In my third year of writing this blog, I am writing a poem every weekend, sometimes about themes I have covered in the first two years.
A friend recently asked how long it took me to write a new poem. Well, to be quite frank, usually an hour where I first write words, and, if uninterrupted, finish a draft, walk a way for a bit, revise, walk away again, and then finish the poem by the third or fourth draft. My friend was surprised, but I’ve been writing poetry since I was seven years old!
- Sometimes a poem has been floating around in my head for years or a few days. When it’s ready to come out, it does.
- Months or even years later, I revise some of my poems. About 70 percent of the time, though, once my new poem is finished, it’s finished.
While I look forward to writing 40 or more poems this third year Tennis, Trisomy 21, and Taking in Life Together, I’m unfortunately not a full-time poet. I am just a middle-aged dad in a career with plenty of vicissitudes, who in lieu of creating a poem will once in a while finish a marathon like I did yesterday.
I’m happy to say I’ve never been drained by writing poetry, and I’ve been doing that much longer than running marathons. Yesterday, I finished my 22nd marathon on a Saturday in a Hawaii summer on a very challenging course that included three loops with Heartbreak Hill!
As you can see from the picture with this post, I celebrated with my daughter. I wish my husband had been part of the picture, but he did all he could to coordinate the photo op!
This morning, I walked five miles to shake off lactic acid and devote more time to fatherhood. The poem I had planned for this weekend is on hold until next weekend. It’s very much in draft form right now in my head!
If for any reason, I sound less than fully grateful about this weekend, I want to make sure readers know I could never have finished my 22nd marathon without the full support of my husband, daughter, the amazing organizer of the Hawaii Kai Ultra Run, and, of course, the other runners who became fast friends. Although the marathon distance is the same — 26.2 miles — the number of participants is in the hundreds rather than the thousands.
This is the second summer I have taken part in the Hawaii Kai Ultra Run in July, and both times I have savored helping and being helped by dozens of women and men challenging themselves to do the distance. I think that is why many of us stayed long after we had finished to congratulate as many fellow runners as we could before we returned to our homes in Hawaii, or flew back to the Mainland, to our friends and family, to our jobs, to looking after our kids, to keeping up with the laundry, maybe even to starting a new poem. I hope to be back on the course next summer.