The Ontario Poetry Society
The Glosa Poem Competition - Sample Poem -


.....................He drinks my colour a moon and cackles the stars
.....................on the mountaintop red.
..........................— from Under the Iron of the Moon,
Thomas Bernhard

We hear the muffled voices from the room
beyond the anteroom and strain to tap
the psychic’s magic accent. Minds go light
from time to time with waiting but the air
here’s thick— so old with smoke it fills our
heads with Camels. He drinks my colour in,

his eyes go green, these moving hues:
Helio Medium, Chromium Deep, Kelly,
Cobalt, Lily, Leaf. A slide-show: my
projection. What does this man see, if any
shade at all, in me? We utter nothing. A gull
alights on the sign outside, like a moon and

cackles language past the glass: “Everything
for you occurs in twos”— who is he speaking to?
Must be me, the Twin, and yet this other
looks so dual too. We shift and fidget, fidget,
shift and reach in sync for a magazine
as the stars shine up from the glossy, life-

like cover. Our fingers touch. This could be the
start of conversation, but it’s not. We draw our
hands away at once and neither takes the magazine.
I rummage in my purse instead, decide to turn
my cell phone off, put my glasses on and gaze at
the painting above his head. On the mountaintop,

and I believe it’s Kilimanjaro, a splat of something
red has dried in a runnel. If it weren’t solidified,
it’d travel down the canvas, over the frame and
land on this man. This is what I see it doing now.
The splat returns to liquid, flowing quickly down
Uhuru Peak— Rose Pink, Scarlet Lake, Dance Red.

Elana Wolff, The Toronto Quarterly, Issue 3, May 2009.