Niagara, Powerful Splendour by Honey Novick


Rainbow at the Brink of Niagara Falls
Photo by Jason Ng on Unsplash


Mine eyes have seen the glory that lies beyond the horizon.
It is called Niagara, the pot of gold lying
At the end of the highway ribbon named for Queen Mother Elizabeth.

Oftentimes, there is a rainbow gracing the skies of Niagara
Like a tiara crowning the head of a precious daughter.
There, at Niagara, my demeanour changes —
Going from that of being wound up, taut,
To one of aaaaahhhhh…….., relaxed, a sense of well-being, one with the nature.

With closed eyes I can feel the thunderous roar permeating my being.
I experience the wet mist on my skin; the powerful surging water
Keeping a rhythm in time with my heart.
Sharp rocks, seagulls, white foaming suds,
The changing blue hues of the river become
An oasis rising from the landscape of southern Ontario, northern New York

Aboriginal people traversed the land freely
In days before geographic boundaries
When there were no borders.
It is borderless to me.

At Niagara, I am transported from one world to another world.
This new world of universality becomes my Mists of Avalon.
This universality is the essence of my being.
This is Niagara.

Niagara, your name is powerful splendour.
Niagara, you are spirit materialized.
Niagara, you are essence realized.
Niagara. You. Are.

Source: Honey Novick, 2023

Honey Novick is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher/poet.  A full member of the League of
Canadian Poets, Poetry In Voice (educational branch of the Griffin Foundation), the Writer’s
Union of Canada and SOCAN. She is an original member of General Idea performance art
group. Honey performed at Carnegie Recital, Seibu Lion’s Stadium in Japan and has sung
tribute concerts for Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen (5 times, 2x at the Toronto Reference
Library with Canada’s Parliamentary Poet, George Elliott Clarke), Austin Clark, Phil Ochs,
Robbie Burns

She has 10 collections of poems including the forthcoming Bob Dylan, My Rabbi; and I’m
Mad — I Matter, Making A Difference, a project of the Friendly Spike Theatre Band;
Undefeated Relevance, published by Flowertopia Studio; LyricalMyrical’s Ruminations of a Fractured Diamond; Cancyp’s Monday Nights at the Butler’s Pantry; Sanguine Encounters With Greatness and others.

She has recorded 8 CDs including Rising Toward The Seraphim; Solid; New Songs for Peace (a product of the UNESCO millenium endeavours); Milton Acorn and The Free Speech Movement; Sal Mineo, My Friend; Elvis Monday Nights; Fat Albert’s Coffeehouse Artists.

Honey Novick is a four-time awardee of the Dr. Reva Gerstein Legacy Fund and the 2020 Awardee of the Mentor Award of CSARN – Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network. She is a 2019 and 2023 awardee of the Canada 150 Outstanding Neighbours for Literarti and has produced Womanvoice for 29 years.

Honey Novick is a 2020 nominee for an Acker Award – peer-based performance arts contributor

She is working on a recording of Mbrace with bill bissett.

She is artist resource with the Friendly Spike Theatre Band, teaches “Voice Yoga” at the Secret Handshake Gallery, and is part of the Inkwell Writers and High Park Poets.  

Visit Honey Novick’s website

Honey Novick’s Facebook page

My First Visit to Niagara Falls by Wayne Ritchie

Fisherman in the Niagara River Near the Brink of the Falls. March 2003
Photo by Andrew Porteus

The forest is so quiet and I don’t know why.
Yes it’s all up to the man in the sky.
I’ve heard the water but I never saw it fall.
Now I know why humans come for the thrill of it all.
The animal kingdom keeps saying the world’s lost its cool.
The whole human race has turned into a gigantic fool.
Not one single human ventures out from their tiny abode.
My guess is humans think the world’s ready to explode.
It’s hotter in the summer and colder when it snows.
They always blame global warming however Mother Nature really knows.
Well I saw for myself, stepped out taking a chance.
Never knew falling water knew how to shimmy and dance.
The sound is so deafening, it is hurting my ears.
Water is splashing my face like I’m filled with tears.
Feels so cold to the touch, I’d love a taste.
It’s pure energy and it is all going to waste.
A sad state of affairs when no humans are around.
I really can’t get over how quiet the peaceful sound.
No roaring cars on the road with their bright lights.
It’s so much safer when I’m walking alone at nights.
I have always wondered where does this water all flow?  
One day I shall follow it, I’m quisitive you know.
Does this flow into a river, to a very large lake?
It’s a life changing moment, I know I should take.
As for now I’ll just stand here and admire the view.
I’ll pretend the wind is a human, like I’m talking to you.
Wait! Is that a human fishing down on the shore?
I must visit him, maybe he will tell me more.
I bet you he’s kind hearted and will toss me a fish.
I’ve yet to meet a mean human, I can only wish.
Now how do I get there? Well look there’s a trail.
I’m a kind thoughtful animal from my antlers to tail.
So this is what the humans call the mighty Niagara Falls.
A true sign of mother nature when she bids her calls.
A majestic beautiful true life drama to feel and see.
Now let’s head to that fisherman, hope he’ll be nice to me.

Source: Wayne Ritchie, 2023

At the time of submitting this poem, Wayne Ritchie was 73 years old and had been writing poetry and short stories for 60 years.

Niagara Falls, I Do Not by Scott Manley Hadley

Still from Hadley’s Video Niagara Falls, I Do Not

Staring at the water
Beside the top of Niagara Falls
Thinking about throwing myself in.

My sister is visiting and I am exhausted by
Pretending I don’t want to die
Which makes me want death more.

I imagine my body smashing against the rocks
Being pummelled under by the water.

I see my
Floating down the river
On its back
Disgusting the other
Bodies that stand looking at geography
In this trash town
As if it means redemption.  

I stop myself
By thinking
What if I become a ghost.

What if
In this horrible world
Of horrible horrors
The punishment for suicide
Is an eternity on Earth?

I step away from the edge
And tell no one
How close I was
To jumping.

Source: Scott Manley Hadley, 2003

First recorded for Moonchild Magazine, 2019

Visit the website of Scott Manley Hadley

Morning at the Falls by G. W. Cutter


View of Niagara Falls from the American Side, 1850
by A.M. Fraser. Colour tint by Jane Merryweather
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Tis morning, and the vapors white
Towering on high, reflect the light
Back in a flood of glittering gems,
….As if the genii of the air
Their baldricks and their diadems
….In hecatombs were offering there ;
‘Tis morning, and the foliage green,
O’er that gulf is deck’d with silver sheen ; 
A pearly shower as softly lies,
….As bright, as sweetly there reposes,
As ever fell from summer skies
….Upon an orient vale of roses.

The cedar twining o’er the rock
As iftwere conscious of the shock ;
The earthquake of that ocean tide,
….That, pouring, rushing evermore,
Like rolling avalanches glide
….And foam along the shore,
Bears on the emerald crown it wears,
….Gems brighter than have ever lain
Upon the young and tender leaves
….Where softly fell the gentle rain ;
When Flora’s lovely censers fling
Their incense o’er the shrine of spring.

It is indeed a fearful thing,
….A moment we shall ne’er forget,
To stand where e’en the eagle’s wing
….Has never dared to venture yet ;
To mark the volumed vapor white
….Roll up as from a mighty altar,
And feel upon that dizzy hight
….The eternal rock beneath us falter, 
While thousand rainbows fade and flash 
….O’er the crash’d waters as they flow,
And from our very footsteps crash
….In mist and thunder far below,
To know that till the Almighty hand
….Shallroll together as a scroll”
The utmost verge of sea and land,
….That mighty stream shall foam and fall ;
That when our puny frames forgot 
….In death shall sleep full many a year, 
Then other eyes shall hail this spot
….And gaze as we are gazing here.

Source: G.W. Cutter. Poems and Fugitive Pieces. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co., 1857

Read about G.W. Cutter


Niagara by G.W. Cutter


G.W. Cutter
Image from his Poems and Fugitive Pieces

 westward, where the sunlight gleams 
O’er rocky dell and rolling streams ;
O’er forests boundless to the eye,
And mountains blending with the sky :
O’er lakes, whose more than ocean blue
Fade in the heavens’ receding hue ;
Or kindled with the summer’s ray,
Flash with the bright excess of day ;
Or rippling on their snowy shore,
A flood of sparkling diamonds pour ;
Or lash’d beneath the tempest’s wing,
Skyward their foaming billows fling ;
Or round the shelving granite curl’d,
As if they battled with the world,
With deaf’ning roar all madly sweep
The earthquake thunders of the deep ;
But ever as their warring waves
The demon of the storm enslaves,
Sink back and smile in slumber’s chain
As if they ne’er could wake again ;
So calm, the sigh would break their rest
That heaves the sleeping infant’s breast ;
Or forth their devious journey take,
To mingle with some sister lake :
And bursting from their bounds for ever,
Majestic flow a giant river ;
Then soft their curving shores steal by,
As twilight fades from summer sky,
As zephyrs o’er the vernal lea,
As moonlight o’er the tranquil sea—
Twining on thro’ endless ranks
Of trees that shade their sloping banks ;
Or drooping in the crystal wave,
Their green and sunny foliage lave ;
While many an isle of fairy hue
With soft enchantment blends the view.
Thus flow they on from west to east 
Their strength renew’d, their store increased ; 
Till link by link stupendous curl’d,
Their chain embraces half the world ;
And thus from many a distant shore
A thousand floods to Erie pour ;
Where mingling seas together fled,
In more than ocean grandeur spread :
To fair Ontario’s bosom blue,
Combined their onward course pursue ;
With strength the powers of earth to brave—
Niagara’s eternal wave—
calm and broad meanderings stray,
Till mountain ramparts bar their way ;
Then wildly wakes their slumbering might, 
Then upwards dash their billows white, 
Then waves on waves redoubling pour,
And rush along the granite shore ;
Till man must tremble to behold
Their strength sublime together roll’d,
And from the mountain’s awful crown
In one vast ocean thundering down ;
The earth aghast, the mountains riven,
The mist shrouds wreaking up to heaven, 
While thousand startling echoes swell
The mutter’d thunders where they fell.
It is as if from heaven was hurl’d
The ponderous ruins of a world,
And jarring with their mighty force
A flood of planets from their course,
And all in one vast current high
Rush’d darkling down the breathless sky.
own, down the dark green water flows,
Till boiling eddies o’er them close ;
While o’er their foam that rolls below,
Gleams forth the many – colored bow,
And rivals with its beauteous dyes
That prism glory of the skies.
While shiver’d rocks that nod around,
With plumes of pine and cedar crown’d,
Frown neath their shades of living green 
A solemn grandeur o’er the scene.
But hold ! the muse’s starward flight
Falls to the dust in pale affright ;
Drops from her hand the golden lyre ;
All chilly grow her robes of fire,
The mist in clouds above her meet,
The earth is trembling ‘ neath her feet,
Forgets her high immortal powers,
In silence trembles and adores .

Source: G.W. Cutter. Poems and Fugitive Pieces. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co., 1857

Read about G.W. Cutter