Biography of Bill Cattey

Bill Cattey has been employed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 17 years as a software engineer after getting his degree in Computer Engineering from there.  Bill is quite sure of himself as an engineer, but is a little uncomfortable calling himself a poet. He knows he started early with a haiku he wrote in elementary school, but after that he can find only one additional poem written before entering MIT.


He attributes that second poem’s being published in his high school literary magazine to be an artifact of them being hungry for copy rather than any literary value to the work.

Bill, with the aid of a collaborator, has set two of his poems to music.  He hopes to publish his work through more conventional literary channels in the future.  Bill currently publishes all his poetry, including many works in progress, on a personal web site:
http://web.mit.edu/wdc/www/poetry

Go to Bill’s poem En Route to Niagara Falls

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

Battle of Lundy’s Lane, 25th July, 1814 by Janet Carnochan

Upon this hill we come to celebrate
That fateful day a century ago,
How saved our heritage with forceful blow
We meet to tell the tale, but not in hate.
We meet their loyal names to consecrate
Who fought and fell, shall we forget?  Oh no,
But high emblaze their names and proudly show
How nobly stood our sires in danger great,
To tell the inspiring tale that so we too
May meet our hill of difficulties well,
For we have problems hard to solve today
And enemies of greed and gold not few.
Heaven grant us grace their forces to repel
And at the call of duty straight obey.

Niagara, 25th July, 1914.

Source: An Account of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, Fought in 1814, Between the British and American Armies From the Best and Most Authorized Sources.   Niagara Falls: Niagara Publishers, 1947.

Niagara by John Campbell, Duke of Argyll

A ceaseless, awful, falling sea, whose sound
Shakes earth and air, and whose resistless stroke
Shoots high the volleying foam like cannon smoke!
How dread and beautiful the floods, when crowned
By moonbeams on their rushing ridge, they bound
Into the darkness and the veiling spray;
Or jewel-hued and rainbow-dyed, when day
Lights the pale torture of the gulf profound!

So poured the avenging streams upon the world
When swung the ark upon the deluge wave,
And oer each precipice in grandeur hurled,
The endless torrents gave mankind a grave.
Gods voice is mighty, on the water loud,
Here, as of old, in thunder, glory, cloud!

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

Originally published: Argyll, Memories of Canada and Scotland, Montreal, 1884.

To Niagara by J. S. Buckingham

(written at the first sight of its falls, August 13, 1837)

Hail! Sovereign of the world of floods! whose majesty and might
First dazzles, then enraptures, then o’erawes the aching sight:
The pomp of kings and emperors, in every clime and zone,
Grows dim beneath the splendour of thy glorious watery throne.

No fleets can stop thy progress, no armies bid thee stay,
But onward, — onward, — onward, — thy march still holds its way;
The rising mists that veil thee as thy heralds go before,
And the music that proclaims thee is the thund’ring cataract’s roar.

Thy diadem’s an emerald, of the clearest, purest hue,
Set round with waves of snow-white foam, and spray of feathery dew;
While tresses of the brightest pearls float o’er thine ample sheet,
And the rainbow lays its gorgeous gems in tribute at thy feet.

Thy reign is from the ancient days, thy sceptre from on high;
Thy birth was when the distant stars first lit the glowing sky;
The sun, the moon, and all the orbs that shine upon thee now,
Beheld the wreath of glory which first bound thine infant brow.

And from that hour to this, in which I gaze upon thy stream,
From age to age, in Winter’s frost or Summer’s sultry beam,
By day, by night, without a pause, thy waves, with loud acclaim,
In ceaseless sounds have still proclaim’d the Great Eternal’s name.

For whether, on thy forest banks, the Indian of the wood,
Or, since his day, the red man’s foe on his fatherland has stood;
Whoe’er has seen thine incense rise, or heard thy torrents roar,
Must have knelt before the God of all, to worship and adore.

Accept, then, O Supremely Great! O Infinite! O God!
From this primeval altar, the green and virgin sod,
The humble homage that my soul in gratitude would pay
To Thee whose shield has guarded me through all my wandering way.

For if the ocean be as nought in the hollow of thine hand,
And the stars of the bright firmament in thy balance grains of sand;
If Niagara’s rolling flood seems great to us who humbly bow,
O Great Creator of the Whole, how passing great art Thou!

But though thy power is far more vast than finite mind can scan,
Thy mercy is still greater shown to weak, dependent man:
For him thou cloth’st the fertile globe with herbs, and fruit, and seed;
For him the seas, the lakes, the streams, supply his hourly need.

Around, on high, or far, or near, the universal whole
Proclaims thy glory, as the orbs in their fixed courses roll;
And from creation’s grateful voice the hymn ascends above,
While heaven re-echoes back to earth the chorus – “God is love.”

Source: The Falls of Niagara. Toronto: James Campbell, 1859.