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

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2 thoughts on “IWWG at Brown, part 3

  1. Kitt

    Margaret, Your work is so lovely, so heartfelt. I’m so touched by “For Kitt.” So very touched. Thank you.

    Remember my foot pain? It was a hairline fracture!

    Miss you!

    All love,


  2. Margaret Dubay Mikus

    So good to hear from you, Kitt! Thanks for reading and for your generous comments. I miss you too! I remember your foot vividly. And getting the cane and you talking to the cool cab driver about…was it Africa? I miss all that possibility…that anything might happen. And the writing flowing. So glad we are still connected! I may post my writing and some photos from IWWG at Yale sometime soon.

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