Flying Over Niagara Falls by Alex Jacobs and SAP by Janet Marie Rogers


Click on the picture to hear the audio file
Mohawk poets Janet Rogers and Alex Jacobs read love poems titled “His Sap” and “Flying Over Niagara Falls”. Studio recording produced by Janet Rogers and live recording by Alex Jacobs recorded in Vancouver British Columbia at the Talking Stick Festival with cello accompaniment by Cris Derksen. Its a Valentines collaborative poem?

Scroll down or click here to see SAP by Janet Marie Rogers

for Janet Marie

I have never been so consumed, so affected, so moved
so physically adored, adorned even
so worn like hat, a tight fitting hat,
so consumed, so consummated
we are flying, actually airborne…
making love above Niagara Falls
& it is like flying, boarding the aircraft
through a familiar structure, a familiar ritual
down a tunnel, approaching the light
you take in the periphery
you buckle in and read the safety manual
what to do in an emergency
you read whatever’s available, magazines about
Mayan temples, Calcutta spices
Grateful Dead sticker on a rock & roll wine
we are rolling, rolling, rolling
30 40 50 70 100 MPH
you hold on, there’s a bump
we all shift, squeaks, tugs
hidden music, chatter
you favour one side,
there’s a light, bright
and then gravity release
some kind of group sigh
shimmers through the passengers

we are surrounded by air on all sides

yoga masters in flight
hovering, bouncing
anti-gravity vibratory
near hallucinogenic, visions, voices
we could theoretically disappear
vibrating into
another dimension
another consciousness

This is where the Thunderers live
Where the Maid is in the Mist
Where Jigonsaseh (mother of Nations)
Gave birth to her village called Peace-town
Where she gave birth to clans and nations

Where women went over Niagara Falls
Announcing the new millennium
Only later did men attempt the free fall
In much sturdier, better designed craft
Safe, greedy, cowards
Asking for money… to fly

This is where Falling Woman came to earth
Where Flint & Sapling were born
Where I was reborn, was crucified,
Died and was reburied
Only to resurrect again and again and again
She is Flying Woman
She is Star Woman

She is Bear Woman
She is Medicine Woman
She is Healing Woman

A Turtle clan man can be a warrior too
Not just a farmer or an artist or a singer
He waits and waits
Focusing ninja movements
Using the opponents force to counter
Taking many blows to his shell
Once he grabs and bites you can not dislodge him
Until the sun sets…
The only time a turtle makes noise
Is when he mates or dies

We are at the edge of thunder
We are white light plasma
We become actually lightning
People hear us as thunder
See us as lightning
This is where the Thunderers live
In caves under Niagara Falls
Powerful ancient voices
Rumble like earthquakes, tremors,
Rock slides crashing into whirlpools

What would I do with you
Once I have you
I need to train you

You need repetition
Sun moon dark rain
Just like Niagara Falls
We are high up
Thousands of miles to the west
Laying among rain, drizzle, clouds
High up among Vancouver canyons
Sun moon mist rain
Where we can pause
Breath absorb each other
Pile up chaos in theory
Shine glisten vibrate
And make waves
Make waves all around us
And fly actually airborne
Then release and flow and surge
Sun Rain Mist Full Moon
What would you do with me
Once you have me

Santa Fe, March 2012
Vancouver, February 2013

SAP by Janet Marie Rogers

He served me
Tree sap
In a shot
I stretched
My neck
To get

He served me
Tree sap
In a shot
I stretched
My neck
To get

He served me
Tree sap
In a shot
I stretched
My neck
To get

He served me
Tree sap

In a shot
I stretched
My neck
To get

Source: The authors, 2021. First published on the Indian Country Today blog on February 14, 2014

Alex Jacobs’ website Alex Jacobs: Native American Art, Poetry & Culture, Blog & Audio

About Janet Marie Rogers

Love’s Changeableness by Arthur Weir

niagara falls love
How many heart-wed lovers here have stood,
Like us, beside the Niagaras folding brink,
Watching the thirsty gorge the torrent drink!
How many, like ourselves, in solitude
Have stood above the fierce moon-smitten flood,
Through whose mist clouds a myriad star-points twink,
And felt the grandeur of the cataract sink
Into their souls until was thought subdued.
How many human hearts here throbbed with love
And dreamed their love would live beyond the grave,
Strong as Niagaras rush, deep as its fall,
Only within a little space to prove
Their love as changing as the tumbling wave
Which breaks in mist that darkly shadows all.

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

Also in the anthology Niagara Mornings by Andrew C. Porteus, 2016.

Originally published: Dominion Illustrated, June 22, 1889

Somewhere Between Detroit and Syracuse by Jessica Lyne Jefferson

for: S.D.

We walked barefoot downtown,
Took off our raincoats under the falls,
With our pant legs rolled up,
We swam in Niagara’s fountain.

We met each other there.

We danced in a three foot pond,
Playing with someone else’s children.
Side-stepping forgotten wishes,
We filled the lines of our poem.

You asked me to marry you there.

There, when I told you of my
Dysfunctional family and lovers,
A girl’s need for stability; her strife
Of seeking greatness and purpose.

You said we would live life humble.

You went back to New York;
Taught your son to say my name.
Wrote me into your lectures;
Read my poems to your class.

You asked me to marry you there.

I, lost a tear for my ignorance,
Stepped away from myself,
Trying to recreate my vulnerability-
An insulting offer to you.

So I put those words away.

You were the first mirror to see my back eyes.
The first man to curse a shooting star,
For the raging flame it was.
The first poem I wrote,
As a woman.


Source: The author, 2001. Written in 1997.