The Battle of Lundy’s Lane by Duncan Campbell Scott

Battle of Lundy's Lane by Alonzo Chappel,
Battle of Lundy’s Lane by Alonzo Chappel

Rufus Gale Speaks – 1852

Yes, – in the Lincoln Militia, – in the war of eighteen-twelve;
Many’s the day I’ve had since then to dig and delve –
But those are the years I remember as the brightest years of all,
When we left the plow in the furrow to follow the bugle’s call.
Why, even our son Abner wanted to fight with the men!
“Don’t you go, d’ye hear, sir!” – I was angry with him then.
“Stay with your mother!” I said, and he looked so old and grim –
He was just sixteen that April – I couldn’t believe it was him;
But I didn’t think – I was off – and we met the foe again,
Five thousand strong and ready, at the hill by Lundy’s Lane.
There as the night came on we fought them from six to nine,
Whenever they broke our line we broke their line,
They took our guns and we won them again, and around the levels
Where the hill sloped up – with the Eighty-ninth, – we fought like devils
Around the flag; – and on they came and we drove them back,
Until with its very fierceness the fight grew slack.
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Long Live the All Day Breakfast Diner by Bartholomew Bakelaar

Interior of the Hi-Lite Restaurant in Niagara Falls
Interior of the Hi-Lite Restaurant in Niagara Falls

Long live the All Day Breakfast diner
that makes this world of rainy days finer! —
The coffee cup, the stirring spoon
mixing sugar & cream, first sip soon
And then– all things better —
no matter the weather, a blessing or a curse
beautiful or ugly, its all the same universe.
The constant hustle streams by on sidewalk while
the serene sips inside produce an effortless smile
We owe it to ourselves
to put the tools down for a minute
& turn our backs on the machine, forget it.

Bartholomew Bakelaar by Nichole Bakelaar
Bartholomew Bakelaar by Nichole Bakelaar

Sip a coffee in a booth, forget seeking truth,
fall silent in peace, let it all be.
Have a second, third , a fourth cup of coffee
there’s no hurry, nowhere to go, nowhere to be.
The galaxy wheels overhead in perfect harmony
with all there is, even as you sit
enjoying yr own company
at the All Day Breakfast diner, tell me
what could be finer?

Source: The Author, 2017

Scenes From a Hungarian Restaurant by C. D. Onofrio

Savoury & Sweet Restaurant in Chippawa
Savoury & Sweet Restaurant in Chippawa
Stew Brennand, Tyler Lindsa,y Kyoshi, and C.D. Onofrio performing at Savoury & Sweet Restaurant

little European
Herman Hesse
Maybe Berlin
where Jazz
plays in the club
and the young
women sitting
across from me
conjure visions
of love sweet love
sweetly the piano
plays me into reverie
once I dreamed
this place
once I dreamed
I was Hemingway
shucking oysters
on the Seine
with my pen
and poor finances
doing one of life’s
finer romances
to be in on a conversation
that spans the ages
shaking hands
with humble sages
preparing dinner
playing waitress
“so think with me on this,
how did this moment
come to exist” on somethingness
on nothingness
what’s going on
>behind the scenes
before the singer
begins to sing
imagine what went in
to that note
before this
moment
was composed
“pennies from heaven”
a poor man like me
who might chronically
underachieve
but you know
somedays I’m so sure
somedays I believe
Oh Mary, your faith was so great
“there’ll be pennies from heaven for you and me”

Source: The Author, 2017

Sunday Afternoon in Niagara Falls by Marilyn K. Moody

Sunday Afternoon in Niagara Falls

It’s a grey february day, and we’re
just hanging out in old Niagara Falls,

in a bar next to the river, you know, you
can look out the smoke-smeared window,

and see the river across River Road, but
everyone there has seen that water all their

life, they don’t give a shit about the river or
the falls; maybe you might get a grunt or

something if you talked about Love Canal,
mainly cause everyone knows somebody

whose property values got ruined, and my
friend still points out that gash on the earth

every time we drive here to this sleazy but
not a biker bar here in her home town,

but the real purpose of coming here is
perfectly clear to us and everyone else.

We shoot pool.

The regulars at this bar know

their real purpose too, and they get to their
drinking and don’t even move, so we don’t ever

have to fight to put quarters in the table’s slot,
but we stack up the quarters for at least 10

games anyways, and then we chalk the cues
and then we rack the balls, and then WHOOSH

we break the balls, and you ain’t seen nothing
until you’ve seen the four of us playing pool

in a niagara falls bar in the middle of winter
with the whole bar wishing they were us,

and any guy who challenges our best
wishes he’d left the old bitches alone,

and we’re the main entertainment, we’re
the whole sunday afternoon show,

and we don’t ever let anybody down.

–Nitty 

Source: http://www.confusio.com/issue1/pool.htm

Copyright 1997 The Courage of Our Confusion.

Niagara Falls by Alan Dugan

Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan, 1923-2003

We saw it all. We saw the souvenir shops, and sitting
on the mist above the falls, the brilliant signs
saying hotels to love in, cigarettes to smoke,
souvenirs for proof; we give you anything you want,
even towels. Our disgust was as stylized as billboards,
and we suggested to ourselves that even our sympathy
for the ugly people of the off-season was outworn.
But here it was, nevertheless, the ferocious, spastic
enjoyment, the hotels like freight-yards or packing crates,
the lights that murder sight, and the community snicker.
The falls, of course, continued with great dignity.

Source:  Poetry,  April 1947,  p 12.