expertise quite rare

It seemed he knew a million tunes

          At least I thought he did

But that was admiration

          Through the heart of a kid

Yet, he could play forever

          And without one repeat

The music slow or lively

          With melody so sweet

From concert music and old tunes

          To music of the day

Two-step, waltz, and hoedown

          Oh, how sweet he’d play

He could set your heart soaring

          On his concert violin

The room so still you could hear

          The soft drop of a pin

But then with quick transition

          The tempo changed once more

From violin to fiddle

          And our feet caressed the floor

That little box of polished wood

          With strings and resined bow

Made music that pleased angels

          Or inspired heel and toe

But that was just acoustics

          And guaranteed to please

What really made that box sing

          Was Papa’s expertise



6/11/90        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


6’th … Indiana NPD 1999

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The Dance of Fall

              THE LAST DANCE


This, too,

      bespeaks an end …

            leaves flutter to the ground

                  and caught by a breeze, do their dance

                        of death.



8/2/89                               Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


2’nd … Arkansas NPD – 2000

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Chills and fever rack my bones

I’ve tangled with a germ

And though I’ve tried to kill it

This cold is holding firm


I sit here wrapped in blankets

As I cough, gasp, and wheeze

Polluting everything in sight

With every mammoth sneeze


I’ve gargled salt until my lips

Are crusted with white brine

I’ve nasal sprayed hourly

This sore red nose of mine


There’s piles of soiled tissue

So I guess I must suppose

That my brain has turned to water

And it’s dripping out my nose


I’ve tried some Vicks upon my chest

A compress on my head

Cough syrup deemed disgusting

And honey on my bread


Gulped pills and vile potions

I’ve tried them all, you see

Even tent of misty steam

But a cure’s a fantasy


I’m here to say not one thing worked

And what I say is true

Head colds are so horrendous

I should sue! … Wouldn’t you


4/25/96 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Fall imprints on our memory

This lazy time of year

For she touches all our senses

As she  paints the landscape here


A teasing breeze spanks the leaves

So they’ll release their hold

Their flaming autumn colors

Foretelling winter’s cold


That wafting fragrance that I smell

Comes from my apple trees

Where carmine jewels are holding tight

Before a winter’s freeze


Sampling one’s sweet succulence

I bite into the skin

The savory flesh delights my mouth

And juice runs down my chin


Tepeed corn stands in fields

With pumpkins at their feet

And gourds with autumn’s color schemes

Edge rows of late fall wheat


There’s milkweed silk and cattail down

That feel so smooth and soft

There’s pungent smell of new-mown hay

Piled high in my barn loft


And waving weary wingtips

Geese are flying north

Squirrels are burying hickory nuts

While darting back and forth


Autumn parades her opulence

For everyone to see

Touching the senses we possess

And mesmerizing me


5/28/96 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Fall leaves,

flaunting brilliant shades

of scarlet, saffron

and tangerine,

cling tenaciously

to sleepy umber arms,

reluctant to leave

their summer security.


Teased by capricious winds

they release their sad

desperate hold,

slowly pirouetting

to the waiting earth below.


There, joining their siblings

on a wind-swept lawn,

they cavort crazily

in a brisk dance of death,

breezes singing

their funeral dirge.


9/12/94 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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So long ago that they were wed.

He brushed away her tears,

as she expressed her fears

of the unknown road just ahead.

He took her trembling hand

and kissed her wedding band,

as she let go of life’s sweet thread.


Phyllis De-Witt VanVleck     

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Pals – Dog and Cat



A dog and a cat in a thicket sat,

Discussing the time of day.

The cat caught a rat, the dog knocked it flat

And the rat then ran away.


The angry cat spat, “I wanted that!

Can’t you leave my things alone?”

The dog said, “Drat! You’re much too fat!

Next meal, chew on a bone!”


Then the dog lost his hat and blamed the cat,

Which didn’t seem very nice.                            

“Oh, well”, said the cat, “ Just fancy that”

“It’s perfect for storing  mice!”


The dog said, “Old Cat, it’s time for a chat.

I think that we’re even now.

Let’s roll up our mat, and both of us scat,

And remain pals anyhow.”


So stopping the spat, the dog and the cat

Ambled on down the trail.

The dog wore his hat, smashing it flat,

And the mice hung onto his tail.


3/17/00             Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


4’th … Indiana NPD – 2000


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