An Optical Illusion
St. Louis Arch
One never knows
where one might wind up
in the encyclopedia
or living circle of learning,
yet no matter where one is
along the Arc cradling the universe,
the principle of the line
moving through the moments in space
is immediately available to us,
hence we look not to the particular concrete bridges
over portions of the chasm to understand them,
but to the invisible principle
of the arch,
that we may employ it
to our own advantage
as our principle mediator
and discuss it among ourselves
according to our lights,
just as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine corresponded
on the peculiarities of the catenary arch,
the general form of which can be observed
by freely hanging a heavy uniform chain
from two points not in the same vert ical line:
when the heavenly form
is set upon its feet in matter,
it is the most stable of all arches,
quite noticeable in our bridges,
if one is aware of what is going on.
The principle is alluded to in the Gothic arch,
and its most brilliant application as a work of art may be beheld
at the Gateway to the West
through which many dreamers passed to New Jerusalem.
And that place was called
St. Louis, Missouri,
after the only king crowned saint -
a tolerant king
except towards all infidels,
whom he said must be run
through with a sword -
alas, alas, forgive us Father
for the sins of our fathers
that we may be reconciled unto one another today,
and thank you for the good things they did,
and thank you St. Louis for sponsoring the bare-footed scholars
who were more interested in principles
than in gold.
Many people back East
said the Pure Land in the West is
at best an illusion,
at worst a delusion,
yet those who knew the truth of it said,
"Go West young man,"
and they did, and they took the women in their wagons.
if we know the principle
of the catenary arch,
when we behold the wonderful arch
at St. Louis, Missouri
we know its appearance presents to us
an optical illusion,
of being higher than it is broad at its base -
in reality the two extensions are the same -
Wherefore we move on to consider other arches
above and below,
as we continue our trek to Pure Land,
knowing that the laws which we glean from the firmament
are applicable to the fundament,
for Heaven is firm
and Earth is fundamental.
The engineers still tell us
it cannot be done,
and they laugh at our plans
for our Elevator,
just as they laughed at the elevator man
who designed the ferris-wheel contraption
that allows us to traverse the catenary arch at
St. Louis, Missouri.
They say there is no Promised Land.
We say Westward Ho!
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|Reviewed by Regis Schilken
|I enjoyed your poem about the catenary arch. I wonder if this has anything to do with the arch between this world and what? a world where we will survive after the foundation of our arches (life) disappears?
|Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse
|Good Morning David,
I Haven't Seen The Arch since 1975, I used to see it once a year when I visited My Aunt Elaine & Uncle Joe Every Year. Its Magnificent!
I Enjoyed Your Poetic Literature of "St. Louis Arch"
Much Love & Happiness To You
Embraced ~ Embrassť
|Reviewed by Richard Swartz
|I been to that arch and it is a site to behold and thanks for this wonderful pome you were able to put in so much of the arch into it that I can say that you done it will.
|Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson
|Very informative and well stated poem! Thank you!|
|Reviewed by Sue Hess
|i live here so i seldom really see the arch even though it is in front of me every day. great poem...are you from st louis...guess i should go read your profile, shouldn't I?|
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
An outstanding page of history mingling art, hope, positive actions, and materialized dreams, in this poetic Flower scented with essence of wisdom.
A true platinum closing lines in "St. Louis Arch":
"They say there is no Promised Land.
We say Westward Ho!"
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thanks for this insighftul look and sharing on St. Louis. Love and peace to you,
|Reviewed by Theresa Koch
|Superb writing dear friend!|
|Reviewed by Rhonda Baumgardner
|Deep, thoughtful, great work.
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Thanks for sharing!!