Lewis and Clark: The Corps of Discovery


The vast west called them.

They were true Europeans

Who, having conceived the earth as round and small,

Sought to reach the east by sailing west.

The European mind saw the earth as small,

Holding wondrous things: gold, medicines, exotic fruit.

Just beyond the mountains: The Northwest Passage.


Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery,

Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson,

Embodying the finest thrust of European life and science,

Went by boat, upstream upon the Missouri,

Choosing their channels with luck,

Meeting Indians and rapids,

Making hard portages,

Meeting all kinds of hardship, obstacles, suffering.


They endured much,

Knew true hardship, bitter to the taste, and

Ultimately, changed and aged,

Found the Pacific Ocean.


--July 10, 2013