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Updated on August 27, 2011

By: Wayne Brown

Your vast waters have run down what is America’s back

Since the Ice Age of long ago cut the paths that you track

A permanent fixture on the face of this magnificent land

Back through history and all of time to where it all began


Your channel ever so wide; your waters so dark, and deep

Strike fear in those who come near the banks but do not leap

Your never-ending flow matches the passage of all history

A fluid giant of flowing motion offering both awe and mystery


Oh Mighty Mississippi, so long have your waters rolled

Down to the Gulf from your source at the far northern shoal

Long influencing those who come to your bluffs and banks

Men of history, adventurers, card sharks, Rebs and Yanks


Upon your waters explorers found their way to other places

To explore upon this land in you many nooks and spaces

Canoes, barges, and river boats rode upon your southern flow

To destinations near and far, wherever your waters may go


Mark Twain learned his skills here as a young riverboat man

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, he imagined upon this vast span

Steam and paddle-wheelers navigated up and down your waters

Carrying passengers of all walks in stacked up sleeping quarters


Grant brought his Army of Illinois to fight and regain the south

Your waters witnessed the siege of Vicksburg, the hunger of mouths

Wars and hardships came and in time found their individual cure

Your waters kept on rolling as this history you did endure


Oh Mighty Mississippi, long have your waters ebbed n’ flowed

At times they have sped up and at other times they have slowed

The sun beats down upon you; takes your waters in evaporation

Rain drives the waters out of your banks flooding many locations

No matter how time and history changes, big muddy keeps the flow

Sending waters down your vast channels or wherever you choose to go

From the great northern Minnesota to the delta lands of New Orleans

Marking the history of American people and all their eyes have seen


Oh Might Mississippi, it seems your future is longer than your past

You will exist on this land long after mankind has breathed his last

And for each generation which comes and goes in this great land

There will always be men who stand in awe of your enormous span


© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @breakfastpop...This was a tough write....lots of history in that big river, can't touch it with one poem but I tried. WB

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Now this is history alive and well. This might be a fine way to educate our kids about our history, keeping them interested and engaged all the while. Up interesting and awesome.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona


    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      I feel like I am standing on the banks of the Mississippi singing Dixie. Ha! If you need some research material for the Civil War piece, I can loan you my Gone With the Wind. Finished it tonight and so inspired! No really, such an important geographic, economic, and historic landmark. So many things become clear-cut when you consider east or west of the Mississippi. I guess you never needed the little song to help you spell the river (or state), but I still use it. M-I-crookedletter-crookedletter-I-crookedletter-crookedletter-I-humpbacked-humpbacked-I. Hard to type but easy to sing. Kudos on another great hub my friend!

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 6 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      Wayne, don't quit your writing job for stand up comedy ;]

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @WillStarr...Did you know that Mark Twain had a son who was a writer...Yep, they called him "Choo Choo"..."Choo Choo Twain"! LOL! WB

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent work, Wayne!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Poohgranma...She's hard to miss either on the ground or in the air...what a sight! You picked a great site for those ashes. Thanks much! WB

      @saddlerider1...You got me wanting to hear cash sing, "Big River" now. "And I followed you big river when you called!" with that driving guitar beat behind it. I think Mark Twain created my first real awareness of the river even though I had grown up a state (Mississipi) which it bordered on the. The first time I crossed it was on the old bridge at Vicksburg which was very narrow and shared by both the cars and the railroad. The bridge was barely passable for two cars and the guard rails at the base of each side were shiny from tires rubbing against them holding to the right. That was one scary expanse of water on a bridge like that. WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 6 years ago

      Roll on mighty Mississippi roll on. I learned about this great river of yours back in the days of my schooling. I was enthralled by the adventures of Huck Fin and Tom Sawyer old Mark Twain sure left an impact of stories about this mighty river.

      Riverboat gamblers and paddlewheel queens. Man it must have been some adventure back in those days to plow the Mighty Mississippi, I would have loved to been playing poker on one of those boats, packing my side arm and being on the ready for a gun fight if the cards wearn't dealt right:-) Rated up and awesome for sure...

    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

      What a lovely tribute to my favorite river! I grew up living near the Mississippi many years of my life and it is on it's banks I've requested my ashes to be scattered. No other place I've been brings me the peace and tranquility as this mighty giant. Thanks for a wonderful read!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Hypenbird...I tried to touch the history without getting buried by it which was difficult as this river has been a witness to almost all one could imagine in this country. I hope I did her a tribute with the things that I did mention. WB

      @Writer20...I have crossed her many times in my life...mostly at Vicksburg. I always have the same thoughts as I look upon her...where will this next journey take me and how will things be when I see these waters once again? It's a landmark in my life. WB

      @BenWritings...Thank you, Ben. Maybe I'll try to cover the entire Civil War in my next outing!LOL! That was about how I felt by the third verse...too much to present. Here's hoping that it comes across as a reaonable salute to this big river. WB

      @drbj...Ain't I good, Doc? LOL! Thanks so much, I do appreciate your lofty assessment of poetic skills. I am sure there are some real poets out there who cringe at the thought! Ha! WB

      @A.A. Zavala...As much as I would like that, there would probably be some liberal professor there who would want the book banished for fear that my conservative nature might adversely affect the socialist teachings! LOL! WB

      @Movie Master...Well, thank you...that's a might fine compliment and I will sure take it. I believe in writing poetry to the point and not beating around the bush. So, normally one can figure out what it is I am talking about. I like that kind of poetry so I try to write it for others as well. Thanks for the read and the kind words. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Reynold Jay...Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind comments. I do not own a copyright on the's not mine. I simply borrowed a link back to it to highlight my verse. This also gives the owner back on YouTube some added traffic opportunities as well. Just follow the link and you should be able to make contact with them. Thanks. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber...She's a mighty big river with a might big history, Dusty. Tough but fun to attempt to write about in verse. Hope I did her some justice. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @blake4d...Still here, sir! And the format is still changing! LOL! Glad you enjoyed this one! WB

      @Wrath Warbone...Thank you. This was a difficult subject to attempt in verse, much like some of the war battles that I have done...lots of details to weight and decide to use, etc. I feared that in the end I could not do justice to this river which has been here for time on end. Thanks for your encouragement. WB

      Darknlovely3436...Thank you, I do appreciate your visit and your kind words. WB

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Awesome, poetry at it's best.

      voting up.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      SHould be published as an anthology in a college American literature class. Awesome!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Just another example, Wayne, of your awesome poetic talent. Thank you. Rated up to the max.

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 6 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      Great work again Wayne. You always tell such tales with your spot-on poetry.

      I loved the last verse, naturally, since it mentions mankind breathing its last...LOL

      voted up and awesome and such :]

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub, Ol Mississippi looks beautiful

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Oh Wayne. This is like a lyrical history and social lesson of that mighty body of water. I am a water lover anyway. You are a constant source of beauty.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I love everything about this. I wanna use your copyrighted video at my HUB! I got no money. Please go take a look at the HUB and let me know! I'm a musician too and have 12 music videos at my HUBS. You can use mine if you ever find the need.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne Mi Amigo, most excellent piece followed up with a great tune, voted you up and awesome, as said above good to see you still love us as we do you, dust

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 6 years ago from NewYork

      Thank you for sharing some beautiful scenery

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Terrific! Great sense of history evoked here. You caught the timelessness of it all well. I wish I were immortal like that river! Thanks.

    • blake4d profile image

      Blake Ford Hall 6 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

      Nice WB. You really capture the American spirit, I am glad to see that you did not leave Hub Pages altogether. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d