Life With Horace

poetry & essays


licentia poetica

you both were spinsters (then)
and from our blinkered perch
closer to life’s alpha
we thought we saw two ancients,
despite a force of nature (solid) stance
and razor (gentle) gaze,
conviction flavoring the
snail paced minds eye tours
through plays and poems
or, god help us, Hardy
our take on you parodic,
not ready to imagine or predict
the depths of passion
you would later find
beyond our classroom door,
in brilliant marriage to
a (younger) Bishop friend
become a lover,
or cloud dancing mid life pilot
pioneering aerobatic ace,
biplane red and yellow blur
carving skies in perfect loops
tweeds and twinsets flung away
steeping gently
only in our teatime memories
your lessons had such legs
and far from trudging through
dull furrowed fields in metered step,
we learned to track and slither catlike
round each word, to seize
intent, and voice, and pace,
in short a brilliant Poets Ed
put to the test at last
with gratitude

For Joan Ford Rutt (Fordy) and Frances MacRae (Muck), who did all those things and more.