NaPoWriMo2021 Day Two

Today’s prompt was to write about a road not taken, echoing the theme of the fab Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

When I went to college to train as an Occupational Therapist in the 1980s, we had to pick three activities so we could then learn how to apply them to our practice and understand how similar activities could contribute to rehab. One of the activities I chose was printing, using small Adana hand presses, and I absolutely loved every minute in that printing studio with our really inspiring teacher. I often wonder if that was my road not taken. The photos above and below are from my old file from that printing course which I still have 35 years later.

So here is poem number two…it needs a lot of work – but I’m pleased with it as a first draft…

The College Printing Room

We write down what our shy hearts imagine they want to say.

Our cool, fervent tutor speaks of stick, form and platen,

shows how to compose, impress our words on bare, plain pages

with the clamped hard mouth of a handpress named Adana.

 

There’s so much art in the knowledge: placing letters and spaces,

the mutton, quads; justifying the page, not tight, not slack;

which ink matches what card stock without striking through,

no slurs. We hold our breath as each kiss impression lands new.

 

Business cards, letterheads, a tiny woodcut of the setting sun.

Fresh-pressed ink smells mineral, fallen rain in that vaulted room

where round ink-discs stand bright on the workbenches, full moons

casting a spell of precision plaited with passion and clear vision.

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