Poetry Friday: Talk Me Off the Ledge

Today Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone has hosting duties for Poetry Friday. I am SO grateful for this community following this week.

Talk Me Off the Ledge

The phone rings,

“Talk me off the ledge,”

she asks me.

WTH? Twelve mass shootings

in the first nine dog days of August

I turn to poetry


One more gone

Talk me off the ledge

Four poets

Oliver, Janezcko, Morrison, Hopkins

Their words floating, swirling above

I turn to poetry

© jone rush macculloch (draft 2019)


Poem Backstory: I was at the coast this week. While walking, my friend called and her words were, “talk me off the ledge” about the shootings. We couldn’t really talk much (reception was lousy) but her phrase stuck with me.

And yesterday. To wake to the news of Lee Bennett Hopkin’s passing. I can’t even. I came home and reread my notes from the October 2018 SKYPE visit. This from him:

“Poetry lasts forever. Write poems to make children think and love words.”

I treasure that visit. I regret I didn’t make the leap to send him some poems.

So glad we have his books and the books of the other poets we lost this year to continue to guide us.

The poem form is a modified shadorma. (Rules were meant to be broken)

From my post in 2018. Lee, continue scattering those seeds from your place in the universe.

(Source for mass shooting numbers: Mass Shooting Numbers)

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11 Responses to Poetry Friday: Talk Me Off the Ledge

  1. Kay Mcgriff says:

    It has been a tough week. I, too, am grateful for community and poetry in the midst of it. Your haiku is lovely.

  2. Lee’s seeds (his beautiful legacy) will live forever. What a lovely haiku, Jone. Thank you.

  3. maryleehahn says:

    I love this, ““Poetry lasts forever. Write poems to make children think and love words.”
    And I love your haiku.
    LBH will live on in OUR words and deeds.

  4. Janet F. says:

    I love your poem, Jone. I turn to poetry. Such loss for our community these 4. Imagine what they are doing now. And your Haiku, so touching. I see Lee just doing more and more from his vantage point now. But how I miss having him in the world. I am still teary and know that someone like him is truly one in a million (more) and we have lost such a champion, a great advocate for kids and he figured out long before I did, that poetry is magic. Magic for kids and they deserve the best we have to offer them. Big hugs back to you, dear friend. I love this poetry community.

  5. lindabaie says:

    Some days I hate to turn on the news, & this past week felt as if we all were on the ledge, & sorrowfully, we may get off with little changed. Your poem makes me know that poem’s words help, whether a whisper or a shout. I saw your poppy poem earlier. It is fabulous, Jone, that ‘scattered wide’. Thank you!

  6. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    It does all get to be a bit too much to bear, doesn’t it? Seems like we both turned to poetry therapy this week, Jone. Nice to know I was in good company. 🙂 Thanks also for reposting the haiku you wrote for Lee’s birthday celebration. I love it so!!!

  7. cvarsalona says:

    “Poetry lasts forever. Write poems to make children think and love words.” Love this and will add it to my notebook, Jone you made for me during a poetry swap. I captured your image poem for the Embraceable Summer Gallery collection because I loved it. I hope that is fine.

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a powerful refrain….from the phone call to your poem. And, such a lovely haiku

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