Wind Chimes

by Johanna Caton

Grey-beard clouds rushed grimly, 
gusts scuttled at ground level, flattening
flowers, flinging leaves, bruising jonquils’ 
crowns, proud heads bowed, fallen, 
face-down, earth to earth.
But I pushed through wind’s gushing,
resisting mass towards something else: 
a dim tune, restless, rude—
sound runes—
raucous dongs, 
rippling song. 

I had forgotten they were there—
dangling from a tree: flute-like
instruments carved for just this 
wind-wrung primal tune.
Made heavy by the artist’s hand, 
wind enough to make them sound is rare, 
yet they were fluting now: each strike 
smote a different note, strangely fierce, 
yet mellow—bell-clear, hollow, pure.

Does wind hear?  
Each breath played its tolls,
eternal and brooding
over the wild void
that was my small

I stayed to hear the wind chimes ring, 
each reed a rod of earlier gods—
and Later.

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, Heart of Flesh, Amethyst Review, The Ekphrastic Review, St Katherine Review, Fathom Magazine and the Catholic Poetry Room webpage at

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