Publication Date: May, 2019
Location: poetsonline.org, then go to Archive, then ‘Moon’.
Genesis: I remember very well where I was when I wrote this. I had been struck down by a mystery illness and was recovering at my Mum’s house, who looked after be beautifully. It started as a fever, then went on to become an itchy torso, very quickly turning into an intense burning sensation right around my trunk, from collar bone to navel. Only morphine would ease the pain. It was so bad it kept me wide awake for 56 hours straight! They still don’t know what caused it; best guess so far is some sort of auto-immune issue like Guillain–Barré syndrome, but investigations continue. I’m fine now, thanks for asking.
Anyway, I don’t often research for a poem. In fact, that is one of the joys of poetry for me. Up until a couple of years ago, my default, when coming up with an idea, was to go down the route of a short story or an article, and that almost always meant research, the process of which often squeezed out the creative life and enthusiasm until I was just left with loads of information on an idea I no longer cared about! I did research this one, though, to find out some of the names of the moon goddess from various cultures around the world. I enjoyed playing with sounds and structures that don’t necessarily sit comfortably in a poem written in English, finding ways to meld them in.
Ilargi, Kuu and Luna. Chang Xi, Chia, Diana. The Moon Goddess has a thousand names But she always wears purple. moon shot moon river blue moon Reverend Moon moon cake dark moon full moon blood moon Ask for the moon and be over the moon. Bark at the moon, then become the moon. Moon around, promise the moon, shoot for the moon And give thanks, from your heart, to the Man in the Moon Who loyally serves Phoebe, Artemis, Gleti, Mano, Mahina, Mayari, Mama Killa and Jaci and Selardi Lona and Menily and Hanwi. The Mood Goddess has a thousand names But she always wears purple.