Niagara by Laurence Overmire

Laurence Overmire

Niagara sends her watery heralds
Dashing to the depths of hell

Great spiraling mists invade the trembling air
Spewing forth the devil’s legions
Into billowing shrouds of aqueous fire

The rocks explode
Like a thousand roaring lions
Leaping headlong in carnivorous chase

Trumpets sound on the errant wind
And blazing there
From jagged cliffs-

A banner bold
Arcs across the awakening scene-

The Seven Colored Bow
Christened by angelic wings
Shoots its burning arrow deep

Into the darkest doubt of blinking Man
And sets his new-made heart afire

Behold the final triumph of the victor
And know the majesty
Of God.

Source: The Author, 2001.

Laurence Overmire’s website

A Vista Del Niágara by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda

Gomez vista
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
            ¡Oh Sér omnipotente,
De cuya diestra soberana un juego
Es la que admiro excelsa maravilla,
Permite que á la voz de ese torrente
-- Que por primera vez á escuchar llego --
Mi acento asocie bendicion sencilla;
Miéntras con llanto rligioso riego
Del hondo abismo la escarpada orilla!

    Y tú ¡sublime Niágara! perdona
Si con himno trunfal no te saluda
Mi tosca lira, que el cipres corona
            ¿Por que la suerte cruda
            Quiso cumpliera tarde
Mi vivo afan de verme á tu presencia?
¿Por qué mi corazon - do ya no arde
Del entusiasmo juvenil la llama --
Herido, á más, por perdurable ausencia
            De cuanto amó en el mundo,
Se conmueve ante tí, mas no se inflama
Del estro antiguo en el ardor fecundo?.....

    ¡Ay! ¡Cuántas veces venturosa al lado
Del noble compañero de mi vida
-- Que polvo es hoy en el sepulcro helado -
Las horas olvidaba embebecida
En el grato proyecto y la esperanza
De visitarte juntos! ¡Con qué anhelo
-- Mirando aquel instante en lontananza --
Del tiempo ansiaba apresurar el vuelo.....
Miéntras harto veloz él me traia
De doliente viudez lúgubre dia!

            En vano, pues, en vano
De un vate triste admiracion merece
Esta naturaleza prodigiosa,
            Que de la eterna mano
Siempre acabada de salir parece,
Virgen agreste, gigantesca, hermosa.....
En vanò á la viajera solitaria
Que contempla tu curso ¡ inmenso rio !
Le haces alarde de grandeza vária;
Y ora te aduermes mudo en el estrecho
            Profundísmo lecho,
Donde tu esmalte de verdor sombríí
            Ni áun á mover se atreve
Fugaz el aura con su aliento leve;
Ora te ensanchas límpido, murmuras
Rizando las corrientes cristalinas,
Que festona la luz con aureolas;
            Ora las linfas puras
Revuelves bullidor, te arremolinas,
Y semejante al màr encrespas olas,
Que se persiguen sacudiendo espumas;
Hasta que al fin terrible te desatas,
Y al trueno de asordantes cataratas
Llenas los aires de perennes brumas.
 Continue reading "A Vista Del Niágara  by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda" 

Woman in a Barrel, About To Go Over Niagara Falls by Kathleen M. Heideman

Annie Edson Taylor
Annie Edson Taylor about to go over Niagara Falls. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Some math problems, they come with assumptions and pencils
e.g.: here’s a black and white photograph, with blank spots to fill: _______.
First, you’re standing in it, the river equation. “It” in this case is a boat above Niagara Falls,
X, hundreds of feet above the point of falling. You’re holding something – a floating barrel.
A woman’s head is still visible. Solve for her heart, friend

– it doesn’t matter if that’s a pencil in your hand, or a nail. The barrel wants to move,
it’s rushing by – your life, her life! You start to say something, but the woman is
humming. No words – just open throat and breathing. Your heart is
hammering against the barrel of your chest, “uhm uhm uhm”……
Well, maybe no drumming but the thunder of water. Hard to tell,
but there’s a shoreline. You’re on the edge of something large here,

like it or not, and let’s not forget to mention it’s autumn. She’s hungry.
Did I mention harvest? Not all women are equal – elsewhere, at dawn, your mother
was kneeling midway down in a long row of frost-bitten tomatoes,
perfumed by crushed vines, each fruit twisting until it released itself to hunger.
Some women – their house holds a kitchen table full of mason jars, an ordered emptiness
longing for content. And the woman in the barrel?
Call her anything you want: Madame Need. Ms. Curiosity.

She’s humming, yes – can you hear her? That old cellar song.
“Uhm” suggests hunger is a factor in this math equation. No apples,
so she fills the barrel with herself. The hand holding onto the barrel has an impressive vita,
a man who knows how to hold a hammer, pick tomatoes, paddle, use a pencil.
His hand, I mean, should know this gesture – how to solve for X.
You ask “why the Falls?”, you repeat yourself, but there’s no reply…
Sound of thundering water. She fell for him. The problem is like a blank postcard,
Continue reading “Woman in a Barrel, About To Go Over Niagara Falls by Kathleen M. Heideman”

Seeing Niagara by Lini Grol

All excited,
they landed with their camera
to see all of Canada,
but most of all,
that great NIAGARA FALL.

Worldy-wise they ignore
the neon signs enticing them
to spend their precious time,
and dole out their hard-won yens.

Eagerly they go on
then falter to a silent stare
at the Niagara in its roaring Fall …
Intimidated, for a moment
they marvel at its immense powers.
Then turning
they quietly drink
in with glowing delight
the scent and sight
of the billions of flowers,
who silently ring
the roaring powers
of the Niagara Falls.

Source: Grol, Lini, ed. by Kevin McCabe and Lynne Prunskus. Lake to Lake: Lini Grol’s Niagara.  St. Catharines: Blarney Stone Books, c2000.

Niagara Falls by Lini Grol

Grol Niagara Falls
Lini Grol

The heart of the world
It is there that freely races
religions and every nation meet.

Countryless people gather there,
forgetting for a while their painful past,
and the deep black void in their future.

Close-eyed, the sexy and the sexless
wander, mingle and gamble there,
hopefully climbing steps leading nowhere.

NIAGARA FALLS, a city halved, an oasis
to the beloved, the adored, as well as to the despised,
the addicted, the hunted, or those totally ignored.

Source: Grol, Lini, ed. by Kevin McCabe and Lynne Prunskus. Lake to Lake: Lini Grol’s Niagara.  St. Catharines: Blarney Stone Books, c2000.