Fair Niagara – verse epistle

Fair Niagara

Think not that I have forsaken you.
These thousand miles that separate us
cannot deny that you still flow
through my veins like a lifeblood.

There can be no denying our intimacy.
You cradling me while I swam your depths
beside muskellunge and sturgeon
or holding me afloat as I paddled
your waters in the company of herons.
You as my quiet companion,
the many hours I sat by your shore
marveling at your beauty, contemplating life.

I have known the majesty of your cataracts,
you with a rainbow as a crown
while singing of the splendors of nature.
I have seen your power and fury on display
below those falls, rushing through a canyon
that could not contain you, till you broke free
to flow calmly, steadily, to complete your course,
connecting one inland sea with another.
I have watched the sun set over you,
enhancing your beauty and glory.

Yet, while my heart still beats for you,
it has answered the call of one most dear.
And while she shares my heart with you,
this distance lies between us. I seek
what comfort I can from the rivers and streams
of my new home. They do not run as clear.
Nor do they provide the solace
I find in your blue waters, Niagara.

This poem is my response to Exploring the poetic genre: Verse Epistle, the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. An epistle is a letter in verse, usually addressed to a person close to the writer. Its themes may be moral and philosophical, or intimate and sentimental.

Aside from family, what I miss most about western New York is the Niagara River, having lived within two miles of it for 59 years of my life – and within ¼ mile for 34 of those years. From scuba diving to boating, to kayaking, to hiking the gorge of the lower river I’ve spent thousands of hours on, under, or beside the river. I’ve been in Missouri for nine years, and every visit back to New York includes walking along the river’s shore and visiting Niagara Falls.

Sunset on the Niagara River, with the skyline of the city of Niagara Falls on the horizon
(click image for larger view in new tab)

28 thoughts on “Fair Niagara – verse epistle

  1. I visited The falls twice; Once when I was (almost) too young to remember it even today, six decades later, and again 16 years ago, when I had a heart attack I wasn’t aware I was having until some weeks later when a doctor told me that what had happened.
    I grew up, though, on the banks of the Connecticut River and, with the exception of a couple brief interludes otherwise, have always lived within a day’s drive to its banks.
    So I resonate with your love letter, Ken. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is utterly breathtaking!! 💝 So much to love here especially; “I have known the majesty of your cataracts, you with a rainbow as a crown while singing of the splendors of nature.” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can truly identify with these feelings of longing for your home in nature. You have expressed this in previous poems, and for me it is the Lake District that I miss the most and go back to whenever I visit the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Fair Niagara (revised) ~ verse epistle | rivrvlogr

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