It seems to me that ‘Olympics’ is fast becoming a word not to use and a subject not to talk about. It is fashionable to be anti the Games with talk of inequalities, no ticket availability, cost, disruption and on and on.
Well I disagree. I am a firm supporter of the Olympic ideal. The organisation is not perfect, not enough people will ‘benefit’ maybe, but hey, it is on time, in budget and in London! A once in a lifetime opportunity for our athletes and sports people to compete at a home venue, and for all eyes to be on our country.
So, although I may not be on trend, I am proud to be an Olympic Storyteller, excited at the prospect of the Games being held just down the road, and especially pleased to have been awarded a Silver for my poem in the latest Storyteller challenge.
The poem may be a little cosy, not my usual style, but I applaud the principles it depicts.
Five Perfect Rings
The thing about a circle is there is no point of origin, no end and no beginning. It rolls around and around its own perfection. What better way to show, with no words, a joined endeavour. Better than one circle is two, or three, or five. Five rings overlapping with geometric precision, forming arcs and islands, curves and swirls.
Take one finger and follow the slow meander of the Olympic symbol’s outlines. Consider the way, with each representing one inhabited continent, none is left outside their embrace. See how many altering combinations can be traced within their shape:
In this ring I see curling, rippled water
moving slow after perfect dive, swelling
arc of rhythmic satin ribbon, graceful
curve of torso over highest bar.
Where two circles cross I think
of hand to hand grasp of relay baton,
shapes sketched by revolving oars,
controlled billow of rushing air in canvas sail.
As I move my eye from circle to
successive circle I know the turn
of balanced wheel, arching flight of
discus, receding eye of target.
In these curves I feel the pulse
of team, beating heart of endeavour,
comforting embrace of loser by winner,
sympathetic sigh for last to cross the line.
Soft though the loops may seem they
are forged in geometry, segments strong,
secure, connecting vision of athlete and architect
volunteer and engineer, holding firm to principle.
Bound by ragged wafts of undulating wave
from awed, encircling crowds, nation mixed
with nation, smiles, cheers, applause
is the international language.
And above it all,
snapping in the August sky
crisp white flags vaunt
five, perfect, joined up rings.