Niagara Falls by James Reaney


James Reaney

When the bridegroom
Reaches the room
With breath bated
He approaches
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

Niagara Falls – Viagra Calls by Larry Pace

Certificate showing a couple honeymooned in Niagara Falls
Certificate showing a couple honeymooned in Niagara Falls

They honeymoon in Canada
to see Niagara Falls.
She’s young, and he is very old,
but oh, Viagra calls!

A single night of nuptial bliss
these newlyweds will face.
The pills work well—but truth to tell,
his old heart can’t keep pace.

Niagara Falls: Viagra calls
for just a little while;
a widow for a newlywed,
a dead groom with a smile.

She cashes the insurance check
and goes back to St. Paul;
she thanks the Lord for Viagra
and for Niagara Falls!

© 2001 Larry Pace

Source: The author, 2001

As Falls Niagara by Melinda Nowikowski

Portrait of Melinda Nowikowski
Melinda Nowikowski

Buzzed on red wine
I watched
Niagara fall over your shoulder.
Premature showdown
In Honeymoon Town.

The first time we took our clothes off
It was to Monty Python,
Not Simply Red
Not Marvin Gaye.

“How to protect yourself
From an assailant
Carrying fresh fruit”…

For months I couldn’t bring myself
To tell you this,
When we made love that night
I heard Eric Idle ask,
“What if I’m assaulted by a
Man carrying a pointed stick?”

Nor has much changed since.

Source: The Nonelist Anthology, 2001.

About the author.

Love’s Changeableness by Arthur Weir

niagara falls love
How many heart-wed lovers here have stood,
Like us, beside the Niagaras folding brink,
Watching the thirsty gorge the torrent drink!
How many, like ourselves, in solitude
Have stood above the fierce moon-smitten flood,
Through whose mist clouds a myriad star-points twink,
And felt the grandeur of the cataract sink
Into their souls until was thought subdued.
How many human hearts here throbbed with love
And dreamed their love would live beyond the grave,
Strong as Niagaras rush, deep as its fall,
Only within a little space to prove
Their love as changing as the tumbling wave
Which breaks in mist that darkly shadows all.

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Also in the anthology Niagara Mornings by Andrew C. Porteus, 2016.

Originally published: Dominion Illustrated, June 22, 1889

Somewhere Between Detroit and Syracuse by Jessica Lyne Jefferson

for: S.D.

We walked barefoot downtown,
Took off our raincoats under the falls,
With our pant legs rolled up,
We swam in Niagara’s fountain.

We met each other there.

We danced in a three foot pond,
Playing with someone else’s children.
Side-stepping forgotten wishes,
We filled the lines of our poem.

You asked me to marry you there.

There, when I told you of my
Dysfunctional family and lovers,
A girl’s need for stability; her strife
Of seeking greatness and purpose.

You said we would live life humble.

You went back to New York;
Taught your son to say my name.
Wrote me into your lectures;
Read my poems to your class.

You asked me to marry you there.

I, lost a tear for my ignorance,
Stepped away from myself,
Trying to recreate my vulnerability-
An insulting offer to you.

So I put those words away.

You were the first mirror to see my back eyes.
The first man to curse a shooting star,
For the raging flame it was.
The first poem I wrote,
As a woman.


Source: The author, 2001. Written in 1997.