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

William Kirby by Fisher Davidson

In old Niagara town, long aisles of ancient trees
Stand sentinel along the storied ways,
Tall, sturdy patriarchs of other days,
Whose busy leaves are ever whispering memories.
And one there was who walked beneath their arching shade:
True, gallant type of Christian gentleman,
He, faithful, passed the full, allotted span
Within this hoary town whose cause his own he made;
And always at his side there moved a shadowy throng:
Simcoe and Brock and noble Addison,
All who with axe and plough and sword and gun,
Laid firm its deep foundations that have lasted long,
All who, sojourning in this place, did love it well.
He was like to the Roman Livy, he
Who loved his town and ever strove to be
Worthy its great traditions and its annals tell.
So let his country keep his memory one pure sheen,
And bring him, there beside the ivied wall,
Beneath still other forest-veterans tall,
French whites and English roses, ‘twined with Maple green.

Source: E.J. Pratt, (ed). Canadian Poetry Magazine. vol. 6, no. 1, December 1941.

En Route to Niagara Falls by Bill Cattey

I’ve been to Niagara Falls
For a Gay Science Fiction Convention.
While I was there,
I kissed a guy I’m hot for
In front of the tourists.

Beautiful guy.
Beautiful falls.

On the way there,
Something even better happened.

After making my convention plans,
I got a call.
A friend I had a crush on
Wanted some help
Moving back to town for the summer.

I gladly made the detour
With its promise
Of time together with him
And my hope for a something more.

I drove several hours solo
To the strains of “Court and Spark”
By Joni Mitchell.

The evening of my arrival
The weather was chilly and drizzly.
Please God, warm it up and dry it out.
I want to go to the beautiful gorges
And play with my beautiful friend
Before I leave this place.

The next morning
It was just barely
Warm enough, and dry enough.
We trekked down the trail
Into the beautiful gorge.

No others were there.
So we stripped down
Had our fun
And then drove off.

In retrospect,
We didn’t do all that much.
And I’m not Alan Ginsberg
So I won’t go into details.

After that, whenever I hear
Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark”,
I remember fondly:
My trip to The Falls,
The detour,
The beautiful gorges,
My friend,
And our mischief.

 

Source: Poems of Bill Cattey webpage

Biography of Bill Cattey

25 December 2001

Laura Secord by Jean Blewett

Laura Secord. Image courtesy Niagara Falls Public Library

I search the pages of our history over
For a courageous one whose name would stand
For staunchest patriot, and for truest lover,
And prove the same by deed done for the land;
And my heart thrills, for ’tis a woman bears it,
You’ll find it, marble carved, on Laura Secord’s grave;
And you, and I, and every woman shares it,
The right to stand for what is good and brave.

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines,
Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published in: Jean Blewett. Jean Blewett’s Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1922.