At the Head of the Falls by Kim Clarke Champniss

Looking Toward the Brink of Niagara Falls From Opposite the Old Scow. Photo by Kim Clarke Champniss

I am here now
Amid sacred calm
Amid white noise
Amid white water
Amid summer’s call

I am here now
Opposite the scow
Stranded on the rocks
A rusting man
At the head of the Falls.

I am here now
Amid Nature’s beauty
Amid eternal power
Amid endless Love
Amid the mystery of it all

I am here now
Under spreading maple trees
Beneath gulls gliding on the breeze
Upstream from crowds
Packed in amusement halls.

I am here now
Amid regal silence
Amid unknown history
Beside the river of time
Close to truth beyond the wired wall.

I am here now
Caught, like we all are,
In gravity’s deadly pull.
I am here now
In grateful solitude
At the head of the Falls.

Source: Kim Clarke Champniss.    August 13, 2018.

Biography of Kim Clarke Champniss

The Niagara Scow by Amanda Tulk


Scow Rescue in Niagara River – Gustav F Lofberg being pulled to safety by breeches buoy. Courtesy Niagara Falls Public Library. August 7, 1918

Now it sits a pile of unstable rust
Amongst the falls
And their murderous rush
Two men on a routine trip
A few hours later Red Hill screaming
Dont lose your grip
A split second decision
Could have ended their lives
Lucky to make it home to their wives
One man risked it all
He figured as long as he tried
There was no fault
The unstable scow
Hung by a tree
Attached by a weak buckle
Inching the rope to answer the mens pleas
With each breath taking stride
Praying not to end it all
With a wavy ride
One man hooked and back on shore
Clipped to the rope
He goes back for one more
To this day
The scow sits, where waves strive
Two men, forever grateful
To be able to enjoy their lives

Listen to The Niagara Scow by Amanda Tulk, read by Oliver Porteus

Source: Tulk, Amanda.  Can You Hear It? : Poetry by Amanda Tulk.  Niagara Falls, Ont. : Grey Borders Books, 2013

Click here to see a newspaper article about the scow rescue

This is one of the poems included on the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls. Click to go to the walking tour