Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-ink May 22, 2016

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:16 pm
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Two thousand years ago

ink was crafted from

gall nuts

and crystals

of gum arabic

ground to powder

stirred into water

with iron oxide powder.

Ink that bound words to paper

so they clung there for millennia,

tangled in the fibres,

still legible.

Today, I ground and stirred and bottled;

now I wonder,

do I have words worth preserving

for millennia?



Today I did a workshop with Ted Bishop at the Word on the Lake Writers’ Conference.  His book The Social Life of Ink was nominated for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction.  It was very cool to make the ink, and especially to write with it.  I dipped the pen, wrote, and then watched as the pale brown words turned black as the ink oxidized.  So cool.  Here are Ted and I. He’s holding a fountain pen, of course. 🙂




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