Category Archives: Video poem series

62–“Express, Process, Assess” from “Resist the Slide into Darkness”

Chicago Trains, Coming and Going, by M D Mikus, Copyright 2012

4/26/16

Express, Process, Assess

After Mike Latza and Oriah Mountian Dreamer

Fear and I are well-acquainted
but any love lost is unrequited
Fear is not my friend though
sometimes I pretzel-bend in its wind

It is a choice, this distance
a choosing and re-choosing in the face of challenge
Not what has happened that might
suck me down and in and under but
who am I in relation to this
potential grand piano falling from the sky
Why ask why when there is no answer
Why contract into fetal-ball position
as if that guarantees protection

Beaten egg whites gently folded in
add humor as leavening to lighten
the batter I am making from a recipe
handed down or found or made up on the spot
Trust…just enough

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

From my upcoming book, Resist the Slide into Darkness. Listen here: https://youtu.be/DRxcVnP0uVo

Mike Latza is the editor of the journal, Willow Review. (I was the Illinois Featured Author in 2013.) I wrote this poem after the annual Willow Review launch and reading at College of Lake County, which is always inspiring for me. Oriah Mountain Dreamer is the author of The Invitation–based on her poem–and other books. We are connected on Facebook where she often writes beautiful, insightful short essays. Inspiration can come from anywhere and threads begin to weave together into something that speaks to me, that whispers “write this down.”

Randolph and State Streets, by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2012

For more poem videos in the series

61–“On Imperfection, For Corax” from “Frazzle”

Public Art in Dallas: The Eye, photo by M D Mikus, Copyright 2014

1/28/14

On Imperfection
For Corax

On the other side of darkness
the past looks far away,
and if I didn’t know better,
mostly forgotten.

Live in the now,
isn’t that what they say?
I agree mostly and also intend
to remember my lessons:

not to repeat same old mistakes,
not to let the unconscious pilot the course,
to remember to breathe,
to always be kind and

to forgive, every day forgive
imperfection. For here we learn
by being in form, subject to complex patterns
we cannot sense or anticipate.

If we were perfect—
which we are somewhere—
what would be the point of
choosing to go to Earth-school?

As long as we are here—
those numbered precious days,
those rare allotted minutes—
we have work to do.

Get on with it.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2014

From Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing.
And Transcending Boundaries: Inspired by Eric Whitacre and Virtual Choir.

Listen here: https://youtu.be/E1vMFwdGa_E

Today it was hard to convince myself that making these videos matters. It seemed that anything I can do is insignificant in the face of massive challenges and national upheaval. Yet…none of us is alone. We inspire each other. We each do our part, right? When I considered not recording, I felt heavier, less hopeful. Maybe that is enough of a reason: to feel lighter, to hope, and perhaps inspire hope. For these few moments, let us demonstrate resilience…together. I am grateful for your presence.

Eye in Daylight, Dallas, photo by M D Mikus, Copyright 2014

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

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

59–“To Take My Own Advice” from my poetic journal

Look Up by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2016

Listen to poem here: https://youtu.be/eBZyB2KzYqU

4/12/16

To Take My Own Advice

Some wrongs you can make right
some are not your job to fix
your life to live
Letting go is all you can do
(doing nothing is harder than it looks)

You do what you can
from what you have and where you are
You scan the horizon
and on the good days
you do what you can

And if you remember you are not
the god of anyone
and if you remember no one is like you
and what you might advise
are strung words strained through your filter

flung words flowing on a river
and you have no control whatsoever
of whether or who or when or where
All you can do is breathe out, breathe in
and right what wrongs you can

Be kind to someone
comfort, breathe with them, hold a hand
be gentle, do unto others as…

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

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

I wrote this from heartfelt personal circumstances, but it more broadly applies to today.

For more poem videos in the series

58–“This Is the Moment I Have” from “As Easy As Breathing”

Granada, Spain at Night by M D Mikus, Copyright 2005

“This Is the Moment I Have

not tomorrow
with its joy or sorrow….”

From the poem, “This Is the Moment I Have,” in my book, As Easy As Breathing: Reclaiming Power for Healing and Transformation. Listen here: https://youtu.be/DAdusMHbQ2Y

I wrote this in 1997 shortly after cancer treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation), thus the reference to “face topped by hair.” And following the healing from multiple sclerosis refers to “standing on two strong legs.” Though it was prompted by specific circumstances, I think of this poem often in my life now: “How often am I actually here…in this only moment I have?”

For more poem videos in the series

Track 25 on Full Blooming CD