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.

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