Departure by Jane Urquhart

urquhart departure

urquhart departure
Niagara Horseshoe Falls and Table Rock, 1842. Engraved by J. Cousen after a picture by W.H. Bartlett. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

When grandmother
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡fell in love
for the third time
there were months
of perfectly planned

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡once his cuff link
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡fell into the river

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡once he whistled

and because she could not
time and meaning

events evolved to
cold pure words

written on a photograph
in black and white

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡of grandmother’s third love
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡standing near
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡what’s left of
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡table rock

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡looking past
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡the fog of the falls
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡to the american side

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡thinking of departure


Source: Urquhart, Jane. False Shuffles. Victoria: Press Porcépic, 1982. Section entitled The Undertaker’s Bride. 

Click to see more of Urquhart’s The Undertaker’s Bride poems 

Wonders of the West; or, A Day at the Falls of Niagara in 1825: a poem by a Canadian by James Lynne Alexander


    Who has not had a wish t'inspect
Niagara's famed cataract ?
And all the wonders to explore
From Erie to Ontario's shore ?
The battles, lately fought between ;
Give lively interest to the scene ;
And lead the curious stranger round,
To scrutinize each battle ground.
But sentiments more noble far,
Than thoughts of that unnatural war,
The scenery around inspires,
And every feeling bosom fires.


    The Boat had stemm'd Ontario's tide,
And anchor'd on the southern side ;
A noble river with its waves,
Two rival nations' confines laves ;
That Giant stream, which through the lakes
Of Canada, its circuit makes,
And issuing from Ontario
About two hundred miles below,
(After so long a pilgrimage,
Less holy name were sacrilege)
Assumes St. Lawrence, name of awe
But here 'tis called Niagara.


    Upon this river's eastern side,
A Fortress stands in warlike pride ;
Ontario's surges lash its base,
And gradually its walls deface ;
And, from its topmost tower display'd,
A flag, with stripes and stars portray'd ;
Upon the west an ancient mound,
The Union Jack and - British ground :
Nor distant far another stands,
Which the whole river's mouth commands.
Between the two lay Newark village,
Which yet they let its neighbours pillage ;
Nor only so, but burn it down ;
And from its ashes now has grown,
Another, but more lovely far,
Since the conclusion of the war
Which they have nam'd Niagara. Continue reading "Wonders of the West; or, A Day at the Falls of Niagara in 1825: a poem by a Canadian by  James Lynne Alexander"