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,
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.
Atlength with more than human strength, ‡‡‡‡The Huron’s deadly foe, Seizedonhisthroatandheldhimdown, ‡‡‡‡Tosuffocatebelow. Hardwasthestruggle, and the waves ‡‡‡‡Contending claim theirprey, Ando’erthe dyingHurondance; ‡‡‡‡Then bearhiscorpseaway.
AllhelplessfloatstheIroquois, ‡‡‡‡Andoftaroundisroll’d. Tillon a frailandbrokenwreck, ‡‡‡‡Hefaintlymakeshishold. Nopowerhadhetotemptthedeep, ‡‡‡‡Hiswontedstrengthwasgone, Andev’rypassingwavethatrose, ‡‡‡‡Frownedonhimasitsown.
YeSpiritsofthewaterycaves, ‡‡‡‡Fromheryourdangersstay, Granther the objectofherhopes, ‡‡‡‡Andsafelyspeedherway. She nearsthe dark and fainting brave, ‡‡‡‡And‘midtheWhirlpool’sroar Sheliftshiminherfragileboat, ‡‡‡‡Andturnshercoursetoshore.
Source: Cooper, James Fenimore [attributed to]. A Legend of the Whirlpool. Buffalo: Thomas & Co., 1840.
The text also contains notes that Cooper wrote about the Whirlpool before the poem; and some explanatory notes about the poem at the end. See the full text at Hathi Trust
Note on the first page: A part of this Legend was published in the United States Magazine [and Democratic Review], October 1839. It is authored by “S. de V.,” and has the epigram: “This grand and beautiful scene is three miles from the Falls of Niagara, and four miles from the Village of Lewiston.” It can be viewed at the Hathi Trust.
An Indian, in the days of yore —
Of “fish and fur’s” abounding store —
Would cross Niagara’s stream —
Just where the river, smooth and wide,
Pours toward the gulf its treacherous tide,
Like some deceitful dream.
Near by, a bear was crossing, too :
Whose head no sooner rose to view,
Than straight the “Brave” urged his canoe
To grasp an easy prey ;
But Bruin fled not — glad to greet
A resting-place for weary feet,
He turned and swam his foe to meet,
Upon the watery way.
They met — the paddle’s blow was dealt ;
With paw received, or scarcely felt
By fur-protected bear.
Who, reaching up as for a bough,
Climbed gracefully into the prow
And sat serenely there.
The astonished “Brave” sought in his turn
The “ultima thule” of the stern,
And then sat down to stare.
And thus in armed neutrality
They sat in thoughtful “vis-à-vis,”
While the bark drifted silently
To meet the breakers white ;
But when the Indian seized an oar,
To stay his course, or seek the shore,
Admonished by an ominous roar,
He dropped it in affright :
For in those cavernous jaws he sees
Molars, incisors, cuspidés —
Enough a hero’s heart to freeze
Or dentist to delight.
More dreadful still, the angry Fall,
Like some huge monster seemed to call,
Impatient for its prey ;
And shows its breakers’ flashing teeth,
To welcome him to depths beneath ; —
And breathes its breath of spray.
Visions of fire and frying pan
Encompassed that bewildered man
(Tho’ watery fears oppressed)
And Shakspeare’s thought his bosom fills
“Better to bear our present ills
Than fly” — you know the rest.
Whether the Brave proved dainty fare,
And then the Fall devoured the bear,
Though unto them the “loss was sair”
To us is less ado :
But still, arrayed in fancy’s gleam,
Have floated down Tradition’s stream
The twain in that canoe —
And furnished to the faces pale,
The matter to “adorn a tale,”
And “point a moral,” too.
We float upon life’s lapsing tide
While toward some gulf the waters glide
With unremitting might ;
And some black bear holds us in awe,
Like the “black Care” which Horace saw
Behind the Roman knight.
We fain would seize an oar to reach
Some sylvan shore, some silvery beach ;
But still the moment miss —
For Pride, or Ease, or Care, or Fear,
Sits with o’erwhelming presence near ;
The saving hand we dare not lift,
And gently thus we drift, drift, drift,
Into the dread abyss.
Our land, which boasts that it prepares
Its morel and material wares,
Should make its legends, too :
And mixing one of native clay,
Let’s drop “a lion’s in the way,”
And in its stead hereafter say —
“A bear’s in the canoe.”