Secrets of Niagara Falls by Laryalee Fraser

Headshot of Laryalee Fraser
Laryalee Fraser

The book lay closed; each page encased in ice,
till languid eons breathed candescent mist,
releasing knowledge, drip by ponderous drip…

* * *

Twelve thousand years ago, Niagara shaped
its first intent; a trickled thoroughfare
along a chasm scarcely there. It swelled,
became a torrent — nudging, pushing, filled
with rampant longings, surging onward, thrust
of power building, frothing thunder leaping!

The source has birthed a sorcerer who hurls
ebullient roars of ecstasy, wears robes
of lucent majesty. The crowds are hushed,
bewitched by spells of wonderment and awe.

* * * 

The book was opened; secrets poured from cores
of weighted centuries and wisdom flowed –
in fluid script that no one understood.

Source: My Gentle Garden, 2001.

Biography of Laryalee Fraser

Niagara Falls by John Robert Colombo

(a found poem from the unpublished writings of Bishop John Strachan)

Bishop John Strachan

My brother, after some hesitation,
ventured down the precipice;
and, having reached the bed
of the river below,
we were well rewarded.
It was now
that my expectations were realized:
the height of the rock —
the thundering of the Fall —
the spray forming in rain-bows —
the vast volume of water
rolling over the impending precipice,
produced a sensation overpoweringly

Source: Colombo, John Robert; and Strachan, John. John Toronto: New Poems by Dr. Strachan Found by John Robert Colombo. [Ottawa] : Oberon Press, 1969.

From the dust jacket: The poems are taken verbatim from Strachan’s uncollected writings. They are poems by virtue of the special character of their eloquence. They are new in that they speak with fresh urgency and directness to a new age.

Devil’s Hole (Niagara Falls) by Margarita Feliciano

     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.

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