Horace, in your guide to painting poems,
Bid a poet paint in synchrony.
Carve, in sandy caves where writers roam,
Ships ensconced in loam and birds at sea.

Horace, sir, you broke me at hello.
Genius, wit and art—tall cups to fill.
Poet’s charge is flow, I know. I know.
Teach to thrill and fashion scenes at will.

Horace, ancient Horace, I confess,
Ink spills red to puddle ‘cross the page.
Smart nor art will see this pen be blessed.
Given to remorse, reduced to rage.

Horace, throw yourself at someone else.
Feckless, me, comportment dire, uncouth.
You, your leaves are stacked and bound on shelves.
This brush bleeds of crass, unvarnished youth.



Julie Desmond is a writer and career coach living in the heart of Minneapolis, MN. Her poems have appeared in Lower Stumpf Lake Review and Diotima and she has published two books of creative nonfiction.

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6 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    Thanks for the tribute to Horace, Ms Desmond, and for your varied expression of frustration at not being able to meet him at his level. I especially love the line “Poet’s charge is flow, I know. I know.”
    Do you think “I” rather than “me” would be better in line 14?

  2. C.B. Anderson

    I normally do not care for sentence fragments (e.g. “Given to remorse, reduced to rage”), but somehow you have managed to make it work in this superbly moody poem. It is this quality that also makes the else/shelves rhyme seem totally appropriate. There is something dreamlike going on in this poems that grows more appealing the more I read it. Julian’s call for the first-person nominative is probably the right idea.

    • Julie Desmond

      Thank you for taking time and for your comments. I appreciate this and agree with the I/me change. Thanks!


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