He was larger than life
And it cut like a knife
When his wife let us know
That he died.

From this kind of grief
There can be no relief.
Such a powerful blow
Meant I cried.

12:06 comes around,
I’m transfixed by the sound
Of the words he now speaks
To my heart.

Oh, his show is no more
And it shakes to the core
For who’d ever think
It’d depart.



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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12 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    He was one of the truest and bravest patriots of our time. God bless him and keep him.

    One soldier is gone. The war continues, and just gets hotter.

  2. Mike Bryant

    Joe, I was listening when Kathryn told us he’d died, as well. We have lost a wonderful friend. You’ve done him proud.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Joe, thank you for this. Mike introduced me to Rush when I arrived in Texas in 2011, and his show was the best education I’ve ever received in politics. Rush had an invaluable understanding of and an uncanny insight into the psychology of politics that helped me to understand politics worldwide. He also taught me the valuable lesson of maintaining dignity while getting one’s point across – he was the kindest, most intelligent and honest radio chat show host I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing.

    To think, I used to listen to James O’Brien when I lived in the UK – his dictatorial, haughty manner that’s dismissive of all those who hold an alternate view, has made me value my lesson from Rush even more. His legacy will live on in my heart.

  4. C.B. Anderson

    I liked me some Rush Limbaugh, now and again. The “talent on loan from God” has returned to its Maker. What he did best was to make us feel not crazy for believing what we believe.

    • Margaret Coats

      Well said, C. B. He clarified and fortified some of our thoughts, and helped us find one another by standing out as a common focal point.

  5. Margaret Coats

    Joe, while the feeling in your poem is strong and clear, I’m struck by the form–short lines, with rhyme scheme complete only after two stanzas. Your first two stanzas rhyme aabc ddbc; we don’t know what part the b and c sounds play in rhyme until we see the second stanza and know they have something to rhyme with. This is medieval sequence style, of which our best known example is Stabat Mater Dolorosa. The English translation “At the Cross Her Station Keeping” follows the Latin rhyme scheme aab ccb. Both Latin and English keep going like this for 20 stanzas (with new rhyme sounds in each pair of stanzas). You, however, experience a tearful breakdown in your fourth stanza. The third and fourth stanzas rhyme aaxb ccxb, where x means “no rhyme.” Readers don’t realize the rhyme scheme has broken down until we get to the next-to-last line of the poem. Then the rhyming final line heaves a rhythmic sob, with “It’d” having enough room for only one syllable, but needing more space. You may not have planned what I analyzed, but it’s there, and entirely suited to the subject.

  6. BDW

    Mr. Tessitore’s deft handling of the short-lined stanza is on display in his curt, heart-felt elegy “Rush”. Mr. Tessitore’s anapestic dimeters and monometers capture the abrupt harshness of the passing of American patriot and radio-show host Rush Limbaugh. The use of his given name reveals at once the author’s emotional connection. The subtle shift in the last two lines quietly expresses an appropriate note of discord. I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh’s unique, strong Midwestern voice in the 1990s, and am glad to be reminded of it in Mr. Tessitore’s poem. America has lost a no-nonsense, common-sense conservative commentator who will be missed by many.

  7. Jeff Eardley

    Joe, not someone we know over here so thanks for the prompt to find out. Your verse is a moving tribute to a guy that was not afraid to speak his mind. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Jeff Kemper

    Joe, I’ve been waiting impatiently for a Rush poem. I hope to read many more, but if that happens I’m afraid SCP might be banned by the tech-fascists. Yours gets better with every reading. Thanks!

  9. BDW

    by E “Birdcaws” Eule

    Winds rush, limb bough breaks,
    in this harsh, freezing ice-storm.
    The crow is silent.

  10. BDW

    per E “Birdcaws” Eule:

    As the comments seem to have trailed off, I proffer another haiku:

    Deplorable crow,
    dead to this snowy morning:
    he was beautiful.


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