Winner of 'Behind The Moon'; Alison Ireland looks for inspiration...
29th April 2015
Although inspired by the total eclipse of the sun recently in the UK, this title made me think of a 1930s jazz song. ‘Somewhere….behind the moon…you and me…’ etc. I had a good poem in my head all ready to use and contemporanise this idea, but unfortunately my window for writing it was dominated by fairly loud indie music in the shared studio, and I just couldn’t block it out to recapture the lilt and the lilting concepts which previously had spilled out like so much moonlight. My effort was clumsy compared with what I had wanted to write. More can be said for all of your entries though. ‘Behind The Moon’ was an elusive title and you seized it and pushed it into solid being with far greater success than the traditional village fools fishing for the reflection in the pond.
The winner was a highly atmospheric and powerful piece of writing, including in its concise number of words murder, betrayal, dishonour, love and sorrow. The markers provide an excellent flavour, and summary, of this piece when they say:
‘I like the unexpectedness of the story, and how the prompt is worked in so that it feels natural and not forced - the link between the elusiveness of the moon and the woman's thoughts about herself is well drawn. … The main character has a lot of depth. I like the weaknesses she demonstrates - the need to justify herself to the hired killer shows the extent of her insecurity really well.’
Favourite sentence: ‘For a moment, they stood like columns facing each other across the opening of a bank or a museum, marble and cold, but dirty, somehow.’
The first featured entry was a beautiful sensual poem referencing China, the moon and chrysanthemums:
China, the September moon
is a chrysanthemum in a woman’s hair.
It is the same pink as her arousal
blush when her kimono opens
to a man’s gasp.’
and the final featured entry is a compelling snapshot of a bar, a completely original take on the title with overtures of the French tradition in its style:-
‘The Moon Bar is a fairly seedy establishment, with a reputation that keeps most respectable clients away. It squats on a less than salubrious street in a bad part of town, its paint fading and its windows grimy.’
I never wrote my song, but perhaps it would end with the following lyric:-
‘somewhere behind the moon
we hide from our dreams
take our time,
drink some wine,
it’s safer that way.’