Poem by Katharyn Machan & Art by Christina Werkmeister

When Shadows Disappear

by Katharyn Machan

My grandmother’s ghost was the one who told me.

She’d heard it whispered and shouted out loud

century after century since her quiet death

in her sleep after eating strawberries. Three


times only she confided in me the galaxies

have aligned. Black ribbons of light casting

twisted runes no tongue nor hand can define.

Now the moment, now the lurch of pull


and push through ragged sky. Fifteen

worlds around worlds around worlds

and me on a mountain, me with a tablet,

me, the girl with one eye.


Katharyn Howd Machan has taught creative writing at Ithaca College in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Her specialty courses, besides in poetry, are Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Women and Fairy Tales, and first-year seminars called Fairy Tales: The Hero’s Journey. Her poems have appeared in 39 published collections and many magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, most recently A Slow Bottle of Wine (The Comstock Writers, Inc., 2020) and What the Piper Promised (Alexandria Quarterly Press, 2018), both winners in national competitions.

The STREIFENZIEHER CMYK art series is an exploration of form, composition and texture based on original abstract artwork in acrylic paint that has been digitally rearranged and transferred into print.

Born and raised in Kassel, Germany, home to the Documenta, a mayor international contemporary art exhibit, Christina was exposed to art at an early age. After attending the New York Film Academy in 1997, Christina moved to New York City permanently. She earned a BA from the City University of New York, where she studied set design under Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt. Her work has been exhibited throughout New York. For more info. https://www.christinawerkmeister.com