Bed of Roses Sonnet Contest

"Before there was color photography"
by Tiel Aisha Ansari

Before there was color photography
it was sepia sorrow and black-and-white laughs
that filled up our grayscale memory
with old-fashioned love caught in old photographs.
We kissed under rainbows in monochrome,
the girls in white dresses, the boys in black ties,
recorded both travel and coming home
in silver emulsions unsullied by dyes.
We flatter ourselves on development
of accurate, full-color vision that sets
our lives down in vivid emotion palettes.
We claim that it's truer to represent
the brilliance of love with a gaudy bouquet-
but love was as strong back when roses were gray.

About the Author
Tiel Aisha Ansari is a Sufi, martial artist, and computer programmer living in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several print and online venues including Islamica Magazine, Mezzo Cammin, and The Lyric, and she is the author of the poetry collection Knocking from Inside, published by Ecstatic Exchange. You can visit her online at

Bed of Roses Love Sonnet Contest Winner


Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy