(after Horace Ode 1:23 Vitas inuleo)
I see that you’re avoiding me again,
as if our friendship posed some sort of threat
(or is it that you know I’m useless to you?)
Whatever, mate, don’t panic that my work
has topped the slush pile earlier than yours.
Just because somebody’s script is rustling
on editors’ desks, or brilliant gift-packed poems
are quickening, you’re ruffled head to toe!
Trust me Jo, I wouldn’t put the boot in,
wouldn’t steal your lines or cast a shadow
of doubt on your good words – no need to network.
Your verse is ready; it can hold its own.