Category Archives: change

John Flynn at Folkstage–part2

August Monarch, Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2007

While searching for my poems that were inspired by singer/songwriter, John Flynn, I found this second one (included in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine.) It was from a Facebook post on the day of Nelson Mandela’s death. Reading it now reminds me of John urging us at the concert last night: to be more kind, to do something to help lift someone up. Thank you, John, for all of it.

12/8/13

White Woman from Illinois on Mandela

Posted by John Flynn on Facebook:

“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint
as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

He might be the first to say
he was ordinary,
a man making choices with great clarity,

understanding consequences
to holding hate and anger close,
how one gets burned
and nothing is accomplished.

To say now he was awe-inspiring,
to raise him so high in sainthood,
select media-glorifying snippets to focus on,
reducing him to an icon on a pedestal

does him and us a disservice
for it assumes we cannot also be better,
do better, make the forgiving choices.
It assumes he was a hero above us, beyond us,

a mythological figure, not flesh and bone.
It says we admire from afar but do not aspire
to be something held so high…
and that is wrong.

We are all capable of better,
more conscious loving acts.
We are all awesome healers
no matter our circumstance.

We do not have to reflexively perpetuate
old patterns that do not serve us.
We can heal within and radiate healing out.

Start now, start somewhere,
some small breach, maybe love yourself
a little or a little more today
as a way of remembering him,
honoring a long life of sacrifice
and ultimate joy—as a choice.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2013

To hear this poem and read more about it

For my first John Flynn-inspired poem: read here

Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine:
Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

Our Future, Still Being Written

6/20/18

Listening to Amelia Curran
After Hours of Reading

If this is all there is
and you have forgotten the rest
and if you cannot keep from
the seduction of despair
I understand
and
hold out a hand.
Rest a while
in the shade of favorite music
or vacation in a favorite book.
No shame in resting,
I understand
and
give permission
as for you
as for me.
And if in the barrage of news
every bit worse than the last
and tears well up and head hangs
still, I would urge you to remember
what is real,
who you are, have always been,
the long perspective.
A marathon requires pacing
replenishment, an eye on the far-off goal
as you put one foot in front of the other
as your heart beats and muscles ache
as you breathe
and breathe
and
remember.
You have trained for this:
Every challenge, hard time, tragedy, trauma
you found strength to heal and endure
and now you are called on for more.
Those faltering for now
are aided by others
who will in turn
need help.
Like geese in a “V”
stronger together, each leader in turn
falls back, resumes.
Yes, this is not what you sought
but this is what was sown,
the past playing out
but not necessarily
our future, still being written.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2018

Note: Amelia Curran is a Canadian singer-songwriter I heard of from Peter Mulvey (an incredible American singer-songwriter). Listening to music and reading is how I have been getting through some personally dark days and high anxiety.

I found this recent poem while looking for something else. Although written this past June, it was as if I had written it to encourage and support myself — and others– right now, the week of the midterm election. A reminder to breathe, to rest when needed, to help each other, to take the long view, to vote. I offer this to you in kindness, as my way of holding out a hand. Hang in there, dear ones.

November Sunset, M D Mikus, Copyright 2017

Concert of American Music in Amsterdam

7/3/18

Concert of American Music in Amsterdam

Eric Whitacre conducting

To hold space
while healing takes place
or could, if it would.
A sacred container
a contract, a prearranged pact.
Not bluster under shadows
but constant heart-care
to see what could be
if only
and trust still
and be patient
for the long haul.
Not succumb to the taunt of fear
but invite fear to tea.
Discern, not despair
lightly hold the sphere
I will meet you there.
We are healers
we were made for these times
everything has led up to this.
On the good days, I remember.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2018

After the recent release of my book, Transcending Boundaries, this was the next poem I wrote inspired by composer/conductor, Eric Whitacre. This powerful, glorious music soaked right into me, healing, loosening, nourishing, supporting. Listen if you can–on Dutch radio4.

This references a previous poem of mine, “Invite Fear to Tea.” Read it in this previous post. From my CD, Full Blooming (track 54).

 

 

 

 

Another inspiration was the heartening essay by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “We Were Made for These Times.”

“Absolution” from Full Blooming CD

I was going through my computer files to track down a poem from the past and I stumbled across this poem I recorded on my CD, Full Blooming: Selections from a Poetic Journal. It seemed to speak to me today. Perhaps you too.

11/3/04

Absolution

Am I absolved
because I knew
about these things,
but could do nothing?

Nothing except feel
and write,
nothing except speak
with passion,
nothing except send
healing energy,
nothing except vote
my conscience,
nothing except to be
in the world a woman of peace.

But I could not stop
atrocities, I could not
heal wounds deep,
inflicted by leaders
blind to the consequences
of their actions.

No, I could not do these things…
and yet I continue walking
from one day to the next,
I continue breathing,
and if I am still living
it must be for some reason.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2004

Listen to track 52 on my Full Blooming CD

Offering–After Charlottesville

8/14/17

Offering

After Charlottesville

So this is what it takes
to wake up or
wake some up
jolted out of ennui
or apathy, depression
or lack of curiosity

This last straw
with all the others
to add to the clay
to bake in the sun
to make the bricks
to build the country
the world
we want to live in

we want to leave for
our children and their grandchildren
No, I cannot see the details
the easy way out or through
and there are no guarantees
and the risks are real
if fear is sometimes overblown
I wish I could tell you

something supremely inspiring
but what I offer is this:
my hand outstretched
reaching to clasp yours
my heart as open as I can
Will you meet me there
and begin?

No one can fix everything
Do your bit, join with others
to create all of it.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2017

Sky and Trees, Deerfield, MD Mikus, Copyright 2017