by Conrad Schwellnus
She wandered the earth, an angel,
Broken by a spirit of trust —
Commanding the masses,
But carry her family, she absolutely must.
In her meandering, she fumbles, she’s done —
But where were the coin smugglers in your troubled days?
I weep for you, Ms. Houston, roaming even in death,
A legacy of a ghost, but a human being like the rest.
Sing for me Nippy, lament the pop monster —
When did the people start to let you down?
Did you need to be held, need to be fed —
Your emotions on fire, sacrificed for what others did and said.
I will extend myself inward,
I will always love me…
You remind me of my pitfalls,
Drawn into the ashes by a wave of echoed calls.
You remind me to be gentle,
You encourage me to be kind —
Rest easy, beautiful.
You’ve left a lesson or two behind.
Back in March, I submitted a poem written in tribute of the late musical icon Whitney Houston to a competition, and managed to place third in the poetry category. I gave it a lot of thought in recent weeks, and came to the conclusion that I wanted to re-publish it, as part of the next anthology and body of work I’m sharing, titled Encomia.
This felt like a good starting point for the anthology, setting the tone for the eleven other poems to come, which are in tribute of people (dead or alive) who have inspired my creative process in some or other way.
Each time I read the poem again, my attention is drawn to something new, and I guess that because it was the first English poem I wrote this year (literally), it will always have a special place in my heart. Now it has an official home as part of a body of work, and in a way it also inspired me to start writing more in the general direction of tribute poetry.
To learn more about the poem and the story behind it, see the original published article over here. You can also learn more about Encomia by reading the announcement post I made earlier this week. The anthology will be rolled out weekly between now and the end of September, and I look forward to welcoming you along with me during the journey.
– Conrad was here.