Basics

Tonight I paint flowers on my tablet.
I wanted to write about deeper things
like God and love and time and death which brings
me again to the compulsive habit
of pursuing the truth. On this planet
it is probably one of our failings
to overlook truth in our surroundings.
What about bird, leaf, stone, tree, and rabbit?
Each one matters as a small truth. Therefore,
I’ve learned to abhor answers and to go
with life’s range of details. Tonight with the
need to separate the lies from folklore,
I look at my lamp, my clock, and I know
all shades of the truth stem from simplicity.

 

Music

How do I make music on paper? The
effort to write it in words falls out of
my pen, stays hidden in ink. Unlike love,
easy as lies to create, true beauty
always resides beyond my pen. The key
is the mournful voice of the mourning dove,
not wildflowers edged with shining sun above
the yellow humming of the fuzzy bee,
or the thrill of sunsets. Images come
close, but never close enough. It’s music
that holds my mind rapt and my body too
reaches for it, removes me from the glum
of the mundane, can almost heal the sick
like silk scarves pulled through the brain, brief but true.

 

Memorial Day, Lithopolis, Ohio

Firemen roll up their sleeves, doff their hats, and
carry boxes of frozen fish from the
freezer. It is the yearly fish fry, free
to hundreds of people who sweat and stand
in snakey lines while the high school band
tunes up their instruments and guarantees
the rhythms of a rousing parade. Pea
green trees shade onlookers whose patience stand
the drip of ice cream down their wrists. The sun
soaks shirts that stick to the body askew,
and old faces see the young walking hand
in hand and don’t belong to anyone
but themselves. They sit quite still and make do,
as motionless as a butterfly can.

 

R. Nikolas Macioci of Columbus, Ohio won a number of poetry competitions, including the 1987 National Writers’ Union Poetry Competition judged by Denise Levertov. His publication credits include four books of poetry and he has appeared in more than 200 magazines, such as Negative Capability, The Connecticut Writer, and Mississippi Valley Review. He was born in Columbus and received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

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