Category Archives: Letting Go and New Beginnings

After You Left

Shortly after we dropped our daughter off at her new college dorm she asked if I missed her. In response I sent her the 14 poems I had written to help me cope with her leaving. Later these poems became the seed that grew into my book Letting Go and New Beginnings: A Mother’s Poetic Journey.I also included the poems from when her older brother went off to college and photographs I took of the campus. I realized that when one phase of life ends, another begins and those poems are part of the story as well.

I thought it was finished in 2006, but more poems came when our two children returned home like many of their generation. All of us were adjusted to our separate lives and had to adjust to living together. And then, once again, the leaving.

It is a mystery why certain poems pop into my head years later, but this one has been quite insistent lately. Perhaps it is the opening lines…

For you, here is this poem from Letting Go and New Beginnings:

2/24/08

After You Left

Constantly
I am watching out for you.
Even when I am not watching,
I am watching.

I cannot say why this is true
or when it began,
it feels like forever
my love.

So do me a great favor
and become…not less carefree
nor less careless,
nor even more careful,

for being full of care
is not it exactly.
Be more aware of your choices,
more in tune with your inner wisdom.

For you are wise
dear one.

And if I am selfish
and want you to stay with me
when it is clearly time to go,
forgive…

and go.
Call me when you arrive.
I will be waiting.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
Copyright 2008

Turning “Wagon Wheel” into…Something Else

How will we participate in creating the new world that is becoming, all of us contributing something? What I want to know is: what will inspire the best in us, the most kindness and compassion? How do we keep going in times of trouble and not sink, exhausted, into despair? What will you make from what you have been given, your unique perspective and vision?

On Facebook, in September, singer / songwriter/ performer / artist, Joe Crookston, posted a new video of how he had created a new song from the words of a tired old song (“Wagon Wheel”). I like the metaphor of this process. Watch the video here.

And that inspired me to write this:

9/16/19

Turning “Wagon Wheel” into…Something Else

Inspired by Joe Crookston

Take what doesn’t work—
are you listening—
chop it up, not even all
that compulsively straight

But use it all to create
something else
use it all according to
rules you made up yourself

I like the new song
I like the metaphor
I like the process
the cutting , the choices, the paste

I like the melody, the voice
the instruments, the video of all of it
the hope, the inspiration
the conscious letting go of outcome

I like the decision to share
to include, to invite in. And
in joyful wonder at the birth of a new song
I soaked it in and sang along

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2019

Writing this new poem reminded me of resonant lines from an earlier poem:

“uses the bricks from the wall
to make something else altogether.”

Here is that poem:

2/25/03

The Poet

I am my mother’s daughter
and I am the Mother of my Self—
one who made the form
and one who filled it.

And I am the mother of my daughter,
a beauty like no other.
She forgot to wash her socks until midnight and,
smiling her smile, asked if I could put them
in the dryer and I did…easily…again.

Who rules on any given day?
What boundaries between the roles I play
tying me to sanity?

No instructions, no models or even myths.
In all the worlds there ever were,
no one has ever been exactly like me…or you.

Or has done what we are about to attempt.
I am tempted to stop, not life, but struggle
to be more, to become what I imagine.

But a poet who is fearless,
who carries on regardless,
whose words are kind and true and honest

is more than essential for survival…
is the compassionate and dispassionate glue
that holds it all together,

or later after the fall,
uses the bricks from the wall
to make something else altogether.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2003

This poem was published in several places, including in my book, Letting Go and New Beginnings: A Mother’s Poetic Journey. I also read it on my CD, Full Blooming. Listen here.

Thank you, Joe Crookston!

30–“Ankles Cracking on the Stairs” from “Frazzle”

In my book, Letting Go and New Beginnings: A Mother’s Poetic Journey, I spoke to the emotional turmoil of our two kids leaving home for college. The upheavals and the adjustments gradually led my husband, Stephen, and me to our new life on our own. Then the economy collapsed and our son and daughter both ended up back home (while we were remodeling). We all had to readjust to living together—in the midst of chaos. The title of this poem came from the sound of my son coming home at night. How you may miss even those little things when they leave again.

“…their removal
will leave a hole…

again.
And again…the longing.”

From poem 30, “Ankles Cracking on the Stairs,” in Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/eWhEMcR35jY

Remind you of any time in your life?

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

E-Books on Sale–July only!

thumbnail -- re-sizedThe Great Smashwords Summer / Winter SALE!!! You can buy two of my books (as e-books, all formats) for 25% OFF the usual price. That means you can get both of them (with photos in color) for less than $6! Only for the month of July. Only on Smashwords.com. Just enter coupon code SSW25 upon check out. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MDMikus

You can read them on an e-book reader OR you can get free Nook, Kindle or iBooks apps for your smart phone or tablet.

This is the perfect time to add one or both of these compelling and uplifting books to your own library: Letting Go and New Beginnings (recently revised) and Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine. Or give as a thoughtful gift.

Thank you for your support!!!

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

COOL SALE for Read an E-Book Week

Once again smashwords.com is celebrating Read an E-Book Week with an awesome sale! For this week only my books there will be 50% off. Links below. Enter coupon code RAE50 upon checkout. Here is one poem included in both books:

10/17/09

From Mary Jane D. and Stephenie Meyer
For Ira, Bob, Geary and Eric

Something that shatters
pre-existing life structure
stretching out to the foreseeable future.

No restoration
of equilibrium
or the familiar,

the details
don’t matter:
a choice point where

all is divided into
before…and after
and darkness is the dominant color.

The decisive end…of what was,
the promising beginning…of what is:

verdant, vivid vibration,
riot of sensation,
vibrant colors of all description,

almost beyond bearing.

You get to the point
where you say: This
lightening bolt that struck me

was the best thing
that ever happened.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2009

Letting Go and New Beginnings: A Mother’s Poetic Journey
($.99 this week only)

2011 LGNB 95 smaller front coverD ebook for Smashwords

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing
(50% off the usual price of $4.99!)

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

Remember to enter coupon code RAE50 upon checkout. You can also give E-books as gifts. Please share this with your friends. Thank you for your support!