The withered grass emerged from its coccoon,
its muted green faintly aglow amid the stones.
A wintry howl still echoed in the wind,
in the churning of waters down below.
Their cast-off plunder eddied round and round
as chilly mists ascended
to the hanging oblivion of the funicular,
in an increasing throbbing of cables all aquiver.
And yet in this vacation spot
there will be daffodils and other flowers
alien to the beginning of my life,
when the unspeakable river flowed so gently
within its honey shores.
I know I will return again year after year,
I will return again
wearing a little smile of wonderment
perched on my lips like a question mark.
Original version published in Canadian Literature, no. 142/143, (Fall/Winter 1994). Vancouver: British Columbia University Press. p. 10. This version courtesy of the author, 2001.
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.
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.
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 beautiful gorges,
And our mischief.
Source: Poems of Bill Cattey webpage
Biography of Bill Cattey
25 December 2001