A Catamaran on Lake Coila

Alan Gould

We drift and darkling Coila
stills our sails to two brushstrokes.
From sea-blue mountains south
a tent of bruise-blue cloud is gulfling,
bringing the beards of cloud
that will move these coastal hills, action
that's miles off yet, though seen,
joked about, as each mind's eye
re-lives some vivid wind.

Deep within its woods unconscious,
Coila plaps our hulls,
a cluck and pluck of cautions, old men
muttering in their sleep.
Stillness: yet everywhere employment,
black swans dipping necks
as through a mirror, terns skirring,
brokenly diving, an eagle
knotting the lucid sky to the map.
We also have come
through forests as over ocean floors
to lose ourselves in this.

With jib goose-winged we ghost a course.
It's movement like a movement
into mind, remote, and yet in which
we own immenser freedom-
here, an ocean wide as learning,
the Carolines are astern
the Marianas still a thought
below the skyline. Sea-skills,
star-skills, like the grain in timber, live
in those we're with. Ahead
say Pollux is setting, Capella
bobs where it should in the shrouds.
This voyage is before diesel,
might be earlier than bronze.
They and we are here for love
of being elsewhere, for love
of all the occult ocean yields
to watchful men.
        And easily
we're here for the mind will go
recovering all lost minds,
incessantly making and re-making
all their seasons. Nothing
is recalled that is not recreated,
not owned by the watchful mind,
a past that's personal as yesterday,
vast as the tent of stars
where the sanguine navigators
vanish to be our present
being elsewhere deeply here,
as our jibsheet pulls like a current
and the squall re-roofs the world,
and Coila's loud on our hulls.