Three Poems by Claudia Gary






Shadow Selfie

Projected onto shale
but rooted in this planet,
we long to countervail
the weight of sandstone, granite,
and metamorphic rocks.
We welcome paradox.

Our presence is a mask
against the radiant
late sun in which we bask,
but nothing can prevent
our shades from holding hands
there on the bridge, suspended
from gravity’s demands.
They float unapprehended—

no faces, no expressions,
no good deeds, no transgressions.
We’ve summoned them to cleave
our image to these cliffed
surroundings. Take or leave
our longing as a gift.

The Present Moment

A cumulus that drifts away
leaves room for those that follow it,
replace it, in a cotton stream
of fractals. Here the cloud-forms seem
anthropomorphic, intimate
but mute. I write them as they play.

Lover’s Memo

On site or off
you did put in the hours
to make me dream of you.

You took no breaks,
at least not long enough
to warrant your dismissal.

Re: tonight’s dream,
are you still on the job?
I thought you had clocked out.

Claudia Gary lives near Washington, D.C., and teaches workshops on Villanelle, Sonnet, Natural Meter, Poetry vs. Trauma, etc., at The Writer’s Center (, currently via Zoom. Author of Humor Me (2006) and several chapbooks, most recently Genetic Revisionism (2019), she is also a health science writer, visual artist, and composer of tonal chamber music and art songs. See; follow her on Twitter at @claudiagary. 

Photo (c) 2017 by Claudia Gary. This was taken on an autumn afternoon at the C&O Canal National Park in Maryland. Author photo by John P. Flannery.

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