Posts Tagged ‘guitar’


I’d like to write enough to use
Words dancing in my head,
With all the things I have to say –

I’d like to have a million bucks,
And spend it as I thought,
With all the things I’ve wished to buy –

I wish that all delicious food
Would not increase my weight,
With all the things I like to eat –

I wish there was a tape somewhere
When my guitar’s re-strung,
With all the songs I love to sing –

I’d like to break old habits now,
Of writing-trends I’ve kept,
With all the missing hours of sleep –

If I could satisfy my dreams,
I hope I would not gloat,
With all the things I wish to write –

7/21/05 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

Inspired by Mary Sadler

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He built his own guitar




When he was in his early teens

          With music in his soul

He little knew his first guitar

          Would stir in him, a goal

He found an old guitar one day

          Which he then built anew

He learned to play it with finesse

          And as his talents grew

He dreamt of hearing perfect tone

          He’d not be satisfied

Until he built his own guitar

          Or at least, until he tried

Pictured in his fertile mind

          Was perfect grain and tone

The best guitar that could be made

          And it would be his own

And he succeeded masterfully

          But could not stop at one

He’s dedicated to his craft

          With pride in each one done

And so he’s called Guitar Man

          He takes a piece of wood

And brings to life an instrument

          That’s incredibly good

Selecting only the finest wood

          Favoring what is rare

He lovingly shapes its contour

          Working with utmost care

He breathes new life into the wood

          With efforts to enhance

The natural pattern in the grain

          No detail left to chance

He sands, inlays, and polishes

          And last, he adds the strings

Then when he plays his masterpiece

          That guitar really sings

Musicians covet his guitars

          And come from near and far

To look at his exquisite work

          And buy a fine guitar


1/20/89    Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


Written for Ed (my brother)

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If I could journey back in time

To Christmas of my past,

I’d gather up the happiness

And hold it very fast.


We didn’t have a lot back then,

But we were unaware

That others had more than us,

For we had much to share.


Each Christmas was a busy time

With many things to do,

And I look back in fondness,

Remembering just a few:


Making stars and paper chains

To compliment our tree,

Checking out our window panes

For frost etched tracery,


Hanging bread and suet balls

On branches that were bare,

Watching snowflakes coat the trees

As birds sought shelter there,


Running out,, all bundled up,

Enjoying winter’s gifts,

Snow-angels made by each of us,

And sliding down big drifts.


We’d all go in, after fun,

And have a special treat –

Hot cocoa near the old wood stove,

While warming hands and feet.


Beautiful carols filled the air,

Prompting us to sing.

There were gifts in colored tissue,

Tied with cotton string.


Mama’s words as she kissed us

And hugged us very tight,

“You’ve all been such good children,

Santa will come tonight.”


Then snuggling down under quilts,

Listening for Santa’s sleigh,

And drifting off in dream-filled sleep

‘Til early Christmas day.


Awaking to threadbare stockings,

Stirring children’s joy …

Filled with oranges, candy, and nuts,

And a small ten-cent toy.


Under the tree, for Sis and I,

Were dolls that Mama dressed.

Each piece of clothing sewn by hand,

Then each piece neatly pressed.


Big brother received a nice game

And strings for his guitar.

Little brother got marbles

And a cast iron car.


We could ask for no improvement

Of such heart-warming joy,

For we were more than satisfied

With candy and a toy.


If I could paint such memories

To help make them last,

I’d view them with a little smile

Each time that I walked past.



12/18/89      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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In honor of my brother, Ed




There were mandolins and banjos

And guitars that he had played

But what he loved the best of all

Was a violin he’d made


His craftsmanship was perfect

He played them all with skill

Music filled his heart with joy

But now those strings are still


The violin lies silently

In its case upon a shelf

I’d take it out and make it sing

If I had his skill myself


But no one made it sing like him

The melodies so sweet

His bow caressed the strings with love

But the memory’s bittersweet


For he has gone where Angels sing

His music left behind

Yet, I still hear those sweet refrains

But only in my mind


Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck        7/1/03

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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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