The Arch is a Blind

from Wikipedia

on the 248th Anniversary
of the Founding of St. Louis, Missouri
14 February 1764

Weighted only
with the definition
“inverted, flattened catenary,”
she soars while watery sun
ripples down
her graceful curves
and angles.

Downtown towers preen
with her reflection
in their skins. She pays
no heed, just notes
the day’s weather, the hour,
the endless rush of water
at her feet.

She welcomes all
to her city, the eastern edge
of the west, where covered wagons
began their journey
to somewhere else.

Her voice
carries the future
in its lilt, beckons strangers
through her gleaming gate
to behold a land

of brick,
Pharaoh’s stockpile
for future pyramids.

Dilapidated ruins
with bulging walls,
mortar worn away
dot the landscape.
Vast acreage of ghettos
and vacant lots
flourish in a kingdom
worthy
of Ozymandias.

At its best
the city breathes
an old stateliness,
trying to catch its breath
once again.

Some neighborhoods remain
as they always were,
or bloom anew, restored
to quaint, lovely mansions
and Victorian era row houses:
red, brown and yellow rectangles
knit together in running bond,
flemish bond, basket weave
and herringbone.
Cornice flourishes and scrolls
abound.

The arch,
which gleams with the spark
of centuries to come,
rides, a tiara
atop an aging lady.

—-
Written for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

Wikipedia article about the Gateway Arch

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24 thoughts on “The Arch is a Blind

  1. Pingback: WordWarp » Blog Archive » Valentine’s Day 2010

  2. I “feel” the story of the city grow through each line. The image of the watery sun is wonderful and the imagery of the second stanza is particularly captivating!
    Love the personification in the closing lines. So much charm and affection there 🙂

  3. Who woulda thunk this Noo Yawka would ever want to visit St. Louis! But after this read, yes! I love the description of Victorian architecture…and your image of Pharoh’s stockpile of future pyramids is a great poetic touch. Fine tribute to St. Louis with interesting imagry. Nice job!

  4. You give such personality to this arch…and the mention of flemish bond, herringbone, etc….just thrills my heart. My father (and husband) were brick masons and the terms I do know.

    A lovely, lovely song to a city that obviously has mixed the old with the new.

    I wish I could sing the same of Atlanta, but they are still like children, destroying all vestiges of the past in great, stomping anger at a war that was long gone.

    Lady Nyo

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