Posts Tagged ‘house’


There’s a woods behind my house
With a trail’s faint remains
That has almost disappeared
From overgrowth and rains
It winds around the hillocks
From the valley to the lake
And twists all through the mountains
Like a long and writhing snake

‘Twas made by Indian ponies
And many moccasined feet
Long before the white man came
And spoiled this wild retreat
When I am walking that worn path
Sometimes there’s ghosts in view
Proud Chieftain and brave warriors
With wives and children, too

I often see a faint mirage
Beside a little brook
Of big teepees or wiki-ups
And women, as they cook
And children, laughing as they play
As little children do
Of hunters bringing in the meat
For the evening’s tasty stew

With maidens weaving baskets
Or perhaps making mats
I can hear their modest laughter
During their lively chats
I can almost smell the campfire
And hear proud voices, too
As braves tell of hunting trips
And how they counted coup

The trail’s steeped in history
From when it first appeared
But it, like the Indian culture
Has all but disappeared

6/25/89 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Dusty farm lane – field full of grain
House, weathered white – silence at night
Crumbling silo – rooster’s loud crow
Old barn, once red – open plow shed

Faint outhouse trails – broken fence rails
Straight garden rows – voracious crows
Piglets and sow – brown jersey cow
White sway-backed horse – barn cats, of course

Black dog named, Joe – small goat named , Flo
Coop and wire pen – egg layin’ hen
Baby chicks, four – there will be more
A barn-owl, too – mice, quite a few

Land strewn with rocks – tepeed corn shocks
Dented mail box – cat-chasing fox
Ponds that have shrunk – sometimes a skunk
Twisted oak tree – swing hanging free

Fields waiting rain – creek, doing same
There’s good, there’s bad – there’s best crop had
Work hard all day – can’t stop to play
Sometimes crops fail – no milk for pail

Loses and gains – with joys, with pains
Time to let go – Our answer is, NO
More joy than strife – we love this life
Farming’s our way – we’re here to stay

If you’re in doubt – just come on out
Door’s open wide – come on inside
There’s food to share – best anywhere
Tour our old farm – you’ll love its charm

8/8/04 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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Old house, what secrets do you hide

From dramas that took place inside?


There were births, deaths, and marriages

Within your structured frame,

Played out as fate would have it

In life’s exciting game.


Your walls shared joys and heartaches

As befits a house of years.

You heard melodies of laughter

And the anguish of tears.


You witnessed four generations

Descend from just two names,

With privy to their heritage

And to their growing pains.


What stories you could tell me now,

If it were not a task

That intellect would ridicule,

Though still I muse and ask – –


Old house, what secrets do you hide

From dramas that took place inside?


10/15/96          Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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My quest, today



I’m sure in mind this is the place

Behind old curtains made of lace,

Where as a child I used to play.

I wonder if there’s still a trace.


I had to make this quest today,

Before they tear all trace away.

The wrecking crew may well be blind

To what this house might have to say.  


Perhaps there’s auras left behind.

I fancy them within my mind.

An open door now beckons me —

I enter in; what will I find?


The house is bare, with naught to see.

It yawns in all it’s apathy,

And all that’s left is memory.

And all that’s left is memory.



2/6/00            Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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My ‘promise’ ring



Inside a box that’s tied with string,

           My promise ring.

Two locks of hair,

One dark, one fair.

The blueprint for the house we chose.

A faded rose.

Love beads of blue.

Our photos, too.

Old letters stained with tears I cried,

When our love died.

Mementoes, these.

Sad memories.


1/21/90             Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


Judge=s Special Mention … PAW (in Pa) 1991

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My old family tree

This form of poetry is called a ‘Neville’



The house that used to shelter me,

is now an empty shell,

with secrets it could tell,

and friendly ghosts just floating free.

I see them everywhere

when I am  quiet there . . .

they’re part of my old family tree.


9/9/04     Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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