On Writing

Poem 34 – The Greatest Love of All

The Greatest Love of All

I didn’t know what dignity meant when I was 8 but I knew how it felt
it felt like Whitney Houston’s voice around my body a protective shield
a long hallway lit by a thousand suns     a passage         out

I spent time with Whitney every day dedicated hours to stop-rewind-play
write the lyrics to this song on backpack-beaten notebooks where the
ring of metal spine always stretched at the bottom so the pages would tear

That didn’t matter what mattered was me in a room alone a tape deck 
her voice the music and the greatest love of all she said was happening
to me and I believed her

Whitney was my mother singing me into myself teaching me how to possess
beauty how to lead how to fail and succeed my sense of pride danced on the
stunning vibrato she could hold for days

I loved her hair her arms her collarbone line I believed was where she clipped on her angel wings each night before sleep I dreamed of us holding hands depending on our selves she was my hero and I was her daughter

Her mouth was a portal that thundered and raged out emotions so forceful
I wept in quiet fear and heated devotion to this woman I wanted to be
it took me years to learn the last lines in this my favourite song

Though I’d play it over and over pressing the tape deck speaker to my ear
desperately trying to understand… “And if by chance, that special place, 
that you’ve been dreaming of, leads you to a lonely place, find your strength

In love…” maybe it was timing or inability or irony but when I got it I sobbed even now hot tears rush like talent out of her mouth      when I got it I sang with Whitney held the final words in love as long as she could

I still do
I still weep at the utter painful beauty of the greatest love of all –
it is you me Whitney 

The Greatest Love of All was written by Linda Creed and Micheal Masser. It was released by Whitney Houston in 1985 on her self-titled album. This song changed the landscape of my soul. Click HERE to see and hear Whitney singing this song.

Novel Update – Yesterday I got about 2.5 hours in of solid writing. There were two scenes in particular that exploded out of me. It was magical…and rightly so as I am writing about magic! I’m back at it today…

The Intro to Poetry Workshop on February 20th has SOLD OUT! Thank you so much to all who’ve registered! I can’t wait to talk and write poetry with you!

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