Horse Race


The jockeys in their silks, astride on prancing hooves,
will saunter to the starting gate, anticipating break-neck moves.
Now, if they hesitate, attendants head them in,
as cacophony rules — the snorts, the neighs, the din,
the smell of jockey sweat, and horse’s lather too,
combining in the air, sets of stress is running through.
As muscles tense, anticipate, the moment gates are freed.
Pray they break with speed, and take control of thrusting steed!
There’s the bell, as the gates swing wide, erupting instant hell.
While horses launch, all the jockeys punch, heels to haunch, as well.

Hear the beat of the pounding feet
For victory, or sad defeat.

As they beak to the rail, hear those horse hooves thud,
horse’s bodies bumping, their shod feet tossing mud,
They stretch for the stride of the winning rate.
Seeking out that gait, so they won’t be late, for this race’s fate.
Now jockeys give the horse its head, to weave through every row
while the leaders ebb and flow, as around the track they go.
Now break from the pack, get that front spot back.
Take that lead you lack, as you own the track.
For here they come, in the final turn, as the crowd lets out a roar
As he stretches for that finish line, colors flashing, spirits soar.

Hear the beat of the pounding feet
For victory, or sad defeat.

Hear the beat, pounding feet.
Yes, hear the beat of pounding feet!
Victory, oh, Victory!
Fly to victory!

Author Notes:

Thoughts that came as I was at the races in Canterbury Downs, in Shakopee, Minnesota. I love to watch the horse races. It is fun to bet. Although I maintain a strict budget, or gambling can get out of hand.

On the south bank bend of the Minnesota River, Shakopee and nearby suburbs comprise the southwest portion of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States with 3.3 million people. The river bank’s Shakopee Historic District contains burial mounds built by prehistoric cultures. In the 17th century, Chief Shakopee of the Mdewakanton Dakota established his village on the east end. Shakopee acquired his name when his wife, White Buffalo Woman, gave birth to sextuplet boys. Shakopee means “the six.” The city is known today for the Valleyfair amusement park and the Canterbury Park Racetrack. The Native Americans own a part interest in the racetrack , as well as fully own the nearby Mystic Lake Casino.

This poem is a Tambour.
The Tambour was created by Fanstorian RGstar. A Tambor is a very complex format that uses rhyme and different types of lines to provide pace and rhythm.
”Tambour” = French for drum.

The reason for the title is the fact that the rhythm of the parade drum is incorporated in the poem. If one can visualize a parade walking by and the sound of the drums as they march through. The poetry is set to mimic the sound and roll of the drums.
It uses 3 line types to gain this effect.
1) ‘PACE’ LINE= offers speed and an injection of emotion, intense or soft.
2) ‘COMMAND’ LINE = directs an order or a wish for a special action, strong or soft.
3) ‘DRUM ROLL’ LINE = creates that special rhythm in answer or in influence to the line before.
As far as I could surmise, these three aspects occur within the 10 line stanzas.

These are fundamental to the ”Tambour” and without using them it is nearly impossible to create it.
The basic form has three different stanza types. The first has ten long lines containing in-line rhyming on most (but not all) lines, and aabb end-line rhyming , followed by short rhyming couplets, until the last stanza, which has 4 lines that echo the earlier couplets.
Pace lines and the short syllable (Command lines) break up the rhythm of your base, or normal, lines .. followed directly by a long syllable ( Drum roll line) in answer to it or influenced by it. Without these , the Tambour would not be a Tambour.

The PACE lines throughout the poem are very important, because not only do they offer a break of rhythm, but what they contain or what they say are equally as important as syllables and rhythms they make.

There is no fixed meter, just the drum beats and rolls.
So here is an attempt at one. I hope I got it right.

This photograph was taken by the author himself on August 13, 2013.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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