Hope you all enjoy this, I wrote this after my first experience developing 35mm black and white film. I hope this is the right forum... --------------------------------------- To a Negative (with apologies to Robert Burns) Wee, slipry, curly, difficult beastie O, what a panic's in my breastie As I fumble in the dark Juggling wi' an invisible reel Will my leader hit the mark? Or will I fail in my feel? I'm truly sorry my thick fingers Leave upon you prints and ringers An as the reel drops in the tank I shudder with worried compulsion Images locked away, as in a bank What happens next to my emulsion? I doubt myself, as I meter the beaker Could a man be any meeker? I fret an flail with formulation English, US, inch or milli-liter? Developer first? Such trepidation! In I pour an accurate meter? Thy wee clockface, I set it thrice With nervous fingers cold as ice! Mantra mutterin, every minute, ten I agitate, technique unproven A tap on the sink, is that right? I ken? I set down the tank, it sits, unmovin' My minds eye sees gelatin wastin' D-76: oh, the images it hastens! As Kronos indicates an imminent stop Panic-stricken, I watch the clock To the sink, I trip and hop Pourin the chemical out o my crock That wee bit o' chemistry, ounces only Poured out, but now my negative's lonely It's time to cease, desist developin The beaker once more beckonin I fill it carefully, my brow wrinklin til tis reached the correct reckonin But negative, thou hast no voice It's up to me to make the choice What chemicals? When? and How? To shake, to pour, to empty out Again, sweat stains my furrowd brow My ignorance, technique doth flout! An now, the steps, they accelerate An in my head, doubts linger an prate For Burns said the "schemes o' mice an' men" "Gang aft a-gley" "An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain" "For promised joy" The time has come for final rinse But my image still, to be viewed hence Unbidden, I anticipate, with glee The image I attempt to rear "An' forward, tho' I canna see," "I guess an' fear!"