Category Archives: relationships

Two Poems of Comfort

Egret in St. Pete’s by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2008

I posted the following comment on Facebook in response to Tiffany’s request for stories upon Bill Farber’s birthday, 3/24/17, (He passed away a year ago):

“Twenty years ago Bill Farber was my Reiki teacher. He said something surprising that I still remember: that getting a Ph.D. in microbiology was the perfect training for becoming a poet.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 months later, he offered to do Reiki sessions for me before each chemotherapy, for no charge. I thought of it as making sure my energy batteries were fully charged and it made a big difference to how I handled chemo and how quickly I healed. Although we lost track of each other over the years, I continued to think of him as my teacher and was shocked and unexpectedly bereft when he died last year.

Tiffany, I don’t know if you remember meeting me when I was at the house one time, and you read me a poem you had written. It was very powerful and moving (and felt quite real, though I found out it was fiction). It inspired my poem, “To Tiffany (This came out of your poem),” which is very different from my usual style of writing. I included it in my book, As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation. As often happens, the death of your Dad also prompted me to write a poem, “The Passing of Bill Farber.”

I think I emailed both of them to your Mom. If you’d like to have them, let me know. Hang in there on this day of remembrance. <3<3”

So here they are, two very different poems of comfort, written 20 years apart.

The first is from my book, As Easy as Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation. I wrote this at the beginning of chemotherapy, a time I very much needed comfort. (And yes, I had an actual stuffed bunny like this one.)

To Tiffany:

(This came out of your poem)

I snuggle deep
in my pink nest
with the bunny
I love the best.

He is comfort
and fuzzy forgiving,
always reflecting
loving and living.

His ears have
the softest fur,
white and warm
and so secure.

I hug him close
before I sleep
then put him up
on my pillow to keep

watch over me
as I sink to the deep
dark depths or float
or fly or weep.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996

And the second is from my poetic journal, my personal response to yet another loss:

3/7/16

The Passing of Bill Farber

Death lesson
like a toddler
learning object
permanence:

When the object
becomes unseen
does not mean it is gone
it can come back
or come back in another form.

And death is like that
they say: not gone altogether
but gone away and yet
he or she is still somewhere
still existing…somewhere

perhaps to return
or reunite with
perhaps slipped out the door
to other dimensions
parallel or infinite

waiting with the others
speaking if spoken to
aware yet somehow distant
listening to the big picture
expanded from who they were here.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

57–“Virtual Choir 4” from “Frazzle” and “Transcending Boundaries”

Door County in September by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2013

7/16/13

Virtual Choir 4
Watching screen shots by Elisabeth

To be seen,
to be seen singing,

to allow
sounds to emerge

and release,
to take the step

driven to connect
or belong or create

a tiny piece of beauty,
trusting.

To open heart
and mouth,

let energy go forth
meshing with others

in the same quest,
hoping.

To strive and persist,
to learn and teach,

to wait for the outcome,
patient.

To join without boundaries,
to encourage, to support,

to accept grace and be
generous.

To demonstrate flight,
each a feather on a wing,

at least a little bit…
fearless.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
Copyright 2013

From my books, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine, and Transcending Boundaries: Inspired by Eric Whitacre and Virtual Choir.

Listen here: https://youtu.be/_scl4qd8Aes (Video begins with an introduction and de-stressing, join in.)

I have been a singer all my life, usually in choirs (church, school, or community). When I first heard about Virtual Choir, created by composer/conductor, Eric Whitacre, I was determined to be part of it. Though I was not a particularly tech savvy person, and very shy as a singer in some ways, I still was moved by the music and the possibility of connection. When Virtual Choir 3 came along, I read all support comments on their Facebook page to see if I could manage it. I learned the music and practiced, putting together a recording setup in my office. I was so affected by all the encouragement from the support team (for other people), I overcame my “issues” and got my video in (alto 2). I was unable to find myself in the final film, but that did not diminish my joy in being part of it all.

When Virtual Choir 4 was announced, I was eager to do it. I donated to the Kickstarter campaign. I practiced to learn my part and upgraded my recording setup. In the final film I found myself right away, which was awesome. When Elisabeth, from Chicago, one of the support crew, decided to help singers find their videos by taking hundreds of screen shots, I watched all of them (no sound, just the faces) and was powerfully moved by all the people I was connected to, from all over the globe.

These videos have gotten millions of views on YouTube. Listen here to VC 3 and here to VC4.

This connection has blossomed into an online community, a Virtual Choir family, that supports each other in hard times and celebrates together in joyful times. When possible they meet in real life and may even sing together. I am blessed to be part of it. Thank you, Eric, and all.

For more poem videos in the series

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transcending Boundaries: Inspired by Eric Whitacre and Virtual Choir

56–“Changes Everything” from “Frazzle”

Bridge Over The Fox River at Night by M D Mikus, Copyright 2012

11/2/13

Changes Everything

It is possible
to forget good exists…

and niceness
or to discount their existence

as if life is a video game
full of unwarranted violence,

inevitable, not even remarkable
anymore, but then remembering

at some point starving for
a little kindness

and receiving without
thought of return

as if we all were neighbors
sometimes in need of a cup of sugar

and that momentary easy connection
changes everything…

back.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2013

From Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen to the poem here: https://youtu.be/6zpAiDBydGc

This poem is not about going backwards, rather to remember and focus on what we have in common, how everyone needs help or a kind word sometimes. How do we get to there from here?

For now, I decided to keep doing the deeps breaths and “head hug” at the beginning since it helps me and may help others too. Less stressed means better able to focus and affects body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Why not spend a few minutes daily for such a benefit?

For more poem videos

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

46–“Something Small” from “Frazzle”

From Inside Looking Out by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2015

“You can write a poem
about anything:

mundane, mystical, trivial
momentous, silly or banal.

A car in front of me
on a dark winter night…”

From poem 46, “Something Small,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/9wJb73ytJmc

A poem can be a story, a portrait, an observation, a eulogy, a witness, an emotional rant, a philosophical musing or anything else in between. There are rules and they can be bent or broken. Anything that happens can be woven in, with threads from the past, present or future, both true and speculation. What you sense or think or dream or imagine…all can be made real, on the page. What character are you most like in this story?

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing

44–“Because My Star” from “Frazzle”

Opening From Inside by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2011

“Because my star
is tied to yours

my love,
my life is entwined

with your own….”

From poem 44, “Because My Star,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/nN4sx3yQvXk

Stephen and I have been together ever since we met on the first day of a college English class in mid-January, 1972. We became friends and then more as our relationship bloomed. This poem, of course, is about him. But it could also be about any close connections, how we mutually affect each other. (Hint: Humor is helpful sometimes.)

Unexpected Wave, CA Beach, by M D Mikus, Copyright 2013

Photo above is from Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine (in color for the eBooks and b/w for paperback). I caught Stephen on a beach north of San Diego, CA just as a huge–and very cold–wave hit shore. We both got soaked. And laughed a lot.

After the Wave, taken by Stephen Mikus 2013

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

THROWN AGAIN into the FRAZZLE MACHINE: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing