Niagara Falls by Onkar Preet

The Rendezvous,
where two falls meet… under a Maple tree.

The Trail,
where dreams walk… locking fingers together.

The Height,
where birds kiss… the unfallen water.

The City,
where Earth gets… “Seven heaven chocolate”.

The Moment,
where heart seasons… exchange a love flower.

The Stair-step,
where spring stands,raising her arms… and shout “hurray!”.

The Border,
where desires look across a passport… through binoculars.

Niagara Falls …is not only a FALL.

© 2001 Onkar Preet – Toronto (Canada)
Source: The author, 2001

The Leap of Niagara by Henry Pickering

Roar loud, ye winds! ye awful thunders peal!
    And instant rouse them from their fatal sleep,
    Ere (cruel chance) they sink amid the deep,
    Whose secrets Death permits not to reveal.

They wake! O heavens!  What now avails their zeal?
    Precipitous their maddening course they keep;
    And reeling now they make the shuddering leap,
    Down-dashed mid watery worlds with all their weal!

And thus are they forgot! Not such the fate
    Of that immortal maid — enchantress sweet —
    Who from Lucadias rock (provoked by Hate)
    Plunged fearless in the waves that round it beat.

Her name the sighing winds still breathe around,
And Sappho, all the mournful caves resound.

Source: Myron T. Pritchard, comp. Poetry of Niagara. Boston: Lothrop Publishing Co., 1901.

The Leap of Niagara was originally published in Henry Pickering’s The Ruins of PæstumAnd Other Compositions in Verse. Salem: Cushing and Appleton, 1822

Niagara by Laurence Overmire

Laurence Overmire

Niagara sends her watery heralds
Dashing to the depths of hell

Great spiraling mists invade the trembling air
Spewing forth the devil’s legions
Into billowing shrouds of aqueous fire

The rocks explode
Like a thousand roaring lions
Leaping headlong in carnivorous chase

Trumpets sound on the errant wind
And blazing there
From jagged cliffs-

A banner bold
Arcs across the awakening scene-

The Seven Colored Bow
Christened by angelic wings
Shoots its burning arrow deep

Into the darkest doubt of blinking Man
And sets his new-made heart afire

Behold the final triumph of the victor
And know the majesty
Of God.

Source: The Author, 2001.

Laurence Overmire’s website

A Vista Del Niágara by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda

Gomez vista
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
            ¡Oh Sér omnipotente,
De cuya diestra soberana un juego
Es la que admiro excelsa maravilla,
Permite que á la voz de ese torrente
-- Que por primera vez á escuchar llego --
Mi acento asocie bendicion sencilla;
Miéntras con llanto rligioso riego
Del hondo abismo la escarpada orilla!

    Y tú ¡sublime Niágara! perdona
Si con himno trunfal no te saluda
Mi tosca lira, que el cipres corona
            ¿Por que la suerte cruda
            Quiso cumpliera tarde
Mi vivo afan de verme á tu presencia?
¿Por qué mi corazon - do ya no arde
Del entusiasmo juvenil la llama --
Herido, á más, por perdurable ausencia
            De cuanto amó en el mundo,
Se conmueve ante tí, mas no se inflama
Del estro antiguo en el ardor fecundo?.....

    ¡Ay! ¡Cuántas veces venturosa al lado
Del noble compañero de mi vida
-- Que polvo es hoy en el sepulcro helado -
Las horas olvidaba embebecida
En el grato proyecto y la esperanza
De visitarte juntos! ¡Con qué anhelo
-- Mirando aquel instante en lontananza --
Del tiempo ansiaba apresurar el vuelo.....
Miéntras harto veloz él me traia
De doliente viudez lúgubre dia!

            En vano, pues, en vano
De un vate triste admiracion merece
Esta naturaleza prodigiosa,
            Que de la eterna mano
Siempre acabada de salir parece,
Virgen agreste, gigantesca, hermosa.....
En vanò á la viajera solitaria
Que contempla tu curso ¡ inmenso rio !
Le haces alarde de grandeza vária;
Y ora te aduermes mudo en el estrecho
            Profundísmo lecho,
Donde tu esmalte de verdor sombríí
            Ni áun á mover se atreve
Fugaz el aura con su aliento leve;
Ora te ensanchas límpido, murmuras
Rizando las corrientes cristalinas,
Que festona la luz con aureolas;
            Ora las linfas puras
Revuelves bullidor, te arremolinas,
Y semejante al màr encrespas olas,
Que se persiguen sacudiendo espumas;
Hasta que al fin terrible te desatas,
Y al trueno de asordantes cataratas
Llenas los aires de perennes brumas.
 Continue reading "A Vista Del Niágara  by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda" 

Woman in a Barrel, About To Go Over Niagara Falls by Kathleen M. Heideman

Annie Edson Taylor
Annie Edson Taylor about to go over Niagara Falls. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Some math problems, they come with assumptions and pencils
e.g.: here’s a black and white photograph, with blank spots to fill: _______.
First, you’re standing in it, the river equation. “It” in this case is a boat above Niagara Falls,
X, hundreds of feet above the point of falling. You’re holding something – a floating barrel.
A woman’s head is still visible. Solve for her heart, friend

– it doesn’t matter if that’s a pencil in your hand, or a nail. The barrel wants to move,
it’s rushing by – your life, her life! You start to say something, but the woman is
humming. No words – just open throat and breathing. Your heart is
hammering against the barrel of your chest, “uhm uhm uhm”……
Well, maybe no drumming but the thunder of water. Hard to tell,
but there’s a shoreline. You’re on the edge of something large here,

like it or not, and let’s not forget to mention it’s autumn. She’s hungry.
Did I mention harvest? Not all women are equal – elsewhere, at dawn, your mother
was kneeling midway down in a long row of frost-bitten tomatoes,
perfumed by crushed vines, each fruit twisting until it released itself to hunger.
Some women – their house holds a kitchen table full of mason jars, an ordered emptiness
longing for content. And the woman in the barrel?
Call her anything you want: Madame Need. Ms. Curiosity.

She’s humming, yes – can you hear her? That old cellar song.
“Uhm” suggests hunger is a factor in this math equation. No apples,
so she fills the barrel with herself. The hand holding onto the barrel has an impressive vita,
a man who knows how to hold a hammer, pick tomatoes, paddle, use a pencil.
His hand, I mean, should know this gesture – how to solve for X.
You ask “why the Falls?”, you repeat yourself, but there’s no reply…
Sound of thundering water. She fell for him. The problem is like a blank postcard,
Continue reading “Woman in a Barrel, About To Go Over Niagara Falls by Kathleen M. Heideman”