Mountains swell, knuckle, roll.
Foothills ***** and slide.
Canyons fold, streams bend,
Salt marshes wrinkle and sink.
These pagan forms alone gave shape
To this valley before God’s people arrived.
Not until the Saints brought
And wrote a grid into this arid soil
Did this place become the land of God.
My parallel brethren,
North Temple, First South,
We will meet in eternity.
And now do I sustain the men
Who bear the Logos
From the mountain to the desert,
Past Saint and Mason, Catholic and Jew
And, unbending, reveal
That the straight line is an act of God.
©David Adamson 2015
This poem is likely to make sense only to Mormons, ex-Mormons, or students of Mormonism. South Temple is a main street in Salt Lake City, Utah--the first street south of the LDS (Mormon) temple, and perhaps the major east-west street in the city. North Temple and First South are streets that run parallel to South Temple. The poem is about the early settlers' obsession with imposing a grid on the landscape they had come to inhabit. The poem is neither mocking nor celebratory, merely making an observation.