All hail, Niagara! by thine awful noise, Great fear is caused in minds of little boys;
And as thou rollest with thy mighty rumble,
All must acknowledge that thou mak’st a tumble. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever;”
And in that way thou certainly art clever.
Source: Table Rock Album and Sketches of the Falls and Scenery Adjacent. Buffalo: Steam Press of Thomas and Lathrops, copyright by Jewett, Thomas & Co.,1856c.1848
Also published in the anthology Porteus, Andrew C. Niagara Mornings. Niagara Falls, Ont. Grey Borders Press, 2016 (Click for Table of Contents)
All the restaurants are named Betty’s
The water is turquoise blue, deep and cool
Niagara Falls, NY
Driving towards the falls on the scenic Parkway
The scene on the left is deep turquoise blue
Unlike water anywhere else in the world
A river as wide as a lake, forests of trees
The scene to the right is chemical factories
And rusted warehouses, and inlets or outlets of water
That sit sick in the stomach of history
Billboards saying mesothelioma
Clinging from Buffalo
To the boarded up windows
That line Niagara St.
And welcome you into
What used to be
A wonder of the world
When the bridegroom
Reaches the room
With breath bated
The moment long awaited.
He takes off his loud cravat
And his shirt and his hat,
His trousers and his shoes,
And his undershirt and drawers.
Naked, as from his mother,
He attempts with another
To return to that sweet night of the womb.
Source: James Reaney. The Red Heart. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1949