In the third year of maintaining my blog, I decided to focus mostly on poetry which I teach, write and sometimes publish. Poetry has sustained me since I was seven years old. Read classic poems in English and German by wonderful teachers, including my mother, writing my own poetry was frequently a joyful experience, an escape from bullying that seemed to come my way often as I grew up gay in a small town on the edge of Appalachia.
If I were mocked for not being athletic nor manly enough, I knew I could usually write a good poem! And guess what? By the time I graduated from high school, I had won 15 national awards for my poems, had them shown in statewide exhibits, in galleries, was even flown to a writer’s conference after I had tied for first place in a national contest in my senior year.
I originally decided to start a blog after I found out my gorgeous daughter would be born with an extra chromosome. My initial thoughts for her, knowing little about Down Syndrome, were “Oh no, this world is tough. How will she be protected, able to think her way out of difficult situations, survive cruelty she will likely face.”
I’m thrilled to write my daughter is stunning, smart, reads and speaks two languages, will likely be college bound, and has an abundance of what I lacked growing up: confidence.
My blog has focused on my daughter, but also tennis, marathon training and running, and this year, poetry. In the first year of my blog, I posted every day except weekends and holidays. That was a worthwhile challenge! In my second year, I wrote one day during the week and one weekend day. I realized I had a loyal audience who would stay with me, and to my very pleasant surprise, fellow writers and poets came on board to follow my blog. In my third year, I decided to keep the blog going but narrow my focus so that I could meet other life deadlines, like helping my daughter achieve her potential, paying more attention to my marriage rather than take it for granted, and advance in my full-time career that I love and helps pay the bills!
Wow! What a preamble to this poem that I began at the end of 2018. Dear Readers, if this were a poem I was extremely excited about, I wouldn’t wait this long! It’s a fine enough, but it needs work, and I will take you through my steps to achieve that. Thank you for bearing with me! I will probably put this poem aside for a while after this post. I may later try to publish it. The beauty of poetry, to my mind, is that a poem is rarely finished forever.
Trade Winds – 1st Draft – 2nd Draft
She came last night, invited,
the heavy rain and stayed
like a guest who knows her host
wishes she would appear more often.
She made her way past the equator,
back and forth deciding whether to move
north or south, along
the ocean waves
before choosing white or volcanic sands,
and then she moved land inward
, losing speed
until she visited me in my sleep
and I awoke, spoke gently to her
and hoped she would not see me pray
for her to that she remain through the night
or return soon to help me navigate
the turns of a fast approaching dayor promise to return, to stay with me
and hold me another day.
1st draft written by Rüdiger Rückmann on 29 December 2018
2nd draft written by Rüdiger Rückmann on 13 January 2019