Man Lashed to Mast by Richard Outram

Encore Literary Magazine is extremely proud to have permission from the executors of the estate of the late Richard Outram to present work by one of Canada’s great poets. In the months to come, poems by Outram will be periodically featured here, thus helping to keep alive the singular voice of, in the words of Alberto Manguel, “one of the finest poets in the English language.”
Man Lashed to Mast

They sang for me alone, a final choir
No other ever heard; I came to know
Why cities burned behind us while the slow
Curl of our bow-wave drained us of desire;
Their music moved through motion into flame,
Assumed me, and I kept the living core
Of ultimate momentum where I bore
That weight of burning waters; I became
Bright-boned, translucent, naked, unconfined
As once I might have been before I dreamed
Interminable voyaging; Sailor, I seemed
Able to break the bonds I had you bind
About me: and the waters warped, the last
Dark wave of all collapsed and we were past.