A Pentecost

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Johanna Caton, O.S.B.                                                                             

A Pentecost
After Emily Dickinson

Your Deeds, dear Sir, no one can map
With Arithmetic rule—
Yet Dogmatists may call me Quack
For claiming–like a Fool—

To have beheld the Infinite
Whose Longitudes sublime
Marked out one day the Laundromat
That rid my clothes of grime—

Yet–truly–all who washed that day
Were Radiant–were One—
The sweetest of all Songs we sang—
Even as dryers spun–

And Glory fringed each sock and blouse—
I folded, Glory-dazed—
I walked my Glory home—I was
Half stupefied—joy-crazed—

For though the Distance was not great—
Only a mile I trod—
For—Fools—it circumnavigates
The Latitudes of God.


A Pentecost first appeared in Agnellus Mirror’s “Daily Reflections” blog.

Johanna Caton, O.S.B., is a Benedictine nun from Minster Abbey in Kent, England. Born in Virginia, she lived in the United States until adulthood, when her monastic vocation took her to England. She writes poetry as a means of understanding the work of God in her life, whose purposes and presence can be elusive until viewed through the more accommodating lens of art and poetry. Her poetry has appeared on Agnellus Mirror, in the ‘Daily Reflections’ blog and The Christian Century.

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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.

Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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