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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Welcoming a rare April sun filled day,
my coffee and I shared the patio at mid-morn
in relief from the cocoon of rain-free rooms.
The quiet is marred only by distant traffic hum,
and I revel in the back drop of massive trees,
evergreens reaching toward the blue above.

A hidden cricket chirps its presence,
enlivened perhaps by the sun’s warmth
luring us both from hiding in our cocoons.
A single chirp, then quiet, the sun not yet to his liking.

Close by, a hummingbird flits across my view,
his body borne on wings blurring in the air
and a needle like nose searching for pollen
in blossoms to appear at a later time.

A wild turkey adds a louder sound,
gobbling just once, a turkey chortle
from his hidden branch in the evergreens

A large crow struts beneath the trees,
searching the grass for other warming crickets.
Without giving voice, his bird chest thrusts forward
In his slow stride across the greening meadow
as he proclaims his sovereignty over all.

We are never alone in our world that we share
with one another, and the other species of beings.

Gus Daum

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Sometime things go from bad to worse
As I venture thoughts to written verse
The words so lovely in my mind
Don’t translate well in scribbled line

The scenes I paint with careful words
Drop into chaos like fallen birds
Muddled syntax, meaning smeared
By clashing symbols, as I feared

I sought for meter and rhythmic beat
and displayed the grace of clumsy feet
I know my meaning should be clear
Should bring emotion, action, tears,
But the tears are mine as I mutter here.

Perhaps prose is more my beat
THERE, the bugle blows retreat.

Gus Daum

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She appeared at night from another plane<
somehow a vision in my bedroom door
clearly herself in that white dress
that had graced her teenage self so long ago
visiting, I think, to see that I was well.

My heart swelled to see her there
and I stayed long awake in love's memory.




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The God that loves us all
does hear my gratitude spoken
even beneath my breath, knows
that my head need not be bowed
to be lifted to God’s strength,
my faith in life’s goodness
and my thanks to that constant presence.

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Lazy eyes, ignoring eyes
to the magic that exists all around.
There is no denying that it is there
as it surrounds us in all its forms.

The laughter in a child’s eyes,
the surge of love that enfolds us,
the simplicity of a shy smile
that can cause a burst of emotion.
The sudden sight of the golden orb
as the moon breaks over distant hills.

Who could doubt magic
when the clasp of a stranger’s hand
can bring warmth to the senses
and a possible shared vision
to brighten a disheveled world.

Let us not search, desperate for magic
but relax and let it simply appear, ease
the tension that may infuse our lives.

Gus Daum
Nov 2017

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