copyight from Photography Through Tania's Eyes

Poetry/Prose Sigurd Peterson
All rights reserved


One slender year before
this white pale walk
was hyacinth and gallant bergamot,
and orphrey marigold lint lovely
as sovereign mirth or piety, as
never kingly malady demanded in
empirical redness of remedy;


where angels' lace and clover were
erewhile garment of a day's felicity
hither strolled unwary princesses
and blessed with hareshell smie
their embassies of chamberers, favored
bade them gather aster and valerian
and of columbine wreath fine conceit;


and such a dallying elegant, a registry
unparalleled of passepied and allemande,
such was I, beau chantryman of madrigals
and ardent courtier of equivocal device:
I was a basketer of goldenrod, of ginger,
of defenseless words a makeshift wizard,
a very calathus of vanities and compliment;


where all the taut breathless insistence
of a brimming phrase was clove and succory
betimes a crisp dianthus dressed unspoken
or a bell-a-mercy a token unnoticed,
now phantom courtesies and conversations
silenty repeated, silently remembered
crowd still about the poppy and the mullein;

this mocking faded garden, wilder for
her redroot memories and bitter turmeric,
fountains lavish once and assembled gentleness,
its tunnels, caverns, catacombs~and coxcombs
too~are all become lordly bawdry now,
thick of coarse burdock and full grown
of thistle, dear and barren of paradise;


and bargained charities of blossoms, stinted and
extortionate, mourn princesses whose fair
delight was all in turning of dawn silver
and the halting classic fragance of a rose:
I alone tarry here, left to appoint the modest
perfect patterns of a masque once
promised for the coming chill of evening.