This month sees the return of Artword, the festival celebrating the intimate relationship between visual art and poetry. Founded by beloved poet, activist and Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance co-founder Lee Sharkey, Artword invites Maine poets to write about works on exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. This week, Deep Water joins in the celebration by featuring Leslie Moore’s “savannah blues,” a vivid and colorful evocation of a beloved Dahlov Ipcar work, which will also be made into a broadside for the event. Tune in on Tuesday and April 21 to hear other Artword poems read by their authors. For more information and the link to join, go to

Moore is a printmaker and pen-and-ink artist. She has shown her work in solo and group shows up and down the coast of Maine and is currently represented by Local Color Gallery in Belfast and The Green Lion Gallery in Bath. She has illustrated four books, including “All My Dogs” by Bill Henderson, founder of Pushcart Press.


savannah blues

By Leslie Moore

<blockquote>after Blue Savanna,” by Dahlov Ipcar</blockquote>


in a clamor of blue notes

over a patchworked grassland


criss-crossed with creatures

her counterpane         cut and pieced in oils


spattered with oxblood and chlorophyll

midnight creeping from the margins


each patch quickens    legs flash      tails

curl      ears swivel       hearts drum


wildebeest careen over indigo veldts

zebras zig-zag sapphire shards


a lion snarls in shadow     cheetahs spangle

guineas flock    snakes spiral    gazelles


arabesque     a kudo startles on a path

servals speckle     civets stripe


stitched together with grass and feathers

horn and hide     flower stems and leaves


of baobab trees     her canvas

splinters into chaos     breaks into blue light


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. “savannah blues,” copyright © 2021 by Leslie Moore, appears by permission of the author.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: