The Mighty Mississippi – Follow up to The Great Divide

A mini Grand Canyon in the Mississippi Delta after the Flood of 2011. Photo by The Delta Bohemian

A mini Grand Canyon in the Mississippi Delta after the Flood of 2011. Photo by The Delta Bohemian


A chasm where there was none
Sand stole long ago
Deposited in a new bank
A product of ebb and flow!

He cuts a wide swath,
Even when confined
His presence he makes known
No one does he mind!

He has no master but One
He obeys only the Lord
He accedes to no man’s wishes
He will be not constrained!

His surface may appear languid
But beneath he houses graves
Pale-skinned catfish guard the catafalque
Asian carp now rule the waves!

Muddy is his core
Drainage is his game
Barges agitate his core
But no one owns his soul!

He drains and waters a nation
He destroys and builds at once
Beware the Ole Man River
He just keeps rolling along!

They say he don’t know nothing
They think he just don’t care
But travelers need be wary
His eddies will ensnare!

Fish, birds and wildlife
For granted they do not take
The Ole Man River who rolls
Sashays, dips, and snakes!

He ambles and he wanders
The path that he’s been taught
But never think for a moment
The Ole Man has been caught!

Ole Man River loves the gloaming
And roaming beneath the tide
The morning and the noonday
The midday and eventide!

Fishermen find him tranquil
Barges find him deep
Land lovers find him scary
He always plays for keeps!

Treat him with respect
Treat him like a muse
And He’ll reward you amply
If you pay your dues!

The dues that he requires
Are knowledge and respect
Understanding and generosity
Not neglect and disrespect!

He might allow man to constrain him
But only just a whit
Only God controls him
But man he gives a fit!

That Ole Man River keeps a rolling
Down the central plain
Draining half a nation
Causing both joy and pain!

But oh, how we need him
But oh, how he knows
He just wants his freedom
To go where he wants to go!

We love our Ole Man River
We cherish how he rolls
We love our Mississippi
And the mystery that he holds!

Roll on with yo bad self!


This poem is a follow-up to Poor William’s swim across The Great Divide. Follow this link to see photos taken of The Great Divide and a video of his swim.



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  1. Clifford Davis says:

    I’ve been working on the River all my life. Great poem.
    You got it figured out pretty good!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Clifford, you ole river rat. Maybe a topic of discussion next time we meet up.

      By the way, we are just down the street at that orange beach living the good life. 😎

      Still got a bottle of that fine wine we shared recently? hint hint

      Might head to the Flora Bama later on.

  2. with a nice observation and sloshy clogs from the blue “blew” hole, you have put a nice little
    bit of your writing skills on display.
    thanks ,

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