Category Archives: writing

IWWG at Brown, part 3

These are my final poems and a few pictures from the IWWG conference at Brown University in summer, 2010. (Some poems written at home just after.) The Remember the Magic conference has been going on more than thirty some years, a long time, mostly at Skidmore College. Last summer it was at Brown, this summer it will be a Yale, but smaller in scope. This is an organization in transition and like all transitions, personal or organizational, the outcome is not certain. The possibilities numerous and spacious. I am grateful for the weeks I had to go out on my own, with other women writers, and discover and be myself. The joy of creation and then coming home. What remains of all the glorious insight when I am back in the context of daily life?


To write on unlined paper
to color outside the lines

willing to be seen as different
not go along to fit in.

To be joyful
to carry a glass at least half-full.

To embrace change
as pure possibility, wait and see.

To practice
what I almost preach

to walk the talk
without squawking.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


For Kitt

You don’t know
what they say about you
but I do

“That Kitt Alexander,
I just love her!”
I’m not making this up

from fervent imagination.
It really happened.
Would I lie to you?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Lessons in Self-Care

Every day, wake up
balance consciously as best I can
stay with it
brush teeth twice, morning and night,
shower, lotion, and deodorant.
Clothes in colors that vibrate and resonate.

Water often. Food  as fuel. Walk. Listen. Smile.
There is more I’m sure,
just promise to pay attention
as best I can, as best I can.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010



Opportunities will arise
to gently exercise
underused muscles like
the muscle to stick up for yourself
to be assertive on your own behalf,
or the muscle to listen to inner guidance
without struggle or shyness,
or the muscle to hear the voice
that says time to rest.

Each an opportunity to practice
what you know is true.
This way you are is not the True-you,

just the collection of life choices
and circumstances up to now,
conscious or unaware,
added to what you came in with
and what you were given to work on.
And now is the chance to choose again,

begin to re-write the old story.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Thinking of You

Time and again
I have faced the inevitable end

and thus far
it has always receded

to the indefinite future
where you still are.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Lie Down

Lie down in the clouds above you

separate for a moment from the life you lead

float for a bit weightless

just for a moment

then drift back



and re-animate

wiggle bare toes, feel grass tickle

feet grounded but light on the face of earth

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Monday Walk After Singing

Be filled

Walk to the lake
muscle kinks work out

mind stills with steps taken
See the new ivy shoots
on crumbling brick wall

Drink water
go on after intersection
Check in. Go on

Surprising how far goes
one foot in front of the other
Drink water

Turn back at the end
walking uphill now
comfortable stride

Left, right
walk with both feet
heel, toe, shoes re-tied

just right
Cut across church grass
not exactly explicitly forbidden

Drive off smiling
at workmen spreading out dirt
under very old trees

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010 


Someone Said

Someone said something
a small puzzle
a sliver under the skin

irritatingly hard to remove.
Why of all the kind words spoken
should these thoughtless ones remain?

Because of implication
because I want to please everyone
(including myself)

even though that is not possible—
there is no pleasing some people.
Let it go. Don’t you know.

Let it go, my sweet potato.
Talk and untangle.
Walk and calm.

Sweat and sleep and write
and bless all the teachers
who have come.

Bless and move on along.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010 



Back home with
magic in my bones

how to sustain
in my usual domain

where it appears
nothing has changed

the demands, the constraints
the ties that bind.

How to be as I was:
most gloriously my own?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010

IWWG at BROWN, part 1

One of the good things for me last year was attending my second International Women’s Writing Guild Conference, held in 2010 at Brown University in Providence, RI. I was still recovering my resilience and stamina, but I was determined to go. I had new writer friends to see again and I gave myself permission to do whatever I wanted. I had never been in Rhode Island, I could be a new me. Each day I had inner guidance about an “assignment”: someone to talk with, or something write about. I gave my first reading at one of the nighttime open readings. I met new women. I sold my books and CD at the book fairs at the beginning and the end. I worked on a poem/photo project about doors, inspired by one sentence a teacher said at the opening. I took care of myself. And every day I followed the energy. It might mean doing an energy healing for someone I met at lunch or it might mean taking pictures or sitting in reflection on the quads. Here is about the first third of the writing from that lovely week with a few photographs.


Grounding in Earth and Sky

For Diane and me

How much trouble
you can get in
not listening to your own wisdom

giving away power
to make decisions
then saying…later…

I knew all along.
See now how strong you are,
no longer a beginner.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


For Hannelore


change in direction,
some follow, some lead,

some drop out and circle back,
some stay away forever and sulk,

some are drawn in who never were,
change is a requirement for living.

Adaptation with the blowing wind,
continual evolution,

so it is for all living things
including people and organizations,

the desire to exist, to keep on.
Nourish the whole

and the courageous ones
will risk it all following the larger vision.

What is important is not each tiny detail,
but the rich and nurturing conversation.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


After the wise women
must come the young ones
who care, who bear the

accumulated lessons
with learning of their own
in context of their times.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Adventure After Waterfire

but not lost,

knew where we were
but not how to get

where we were going
back to temporary home.

Stopped for directions at a waterside bar
on the wrong side of the river

and from two characters in the parking lot:
a right, 5 lefts, over the red bridge

and down Angell Street,
which improbably turned out to be right.

Disorienting dark
with inconstant moon as talisman!

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Healing Lunch
After Sue

There is the linear way of things
and there is the other,
order inherent in apparent chaos

where what comes together
has invisible purpose,
and what comes to us

leads back to wholeness.
There is no separation,
energy is energy whatever the spectrum.

To allow this process to happen,
to graciously let go
the smoke, the veil, the illusion,

to be content and at ease
in this insistent skin.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Starving for Solitude

The nothing
in which to shape

of my own invention
is missing
all space filled

all days overflowing
even into night
More than one

chance to choose…

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Choosing a Teacher

Be careful who you select
as teacher, not to swallow
everything you hear,
paying attention to your truth-sense.

Be aware of how you feel—
discomfort tells you something
not good/not bad
necessarily, but check in:

Who resonates, who is kind in assisting,
strengthening the emerging voice,
not stamping on tender shoots
barely emerged from germination.

Who would never douse the heart-fire
and disperse your dream
back to the swirling primordial mists
it trustingly came from.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Doors (1)

What is behind Door #1

What is behind Door 2 and 3
however elegant or shabby?

And all the rest: 14, 22, 637…?
Step through

close off or circle back
and see what happens

who do I want to be
and want with me?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


To Protect My Luminosity

and not feel guilty

to be drawn to or away from
listen and let it be

What I am here for
who I am I see:

to gaze at the stars
to stand in the sun

no more, no less
to speak and sing and be silent

to flow as colored silk on the wind
to be truth as I know it

to catch, to throw, to be kind
to lead, to follow, to be still.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


To Be

An experiment
yet untried,

quite funny really,
to be myself fully for a week

day in day out, moment to moment,
to listen and act from

inner wisdom,
to pay attention aligned

and balanced, in harmony.
To act as if I am healed

and realize it
is true…

extensive laughing is involved
and weightlessness.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


Yes, I Noticed You Being You

What can I say of friend Amy
who spoke tonight so well and courageously,

who opened arms wide, glad to see me
before I even stepped through the door.

And who generously watches out for me
and graciously accepts me.

How fine a friend is that!

Amy, who paints her sad tale so vividly
parts of it are funny,

disconcerting when she feels more the tragedy,
but she pulls us into the humanness of the story

and humor allows us to keep looking,
to keep listening to what was imaginably unbearable.

A skilled weaver, illusionist, wordsmith,
she makes me care…what happens next.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010


IWWG Conference

In coming together
to see the places
both healed and raw still

To be who we are
built on what we have chosen
to be better than
wild and playful imagination

Whoever, up to now,
you have been
or considered being
come here…and choose

and choose again.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2010