This week Deep Water features an ekphrastic poem – that is, one inspired by a particular work of art. In “Oracle,” Leslie Moore meditates on a 100-year-old Japanese wood block print, and finds in it an uncanny intelligence and affinity. I love how, by the end of the poem, the boundaries between subject and viewer have become bracingly porous.

Moore has published poems and essays in journals, newspapers and anthologies, most recently in Take Heart, Maine Review, The Catch and Balancing Act 2. Her essay “The Architecture of a Marriage” won a Maine Literary Award for Short Non-Fiction in 2018. Recently, she edited and designed an anthology of poetry and relief prints, The Wheelbarrow School of Poetry.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, indigenous writers, and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

 

Oracle

By Leslie Moore

         After Crow on a Snowy Bough by Ohara Koson

 

Koson’s crow hangs

on our living room wall,

a black effigy amidst

snowy boughs, the grain

in the woodblock

waning into winter.

Crows know more about us

than we know about them.

This one speaks to me.

I only hear it

when I wake

from my sleepwalk,

when I pause

long enough

to become

the caw.

 

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Oracle,” copyright © 2020 by Leslie Moore, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to mainewriters.org/deep-water.

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