MM Panas and JoAnn Moore

By MM Panas
Acrylic, charcoal, and Conte crayon on canvas, 24″x36″
Painted using JoAnn Moore’s poem (below) as inspiration

By JoAnn Moore

It is summer in California, and so
the woods are alive with fire.

Poems lick at my consciousness
offering solace to the memories
which will not settle.

Who am I but their medium
as words engulf me
with lines

as unmanageable as this summer’s
wildfires with fronts shifting
constantly while backfires burn

into pristine forests,
previously unexplored and dense,
filled with drought-stricken timber

ready to explode.


By MM Panas

Acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 24″X24″
Inspiration Piece provided to JoAnn Moore

Life in a Rainforest
By JoAnn Moore

Blurred between my mother’s restrictions
and a cloudy horizon
was childhood. Everything was white
or black and no in that world;
she reveled in how all she forbid
made life colorless.
Some Saturday mornings or early
Sunday afternoons when the sun would break
free of the New England turbidity
and shine a pane-light on the living
room floor— I would sit in its ebbing
lightness, moving my face
into the bright; its diamond filled
dust not allowed to rest long
enough on my skin for coating.
Mother’s fear that even the sun
rays could make me dirty
imbued this lifelong need of intensity,
warmth and the taste of sunlight.

Tomorrow it is Fall, the Earth’s tilt
toward darkness already begun,
and in a week what would have been
your seventieth birthday. Maybe
being borne into the fading
sun instilled your perspective.
But I was a child of the fishes—
in love with glistening scales,
cacophonous tides and how even when immersed
in darkness I emerged
shimmering with beads of water
held fast, the smell of color on my skin.

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