Niagara Falls by Parley P. Pratt

pratt
Portrait of Parley P. Pratt from The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt

Where now is Nimrod’s mighty tower? Where the
Majestic walls, the warlike battlements,
The splendid palaces, the hanging gardens
Of Babylon?
Where the proud Nebuchadnezzar, who, with
Golden sceptre, swayed the world, and made
The nations tremble ? Where the proud Ninevah, —
The strong Thebes, with its hundred gates ?
The golden Tyre, the splendid Athens, the
Majestic Rome, with all their works of art —
Their monuments of fame, once the pride
And glory of the world ?
Where the mighty Pharaoh’s, the terrible
Alexanders, the invincible Cesars,
The warlike Hannibal ? Tyrants in turn.
Where now the gifted poets, the splendid
Orators, the profound philosophers
Of Greece and Rome, whose mighty genius
Hurled royal tyrants headlong from their thrones, —
Made senates weep or laugh at will, and ruled
The nations ? They are swept away by time ;
Their beauty, like the morning flower, is withered
Their pride and glory gone like leaves of autumn; —
Their grandest works are fast decaying,
Mouldering to ruin, soon to be forgotten.
But still my store house is unexhausted,
My fountain full and overflowing — my
Solid munitions of rocks stand secure. —
My voice as mighty as when the beauteous
Colors of the rainbow first sported in
The sunbeams : —
As when the intelligences of olden worlds
First gazed with admiration upon my
Expanded waters ; or, animated at
The music of my voice joined in the chorus,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy.
###But, boast not, proud Niagara ! Though
Thou mayest withstand the ravages of time, —
While countless millions, swept away with all
Their mighty works, are lost in following years. —
Yet there is a voice to speak, long and loud ;
‘Tis Michael’s trump, whose mighty blast shall rend
Thy rocks, and bow thy lofty mountains in the dust,
Before whose awful presence thy waters
Blush in retiring modesty ; and in
Respectful silence thou shalt stand in listening
Wonder, and admire, while thunders roll
Majestic round the sky, the lightenings play, —
The mountains sink — the valleys rise — till Earth,
Restored to its original, receives
Its final rest, and groans and sighs no more.
### Till then, weep on, and let thy voice ascend
In solemn music to the skies, — ’tis like
A funeral dirge, — ’tis fit to weep o’er the miseries
Of a fallen world in anguish deep.

Source: Pratt, Parley Parker. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels With Extracts, In Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Chicago: Law, King & Law, 1888.

Read about Parley P. Pratt on Wikipedia

Click here to view the article On the Poetics of Self-Knowledge: Poetry in Parley Pratt’s Autobiography by  Joseph M. Spencer from the Journal of Mormon History vol. 37 Issue 1 Winter 2011

Niagara Falls by Mila Mancuso

Mancuso
Timelapse Photo of Niagara Falls by Alex Conrath

Niagara Falls, water crystal blue,
The sound of the Falls will relax you.
Hear the waves, the birds, and
see the kindness in the air.

Go downtown and enjoy something to eat.
Meet new people and make new friends.
Discover every single person’s talent and personality.
Be inspired by people’s uniqueness.

Embrace the fresh air and the sounds of nature all around you.
Enjoy your visit and your stay, but don’t worry you’ll be back to play.
Have fun with games and activities,
Niagara Falls, that’s where you’ll be!

 

Mila Mancuso is an 11 year old Niagara Falls resident who enjoys playing soccer and baseball during her free time.  She also likes to paint and draw as a hobby.  Mila enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially swimming at her cousin’s house.

Mancuso submitted this poem as an entry in the youth category of the 2019 Niagara Falls Writer’s Festival Poetry Competition, which was cancelled.

Fika With Vicky Radio Interview

On November 2 Vicky Young Bennison had me as a guest on her radio show, Fika with Vicky. We talked a lot about the poetry of Niagara Falls and this website. Click here to listen to the show – our segment starts at 1:32:00.Turn the sound up-as  usual  I’m  hard  to  hear!fika

Poem of Tesla by Miloje Popović

tesla
Statue of Nikola Tesla at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo by Andrew Porteus, January 23, 2007

Unique…
Carved from bitter cliffs of Lika peaks
Wonderous…
Passing along the miracles of shine –
he shared flames and grew to divine

Ten fingers –
released the forces of giants
His visions and grants –
pushed the torrents to Niagara plants

Wizard…
without hats and tricks
Witchcraft…
without canes and bricks

From caves, mysterious and frightening
he gifted the world with lightening –
Shoreham tower in the skies –
a hint of miraculous wireless device

Gentleman –
making company to sleepless dawns…
With a single move and step –
seven miles along the hills and lawns…
A golden heritage to mankind –
fascinating product of prodigious mind…

Prophet of upcoming time –
deceased in obscurity, without a dime
His soul in storms and clashes –
fortune for planet from his ashes

Source: Tesla Universe

Also published in Barkan, Stanley H. & Neale, Dorothea (editors) Americana Anthology, Volume I: Bicentennial Edition: 1776-1976.  Cross-Cultural Communications, 1976.

 

Please Help Me I’m Falling by Margaret Cole

cole
Niagara Falls at Night. Photo by Tim Balzer, September, 2019

Listen
Hear it?
long low moan of August cicada
as lazy bee drifts amongst
purple spikes of lavender
watching summer ebb
like Fundy tides

Roar of falls drowns
this note of season passing
as they surge down cliffs
gurgling and crashing
onto rocks far below
telling stories of tumbling markets
failed military strategies
teetering autocrats, errant dictators
broken relationships
Each wavelet a moan for
something lost, gone wrong
mourning ’til that ripple hits
eddies at the base

Only at night under
beauteous coloured lights
do falls prattle of love families friendships
joys better even
than success riches and all money brings

Look for happy endings in stories told night
under multi-coloured lights
Look at nightfall for love

Source: The author, 2019

About Margaret Cole

Margaret Code is a Toronto-based poet writing since 1995.  Her work has been published in Garm Lu (Shanty Table), Lichen, Best American Poets, Who’s Who in American Poetry, Vol. 4 (2013) (Something You Never Learned), Labour of Love (Chemistry), This Time Around: Coastline (Be Longing), Big Pond Rumours (A Child’s Day at the Lake), Voices (Traditional Hippie Wedding), Art Bar Team Reading Anthology (Kiss of the Blue Danube, Scarlet Tote), The Poetrain Anthology (Brochure Boasts, Poetrain of the Canadian) Memory and Loss (I Never Saw It Coming) and Chickadee (Itchy Scratchy Bumps). In 2013 she won an audience-voted Best Originals contest and in 2015 took second place in a Big Pond Rumours contest with her poem, A Child’s Day at the Lake.   She has received three poet-voted Best Poem awards in the Hot Sauced Words Poetry Theme Challenge.  Margaret attends a number of poetry events in Toronto, delighted in the journey on the PoeTrain from Winnipeg to Vancouver in the spring of 2015 and is active on the boards of the Art Bar Poetry Series and the Toronto Writers’ Coop.