Posted by on 25 Feb 2013 in Poetry | 0 comments

There are dangers all around us, small things waiting to trip us and slip us up. To me this poem is about not being distracted, about noticing the little things that can make a difference, and it’s a reminder that we can’t look too far ahead. Originally printed in “America,” a national Catholic weekly magazine, this is Advice on Crossing Rivers.

Advice On Crossing Rivers


Never mind the rain.
Pay attention to the stones.

Stones are all that’s left here
by rivers that’ve brought

fallen mountain tops down
to stony beds like this.

Know instead the green
moss and algae and how mist

hides among the tiny leaves,
and magnitudes of roots

smooth sharp stones.
Jesus, knowing all he knows,

might just stop the rain,
cross the river like a street,

raise the dead… but you…
concentration is the key.

Cross the river first,
then find shelter from the rain.


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Previously published in “America” – 2 Nov 1996
Previously published in “Holy City Chronicle” – June 2002