Clark writing campers share ‘ink dink’ poetry

Published 9:44 am Friday, August 3, 2018

Clark County’s non-profit writing camp, Inkspire, finished its sixth year this past week, directed by EKU professor Jacqueline Hamilton and assisted by teachers Jenny Strickland and Jennifer Taylor, with assistants Tracey Barracca and Andrew Taylor.  The theme was Ink-en-stein, with a monster that has pencil stubs instead of bolts in his head.   The camp song a parody of the Addams Family theme song.  Guest speakers included Renee Wallace, Clark County Public Library;  Nancy Turner, Clark County Tourism Commission; Tim Janes, Rose Mary C. Brooks Place; Clare Sipple, Lower Howard’s Creek Conservancy; Nick Beasmore, Kentucky Department of Transportation; and Sarah Frye, prominent quilter.  Mentor texts ranged from Holocaust stories to ironic verse from Ogden Nash and artful stories by Charles Dickens.

Thirty-two students wrote from 18 prompts; composed numerous haikus that were sent off via sky lanterns on Thursday night at the Walking Trail; sent seven detailed thank-you letters; pastel painted a 16 by 20-inch pastel replica of Monet’s “Water Lilies;” and watercolored a nature journal page on the difference between monarch and viceroy butterflies, the latter being Kentucky’s state butterfly.   Two of the favorite creative writing prompts included composing a funny poem about being trapped in a home where everyone has a nasty cold one, and composing a story in which the three words pizza, detective, and piano were included.

A highlight included the high school campers inventing a new poetry genre known as inky dink for all students to try.  An inky dink poem has four lines and follows these rules:  the first three lines have 10 syllables; the fourth line is any length; one alliteration must be present; the poem title is one word describing the poem’s content; the author must switch the first letters of first and last name to create a new pen name; and in the case of a person having the same letter first and last name letter, the author uses their middle initial to create a new first and last name.   

Email newsletter signup

The submissions feature a piece that each student personally picked — and all were required to submit one inky dink.

Vanishing Act

Oh no! Oh no! Everyone’s sick!

On sleeves they are coughing, and noses they pick!

Their sneezes are runny, and stunningly loud –

Alas for me! I’m stuck right in this crowd!

I’m fighting the germs and battling the flu.

If I knew how to vanish, I gladly would do!

My blood is now poisoned – I feel my life draining.

My composure is having a hard time maintaining.

The virus is choking – my constricted throat’s strangled.

My horror is making my hair spiked and tangled!

Diseases unnumbered – unknown to mankind –

They’re halting my heartbeat and crushing my mind!

If I don’t escape here I know I will scream!

I now need to vanish – oh wait! It would seem…

Oh, hall-el-lu-jah! ‘Twas all just a dream!

—Meghan Wells, 10th grade

The Evil Z Vegetable

Once upon a dark and mysterious night, a lone zucchini slept in a creepy, abandoned  building, a former canning factory.  Its heart, black as the soil in which it had grown, held one wish.  The vegetable longed for a pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s.  Unfortunately it had no job and no money.  Who would hire a zucchini?

Fast forward a week, and a man who delivered pizza for Papa John’s drove by the creepy, abandoned factory.  He was unaware that a despicable vegetable had marked him as a target.  A shadowy shape arose in the night, carrying a sharp object:  a giant spiralizer.

The following morning, an innocent child on her way to writing camp stumbled upon the crime scene.  She was scarred for life with writer’s block by the sight of the bloody mess.  The police didn’t know what to make of this dicey disaster, so they called upon the famous detective Squashlock Holmes.

When the detective laid eyes upon the scene, he saw the answer immediately in the marks left by the spiralizer.  Holmes decided to track down the evil zucchini.

But it was prepared.

When Holmes stepped in the factory, the vegetable pressed a button.  Upon hearing the noise the detective looked up.  His last thought before being crushed was, “Akkk!! A grand piano!!”

THE END (literally)

—Tirzah Schanding, 10th grade

If I Had One Hour

If I had one hour to do whatever I wanted, I would write in a journal I own entitled My Imaginary World.  What better way to spend time thank to use my imagination?  I really love writing about the characters I create because I believe they are the most important part of a world.  I always create characters, whether they be fan-characters (which are characters made to be in a world/universe belonging to entertainment franchises) or original characters (which are characters made in a world/universe that has not been full publicized and/or is not a franchise).

But the most interesting characters I create are the one that appear in dreams I have.  They are totally subconscious creations with their own fully-fledged personalities, designs, and quirks.

—Caroline Carlisle, 9th grade

Arbor Ode

If I were a tree

Then all would see

How useful I am to you.

My dark bark cleans the air

And gives me a protective layer

To keep out the weather.

I give you shade

To play all day

And keep any the harmful rays.

I keep water in its place

I shield animals from rain

I set the pace.

—Nathan Taylor, 11th grade

Changing Perspective

If I were a bird, I’d fly away.

If I flew away, I could go many places.

If I could go many places, I’d travel the world.

If I could travel the world, I’d learn new events.

If I learned new events, I’d be able to educate adults.

If I educated adults, I’d share about injustices.

If they knew about injustices, they would make the world a better place.

—Amanda Sleightholm, 10th grade

Tell the Good News

I am committed, I will not turn back,

A heart for the Savior, I never will lack.

I knocked on the door, and it opened to me,

I’ve surrendered my heart, and now I am free.

I want to shout “glory,” and tell the good news,

My passion for Jesus is like a lit fuse.

He’s forever my comfort, my refugee, my friend,

On Him I will lean and will always depend.

This is not religion, it’s so much more real,

The truth is a lighthouse I cannot conceal.

The Christ changed my life, I’m no longer the same,

His name I will always sing out and proclaim.

God’s grace is my anchor and my cornerstone,

By Him I am loved and I’m now fully known.

— Katelyn Deal, 9th grade


If I could be transformed into an animal,

I would be a phoenix.

I could fly through clouds,

and gaze at snow-capped mountains.

I could live in a volcano,

staying warm without a problem.

Every one hundred years,

I would burn to ash, and rise again reborn.

I could help the sick and wounded with my tear drops of healing.

I could warm cold orphans and homeless people with my fire.

My magic is the hope people see when I fly by.

—Amy Wright, 10th grade

To Be Kind

As easy as gossip is, don’t.

You might not have the full story,

the target person might hear, and

gossip makes you look bad for needless trash talking.

If what you want to say will hurt, try to reword the message —

even if you are not shown this same courtesy.

Watch your tone; an angry voice will only make others angry.

Don’t take people for granted.

Keep in touch with people separated by distance;

people like being remembered.

Before you judge people, look at them through their perspective.

Sometimes make yourself the butt of your jokes

instead of someone else who might not take the joke as well.

Carry handkerchiefs around.  Gift as appropriate — bless you!

Try to make people laugh whenever possible.

Remember that we are all God’s children,

and remember it often.

— Garrett Wright, 11th grade

The Elephant in the Room

“How did you escape?!” I asked the elephant in the room.  Of course, I didn’t expect an answer from the elephant in the room.  “You sniffed out the peanuts, didn’t you?  —And wandered your way into the living room — Well come here — Back to where you go!” I walked over and scooped Phantella into my arms.

She was the giant stuffed animal my Dad gave me when I had my wisdom teeth removed.  Phantella continued to say nothing as I carried her back to my bedroom and placed her gently on my bed.  “Stay here this time,” I told her sternly before leaving the elephant in the room.

                                               * * * * *

“So what was it like?” Puffclump, the purple unicorn pillow pet, asked.  “I can’t believe you made it out of the room!”

“I didn’t pay attention to anything.  All I was hoping? She would ignore me,” Phantella replied.  “You know how people can be with an elephant in the room.”

—Sara Sleightholm, 12th grade

My Year

January – snow

February – Valentines

March – Lent

April – egg hunts

May – Mother’s Day

June – Father’s Day

July – fruit

August – school

September – fall

October – Halloween

November – Thanksgiving

December – Christmas

— Jim Abordo, 3rd grade


What animal would I be?

I would be a cat.

A cat can play and have a good time.

— Camille Carter, 3rd grade

The Elephant

Once upon a time, as I walked into my house, I saw a big elephant standing there. Then I saw a big hole in my roof over the elephant. I had always wanted to ride an elephant, so that is just what I did.  When I explained to my parents, I said he fell through the roof.  They didn’t believe me so I got in trouble, but I still have the memories.

— Sylvia Coogle, 4th grade

Pizza Detective

I’m a pizza detective. My job is to count pizza boxes. You are only allowed to buy two boxes. Some guy bought four.  He had hidden two in his piano.  After a long search, I found them before he could eat them!

— Jon Hayes Dicken, 3rd grade

The Humongous Elephant

A humongous elephant was tiptoeing in my living room. It walked through a tiny window. When my parents came home, I hid the elephant in a miniature oak tree. “Hey!” said the elephant, “my trunk is still showing!”

— Autumn Kincaid, 4th grade

Ways to Be Nice

Here are some ways to be nice to friends:  hug them, give them candy, go over to their house, give them gifts, give them money, take them places, give them a pet, or give them a coloring book.

— Abigail Taylor, 4th grade

Bucket List

Go scuba diving

Become a crazy cat lady

Open a coffee shop

Graduate from college with a degree in chemistry

Read a book a week

Become a news reporter

Finish this bucket list. . . .

— Savannah Williams, 5th grade


The willow trees swing,

The yellow bees sing,

The happy monarchs dance, and

The horses and ponies prance.

— Leah Wright, 5th grade

Dream World

On a normal Saturday morning in Winchester, Kentucky, I was awake on the couch watching TV.  I heard the doorbell ring, opened the door, and saw a gigantic package with my name on it. When I opened the package, it teleported me to a dream world. This world had a section with everyone’s name on it. Each person’s section contained everything he could ever want. It was the best day of my life!

— Ben Cantrell, 6th grade

The Strange Box

If a strange, huge box appeared at my house, I would cautiously open it. Peering into the box, I would spy a giant TV the size of a car. I would take out the giant TV and turn that box into a MASSIVE  box fort!

—Grant Dicken, 6th grade

Extra Hour

If I had an extra hour in my day to do anything, I would rent a helicopter.  Once we hit the atmosphere, I would put on a flying squirrel suit and a parachute. I would then open the helicopter door, and jump out. Timing it perfectly, I would land on a thirty foot rock over the ocean. Then I would jump from the rock, and spend the rest of the hour surfing.

— Stuart Joynt, 6th grade

Extra Hour Plans

If I had an extra hour of my day, I would spend ten minutes in England and ride the Chunnel. Then I would spend another ten minutes on a cruise ship. I would also spend ten more minutes producing my own TV show like “Chopped,” where I would taste people’s food. For the last thirty minutes, I would fly around the world in a flying car as fast as I could,  then come back home and go to bed.

— George Landon, 6th grade

A Teacher

I believe that teaching the lessons well is an important part of a teacher’s day. If you do, you’ll set your students up for success in the following grades.=

I also think that teaching your students to be kind is very important, because they’ll have a positive impact on the world.

And that’s what we need.

— Mae Abordo, 6th grade


I am a person who likes to be alone.

If I was given an hour to do anything I wanted,

I’d go to the field near my house, take photographs, or sit and read.

Alone time for me is really special because it’s my way of escaping the crazy world around me.

I’d love a quiet place to sit and collect my thoughts without interruption.

With sports, school, and homework, I barely have enough time for myself.

—Ellie Adams, 8th grade

Yellow Flower

Young and bright it blooms,

Weaving together like wool on a loom

Little, but strong, it soaks up the sun

Featherlight it seems to have fun

Outside the walls of the church

It feels the wind, it feels the lurch,

Fighting against the storms to stay alive

Lamp-like the sun causes it to revive

Only with the companionship of the bee

Will a new flower come to be?

Eventually the new flower will grow

Rising into a new yellow flower row.

—Olivia Barracca, 8th grade

Year-Round Joys

January’s temperature is very cold

February’s chill makes snowmen feel bold

March’s green brings a ray of hope

April’s rain is no silly joke

May brings bright flowers that we all like

June is the month that’s perfectly bright

July is a month when you run to the pool

August is when I return to school

September is nice: red apples in lunch

October is fall, dead leaves make a crunch

November’s Thanksgiving: potatoes, turkey, and bread

December’s Christmas colors: white, green, and red

—Silas Coogle, 7th grade

If I Were A Cloud

If I were a cloud, I would never block the sun,

For I know that people love the warm sun.

If I were a cloud, I would make the shape of a dog,

For I know dogs are man’s best friend.

If I were a cloud, I would be bright white,

For I know people dislike gray skies.

If I were a cloud, I would help the farmers,

For I know they need rain for their crops.

If I were a cloud.

— Jacob Davison, 7th grade

Being a Dolphin

If I could be any animal, I would be a dolphin. They are always willing to lend a helping fin to humans! While being in the ocean would be amazing, it poses many threats. So, I would rather be a Marine-Land dolphin. Food may also be scarce, but in captivity you would be fed gourmet food. Overall, it would be nice to have the privilege of being a dolphin.

—Reagan Rawlins, 7th grade

For Life

My parents were gone on their anniversary, leaving my sister and me home alone. For the most part, I stayed in my room, playing video games and reading a book, only half-hearing the strange sounds emanating from the hall. As hunger finally drove me from my room, I stopped abruptly in the hallway, staring at the massive beast in the living room, that trumpeted its trunk as if laughing. Just then, my sister walked out of the kitchen with a bag of peanuts, which she offered to the elephant. The elephant ate them all. I started to ask my sister, “Wh- wha-…?” She simply stated, “If Mom and Dad ask, I found him in our yard.” I refrained from yelling at her. I honestly didn’t care, I wanted her to get in trouble. So, I went back to the video games; trying my best to ignore the trumpets and thuds. I listened closely, however, when Mom and Dad opened the door. I heard, “Yes, you may keep him, but no, you’re grounded, for life!” I went back to the video games.

—Naomi Schanding, 8th grade


January is brand new.

February spreads love to you.

March is full of rainy showers.

April brings beautiful flowers.

May has 31 days to countdown until summer.

June we’re out of school, but not any dumber.

July is all red, white, and blue.

August the first day of school! I had no clue!

September is where all the leaves fall.

October is way too scary, you all!

November gives a Thanksgiving feast.

In December, when it comes to opening presents, I’m a beast!

—Izzie Smith, 8th grade


The flower Jasmine,

Pink and white, soft, smooth petals

With a burst of red.

— Josiah Taylor, 8th grade

Spoiled Dog

If I could be any animal, I would be a corgi.

My favorite dog is a dachshund,

But if I were a corgi, I could be friends with all the dachshunds.

Also, humans would have to take care of me.

They would have to give me food and fill my water dish.

Whenever I wanted to go outside or come inside,

They would have to open doors for me,

Like they were my servants.

We all know I would be one spoiled dog.

—Emily Warner, 7th grade


Detective Piano, who was a piano, was finally stumped. He could not figure out which food group had stolen his good ole buddy, Perry, the piano bench. Detective Piano did not know who the robber was: the pizza, the tacos, or the green beans. He had never been a fan of the green beans, but they claimed they were too small to take the bench. Also, Detective Piano had detected cheese at the crime scene. The tacos said they never had cheese in them at night. The pizza said that it wasn’t him, because he was taking a bath in tomato sauce. The crime happened at 10:30 p.m. Detective Piano knew it was the pizza right away, because he knew that pizzas only bathed in grease.

Detective Piano arrested the pizza. Then the police officer celebrated by eating pepperoni pizza – in front of the pizza. However, they let the pizza out of his cell to party with them!

—Michael Wright, 8th grade