An Ode to Frostbiting
It's Frostbiting time of year again
And so I pull out my trusty pen
And start to fill in the entry form
When slowly memories begin to dawn
Not of that second place I got
Nor of the time I overtook Scott,
But rather of waves 15 feet tall,
(alright, they were 4 feet, but they didn't feel small);
And of breaking ice off my Laser's cover
While trying to remember why I bother
To spend my Sunday's in the shivering cold
Starting two races (and both times being rolled
Off the line by someone I otherwise like,
But who, in those moments I could stab with a spike).
I think and think, and I'm about to give up
And put my pen in my pen-holding cup
And throw the form in the wastepaper bin
When suddenly a thought begins to seep in.
If I don't enter I'll spend the whole time
Checking the forecast (it'll probably be fine)
And thinking "Force 2? I could've done well"
Or "20 knots - there'd be a nice swell"
And I'll imagine the reaches where you can't breathe for the spray
Or the gybe mark where my only hope is to pray
Or getting a start that is as I intended
(Yes, I'm heading to a place where reality's suspended)
And I realise that I will have to take part,
If only to prove I was right from the start.
I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking that I should have warned you that you were about to read something life-changing. Something Earth-shatteringly brilliant.
And you're probably right.
Still, it's pretty great to think that you are among the first to read this great addition to a strong literary canon of sailing poetry. Just think, your children and grandchildren will probably be studying this poem in the future, hunched over their textbooks, the classroom hushed, a sense of awe pervading the room.
Some of you (I call you 'doubters', but others might describe you as 'people with at least a basic education') may be thinking "That's not a poem, it's a rhyme. At best." To you I would say this:
- I am not bound by the poetical cliches of metaphor and simile, of themes and motifs. I am above these techniques, and my writing is pure.
- If I had used proper literary techniques then it would have taken me a lot longer than 5 minutes to bang this poem out, and I've got other things to do.
So there you are - my present to humanity.