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Claudia Gary Annis

Claudia Gary Annis is a poet and composer who lives in Leesburg, Va. Her chapbook Ripples in the Fabric was published by Somers Rocks Press (Brooklyn, NY) in 1996. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Sparrow, The Formalist, The Lyric, Orbis (U.K.), Pivot, Poetry Digest, Edge City Review, Loudoun Art Magazine, Light Quarterly, and others.

One of Claudia's art songs--a setting for soprano, violin, and cello of Shakespeare's sonnet XVIII ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?")-- appeared in issue 60 of Sparrow, the Yearbook of the Sonnet. Her other
musical works, which have been performed in a number of U.S. cities (see below), include chamber music and art songs based on poems by contemporaries such as Frederick Turner, Dana Gioia, Phillis Levin, Frederick Feirstein, and Marilyn Marsh; as well as settings of classics by Shakespeare, Marvell, Heine, et al.

Along with concerts of her chamber music and art songs, Claudia Gary Annis has given readings of her poems in a number of U.S. cities including Boston, New York, Washington, DC; as well as Reston, Vienna, Lynchburg, and Leesburg, Virginia. She is poetry editor of Edge City Review (www.edge-city.com), once-and-future editor/publisher of Musings from Northern Virginia, and current northern regional Vice-President of the Poetry Society of Virginia. Ongoing PSV activities include the monthly Leesburg Poetry Exchange, a discussion/workshop led by widely esteemed poet, critic, and performer Richard Moore.

For information about any of the information on this site, contact Claudia at claudiagary@worldnet.att.net.

Garden Statues

We've faced another telling of the year,
another trial by weather,
but never mind: the crocuses are here.
We'll brace ourselves together,

afford the zealous honeybees' incursions,
the afterthought of snow,
the refuse of cicadas and of pigeons,
the floral overflow.

We'll hold the bare-veined leaves with their dismissal,
their downward-shifting hue,
the stiffening of roots and boughs, the whistle
of cold air speeding through,

the sleep invented by primordial reason,
the dormancy of growing,
the chill of hearing every creature's version
without one creature knowing.

(This poem first appeared in Edge City Review, and is also in Claudia's chapbook, Ripples in the Fabric.)

Call Waiting

You've struck gold in a telephonic mine:
Two sobbing women dangle from your line.
One wants to stay, the other will not go.
Just click that button twice: "Hello?"

(This poem first appeared in Light Quarterly.)

So Sorry -- Shall I Call Back Later?

But no, you only want me to acknowledge
that you stand dripping, dripping as we speak,
your phone's cord stretching, nipping at the towel edge --
you've such a way of flaunting your physique!

(This poem first appeared in Light Quarterly.)

Angel Encounter

The visitor who joined with me
one day when days were commonplace,
who taught my childish eyes to see
the candlelight that formed his face --
how disappointed I will be
if he was just some traveler from space
and not eternity.

(This poem was first published in The Formalist,
and also appears in Claudia's chapbook, Ripples
in the Fabric.

Midlife Interrogation

Are you now or have you ever been
Even as this fortune settles in,
you know its interest won't be retroactive.

Before Time pounces, he must go exploring:
With teasing lines he takes you for a spin,
so seductive
you almost think your face is worth restoring.

(This poem first appeared in Loudoun Art Magazine.)

News of a Bull Market

A financial adviser to Pfizer
Said, "This marketing couldn't be wiser:
Whether curing his ills
Or enhancing his skills,
Every man will pop pills as he plies her."

(This limerick first appeared in Light Quarterly.)

Interdisciplinary Ode

(In honor of Dr. Gary D. Hack and Dr. Gwendolyn F. Dunn, two Maryland dentists who in 1995 discovered a hitherto unnoticed muscle.)
Congrats on the Sphenomandibularis!
May your success be longer than its name.
I know you weren't trying to embarrass
Your colleagues in the sinus-drilling game,

Nor those who scan the orbit of an eye,
Or bear the globe upon a shoulder-socket,
Or watch the wakefulness of nerves, or try
To pace the heart's exertions from a pocket.

You gladly would have shared your toothsome thoughts
With those anatomists whose grave denial
Has robbed their books and handed off to poets
The task of telling why our eyes can smile.

Upon no other field have you impinged;
Your jawboned colleagues needn't be unhinged.

(This sonnet first appeared in Sparrow (U.S.) and Orbis (U.K.).)

Copyright © 1999. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Duplication of this poetry and/or art without permission of the author/artist is forbidden under copyright law. Please ask permission if you wish to use for non-commercial purposes
  Big Cats in Snow Tuesday, July 11, 2000