Category Archives: politics

“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

60–“Limo Driver from O’Hare Airport” from “Resist the Slide into Darkness”

Landing at O’Hare–Chicago Skyline by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2014

Listen to poem here: https://youtu.be/nekff0ynG9s

9/9/14

Limo Driver from O’Hare Airport

The light-skinned man from Tunisia, Africa
had been a student dissident
in the old days arrested 11 times
once kept in a cell 1 yard by 1 yard.

A leader perhaps who paid to print a paper
and distributed it one time by
putting packs on tops of lights at the soccer match
then when the first goal was scored the papers

were released by a pulled cord over the cheering crowd.
He was highly educated by his telling
and got a upper level job at a bank
for 8 years. When the government changed

he was targeted, word gotten to his mother
leave tonight or die
and he did, making his way here
to freedom.

We meet him driving the limo
from the airport. He’s married
has a 10 year-old daughter
building a life here. Now he can see

his mother, but will never go back home.
His undiminished love for the place: the first
country in the Arab Spring
he tells us proudly.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2014

From upcoming collection: Resist the Slide into Darkness by Margaret Dubay Mikus

For more poem videos in the series

Expanding Video Poem Project

Starting today, I am broadening my video project beyond my original idea of reading a poem a day from my book, “Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine,” in chronological order. There are currently 48 videos from that series. The new plan is to record poems I find particularly compelling that day, from all three of my books, as well as unpublished work (which will be here on my blog).

Today’s reading is a poem I wrote in 2010 and posted a couple days ago, about Barack Obama, “Presidential.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/PjgsiLj2Hqg

For all poem videos

Stairs at Brown University by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2010

Poems of Barack Obama-2

Listen to this poem about Barack Obama, written in 2010: https://youtu.be/PjgsiLj2Hqg

4/22/10

Presidential

You don’t vote for a president
so he can give you all you want,
so he or she could be you
if only you knew better.

You elect a president so he or she
can do their best with integrity,
represent the best in us
to the extent that is possible.

They begin the job
in whatever hole was dug
by previous actions or inactions,
not a level field, not fair at all.

And the job it takes to rule
over the mostly unruly,
to weather criticism from
all the “what about me’s?”

while staying the course with honesty
grace, compassion, intelligence,
thoughtfulness, passion, calm and dignity,
weighing options on the universal scale,

it can be easy to forget
in all the insistent demanding,
all the impatient fluster and bluster that
he…or she…is only human,

no more…no less.

What is called for
is simple kindness.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010

Chicago O’Hare International Airport by M D Mikus, Copyright 2010

Poems of Barack Obama-1

In the coming days I’ll post some of my poems about Barack Obama — remember when he was elected was right after the collapse of the economy, still in a decline. This is the first poem of mine I could find about him. I have not always agreed with his decisions, but my support was constant.

11/5/08

Post-Election Recounting:
Portrait of Barack Obama

The stars aligned
and all the planets
to make something possible
that had not been.

A courageous man stepped forward
as the chosen one.
He could move hearts
and erase doubt
with his silky tongue,
inspire hope where had been none.

And yes, change was coming.
Here was someone confident enough
to gather diverse opinion,
articulate and educated,
disciplined and real enough
to call out in the crumbling wildness

and hear resounding cries in answer.
Disaster averted at the brink of the abyss.
On the final day all who had been adversaries
included in the fold,
called together to change course,

to restore, to heal what was lost.
He took the high road
and that road took him to celebration.
And because he is who he is
at this prime moment,
and can gather and sow, reap and harvest

what he has sown, we all get
another chance to change,
to be the best in us.
What a gift!
Keep him safe, keep all around him safe.
Let him be gracefully shaped by
the experiences he has chosen.
He is tempered already in fire
seasoned by flame,
and found strong, able, and willing.

From the shadows he stepped into light
and like a meteor he rose
in plain, amazed sight
to dole out hope where was none,
to dole out hope with a generous hand.
A man of compelling vision.

And like for no other leader
the world rejoiced for one of their own
to have climbed to the mountaintop.
Not a messiah burdened by
weight of unrealistic expectation,
but a heartful man of clear vision.

Let him do the work he came for,
learn from inevitable mistakes,
grow further into his power unafraid,
acknowledging the whole of himself.
For within him lies all contradiction
laid open and resolved.
Let him go forward and
let us go forward in recognition.

A family man and
we are all included in
the embrace of that family.
All is not lost.
Roll up your sleeves,
let us begin.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2008