by Johanna Caton
Week 1 Stillness Vast as galaxies Small as seed. Week II What is it like to espouse spirit give existence to the self-existent birth an epoch name the eponym embrace the essence nourish the numinous encompass infinity enfold the eternal. mother omniscience? What did she feel – bearer of the embryo: emblem of the absolute entranced emblazoned embroiled empty engulfed estranged elated eclipsed hallowed? Week III The sun has drawn its yearly paschal arc and now, below earth’s end, is lost from sight, and I – I watch, but not for risen might. I watch the midnight sea of sin. What barque floats here? A crib! So small a thing, so slight, and yet she wings, her sail full and tight. And that’s the tale – I know each jot and mark: the most unlikely thing – so strange, yet right: the crib holds God’s own Son. Sin’s lost the fight. And I – afraid, a child in the dark – I crave new proof to testify beside the evidence of our unending plight. But there’s no proof. Only the merest spark – one firefly in the darkness – tiny, bright – then flaming higher – brighter than all light. Week IV. Comings can tiptoe – almost on air Big shoes can step softly Soft as a baby’s breathing As a baby’s skin As His silken hair.
Johanna Caton, O.S.B., is a Benedictine nun of Minster Abbey in England. Originally from Virginia, she lived in the U.S. until adulthood, when her monastic vocation took her to Britain. Her poems have appeared in both online and print publications, including The Christian Century, The Windhover, A Time of Singing, Amethyst Review, The Ekphrastic Review and the Catholic Poetry Room webpage at integratedcatholiclife.org. Some of her poems can be found at www.integratedcatholiclife.org/?s=johanna+caton