Posts Tagged ‘forest’

And then it snows!


Pine needle carpets

embrace the cold forest floor

before the first snow

3/18/90 Phyllis VanVleck

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A frosty hand rattled my door



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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A careless smoker’s embered match

Among pine needles fell,

And suddenly the forest burst

Into a living hell.


A smoldering fire was all it was,

When flames ignited brush,

But soon the hiss and pop of flames,

Destroyed the forest hush.


Behind a searing wall of flame,

Where smoke’s a heavy pall,

Forest creatures lie in death . . .

There’s nothing left at all.


Yet fate has spared a little one.

I wish that he could tell

The story of his own escape,

As those around him fell.


He limps on smoking ashes

Where the fire has died down,                                   

A bear cub with his paws scorched raw –

Fur singed from tail to crown..


His thirst is almost maddening.

In pain he wanders on,

Looking for a water source

And grass to rest upon.


Would that the smoker see the cub

In all his misery,

And know that he himself’s to blame

By acting carelessly.


9/24/00 –   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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