The Floral Clock by Betty J. Beam

(a children’s poem)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter & wife Rosalynn at the floral clock, July 10, 1996. Photo by George Bailey, courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

A giant clock grows on the ground
In a leafy park-land bower,
It lies against a grassy mound
Where hydro transformers tower.

The turbines make a humming sound
As water provides the power.
And power makes the hands go ’round
As bright blossoms bloom the hour,

In winter snow, no one’s around —
All lies dormant, drab and dour,
But, summer, tourist can be found
Photographing time in flower.

 

Source: The Author, 2001.

A Cow and Ice Cream by Betty J. Beam

(a children’s poem)

Laura Secord. Courtesy of the Petrie Collection, Niagara Falls Public Library

Laura Secord, by the record
Of the conflict of eighteen-twelve,
Walked twenty miles through wood and stream,
Queenston – Beaverdams, right on beam!
Surprise Attack! was her one theme.
A forewarned, forearmed British team
Thwarted the American scheme!

Some people vow she drove a cow,
Others are quick to deny it.
I wonder did she ever dream
That she’d be held in high esteem —
A heroine renowned, I deem,
For confections that are supreme,
Rich chocolates and super ice cream!

Source: The Author, 2001

N.B. – Laura Secord is also the name of a chain of stores selling ice cream and chocolate products.

Brock’s Monument by Betty J. Beam

(a children’s poem)

Brock’s Monument at Queenston Heights by Reg Deacon. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library
I climbed up Brock's Monument
    With a leap, a skip, a hop.
I climbed up Brock's Monument
    From the bottom to the top.
I climbed up Brock's Monument
    And I did it without one stop.
BUT --
Two hundred and thirty-five steps
    And I'm ready to drop!

General Brock rode Alfred
    On the daring fateful ride.
Sword drawn, he scaled Queenston Heights,
    British Red Coats at his side
The Americans could not
    Gain the summit, though they tried.
BUT --
Musket and cannon came alive
    And the man and horse died!

I climbed up Brock's Monument
    When tulips were in flower.
I climbed up Brock's Monument
    In less than half an hour.
I climbed up Brock's Monument
    Using my muscle power.
BUT --
I'm glad there's an elevator
    In the CN Tower!

Source: The Author, 2001

Devil’s Hole (Niagara Falls) by Margarita Feliciano

     The withered grass emerged from its coccoon,
     its muted green faintly aglow amid the stones.
A wintry howl still echoed in the wind,
            in the churning of waters down below.
Their cast-off plunder eddied round and round
      as chilly mists ascended    
to the hanging oblivion of the funicular,
     in an increasing throbbing of cables all aquiver.

                And yet in this vacation spot
    there will be daffodils and other flowers
             alien to the beginning of my life,
      when the unspeakable river flowed so gently
        within its honey shores.
       
    I know I will return again year after year,
                I will return again
    wearing a little smile of wonderment
perched on my lips like a question mark.

Original version published in Canadian Literature, no. 142/143, (Fall/Winter 1994). Vancouver: British Columbia University Press. p. 10. This version courtesy of the author, 2001.

Niagara Falls by Lord Morpeth

Lord Morpeth
Lord Morpeth

There’s nothing great or bright, thou glorious Fall!
Thou mayest not to the fancy’s sense recall,
The thunder-riven cloud, the lightning’s leap,
The stirring of the chambers of the deep,
Earth’s emerald green, and many tinted dyes,
The fleecy whiteness of the upper skies,
The tread of armies thickening as they come,
The boom of cannon and the beat of drum;
The brow of beauty and the form of grace,
The passion and the prowess of our race,
The song of Homer in its loftiest hour,
The unresisted sweep of human power
Britannia’s trident on the azure sea,
America’s young shout of liberty!
Oh! may the waves that madden in thy deep,
There spend their rage nor climb the encircling steep, —
And till the conflict of thy surges cease,
The nations on thy banks repose in peace!

Source: Table Rock Album and Sketches of the Falls and Scenery Adjacent. Buffalo: Steam Press of Thomas and Lathrops, copyright by Jewett, Thomas & Co.,1856c.1848

Lord Morpeth was born George William Frederick Howard, was styled as Lord Morpeth from 1825-1848, then became the 7th Earl of Carlisle until his death in 1864