Poems by Don Fess

    Some of his best work . . .
Mostly done in the 1940's

God's Handiwork

The master painter with brush in hand,
Tinted and blended throughout the land,
Lavished colors of every hue,
Sprinkled diamonds in the dew.

Remembered the wings of the butterfly,
Birds and flowers, and earth and sky,
Stately rainbows arched on high,
Recalls a promise to you and I.

Blankets the ground with spotless snow,
Lights the heavens with stars aglow,
Hollowed ground where mortals trod
Gloried in beauty by the hand of God.

1915  -  1999

In his 60's

In his 20's

A Smile

A smile is like a cooling breeze on a sultry summer day.
There is nothing quite so grand as one to drive the blues away.

A smile is warm and helpful in a winter when its cold.
There is nothing quite so easily done with blessings manifold.

A precious thing, a gift from God, a sincere, happy smile.
A noble weapon in this life, keep smiling all the while.

June of the Five & Ten

I've got a sis by the name of June
who works at the Five & Ten.
She handles the chicken feed
that poor folks like to spend.

She knows her wooden nickels
and her dime cosmetics too,
And anything from two-bits down,
she'll try to sell to you.

She's right behind the counter
with a twinkle in her eye.
She's got a line that just won't quit,
just try to pass her by.

Now if you've got some idle change
and a little time to hear,
You'll be wishing for an extra buck
when she gets in bottom gear.

It's "This is for your hands
and this is for your face,
And this stuff is the latest thing
to keep your hair in place."

"Why, you'll look just like Clark Gable
if you give this stuff a chance,
Excuse me now, I see you're bald,
you can't tell at a glance."

"Don't go, I've merely started.
Here's some dope we call 'HAIRNU'
That will grow hair on a billiard ball
and will do the same for you."

So it's something for the ladies
and something for the men.
But, it's nickels for that sis of mine,
down at the Five & Ten

The Traveler

He was walking with a pack
strapped across his narrow back,
And he faltered as he climbed the little knoll.

At the spring he knelt to drink
and I couldn't help but think,
What a burden for this wrinkled, weary soul.

So I asked him, "Whither to?"
and his sharp eyes pierced me through
As he slowly straightened up beneath his load.

Well he scratched his leathered face
and said, "No certain place,"
As he found his stride and headed down the road.

Arkansas National Guard 1942
as he looked when he wrote these poems


        When days are lonesome, long and blue,
  I sometimes wonder what to do,
        to pass the time.
       This attitude I'm sure I share
  with others who no better fare,
                            at such a time.
       We should not sit around and sigh,
  so idly as the minutes fly,
                            forever gone.
       The useful deeds that should be done
  should never wait the setting sun,
                            it ends the day.
       Let's rally while we're young and can,
  let's help inspire each idle man,
                            to work today.

1915 - 1999


  Michael Don
  David Weldon
  Meredith Ann
  Carolyn June
  Joan Elizabeth
  Stephen Larry

DON'S Grandchildren

Christopher Charles Fess
David Eric Fess
Elizabeth Paige Marion
Gregory Wilson Fess
Jennifer Ann Marion
Kelly Ann Turk
Leslie Louis Turk, Jr.
Meredith Turk Robinette
Michael David Fess
Patrick Dalton Fess
Paul Stephen Fess
Robert Glen Newcomer
Stephanie Fess
Tracey Leigh Newcomer
William David Marion


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  Lets work with a will and a purpose,
      lets strive to make life worthwhile.
  Lets not quit the task till its finished,
      lets always be ready to smile.
  Lets conquer temptations around us,
      lets stand for the good and the might.
   Lets persevere so that if we should fail,
      we can say we made a good fight.

Don and Cleyonne
Photo in early 1960's