Competition (Robert Verdon)

Verity La Heightened Talk

sad regions stretch
like backyards visited long ago
like the tongue encountering an icicle
like Jacob in Blake’s painting 
they loll
under the charcoal moon
in the hush of the mortuary
like a child with marasmus
under the thumb of the winners
with their clever secrets
and odious comparisons
these are countries
black and crimson
rainbow countries
ghetto countries
strange as broad-bean flowers
in leaves of olivine
or as pre-Roman Latium
lost, lost, lost
as the beehive hairdo
in a black and white photograph.

Robert Verdon is a Canberra-based poet and prose writer. He is presently doing a PhD and has published a number of books in Australia. He came second in the 2012 WB Yeats Poetry Prize.