Ignored were all those posted signs
like Burma Shave’s of old,
along highways and country roads
that our country was being sold.

Crudity in his speaking
narcissistic in his acts
he belittled all his betters
unknowing of world facts.

Some saw the signs in the roadside grass,
breathed deep with wrinkled brow,
but felt assured with hope in man
that e’en the unwise would know.

Hopes were futile, greed won minds
PAC money won the votes.
The sheep were led to slaughter,
and left behind the goats.

The NRA may have led the charge
close by the one percent
Showmanship, wild promises
of ever greater wealth.

We reap the wind of discontent,
just one more year to grow
the i;;-informed and his allies
to think before they vote.

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Life may not always be
the party we had hoped for
but while we are here
we must dance.

Aging bones may still the feet
but cannot dim the music
that pulses in the heart.

Bright new moments are
happening around us each day
enriching our lives and waiting
for us to hear and see.

Recognize and cherish them.

Gus Daum

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I stare into the midnight dark
grasping for calm and fervent trust
in our democracy that has healed itself
from earlier autocratic strivers

It is not just the man himself,
despotic though he may be
as he twits words alluring to many
who somehow find in them
solace from their unnamed fears.
It is they in their own angry trenches
who are muddying roads of trust
that could lead to peace.

Always fear combats trust and sees
differences as a threat to one’s self.

But trust also combats fear
and we must trust that wiser heads
will rise to a position of control
while the fearful followers open
shuttered eyes to the distortion
thrust upon them by the despot.

Gus Daum

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Who will give us back those days
when life had gossamer wings
and flew like a skylark into
ever cloudless skies and the nights
were made for dancing beneath
a sky filled with brilliant stars?

And who taught us that life is filled
with many fields to plow
seeds to sow and weeds to hoe
for achieving lives to grow?

An artful life begins with willingness
to make constant re-adjustment
to the needs of our surroundings.

Gus Daum

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If I were not so sad and lonely
gloomy in my darkened room
I could be hearing lovely music
chatting with my neighbor-friend
walking in the warming sunshine
whistling softly to a merry tune

Perhaps if I draw open the curtains
the sun is shining brightly or
the rain is but a gentle mist
and masks a brilliant rainbow.
The radio or TV could tune to soft music
and away from anger and hatred
my friend might welcome my call.

Perhaps I need not be
so sad and lonely after all.

Gus Daum

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Colors are the smiles of Nature,
welcoming us to share her world
a hostess to add joy to our
short stay in her universe.

Midst winter’s blossom-free season
she dots distant hills and their greet firs
with patches of white snow on branches
and makes the green more vivid to our eyes.

Her springtime invitation is growing bright
with the green of her lawns and meadows
dotted alive with the low growth of
yellow dandelion and white clover
roadsides agleam with waving daffodils,
nearby orchards, trees bare of leaves
but budding and and pink blossoms to our eyes.

And summer, that most awesome time
aglow with roses flaunting shades of
reds and pinks and yellows to every taste,
ripening fields a background of amber
with berries of red and purple ripening
on ground growth and vines.

Another winter will come as it must,
her regeneration time,
when it becomes even more our task
to add the color to our lives

Gus Daum


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Happiness is not the dance you’re going to tonight
nor the promise of the coming football season.

Happiness is the tug at heartstrings
when the small child skips by with a smile
the burst of sunshine lighting my morning coffee
or the quiet motor’s purr of my ten year old car
the friendly courtesy of the grocery clerk
the neighbor’s wave as she readies her pruning shears
or the tiny squirrel dancing down my street.

It is in present moments for those
with open eyes and open hearts.

Gus Daum

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No, mom, you were wrong
I’m a big boy and I cry.

Tears came to my eye and a lump to my throat
as the widow’s hand lingered softly on the flag,
and her daughter broke into sobs at their loss.

When beautiful music comes into my ear,
my heart swells,  my eyes moisten lightly
and my pulse reacts to the conductor’s baton.

When I see a tiny child laugh in glee
as a bug tumbles across his bare toes, while
the TV shows another child wrested from parent
and my heart cries out  why must this be.

When my night sleep is interrupted by memories
of loved ones and dear friends who filled my life,
I smile through tears of happiness.

No, mom, you were wrong
I’m a big boy and I cry.

Gus Daum



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There was Jennifer
My first true love
She was fifteen and beautiful
I was twelve, awkward and shy

We two would grow and grow apart
To mature loves,
Have seven children
Three  hers, four mine, and none ours
Had I only been bold and told
But she never knew
She had been my first true love.

Gus Daum

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Hello, stranger.
You are different from me. Go away.
Your skin is darker than mine. Go away.
Your heavy beard, your strange beliefs
in God, your sexual beliefs. Go away.
I should feel safer now, and I’m alone.
But I feel threatened somehow
and I react in fear.

Hello, stranger.
You are different from me, welcome.
I can learn from you.
You may broaden my world in ways
that I cannot see—- alone.
My trust in your kindness allows me to share.
Know we are more alike than different
and together we can improve our lives.
Welcome, stranger.

Gus Daum
April 15, 2018

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