A Moment by Jessica Lyne Jefferson

Sun Through the Mist at Niagara Falls by Andrew Porteus
Sun Through the Mist at Niagara Falls by Andrew Porteus

I want to thank you for the ten seconds
When the seasons passed.
The photograph you took became a token
Of this wonderfully sad woman
You watched stare at the falls
As if she knew of the bodies it relished.
Like sun on the mist.
Rapture rolling smooth winds
Along its back, like a creature.

When she held out her arms, you imagined
Her embracing the blues and greens
Of friends and lovers who watched her as she jumped –
Afloat in fog everytime –
You thought of her skin
And how her shoulders must feel
With the spray of the river upon her.

 

Source: The author, July 2001.

Niagara by Ozan Haksever

ozan haksever

ozan haksever
American Falls from the Canadian Side by ‘Peter’ Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Oh Niagara, watch your waters fall,
To see the angels that your waters call.
Watch the people gather ’round,
And marvel at what they have found.

Oh Niagara, fill the flowing stream,
Your endless beauty like a distant dream.
Don’t hold back your magic rain,
For I love the way it clears my pain.

Oh Niagara, let your soul pour out.
And let the people run about.
They stare at your bridges tall.
As into love the children fall.

Oh Niagara, I remind you of
Two children who shared such a love,
That it lasted all these years,
Through all their joys and tears.

Oh Niagara, what a caring life
Did live this man and wife.
That now they have nothing to do,
Nothing but to visit you.

Oh Niagara, they have come to you,
To sleep inside your waters blue,
Climbing to love had such a spell,
That falling must be great as well.

Oh Niagara, welcome two new angels,
Ring out your diamond bells,
As to the top the lovers crawl,
And into their heaven they fall.

 

Source: The author, July 2003.

©2000 by Ozan Haksever

Niagara River Table d’Hôte by Elizabeth Glenny

Portrait of Elizabeth Glenny
Elizabeth Glenny

Upriver, it begins to unfold from Erie’s mouth
and before it falls at Table Rock  today

an old woman leans on her rake handle waiting
for her husband’s Greek cap to peak the bank.

A gull combs the river with yellow eye,
swerves, dips, drops and carries off a fingerling

in vice-grip beak, flogs the air with outstretched wings
to rise above the willows, silver scales flashing.

All day on the grassy slope above the pebbled shore
an empty car parks beside a pair of men’s oxblood loafers

size ten, inside the right shoe a  wallet
with driver’s license and a wrist-watch at half-past four

Source: The author, 2004

The Brittle Branch by Philip J. Curtis

brittle branch

brittle branch
Niagara Falls by Moonlight by William Armstrong, 1855. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

She walks alone this night,
No longer fearing nocturnal birds.
Superficial days and existential nights,
Too many Form 4s for her flights.

The sun rising,
The moon just right,
The tourist season
Not over quite,
The way she
Might have planned it.
Finally, a bath of mind,
Her turn in line,
PCBs and feces too,
This time.

Didn’t complain,
They said there wasn’t
Another way.
Desiring one
With the icy art,
Best she could do,
Was an unfelt lark,
Trapped in the immensity
Of the existential trinity:
Cold flowing steel,
Bold turbine wheel,
No-essence meal.

But she’ll be content
With the stability
Of her new-found therapy,
The last Valhalla,
Where strange attractors
Lose bifurcations
And computers crash,
Drowned by an unknown fist
Of greatest mist,
Returning to the place
Of phase space none,
Not surviving her space
Of haze, race, nun.

It was cold,
And the icy creatures
Mocked a fractal joy,
The roar and poise
Of the secular trinity
Seemed a little hungry.

Many more like her
Have visited
The brittle branch,
Cat-like in Winter
Star and sun,
Alive and dead
In Schrödinger fun.

Broken frozen figurines,
Fallen from their shelves,
Drowned in the mist
Of a melancholy twist,
Bouncing cry-eyed
Into the rocky tub,
Bouncing wide-eyed
To the bottom’s hub.
So cold a tumbling,
To the sea.

Like her, the bloody bobs
Counting tourists’ ticks,
‘round and ‘round
The rocky tub,
Click, click,
Are not on the screen;
For the Trinkers
And Shrinkers,
Pulp Pushers and Rhinos
Have made their deal for steel,
No one to know
Lost dot bobs for real;
Measuring success
By the number of
Polymorphs of nymphs and dwarfs
Still on the screen.

Those who knew her
Have lost her,
And have poured
Their own eternal mist.
The rest will be leaving soon,
For the latest seller,
Or the signs of the moon.
Please get ready,
We’ll all need a room soon.

Until the parameters are tweaked,
And the densities just right,
Multicoloured and bright,
We won’t hear the Humanist drummer tonight.
Until the old texts
Have seen the young forced players’
Superficial smile
For existential layers,
Thousands more birds
May fall a long mile.

Good-bye our friend,
Thank you for singing
So bittersweet;
You may have saved
Someone on the street.
But for now and for you,
The Trinkers and Shrinkers,
Pulp Pushers and Rhinos,
Have lost a friend too.

With humility and hope,
Perhaps ten score hence,
The Witch may catch the bypass,
And the cash may catch the pitch;
Flooding virgin tears
Into all our ears.
But waiting for the song
To sign cast-laden legs,
We weep weed-laden heads.

Philip J. Curtis, Ó August, 2001

Source: The author, August 2001.

brittle branch

Niagara falls…so get up why don’t ya? by Lynn Barry

One of the wonders…I wonder about…

Recently, a man
Jumped off
Niagara Falls
I went to see the
Falls today
And couldn’t
Imagine how
A person would
Get up the nerve
To jump off
Those fierce falls

The power and the
Shower and the
Mist-ery of it all
He must have been
So sad to try
And risk his life,
Hear death’s call
But! His falling
Did surprise him
He made it…
He didn’t die

So now I hope
He gets back up
And never
Again
Wants to
Over the
Falls fly

@Lynn Barry, 2003

Source: Lynn Barry

Biographical notes about Lynn Barry

Kirk Jones, the subject of this poem, shortly after his trip. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Thunder Alley. Click here for information about Kirk Jones