Once in a blue moon

I was very happy to get placed 2nd in the 2017 Dunedin Chinese Garden Moon Festival poetry competition.

I wrote a mutant villanelle on the theme of ‘Once in a Blue Moon.’

They produced some nice posters of the winning entries.

once in a blue moon




Photo by V.Billot

“Her great orbit is full, and then her beams shine brightest as she increases.
So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men.”
(‘To Selene’, The Homeric Hymns)

On the silken mud of the estuary floor
the sea is drawn from the channel’s branching veins,
creeping semidiurnal under her spell.
In this ragged rainy corner of the planet,
stranded amongst white sand and clouds,
I listened to the dialect of waves long ago
as a child lying in bed, my window ajar.
Then perhaps in late evening’s cool,
I saw the sprinkled motes of our galaxy
circle in infinitude above, a dust of faint luminance.
On high, Helios’ cool sister stared down
upon me, as I felt a shiver of recognition
of time’s impenetrable magnitude,
an intimation of the transience of my kind.