Category Archives: nature

41–“Small Hope” from “Frazzle”

Lake Geneva After Sunset by M D Mikus, Copyright 2016

“…even a pinhole of light
makes all the difference.”

From poem 41, “Small Hope” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here:

These words seem particularly appropriate to me right now. There is the sense of tumult all over the world, and pervasive fear is a darkness I am familiar with (though for me it was more often medical stuff). It is more important than ever to remember even a small sliver of hope. We are in this together.

This poem ends the selections from 2009. Tomorrow we start 2010, an eventful year. It is still you and me, sitting at my old kitchen table. My book is open in front of me to read—originally it was the paperback, but it’s easier with the eBook (the iBooks version is the one I am using). The house is quiet. I am grateful for your company.

For more poem videos from “Frazzle”

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

35–“Here I Am” from “Frazzle”

California Beach Seaweed by M D Mikus, Copyright 2013

“…where hard things bob up
from the ocean of minutes and it could
be just innocuous clumps of seaweed

just brush off…or it could be
a landmine adrift, set off by casual touch….”

From poem 36, “Here I Am,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here:

I wrote this poem seven years ago at a very different time, but it seems like I wrote it for today. Trying to avoid the darkness of anxiety feels very familiar. You?

For more poem videos from the “Frazzle” series

34–“Animals on the Journey Home” from “Frazzle”

I-94 to Michigan, M D Mikus, Copyright 2013

“A hawk in flight,
red tail, full wing extension

lands on the bank
newly grass-sown and waits….”

From poem 34, “Animals on the Journey Home,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here:

To be in the moment as a witness, even in a car on the way to Michigan with husband driving and two kids in back. To notice and write down and remember…that exact time, the trip an awareness of its own, not just a destination.

For more poem videos in the “Frazzle” series

Poem Inspired by a Photo by Eric Whitacre

Inspiration comes from all around. It can be very insistent. I may hear some specific words line up, feel compelled to follow and see where that takes me. It feels good. Or I may see some light, shadow and pattern or colors and want to catch them in a photo.

Eric Whitacre is a composer, conductor, and charismatic speaker. He is the creator of Virtual Choir and an all around good guy. I have written many poems inspired by him and his music and the Virtual Choir experience. On his Facebook page he’s been posting photos he takes with his iPhone. Some are in color, some in black and white. On March 24th he posted a photo he took from where he was that day. This picture haunted me, insisting I write this poem. What inspires you to create?


Photo by Eric Whitacre
L.A., Thursday morning, in black and white

What happens before or after
we are not privy to, waves stilled
the calm water on the diagonal
the hard-packed flat sand with few lines
of footprints roughly parallel.

Scattering of clouds in motion
the sun muted and land-bound.
In the distance the Ferris wheel on a pier
precisely drawn yet in silhouette.
The solitary figure heading there or near
or going up to and returning.
The deep horizon both
inviting and ever-retreating.

An unseen witness
who catches this exact moment
between one sandy step and another
without comment except
the frame—what is in, what is out.
Is the man alone or waiting for someone
is he at the beach reflecting, making a decision
or regretting or anticipating?

What is the story this one scene
is part of, perhaps insignificant
perhaps the tragic or comic climax
the still moment before the world changes into
and no going back to what was.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

Other blog posts with poems inspired by Eric Whitacre  (also some photos)

“Startling Starlings” from Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine


Startling Starlings
Everett Road west of Riverwoods

In the middle of a murmuration
landscape and sky covered by wings
myriad dark apparently separate bodies
climb and swoop and soar in evident synchrony,
how can that be? Mysterious symphony
immersed in all that majestic energy
a blessing particularly chosen for me.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2011

From Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine

I am posting this poem here for Harold Grandstaff Moses who mentioned this phenomenon today on Facebook. This is my experience of murmuration. If you don’t know this term, it is that swooping, soaring sky-dance of a huge flock of starlings that stay in perfect synchrony. Amazing to witness! I was near my house, driving by an open field and into the middle of this awesome spectacle. I stopped the car to watch and laughed out loud at the wonder of it.

Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing is now available in print as well as popular E-book formats. (The paperback has black and white photos and the E-book has 11 full color pictures with the poems.) Check it out! And spread the word! Thank you!

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