The Ohio River

The Ohio’s angry this morning
Churning muddy waters
Up to the treeline
Disinviting fishers and hikers

Clouds are rolling low
Turning everything grey

Historical signs boast
Indian wars here
Lincoln’s father traveled the water’s
Sherman was here
So was Clara Barton

How many bodies lie underneath
The current
Dragged flailing to the dark and cold bottom?
Come closer, the Ohio whispers
I’ll tell you…

© 2017, Dave Allen. All rights reserved.
The author has granted, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Author Notes

I occasionally like to wake up early and drive down the Ohio River, sitting on a park bench with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up. This morning, the sky as overcast and the river was higher from recent rains, painting a pretty ominous picture. This was more an off-the-cuff poem I texted on my phone than a work of art I sweated over. If you have any criticism, have at it. I have no ego...

12 Comments for “The Ohio River”


You reveal the secrets of the deep, even a puddle has tears to shed. I could feel the murky waters swirl, visualise the things the river saw.
disinviting … A verb that warped the prose discouraging sits better for me.
Indian wars (here) i would remove this and put a full stop after wars (two here’s too close together)
Lincoln’s father traveled the water’s
Sherman was here

For a stream of conciousness first draft it is good but I bet a revisit would perfect and hone it into something that flows just like the Ohio. Good work the poet!


Thanks for the input, Ellen! It was a rough second draft – I’ll get back to it one of these days.

You’ve got a point about discouraging vs. disinviting, but ‘discouraging’ doesn’t work very well for me either. There’s got to be something else out there; time to hit the thesaurus.

Carol Moore


I miss the Ohio River my only camping trip in 2003 was on the river with my bestie and her family , she passed in 2010. It is beautiful. Well done My friend


Thank you, Carol! The Ohio passes by a nearby town. My oldest son used to live there, and he liked to pass the time sitting on a bench overlooking it. Since he passed, I ride out there and sit sometimes, pondering life. It’s a good meditation.

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