The Path by Myles Calvert

Morningstar Mill and Decew Falls
Photo by M.J. Thomas, licenced by Wikimedia Commons

The path is worn.
A scar scorched through the forest by an untold number of travelers.

The sky is gray.
What leaves remain on the trees are at rest.



Looking down, a pair of legs are moving forward but no steps are heard.
How long have they been walking?

Looking up, the path, with long snow kissed grass skirting the sides stretches on without end.

To the left an unseen cliff, to the right a spacious field filled with unremarkable flora.

The pace quickens to combat an incessant chill.

How much longer to go?

His legs ache. A glance backwards reveals nothing as the path melts away into black. The further he walks the more darkness gathers behind.

With eyes now forward on the perennial view, he feels a weakening resolve and for the first time, a shortening stride.

Ahead, a soft bend is revealed.

A new breeze arouses the leaves while the mute footsteps become perceptible.

Rounding the bend.

The once impenetrable clouds disperse to reveal a warming sun, a distinct tune from a bird and a flower in bloom.

Entranced by the surprising change he carelessly slows to a saunter while the bend hardens in front of him.

Warm turns to hot turns to blazing.

The song turns to noise turns to a cry.

The grass thickens and encroaches on the path with sharpened blades.

A wince.

As he shields his eyes from the light he kicks towards the intruding growth and launches into a blind run.

The color flushes away and the noise fades to a hum, to a dead calm.

Defeated, he opens his eyes and fixes them back on the straightened path.



Myles Calvert

Source: Myles Calvert, 2023. Written in May, 2021. 

The location of “the path” is heavily influenced by a hiking trail at Decew Falls / Morningstar Mill. As you walk along away from the waterfall there is a cliff on your left and at times an open field to your right.

Those who have walked it before may know it well and recognize the descriptions (although the waterfall is not mentioned in The Path).

Myles Calvert is the owner of  Tenpine Web Development and of Walk Niagara Tours, and can also be found on Facebook.


Map of Morningstar Mill / Decew Falls area in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Glen Albert Near DeCew Falls by A Traveller

Glen Albert
Decew Falls by Miller’s Photographic Saloon – Possibly Chauncey C Miller, active in St. Catharines c. 1865-1868

Glen Albert ! How lovely thy beautiful scene —
As lovely to me as a nymph of sixteen,
All blushing with health and unconscious of guile,
‘Tis a foretaste of Eden to bask in thy smile ;
To list in suspense to the sound of thy falls —
Hearing nature’s sweet music in nature’s own halls,
While the hue-changing leaves by the zephyr caressed,
Murmur softly and sweetly a sigh of love bless’d.
Though the sun’s glowing rays gild the woods on thy heights,
In thy depths far below there’s a gloom that delights,
Where the wandering traveller, wearied with care,
Can pause in thy Glen and find solitude there —
There alone in thy bosom, from tumult apart,
He can have a fit place to commune with his heart.

Clipping from The Nephalist on the back of the above picture. Click to enlarge

Proud Niagara calls him with voice loud and bold,

And lures to her falls, as the siren of old.
But thy sparkling cascades, gushing smiles mixed with tears,
Cause so modern Ulysses to stop up his ears.
Here retired from the haunts of fashion and crime,
Thou art seen in thy loveliness, truly sublime;

E’en in history’s page thou did’st shine long ago
When our heroes stood by thee to ward off their foe,
And a ‘Merritt’ held post after Beaver Dam fight,
Thou did’st bravely assist with a Spartan girl’s might
Let the foreigner share in Niagara’s roar,
That with menacing fury growls “Dieu et mon Droit,”
Yet Glen Albert ! the bird that loves its own nest
For a love — all its own — sure will love thee the best.

Source: Courtesy Dennis Gannon.

Poem clipped from the newspaper The Nephalist, October 6, 1866,  pasted to the back of the photograph above. The Nephalist was a weekly temperance newspaper published in St. Catharines between May and December, 1866.

The precise location of Glen Albert is unknown.

A note undrneath the poem reads: The author of the above lines has, we think, given a suitable name to a sweet spot, inferior to very few of the Glens in Scotland and elsewhere, so celebrated by poets, painters, and historians. As it is so near the camp, quite a number of visitors daily visit the place, and no doubt wonder that it is not more frequented by the lovers of the picturesque at St. Catharines and by excursions from other… the clipping ends here]

See more poems of the Battle of Beaverdams and the War of 1812 in Niagara