Nile rain

A poem.

Ann Hermes
Boaters and felucca operators cross the Nile River in Assiut, Egypt.

Droplets hopped inside their perfect circles on the waves.

 Then it all thrashed down in sheets

 and drummed up a mist above the river:

a real rain for the second time in a week, and rare.

 The sodden fog thickened and formed a bridge

 to the island where not all of the foreigners live.

At the officers’ club on the opposite shore

 a team of ten drenched rowers

 skipped up the slippery slats of the ramp

 to the boathouse.

 Fumbling along with the long boat and oars,

the red-faced coaches cursed under their shawls.

 Even while the wind was hurling its arrows,

 my personal heroes 

 the fishermen 

swept out in the brightly painted, tipping wooden boats 

to stand barefoot on the stern and let the nets tumble in.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Nile rain
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today