Another December Snow Day in Niagara Falls by Doug Smith

december
Children on Bridge St., Niagara Falls, looking East, circa 1900
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Lost in snowflakes

      children march 
            in jubilation
                warmed 
                      by ‘Let it Snow’ 
                          philosophies
                             and homemade 
                                 scarves and mittens.
                                     Another December snow day 

                                                    in Niagara Falls.  

Source: The Author, August 2022

 

See Doug Smith ’s All Poetry site (Darknightofthesoul)

See Another December Day in Niagara Falls on All Poetry, written 12/13/21

Doug Smith is a former Niagara Falls, NY resident

Niagara in San Diego by Doug Smith

diego
Blizzard of 77 – Children Waving From the Top of a Buried School Bus
Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

I reach for trusted pen and paper
and commit to writing like old days
When I’d feel the thump of winter boots
and remember youthful school snow days
I keep it tightly inside me like
a favorite song I used to know
I bring a little Niagara
with my top down in San Diego

The west will drive poorly, close their schools
in February droplets of rain
while Buffalo kids wear shorts when the
thermometer hits 30 again
When I eat my kale and quinoa I
ask for Buffalo sauce as I go
I take home some Niagara
eating my way through San Diego

The grocery clerk looks like my aunt
except she wears a golden sun tan
I introduced her to Mexican
when we got lunch from a taco stand
I’d trade this Ralph’s for Wegman’s, give up
eternal sun for a touch of snow
Share Niagara melancholy
with the models in San Diego

A robin in winter-spring backyard
versus a sea lion on the pier
From apple cider Octobers
to grand palm trees, how do you compare?
Somedays I miss a chill that needs a
grandmotherly knitted homemade throw
Somedays I want Niagara cold
to keep me warm in San Diego

‘America’s Finest City’ hopes
it could become a little bit lost
In potholes and in yesterdays
and storied scars that tell of the cost
It could be a crumbling beauty
where family memories could grow
My cataract Niagara world
would keep me glad in San Diego
I bring a little Niagara
to picture perfect San Diego


Source: All Poetry February 25, 2022

See Doug Smith’s All Poetry site (Darknightofthesoul)

Author’s note: This is heavily inspired by a song. It’s also something I truly identify with, coming from Niagara Falls and living and loving East coast a lot, to moving, semi officially, to San Diego.

Lots to note from this: I wrote with with pen and paper to start and that’s how the poem begins. Ralph’s is a West coast grocery store, Wegman’s is in the Northeast. Niagara Falls are called cataracts and San Diego’s nickname is America’s Finest city. Buffalo is a neighboring city to Niagara Falls. And finally, my aunt came to visit me and had Mexican for the first time in this taco stand in a gas station (that was well regarded and she loved). 

 

 

Niagara by Kathy Gilbert

gilbert
Deer in the Winter
Image courtesy of PxHere

The river carries me here
As a babe on its island’s shores I play
Palms and fingers squish soft sand, feet kick,
On my back, sun warmed laps of waves.

Currents change with the seasons
Moody green, then blue; milky, then grey
Factory polluted in a haphazard way.
In autumn steam rises after first frost

Buckhorn’s creek freezes over in white
Our skates’ steel cuts crust to granules of light
We hear the creak of the sheet unable
to bear our weight; it cracks, we lie on the ice

crawl to shore; imagine the classmate trapped
head under the lip of ice, face turned blue
frozen in his boots, red cap and jacket;
first of our generation to pay the price

like deer seeking to drink fresh water
stranded on ice floe; eyes wide in fear
headed for the Rapids, then the Falls.
Sooner or later the current carries us all.


Source: Kathy Gilbert, 2021

Award winning poet Kathy Gilbert grew up in Niagara Falls, NY, attending St John de La Salle, Prince of Peace, and 66th Street schools before moving to Grand Island.  She currently resides  in Northern California where she received an MFA in poetry from San Francisco State University. In 2020, she published a poetry collection, Aprils Three. Other poems have appeared in Transfer, Anomalous, Swampwriting, The Steel Toe Review, The Community of Writers, and,Vistas & Byways. She is currently working on a book about Niagara Falls.

Winter Falls by Rich Roach

sleep niagara
Niagara Falls in Winter, 1890s. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Sleep, sleep, Niagara, deep beneath the ice;
    Your native thunder quell, that peace may reign
About your mammoth frame; let calm entice
    Your weary waters, evermore a fane
For weary hearts to perch, spellbound in awe:
    Carve caverns from the layered ice and snow,
That out the gap you breathe both rough and raw;
    Along your sides let chilly north winds blow,
And cystallize the limbs of every tree
    Guarding the lofty borders of your brim;
Let famished seagulls from your chill face flee,
    That nothing stay the zealous eye to skim
        Your placid whiteness, lost in rare displays
        Of wonder, dreamy scenes for all to praise

Source: The author, 2001.

Niagara Falls by C.D. Onofrio

onofrio niagara falls
Niagara Falls in Winter. Photo by Andrew Porteus

Niagara Falls in the winter time. The empty rooms of
skyscraper hotels facing the river that cuts the ridge of the
rock. The waterfall moans for miles through the streets, the
only sound over the fresh mute of snowfall. The lights of
the mid-way; fun houses, freak shows, horror houses; all lit
up and no one to see. Hatchet men, monsters, ghouls,
having staring matches with wax celebrities, and rock stars
and criminals. And me, sitting in stone. My breathe the only
thought that fills the air.

Source: The Author, 2017