Of Sometime True Lovers by Doug Smith

sometime
Horseshoe Falls in Winter. Photo by Heather Rodman
Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

In the yellow and blue dawn of winter
I will come for her
My misty apparition
who fogs my eyes and senses
and comforts me with her chilled
wet kiss

She knows my secret sins
She’s lived my life
“Come in,” says Niagara
“The water’s fine”
I know it’s not true, it’s freezing in December

Look up from the Horseshoe Falls
see the Rainbow Bridge, Goat Island, the gaudy signage
Home…

Look down upon the frigid rapids
My misty apparition
who fogs my eyes and senses
and I wonder how it will be
to know the caress 
of my sometime true lover
as I lapse gently inside her
and ponder my new address

Slipping into her grasp
suicide and marriage are one
no cold, no fear
just nostalgia


 

Source: The author, 2022. Of Sometime True Lovers was first published on All Poetry6/9/21, Written 10/31/98

Author’s note: While this appears to be about suicide in Niagara Falls, it’s really about what I owe to the city itself, the city that I grew up in and made me.

See Doug Smith ’s All Poetry site (Darknightofthesoul)

Doug Smith is a former Niagara Falls, NY resident

 

Another December Snow Day in Niagara Falls by Doug Smith

december
Children on Bridge St., Niagara Falls, looking East, circa 1900
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Lost in snowflakes

      children march 
            in jubilation
                warmed 
                      by ‘Let it Snow’ 
                          philosophies
                             and homemade 
                                 scarves and mittens.
                                     Another December snow day 

                                                    in Niagara Falls.  

Source: The Author, August 2022

 

See Doug Smith ’s All Poetry site (Darknightofthesoul)

See Another December Day in Niagara Falls on All Poetry, written 12/13/21

Doug Smith is a former Niagara Falls, NY resident

Thy Bells Deveaux (a song) by Thomas Vincent Welch and J. Ernest Rieger

welch

Their tender tone o’er field and wood,
On summer wind now borne along;
With beating heart and eyes bedewed,
I hear once more their ev’ning song.

In many lands my feet have strayed,
Since I obeyed their vesper call;
When night winds stirred, in dreams I heard,
Their plaintive notes at evening’s fall.

Ring, ring, ring thy bells Deveaux
Ring o’er the cliffs thy bells Deveaux
Ring o’er field and wood as long ago;
Niag’ra’s murm’ring flood below
Ring o’er the cliffs thy bells Deveaux,
thy bells, thy bells, Deveaux

Once more a boy in forest dim,
I hear with joy their twilight hymn;
The toils of life, the joys we weep,
Our cares and sorrows ring to sleep.

O God from whom all blessings flow,
Protect thine hallow’d walls Deveaux,
And bells of heav’n, when life is past,
Call all thy children home at last.

Ring, ring, ring thy bells Deveaux
Ring o’er the cliffs thy bells Deveaux
Ring o’er field and wood as long ago;
Niag’ra’s murm’ring flood below
Ring o’er the cliffs thy bells Deveaux,
thy bells, thy bells, Deveaux


Source: Welch, Thomas Vincent (words) and Rieger, J. Ernest (music). Thy Bells Deveaux: Song for Soprano or Tenor and Mixed Quintette or Chorus. Niagara Falls, NY: J.E. Rieger, 1894

Many thanks to Lewis Buttery for bringing this song by Welch and Rieger to the NFPP curator’s attention.


The site of DeVeaux College is now owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and is now the DeVeaux Woods State Park.


See the poem Chimes of De Veaux by Ada Elizabeth Fuller, to commemorate the installation of the new bells in 1913

Read more about the DeVeaux College Chimes

Visit the Big Daddy Dave blog post about DeVeaux School

Chimes of De Veaux by Ada Elizabeth Fuller

deveaux
Ambrose Chapel at De Veaux College, where the bells were housed
Photo courtesy Big Daddy Dave blog

 

Fling out your silver peals,
‡‡Over the river’s breast.
Speak to the waters, peace,
‡‡Bid the wild Rapids rest.
Peal sweetly, high and low,
‡‡Chimes of De Veaux.

Chime to the flaming woods,
‡‡Gay in the morning sun.
Chime to the solemn pines
‡‡After the day is done.
Peal sweetly, high and low,
‡‡Chimes of De Veaux.

Ring out your silver strains,
‡‡Over Niagara’s breast.
Bid the wild waters roll,
‡‡On to their ocean-rest.
Peal sweetly, high and low,
‡‡Chimes of De Veaux.


Source:  Ada Elizabeth Fuller.  Sunshine and Shadow: Poems by Ada Elizabeth Fuller.  Niagara Falls, Ont. Ada Elizabeth Fuller, 1919


The site of DeVeaux College is now owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and is now the DeVeaux Woods State Park. According to the TowerBells.org DeVeaux School had a 10-bell chime installed by Meneely/Troy in 1913, which was sold to Verdin in November 1994.  The remaining structure on the site have also been demolished.


From The Living Church, vol. 50, January 3, 1914

New Chimes at De Veaux College

On New Year’s Eve, at midnight, the new chimes at De Veaux College, Niagara Falls, N.Y. (the Rev. William Stanley Barrows, headmaster), were rung for the first time. The bells, ten in number, were made by the Meneely Company of Troy, and are known as their F Tenor chime. They are a duplicate of those recently given to Christ Church, Greenwich, Conn, and are the gift of Mr. Albert H. Lewis of Bridgeport, Conn., who attended De Veaux College from 1857 to 1862. The inscription on the great bell reads: “Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter.  In honor of Samuel De Veaux and as a memorial to those trustees, masters, boys, and patrons who have faithfully served and fostered De Veaux College, this chime is presented by Albert Henry Lewis, ’57-’62, Founder’s Day, A. D. 1913, the fifty-sixth anniversary of the opening of De Veaux College. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace good will toward men.” The inscription of the other bells is: “Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter. De Veaux College, ex dono Albert Henry Lewis, Founder’s Day, A. D. 1913.”


View the song Thy Bells Deveaux by Thomas Vincent Welch and J. Ernest Rieger

Read more about the DeVeaux College Chimes

Visit the Big Daddy Dave blog post about DeVeaux School

Fairview Cemetery by Shie Sirianni

sirianni
Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Image courtesy of the City of Niagara Falls

I walk alone, eyes downcast
seeking paths of fallen leaves,
to disguise the sound
of breaking armour.
Cemeteries in the fall
are good places for disguise.
I can lie there,
surrounded by stone confessors,
and speak aloud
all that is in me.
Joy, sorrow,
goodness and sin.
There is no forgiveness,
or absolution offered.

They are not my pardoners.

They are just marks left for others,
who perhaps, like me,
spent troubled times there,
before making it their home.


Source:  Shie Sirianni published this poem in Captured Essence: Niagara Poetry Anthology, vol. 11St. Catharines: Canadian Authors Association, Niagara Branch, 1995

With thanks to Arden Phair who pointed out this poem by Shie Sirianni to the Niagara Falls Poetry Project curator.