Esther - if yer have yer head screw on right - No matter where yer go - One night - some time - Yer reach up - yer touch that moon.
For the teeming populace of Old Mack's cacophonous yard in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, it's a cheek by jowl existence lived out on a sweltering public stage. Snatches of calypso compete with hymn tunes, drums and street cries as neighbours drink, brawl, pass judgment, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his dead-end job for a fresh start in England.
Set as returning troops from the Second World War fill the town with their raucous celebrations, Erroll John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl depicts a vibrant, cosmopolitan world that is as harsh as it is filled with colour and warmth.
'A brawling, laughing, bitter sense of life courses through Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. Errol John fills the stage with people of flesh and blood; he communicates the harshness and tension in this steaming, crowded corner of Port-of-Spain. He writes with such warmth and understanding that the problems and characters of a mean backyard in Trinidad assume a validity for a multitude of teeming, troubled places on this planet.' New York Times