One of the terrible things about being a writer is that you always think you can “help” someone else with theirs. Of course this was my job at Collins/Rockwell, but on occcasion I’ve embarassed myself with unsolicited help for others! The background on this poem is too long to tell but it was written as an apology for “editing” a poem written by “Doris” that I was about to publish in a newsletter. She had written in an “old english” style, which I tried to emulate in my reply.

Ode to Doris: Poet, Friend
Your words mock mine
Of pitiful excuse,

For I too would turn a phrase.
And, tables turned, would dismay

Had you the nerve to wrestle mine,
even with the best intent.

For they spring full grown,
And cannot take the prick

Of a foreign pen, least they lose the
Very edge that brought them forth!

So from my sleep, even now, doth
Find me in the bath, scribbling.

For morn will hide these words from my mind
and I will lose this way to say...

I’m sorry that I made you sad, but
you are a friend to tell me so!

I swoon to have you read these
Terrible lines, but pray,

You will forgive this foolish knave,
Who did, so unmercifully

Your good verse rend. And now,
I’m at the end...