Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

I want to thank everyone who has read my poetry over this past year and a half and especially those who have made comments. While my daughter handles the actual posting and site, the poetry is all mine and she forwards every comment to me to read and respond to.

Your comments have meant the world to me. I have printed each and every one of them and I feel as if I have made a difference in the world, in a smile, a tear and in a heart. Thank you all.

Everytime I pass a mirror and catch that glimpse of an old lady, I say, “Who is that? It surely can’t be me? While I only feel 26/36/46 years old.” Well, I am 88 years old and currently beginning to feel every moment of it.

I have a four heart valve insufficiency. I hate using oxygen twenty-four hours a day. I hate losing that old “zip.” I liked it much better when my husband complained about not being able to keep up with me. He passed in 1998. My son passed in 1993. While I have two daughters, one in Arizona, and one in Indiana, I feel rather alone lately and you have all enriched my life and let me know I am not alone.

I am currently working on my life story. It is not that it is all that interesting to anyone but family, but it is something I want to finish. There were some interesting spots, like the time Al Capone pulled into our driveway to recruit my father, who made the best bath tub gin in Hammond, Indiana. I also have a lot of funny family stories to put down for posterity.

In the meantime, while I have worked on a few poems, I will not be actively posting. My daughter will keep you posted on my health. I may be moving from my apartment, back into her home as my heart weakens. But, my thoughts are always with you and I thank each of you for stopping by.

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Just old boards and rusted chains

The old swing hanging there

It’s hardly ever used now

But saw its time of wear


‘Twas there Dad held hands with Mom

As groom and lovely bride

And through the years it also held

Six children at their side


There I rocked my dolls to sleep

Or so I would pretend

And there I giggled endlessly

With Crystal, my best friend


Whenever I was punished

And thinking life unfair

I’d swing awhile in its arms

While seeking solace there


On moonlit summer evenings

My Mom sat in the swing

And as it moved back and forth

I’d hear her hum and sing


Then I would sit beside her

Being quiet as could be

And listen to her sweet soft voice

Singing old-time songs for me


My Grandpa often sat there

As he sprinkled the grass

Chewing wads of Granger Twist

And spitting with rural class


The swing was witness to my muse

Yes, almost every time

It was the perfect place for me

And my attempts at rhyme


So fertile seeds of poetry

Were sown in that old swing

As sitting there, deep in thought

I rhymed most everything.


Initials are carved on its arms

In hearts that entwine

Symbols of my first romance

(A hand grooved valentine)


And as I entered dating years

I’d sit with current beau

Saying things that sweethearts say

While swinging to and fro


There I received a diamond

On a warm starlit night

For such a romantic evening

The old swing seemed just right 


Three generations of infants

Were cuddled on the swing

Memories recall for each of us

The lullabies we’d sing


It often held our neighbors

Who came to chat a spell

If the swing had a memory

What stories it could tell


The old boards and rusted chains

Will soon be tossed away

But I’ll remember throughout life

That swing of yesterday



6/18/88        Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

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A little book of poetry

Lies upon the shelf

Penned words revealing who I am

All written by myself


The once blank pages almost speak

When opened to the rhymes

For heart and soul, in black on white

Bear essence of the times


The leather cover’s brittle now

With title worn away

The yellowed pages loose and torn

But treasured to this day


It opens to a special verse

Where pressed upon the page

Is a flower that I placed there

At quite a tender age


A ribbon marks another page

A poem that makes me weep.

Other poems can make me laugh

Or dream sweet dreams, in sleep


God’s blessings fill some pages

Not written as a whim

For the pages would be empty

Without this gift from Him


When memory tugs my heart and soul

The book becomes my friend

As I turn the fragile pages

And read the words I penned


When I depart this earthly realm

I’ll leave a bit of self

Found within the written words

Of the book upon the shelf



5/29/94 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


3’rd … Arkansas NPD 1994

6’th…. Indiana NPD 2001


      REVISED 2003

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Favoring Rhyme



I love to write a rhythmic poem,

With words that rhyme, like dome and home.

A poem in which the written word

Is understood and not absurd.


A poem that has a story line,

That doesn’t border asinine.

A poem in which the first verse read

Doesn’t clutter up one’s head.


Not cloaked in obscure masquerade,

Confusing what’s to be conveyed.

A poem for heart and soul and mind.

A poem that now seems hard to find.


I guess I’ll write some for myself

And place them high upon the shelf.

Then if the future favors rhyme,

They’ll be accepted at that time.


You’ll read the written word with ease

About such things a poet sees,

When complex forms are out of style

And rhyme returns in high profile.


9/3/93      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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As the sun sets



The fiery orb of daylight

Hurries out of sight,

Kissing clouds with glowing rays

Before it says good night.


Excited by their kisses,

The clouds blush pink to red,

Putting on a radiant show

Before they go to bed.


Then in a blaze of splendor,

The sun sinks out of sight,

And evening’s velvet curtain

Is drawn for the night.


9/8/91 – Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


6’th … Indiana NPD 1992

2’nd … Arkansas NPD 1997

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Along Old Willow Creek



I paused when I saw you there

And thought you were unique,

Lipping a scented  lilac bush

Along Old Willow Creek.


Your spotted fawn was suckling then,

Milk staining one small cheek —

A lasting portrait in my mind,

Along Old Willow Creek.


What karma led me to that spot

When everything seemed bleak?

For the day then shouted beauty

Along Old Willow Creek.


I knew I did not dare intrude

And surely should not speak,

But I yearned to stroke you gently,

Along Old Willow Creek.


I watched until your tiny fawn

Bedded down in sleep,

And then I slowly backed away,

Along Old Willow Creek.



9/10/93     Phyllis DeWitt -VanVleck


4’th … Arkansas NPD 1993

5’th … Sparrowgrass 1994

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