from The Captain's Table by Colin Stuart


Colin Stuart is a Canadian poet living in Vancouver, B.C.


His Story
The Drawing Room
The wind in the curtains

How can I tell the story of
the wind the end is
the beginning the
wind of the mind unwinds
the scent of the
North Star
Send me
a sentence.

They tell me you learned
your knots.

Yea I was tiller boy
in Heishker I could bind
her cord to a pinnace
to windward and learned to
find her a memling of old
cast and anchor her deep
down drawn deeper.
So when the tide drew her
outward the cords would shriek
and catch at the Amist by
the volcano barnacles on
the downward draft of a
gromlech or a pinnacle
the draw of the ebb
could not uncurl the golden
serpent from her kill

Could the wind talk you out
of it?

So say what is the oldenest knot we know?
May it be the granny, sir?
The way she lies loose
Ties the noose?
Maybe at sea but say you
were me Captain
and we were knotted nowhere
in slumber Where the fish
fly and seabirds think to
scuttle us?

They say god sleight
give me then
my sword say the warning then unsheathe
the lily of light from
dawn’s jeweled scabbard.
Young Kit, you will pray
like a virgin as I play the
perfect hand and ply this
ancient trade of mine to steal
the heart of the heartless
Gordian knot - ...
plunge into the diamond
cascade of the sea-foam
the eldest knot of olde is the not of yesterday
but older I bet
the knot of the not-yet
you must know the plan
and pray you keep the reef knot to your self!

The sea has its plenitude, its
dark nights of the soul, its
backwaters, its emerald
mountains and the frolic
of a festival, dolphin
flights to distract almost
all of us. Time is
sand in the hand of a stranger
‘round capes and curves,
have a hand in midnight
alchemy “Wind now you see
it now you don’t”
So there! In a spell
may dawn’s fingers
uncover for this hidden hand whatever
depths, disasters
and plunders, slip like
dust through my fingers
we reach to take back
with us the pearl
o’ great prices.

Think simple! What’s to you
anyway if I lie beside
you beside, say it a
lily-paven lake in
azure mist, as we take in
our nostrils quintessential
essences of medieval
fortresses, castles of
drunkenness and then
sentences of flowers come
like pressing tastes
to our famished lips .
What can shape invisible
kisses why a wet wind
silk furls and furloughs
brush like light spray
on the eyelids
to loosen necklaced
intersections of convergent
mind-beams of sapphire
from sleep?
In the hollow of the hold in the
hold of the hollow take
two for one or one for
two mixed matched
doubled or paired,

spells and

Now you know what happens
when you take to the mysteries
now you know the what-if-

fall off the apple cart
you did well as you did
yourself in to tease
the tongue back into
the mouth of the serpent
nothing left to find
in the landscape of your
tempted me

to this fear over here
you think they guide you

to words on a page
something to say for your

curses now
how can you pay for

your way so long
at seaside

What notes when you took
to your mouth the magic

horn of the unicorn?
Have you heard the universe

escape from your lips
the rush of a thousand visions
the power of the night
the veins of light

July 24, 2012