Sunny Day at Niagara Falls by Mellow Curmudgeon

Cropped photo of Iguazu Falls by Marcio Chagas. from Unsplash

Wet thunder booms as
water sweeps itself away.
‡‡A rainbow lingers.

Source: Mellow Curmudgeon, July 2022.

Visit Mellow Curmudgeon’s website

From the author: My haiku was inspired by the contrast between loud rushing water and a silent steady rainbow, as pondered by Boris Glikman in a prose poem about a visit to Niagara Falls.  The contrast cried out to be displayed in the kind of deliberate swerve common in haiku poetry, often between the middle and final lines.

View Glikman’s poem, Falling With the Falls.


Niagara in San Diego by Doug Smith

Blizzard of 77 – Children Waving From the Top of a Buried School Bus
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

I reach for trusted pen and paper
and commit to writing like old days
When I’d feel the thump of winter boots
and remember youthful school snow days
I keep it tightly inside me like
a favorite song I used to know
I bring a little Niagara
with my top down in San Diego

The west will drive poorly, close their schools
in February droplets of rain
while Buffalo kids wear shorts when the
thermometer hits 30 again
When I eat my kale and quinoa I
ask for Buffalo sauce as I go
I take home some Niagara
eating my way through San Diego

The grocery clerk looks like my aunt
except she wears a golden sun tan
I introduced her to Mexican
when we got lunch from a taco stand
I’d trade this Ralph’s for Wegman’s, give up
eternal sun for a touch of snow
Share Niagara melancholy
with the models in San Diego

A robin in winter-spring backyard
versus a sea lion on the pier
From apple cider Octobers
to grand palm trees, how do you compare?
Somedays I miss a chill that needs a
grandmotherly knitted homemade throw
Somedays I want Niagara cold
to keep me warm in San Diego

‘America’s Finest City’ hopes
it could become a little bit lost
In potholes and in yesterdays
and storied scars that tell of the cost
It could be a crumbling beauty
where family memories could grow
My cataract Niagara world
would keep me glad in San Diego
I bring a little Niagara
to picture perfect San Diego

Source: All Poetry February 25, 2022

See Doug Smith’s All Poetry site (Darknightofthesoul)

Author’s note: This is heavily inspired by a song. It’s also something I truly identify with, coming from Niagara Falls and living and loving East coast a lot, to moving, semi officially, to San Diego.

Lots to note from this: I wrote with with pen and paper to start and that’s how the poem begins. Ralph’s is a West coast grocery store, Wegman’s is in the Northeast. Niagara Falls are called cataracts and San Diego’s nickname is America’s Finest city. Buffalo is a neighboring city to Niagara Falls. And finally, my aunt came to visit me and had Mexican for the first time in this taco stand in a gas station (that was well regarded and she loved). 



Public Aid for Niagara Falls by Morris Bishop

Tourist at Niagara Falls
Photo by used under Creative Commons Licence from PxHere

Upon the patch of earth that clings
‡‡Near the very brink of doom,
Where the frenzied water flings
‡‡Downward to a misty gloom,

Where the earth in terror quakes
‡‡And the water leaps in foam
Plunging, frantic from the Lakes,
‡‡Hurrying seaward, hurrying home,

Where Man’s little voice is vain,
‡‡And his heart chills in his breast
At the dreadful yell of pain
‡‡Of the waters seeking rest;

There I stood, and humbly scanned
‡‡The miracle that sense appalls,
And I watched the tourist stand
‡‡Spitting in Niagara Falls.

Source: Baker, Russell (ed.) The Norton Book of Light Verse. New York: Norton, 1986.

Originally published in Bishop, Morris. Spilt Milk. New York: Putnam, 1942

Read about Morris Bishop

Niagara by John Ernest McCann and Francis S. Saltus

Portrait of John Ernest McCann by Napoleon Sarony, New York, 1894.
Courtesy of Portsmouth Public Library

 the first dawn, thro vague and unknown ways ,
Between the icy north and where I fall,
From lands beyond the pole, from where brooks call, 
And sing responsive to the cold birds lays,
I glide, I leap, I bound, thro nights and days ;
I rush, I rave, I roar, and I appal—
Ay ! to the very heights of heaven’s wall—
The hosts that reverential glances raise.

And puny men who walk the earth ne’er dream
Of the great force beneath my glassy face ;
And, so, from my brown bed up to the sod, 
I seem in all my majesty supreme
Defying time and earth, and fate and space,
To be the tumult of the tears of God !

Source: McClure’s Magazine, October 1894, p. 436 
Publisher’s note: “This poem was written by John Ernest McCann and the late Francis S. Saltus, in 1888, and is reprinted by special permission.”

Francis Saltus Saltus, from the frontispiece of The Witch of En-dor
Courtesy of WikiMedia

In his Anthology and Bibliography of Niagara Falls, Charles Mason Dow wrote: “A short poem, written in 1888 and reprinted by special request. Has real literary merit.”

Read about Francis Saltus Saltus 

Read McCann on Saltus: A Genius Died on the American Literary Blog

Niagara by John B. Tabb

Father John B. Tabb
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

WHERE echo ne’er hath found
   A footing on the steep,
Descends, without a sound,
   The cataract of sleep.

Like swallows in the spray,
   When evening is near
The thronging thoughts of day
   About the brink appear ;

Till greets a heaven below
   A sister heaven above,
Alike with stars aglow
   Of unextinguished love.

Source: Atlantic Monthly, September 1896

About John Bannister Tabb