The Fire – A Poem by Linda Jessup

In going through my wife’s old (unpublished) poems, I came across another I really like:


Opening the restaurant door
I saw them huddled low
Over the single flame.
My arrival stirred the embers of conversation
And pushed another log into the glow.

Faces reddened in the warmth as tongues
Of eager talk leaped and danced.
Laughter shook the fire of friendship
Into a lively blaze
And we held the palms of our souls outstretched
To catch the comforting heat.

Stick by stick, the stacks of fuel were consumed
The smoke of mingled satisfaction rising like a prayer
And the fire settled into a heap of heartwarming embers
That each would carefully carry away—to rekindle
And draw close in colder times.

Linda Jessup, October, 1996

Letting Go – a poem

My talented daughter, Yohanna Jessup, artist, meditation instructor, wandering rose, has surprised me by becoming a website designer.  Who knew my right-brained child could master computer code?  While designing my own website and blog, she has instructed me to post something here to test one of her widgets, whatever those are.  So I’ve chosen to post a poem, Letting Go, written by my wife, Linda, on the occasion of our daughter’s moving away from us, lo these many years ago.


Letting Go, By Linda Jessup

I watch you swiftly go
Slipping through your youth
A leaf sailing down
A forest stream –

A matted mass of grass
And snags – to catch –
Now struggling with the snare
Now twirling on –

Through distant, misty dawns
Too far for these fond eyes
To watch you
Sleekly slide.  You’re gone –

But in mind’s eye abides
The visions of your budding
Bursting pride – now caught forever
On the branches of my love.



Parenting with Courage and Uncommon Sense

Parenting with Courage CoverParenting With Courage and Uncommon Sense, by Linda E. Jessup and Emory Luce Baldwin, contains the wisdom of over 30 years of parenting classes run by the Parent Encouragement Program, founded by Linda in 1982.  This book is truly a gift for parents and all adults who work with children.  Sections of it read like a novel as you follow the Naylor family’s struggle to overcome challenges and learn new ways of guiding children of all ages through encouragement, rather than authoritarian or permissive parenting styles.  You will identify with them (and learn with them) as they journey from discouragement to hope and change.

Autographed copies of Parenting With Courage can be purchased here.

Linda professional

Linda E. Jessup founded the Parent Education Program (PEP) in 1982 and directed it for 18 years.  Once a “desperate parent” herself, Linda developed the PEP curriculum from the practical and inspiring approach to parenting of Alfred Adler and Rudolph Dreikurs and served on the Board of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology for two terms.  She has published numerous columns and produced a radio show on parenting, and speaks frequently at parenting workshops.  She and David have raised four children and added several foster teenagers into the family mix.