Call for poems… suicide prevention


A call for poems to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th. During this week in September The Poetry Shed will be hosting a series of poems to record this day and “reach out, save lives” and help remove the stigma. Submissions via:

the poetryshed@hotmail.com

Suicide Prevention: One World Connected

Suicide is a major public health problem. The psychological pain that leads each of these individuals to take their lives is unimaginable. Their deaths leave families and friends bereft, and often have a major ripple effect on communities.

Every year, almost one million people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are committed to preventing suicide. These organizations recognize World Suicide Prevention Day as an important day in the international calendar. World Suicide Prevention Day brings together individuals and organizations with an interest in suicide prevention, and mobilizes efforts to save lives.


Missing Person at Birling Gap

I recall your scar. He asks about tattoos,
teeth, dentist, address of your doctor.
My tongue twitches – a trigger-finger

shivering on metal. Flak jacket squeezes
into the armchair, walkie-talkie chimes –
he retrieves a notepad like on TV, I sing,

PC McGarry No. 452 in my head, mouth
burning like a bed of nettles. I say, Tea –
the long vowel unclogs my throat

like a bird cracked from an egg. I tell him
how you’ve been since hospital, how
minutes stretched like sun down slate,

how you shadow-puppetted yourself.
He says Sussex police know everything
and his words stack like late-wintered wood.

He talks of angles, drop, cliffs, sea,
maybe rabbit holes where a man could slip,
rip his ankle whilst looking up at stars.

7 thoughts on “Call for poems… suicide prevention”

  1. Strong poem, Abi. And an important way to raise awareness – I had no idea there was a World Suicide Prevention Day … before I saw your call for submissions.

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