Worldly Wounds by Ryan Racine

ryan racine
Niagara Parks Commission Butterfly Conservatory – Interior View – Statue Of Boy & Dog, 1997. Photo by Reg Deacon. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

My dog is a narrative archivist,
unearthing the forgotten and
polluted histories that are
scattered across Niagara Falls’ ecosystem.

Like the bacterial intrusions that make
their way into his body and
cause biological mutations, the
city’s traumas enter and impregnate my mind.

Realizing that i do not have the ability to
recreate a preinfectious state,
i instead reflect on what it means to be
in a postinfection state where i see myself

as part of the problem.
All i have is my dog’s nose,
the bringer of light
that grants recognition to the unsaid.


Ryan Racine earned his master’s of English language and literature from Brock University. He is currently working as a high school teacher and college instructor in Ontario. His poetry can be found in The Steel Chisel, Pauses/Words/Noises, The Brock University Anthology, Pictures & Portraits, Ekphrastic, Joypuke, Weekly Poems, and PACE Magazine.

See other poems by Ryan Racine on the Niagara Falls Poetry Project website:
•    Flow State
•    Sorting Skins

King of the Mist by Diana Williamson

williamson
Annie Taylor, “Queen of the Mist,” posing with the cat, “The King of the Mist,” and the barrel used to go over Niagara Falls. Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library


Annie Edson Taylor

Wanted to be first over the falls

A school teacher from New York

She was gonna’ show them all

She had a custom barrel made

But first tested it on a cat

The poor thing plunged over the falls

It had no say, cause that was that

Luckily the cat emerged

A little tattered but still alive

So on her 63rd birthday, 1901

Ms. Taylor, finally took her dive

 

They called her Queen of the Mist

Queen of the Mist

The first to conquer the falls

But in real actuality

The cat deserved it all

The glory, the title, the award for the first

The cat deserves it all

Cause the Queen of the Mist, the Queen of the Mist

Was the second to conquer the Falls

 

She peddled her wares for many a day

As souvenirs to passers by

‘Til her manager ran off with the famous barrel

And the detectives bled her dry

She swore she’d never do such a feat again

That once, was already too much

They say she lived from hand to mouth

And the fame was never enough

But the tawdry cat he lived the life

Fat on rats and crumpets and tea

Everyone wanted to know the cat

Who was famous, as famous can be

 

Sometimes you can hear them play their jazz

Near midnight along the old lagoon

They call him King of the Mist

And so they wrote him this tune…..

©2020 by Diana Williamson

Source: Diana Williamson, 2020

Visit Diana Williamson’s website

Read more about Annie Edson Taylor