Water to Fire – Ode to Dragon Boat

Water to Fire - Ode to Dragon Boat
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?
Attention.
GO!

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,
Aggression’s aflame,
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.

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Dance through Life

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One of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.

Annie Proulx, The Shipping News


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Water to Fire [excerpt]

Water to Fire

Together they create poetry;
Stanzas of practices, drills of harmony,
Sounds of rhythmic metres,
Verses of drama and comedy;
Into a song of dexterity.

One and same in goal, in persistence;
Aggression aflame, at any distance;
Equal in strength to clutch the aim.

Touch, shave the water, feel the sliver
Longer reach–blend in with water;
Stronger, deeper catch
Hard, quick to win the match.

 
An excerpt from ‘Water to Fire.’ The full poem will be published later this year. This poem is not available in any public domain.

 
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Poetry versus Money

Happy Try Inspiration


There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.
Robert Graves

A Lament by Oscar Wilde | Tribute to Uncle Pido

O well for him who lives at ease
With garnered gold in wide domain,
Nor heeds the splashing of the rain,
The crashing down of forest trees.

O well for him who ne’er hath known
The travail of the hungry years,
A father grey with grief and tears,
A mother weeping all alone.

But well for him whose feet hath trod
The weary road of toil and strife,
Yet from the sorrows of his life
Builds ladders to be nearer God.


Wilfredo Hormigos Olorga (13 October 1939 – 1 July 2015)

The only son of the late Santiago Olorga and Partrociña Olorga, Tiyoy Pido grew up to be surrounded by his eight lovely sisters: Gloria, Eva, Vilma, Nenita, Ling, Milagros, Mercedes, and Corazon.

Tiyoy lived in Canlubang, Laguna, with his late wife Linda and their children: Joy, Jing, Jay, Grace and the late Jaypee. Though he and his family lived quite far from his sisters’ families for the longest part of his life, everyone in the family never really felt that they actually live islands away from us; as our moms (his sisters) would always tell us stories about him most of the time. Whenever the sisters gathered around, there were mentions of ‘Pido’ here and there–mostly hilarious stories of their experiences growing up during the American Occupation.

We were very young then when he came to visit us in Bacolod, Bago and Victorias. Back then, we were very amused with him and our cousins, especially when we hear them converse in a different language; and whenever our friends mention about Manila or any Filipino-speaking province in Luzon, we would proudly announce that we have an Uncle and cousins in Laguna–for no particular reason–we were just proud.

For the few of us who studied and lived in Manila, we would pay him and his family a visit on some weekends. A short catch up, simple snacks, a nice stroll at the nearby golf course; and as we exchanged our goodbyes, he would hand each of us some money. It’s not that he had a lot, he just wanted to share.

To all of us his nephews and nieces, aside from his generosity, we also remember Tiyoy Pido to be a very jolly guy and he would always joke around with his sisters. His great sense of humour and sense of independence are two of his finest traits. He was a respectable, hardworking and a very responsible family guy.

Rest in Peace, Uncle!

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