Friday, June 18, 2010

Dragon Boat Racing

Just 20 people.
In a long wooden dragon boat.
Two abreast
Breathing, tensed, waiting for the gun.

3 months of training
condensed to 3 minutes
This is it, coiled, small world
Waiting for the gun.

Sea breeze and green mountains
Not in the picture today
The other 11 boats
Not in the picture today.

Bang. Stick strikes drum
Paddles pull water
Hard at first but the speed increases
Every muscle driving.

18 oars in perfect synchronization,
Drive, pull, breath, recover.
Stroke after stroke
Drum beat after drum beat.

Pain setting in,
Lungs screaming, muscles ripping
18 oars in perfect synchronization,
Drum beat after drum beat.

The team screams through the pain
The world melts
To a relentless rhythm
Pull harder for the last twenty.

Fall back. Everything gone.
But so high there is nothing else.

Cameras flash.
Crowds Roar.
Hands shuck
Team nods exchanged.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Phantom Bike Shimmy

Almost like a ghost you come
You're unexpected.
You're unforgiving.
You're terrifying.

You walk into my life at high speed
Building up slowly
Catching my absolute attention
Hairs standing on end.

The familiar feeling of unease
That usually evaporates
But this time no, you're staying
Whispering tales of bitter ends.

A faint intangible wobble
Bike frame feeling like jelly
Rippling on a silver try
Each resonance closer to the end.

Breath in, this is it,
Tarmac at 50mph
But no, grasp the unknown
Fight like it's the last breath.

No longer a metal framed
carbon fiber reinforced
machine of substance
but an eel swimming between my legs.

Hold on, don't lock up,
Everything rides on this moment
Body swaying now.
But speed disappearing.

Finally jump off at the curb.
No traffic passed.
I wasn't spat from bike.

But my trusted bike is
Eerily perfect.
Rides true, all parts in order.
Just a brief moment of mechanical possession.