Deb Wlaz: Keen Observer

As a participant in several of my Sanibel classes, Deb Wlaz discovered that many of her free writings were more like poems. “I write in bullet-point style,” she told us one day. Perfect for poems.

Deb, an avid reader, gardener and indulgent grandmother, has had a variety of occupations over the years. She has been a special education teacher, a reporter for a local newspaper, and a loan officer for a bank. “All second to raising my children,” she says.

“I am fortunate to live in the best of two worlds,” she writes. “I live six months on idyllic Sanibel Island. The other six months I live on a farm in the rolling countryside of central Pennsylvania.” In Sanibel, Deb volunteers at a wildlife clinic; and in Pennsylvania, for a local animal shelter. Deb’s writing often reveals her love of nature and wildlife.

“I’m sending you a couple of poems that grew out of the ten-minute writing,” she wrote in response to my last blog. She also included two photos: one from her spring walk and the other of her now missing companion.

Here, for your enjoyment, are Deb’s poems and photos.


Late Bloomer

Crab apples bursting
With color and fragrance
The showpiece of new spring.

ImageGraceful dogwoods
Open with pinks and whites
Contrasting with the fresh
Greens of beech and maple.

The pines sprout new growth
With soft cones
Standing straight to
Reach their destiny.

Even the slow to wake
Walnuts are showing
Signs of life,
Yet the black locust
Stands bare – waiting.

—Deb Wlaz


Walking Alone

I walk the hills alone
Following the trails
You chose
With calling scents.

I imagine you
Beside me, excited
With your freedom
To explore.Image 1

I absorbed your love
Of the moment,
Knowing a calm
Felt only with you.

I ache for that face
Searching mine, eyes
Dancing with pleasure
At my simple words.

Smiles still appear
From memories,
That need suffice
For your cycle is over.

Your spirit roams
These hills and valleys
Your playground.
I look out aimless.

—Deb Wlaz


Writing Prompt:

Brenda Ueland (1891-1985) taught writing classes for many years at the Minneapolis YWCA. In her book, If You Want to Write, she says that from the people in her classes, she learned “that everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.” I too have learned this from the writers in my classes.

Using Ueland’s quote, write for ten-minutes as if you really believe this to be true about yourself.



2 thoughts on “Deb Wlaz: Keen Observer

  1. I believe the good Lord above gives all of us a talent for something. What it is–is up to the individual. It’s our individual responsibility with no excuses. I found out early in life that mine was a fascination with words, language, syntax, the whole ball of literary wax; ergo, I became a writer who just keeps on writing. I stopped counting years ago and maybe I suffered a million rejections along the way, but there’s no quit in me and there shouldn’t be any quit in anybody who’s creative. In other words, don’t let the gatekeepers tell you that you don’t have any talent. We’ll be the judges of that. I salute all creative people, especially writers.

  2. Lovely, Deb. Sorry for the loss of your faithful companion. How nice to memorialize him with your poignant poem.

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