Niagara Beautiful by Samuel R. Cristelli

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The Ice Bridge at Niagara Falls, February 5, 2007
Photo by Andrew Porteus

Fine sprays, colored rainbows,
Rushing waters, winter snows.
Majestically she roars her might,
Niagara, a truly beautiful sight!

Hark! Let us lend an ear
To rumbling sounds that are so near
Recognize her music with pride,
To Niagara! a drink we’ll imbibe!

Breathlessly we watch on a cold winter’s night
When NIagara waters are frozen tight
Ice bridges are formed on waters now ice,
Figurines are molded, does that not suffice?

The stage is set and sounds are slight,
Niagara is silenced by winter’s might.
A command performance soon we’ll see,
As Niagara prepares to break herself free!

With a mighty roar, she blasts her authority
Her fury is unleashed, she’s in her glory
Ice bridges are broken and skirting away
Niagara beautiful has had her say!

The rumbling sounds are heard once more
As Niagara boasts her strength galore!
All is beautiful-so serene
Beautiful Niagara, really supreme!


Source: Samuel R. Cristelli (Dec 5,1921 – Jul 18,1997). The date this poem was written is unknown. Cristelli, a WWII veteran, worked as an electrician and he wrote this poem for the electrical shop newsletter.  When he retired he worked as a supervisor with The Regional Municipality of Niagara at the Pollution Control Plant. The poem was provided by the author’s daughter, Shelley.

Read about the 1912 tragedy on the ice bridge that took 3 lives when it unexpectedly broke up

cristelli

Convenient Corner by Cole McInerney

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Circle K on Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario Image by Circle K

 

 

The consistent
consumer light
from the Circle K
that summer.

A mirage among
the sleeping suburb.

Zombie-like
worker.

Refrigerator
hummer.

The back wall
title text
cheap soda
happiness guarantee,
like broadcasting
palm trees
on a green screen.

Back out to
the parking lot
below the
practically perfect
Circle Moon


Source: The author, 2023

Convenient Corner was first published in Echolocation, vol. 20, March 2023. Convenient Corner was inspired by the Circle K  on Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Cole McInerney is a poet from Niagara Falls, Ontario. He studied English at Toronto Metropolitan University. Currently, he is a MFA student at the University of South Carolina, studying poetry. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Feral Poetry, White Wall Review, The Bookends Review, and Echolocation Magazine.

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See all of Cole McInerney’s poems on the Niagara Falls Poetry Project website:

•     The Buildings of the Dream
•     Convenient Corner
•     Lake Erie
•     Russell Street

Under the Locust Boughs by Tom Lloyd Finlayson

To “J.” — written under the locust trees along the banks of the Niagara

locust

Ussher’s Creek at the Niagara River Parkway
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

In a realm of song and shine,
Where God’s sweetest wild flowers twine,
By Niagara’s singing stream,
Last night in a golden dream,
Wandered I, while at my side
Was a laughing maid, blue-eyed.
Spun from the silk of the corn
Were her tresses, waist length worn;
Fragile, as small pinkest shells
Her wee ears; like jingling bells
Tinkling in the soul of me
Her pure laugh of ecstacy.
Underneath the blossoming boughs
Of the locust, tender vows
Once again our young hearts made;
While the violins that played
Of the breeze, through blooms above,
Thrilled our souls with God’s first love


Source: Tom Lloyd Finlayson. Songs of Niagara Frontier and Other Poems; Autographed by the Author. St. Thomas, Sutherland Press, Limited. n.d.

Judging from the locations mentioned in the poems in this pamphlet it seems that Finlayson spent his childhood in Fort Erie, Ontario.

Niagara, I Love You by Tom Lloyd Finlayson

Written during a recent visit to Niagara Falls, Canada

finlayson

The Horseshoe Falls, 1928
Photograph by Fred Noma. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Men tell of the spell of the Rockies,
The glamour of the seven seas —
Here in my own native home-land
A wonder dwells greater than these.

…………REFRAIN:

When cherry boughs glow
And soft breezes blow,
Niagara, I love you, I do —
When silvery moonlight,
Strikes your shoulders white,
Niagara, I love you, it’s true —
Fair queen of the wild
I’ve loved since a child
God speaks in the thunder of you —
When in your wild hair
God’s rainbow you wear —
Niagara, I love you, I do.


Source: Tom Lloyd Finlayson. Songs of Niagara Frontier and Other Poems; Autographed by the Author. St. Thomas, Sutherland Press, Limited. n.d.

Judging from the locations mentioned in the poems in this pamphlet it seems that Finlayson spent his childhood in Fort Erie, Ontario.

 

Death of an Immigrant by Bobbie Kalman

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The author with her Mother and Father, Imre Kalman
Photo courtesy of Bobbie Kalman

My father cheated death a number of times.
People called him a hero.
In Hungary, he was my hero.
But our Revolution failed,
and our dreams were denied.

On Dad’s 35th birthday,
we fled our country
in the middle of the night.
“You’re so lucky you got out,”
those left behind cried.
But my father was never the same.
Although his body was safe,
his spirit had died.

We became immigrants in a country far away.
For my father, that was the saddest day.
Although his life was still ahead,
he fled backwards in his mind
to happier times in the place we left behind.
His life became conversations with the past.
Mythical, magical stories filled his head
Stories that took place long before we were born
Stories we learned to dread.
Being kids, we preferred the present instead.

Our new home was a shrine to what used to be,
but it was a place we never felt free.
The rest of us forged ahead with our new lives,
but we felt too guilty to look in his eyes.
Eyes that were empty—showing no spirit inside.
Dad thought he cheated death,
but he just didn’t die.

The doctors called him a “medical miracle.”
They took out organs, cut off his leg,
and started his stalled heart three or four times.
Then, one day, his heart just broke.
His body finally died.
If only he could have realized…

People die for the myths they create.
And then, suddenly, they find out—too late
that love exists only in the present.

I hope you’re in the place of your dreams, Dad.
I hope there is nothing there that
makes you feel sad.
If only you could have read my book!
I went back to the past to have a good look,
at our lives in Hungary,
where you were my hero.


Source: Bobbie Kalman, 2023

Read about Bobbie Kalman