Twelve, twenty-two crew – paddle as one,
Carbon fibre or wood–their magic wands;
The drummer starts the beat,
The helm completes the feat;
All twelve, all twenty two–move like one,
Amidst rain, wind or sun.
Together they create poetry,
Lines of resolve and diligence
Stanzas of drills and practices,
Verses of pain and patience,
Perseverance in rhythmic metres,
To a song of dexterity.
Steady focus on starts.
Breathe hard, breathe in silence.
Are you ready?
Kick-start solid strokes of thirty, even forty.
Break apart, destruct fiercely,
Propel the boat. Push!
Two hundred fifty metres or five hundred premier,
Race distance does matter.
With primed muscles for endurance,
One and same in goal, in persistence,
Oh, the paddlers, fearless and fierce.
Slice, shave the waters,
Discern the rhyme, feel the sliver,
Progress in synchrony;
Longer reach—be one with water,
Stronger, deeper catch,
Hard and quick to clinch the match.
Breathe properly throughout the course,
Consume the wind, accept its force;
Feel the boat’s glide, retain stability,
In middle of lane, it must remain;
Thru merged force, render the strategy,
Relive the trainings and months of mastery.
Paddle in synchrony, let the dragons fly;
With outstretched hands, make them breathe fire;
Obey its commands, hear them cry—
The dragon boats morph like flames in the sky.
Fire up the blades, burn the waters—
Burn the lakes, bays and rivers;
Whilst near to finish, the stroke rate increases,
Scream! Battle on a millisecond gap;
Claim the victory, return ashore safely,
Prepare to rest, another heat to progress.
‘Tis the journey of brave paddlers,
Soaked in water, cloaked with fire;
Such poetry of synergy,
Teamwork and bravery.