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.