This poem is included in one of my books of images and words. If you purchase one of the paintings that are pictured within it, a copy of the book is included as a provenance.
RACING FOR THE MARK
The rush of water fills the ear
and freshening winds breathe sighs.
Complaining rigging, masts and gear
stretched taut through cleats, and eyes
look up to watch the clouds aloft
while scudding o'er the mountains.
The spray kicks up it's salty froth
like ruddy, seaborne fountains.
Regatta day is here anew.
Lines thrum, anticipating
the starting gun, like truth, cuts through
the men participating.
The gunner stands on high throughout
the shoreline, overseeing.
Wind is given, well dare we flout
his autocrat decreeing!
The groan under the straining sails
persistent wind may chasten
sharp cuts across, encourage wails
of precarious position.
The seascape, carved by wind and wave
marks out the charted courses,
around the rocks the boats play safe
and sure with nature's forces.
Add a touch of adrenaline
as the boats draw ever near,
they shoot across like javelins,
bowsprit used like lancing spear.
When all is equal, think again,
as we're racing for the mark.
The hands begin to feel the strain,
the choices grow more stark
On windward side a shout comes up
and makes adjustment urgent,
with pull and stretch to tighten luff
we're out ahead, resurgent!
Calico's roach embraces all
and it catches wind in gasps,
then sucks the air from every stall
and filters it through hasps.
Excitement steals the breath away,
we are on the homeward stretch
and soon be laid up for the day,
as the reach becomes a fetch
When going home again, we say
'twas a special day indeed!
In heads we justify the play
of the sailor's special breed.
The wind, she sings with thoughtful notes,
as we're racing for the line.
The angled rake of twenty boats
with hulls both sheer and fine.
Breaking habits, of lifetime gone
ashore, is life half lived it's true.
Any boat is better than none,
just as any port will do.
The race is won and all relax
and we rise above it all -
stout celebrations, sails go slack,
and the proudest mast stands tall.
The shore comes looming through the mist,
we're glad the day is done.
It's oh, so good to reminisce
on the memories of home...