All Manner of Critters

I was moved by a recent article in the newspaper. A local woman had started a pet food pantry to help people keep their pets in these hard financial times. Animals are so important to us. I thought of poems I had written and pictures I had taken of all manner of critters over the years. Once I started looking, I found more than I remembered. Here are a few.


Birds on a Line

How many birds
can sit on a line
not quite wing to wing?

How many birds
can sit for how long,
waiting patiently
to burst into song?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996


Convention in Town

Such loud birds
at the Caw Caw Convention
with all their early morning
blustering and posturing,

throwing their weight around
to get first dibs at breakfast,
not caring who hears them or who
wakes up to their raucous conversations.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996



There are as many ways
to fly as varieties of birds.
There is no right way,
only flying or not flying.

Some birds glide gracefully
going far on one powerful stroke;
some flutter glide, flutter glide
or breast stroke in peaks and slopes.

All get where they are going,
as they were designed.
The only wrong way is to not fly
and then starve in body and spirit

for the lack of soaring.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1996


Once Again

Once again, as in all other years,
robins are seen in abundance
and tiny black and white birds
flock and flit in still bare branches,
and in morning light now, gentle calls
float into my dreaming ear.

Once again, as in all other years,
grass will green and buds will sprout
and weeds and flowers alike
will grow in rich profusion.
Rabbits may come or ducks,
to lay hopeful eggs in our daylily bed.

Chipmunks will scurry
and frogs and insects of all description
will bellow full-throated song.
And maybe the occasional snake
will be seen sunning on a convenient warm step.

As in all other years, wind will blow,
sometimes raging, through fresh green leaves
of all shapes that will enclose
my particular grateful space.
For in this winter past
I often wondered in my darkness,
if spring would ever come.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1997


What Do We Know

of the lives of dogs,
of the richness
or lack
of their conversation?

We, who have such
blunted senses
and overdeveloped mind,
what can we know

of a life
of abundant, excited smells
and awareness of
the very highs and lowest lows
of sound?

What do we know
of love without
of the fullness of feeling,
the sleep of content?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 1997



A mutant bird
sang his errant song
at 2:30AM
well before dawn.

The melodious notes
slid out of his throat
lingering there
in cold night air.

Still awake,
she heard as
the notes slid into her ear,
lodged in her brain

and for months
remained there,
not washed away by rain
nor blown by wind,

pure bird notes
sung in tune
from a pure heart
that opened when it opened.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2008


The Pond at Daniel Wright Woods

late afternoon

Look at how the sun
shimmers the continuously
rippling water
and dragonflies flit
in the cattails.
The fishing line shines
as it’s cast and re-cast
and the clouds like fish
swim languorously above,
the air dotted with
cottonwood like bait.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2008



(not silver and not fish)

The silverfish are gone
whether because
I asked them (nicely) to leave
or the increased
activity of bees

or some other unlikely
improbable explanation…
makes me no never mind
The silverfish are gone

no longer browsing
my bookshelves
or burrowing to die
between glass and mat
of my hung pictures.

No swatting the ceiling
or brisk smack with
a rolled magazine,
no more bug stains
from remains.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2009

Birds on a Line,” and “Flying” are also in As Easy as Breathing.

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