Poetry with Lynn Berry and Friends

The Inkwell

Each spring, fragile buds appear on the side of the roads.  Flashes of brilliant color will soon appear in the corner of our eyes as we drive past the pale strands of last year’s grass and pale gravel.  In our writing, this is the time that poems often change their color too, from the deep reflection and remembering of winter’s stark gray’s to spring’s vibrant hope of new life.  Written while Vernonian Greg Kintz was still in college, his poem “The Flight” describes the exhilaration of his pursuit of new love for the woman who would become his wife of 32 years.  The poem defies the “roses are red, violets are blue” conventions of the love poem. It presents a startling new metaphor that takes the age-old longing of a man for his beloved to new heights and, in the process, opens up a vast new horizon for us to view love and the love poem in fresh new ways.

The Flight

As I pursue you

Through the flights and wanderings of mind,

I cannot catch you

Unless you yield to me.

For the speed of life

Is not unlike that of light;

So great, so amazing

That it is nearly incomprehensible.

You have slowed

And have allowed me,

In my ignorance of such speeds,

To achieve the necessary mach

To spin and rise

To such heights with you

That no man has ever been capable of.

Life is like that,

But only if love flows.

For it is the only fuel known

For just such an excursion.


—Writer’s Idea:  Greg Kintz has taken the traditionally un-lovely image of the jet aircraft to describe his experience of love from a new physical perspective of movement: speed, altitude, acrobatics.  By doing this, he can speak about love using a new language and create a new understanding and appreciation in the reader.  Try switching your language and senses in your writing to achieve a new realization of your topic: Write about food from the perspective of touch rather than taste, write about mud from the perspective of taste rather than touch.  Try to get at a thing through the side window of your senses rather than through the front door.

—Writer’s Tip:  This poem makes use of an extended metaphor to capture the impression of his image on multiple levels.  Greg Kintz uses technical references to the speed of light, to mach speed to emphasize the velocity of his pursuit.  He uses references to altitude and aerial acrobatics to describe his efforts to pursue his love, and finally he describes love itself as the jet fuel propelling him in his pursuit.  When a writer creates a metaphor, sometimes it helps to fully develop it in multiple ways throughout the poem so that love is not just a jet flying fast but is also compared to its height, maneuverability, and even its fuel.

—WE ARE LOOKING FOR LOCAL POETRY.  WE NEED YOUR POEMS!!  Please send your original submissions to InkwellVernonia@gmail.com or by mail:  PO Box 73 Vernonia, OR 97064. Please include your name and contact information.


Chris Sedlmeyer holds an M.A. in English, specializing in archetypal criticism and medieval spirituality.  He has written for the American Benedictine Review and currently writes a weekly blog on Carmelite spirituality and discernment  for the American Province of the Order of Carmelites of the Ancient Observance.

The Inkwell-March 2013

As the month of March arrives, poets everywhere and in every age have begun their ancient hymns to spring.  Some of the oldest poems we have surviving in the English language are, not surprisingly, poems celebrating the hope intimated in the coming of spring.  Our submission this month carries on this venerable tradition in a fresh and vibrant way.  “Spring” by Jill Hult uses a barrage of images and metaphors to explore the kaleidoscope of life, memories, and experiences that are for her the sound and rhythm of spring’s insistent call to her senses.  Hult uses the refrain “Spring is beckoning” to punctuate series of tight, well-wrought vignettes of spring: the warmth of sunshine and the cool tickle of grass, the coming spring flowers, bees, and summer fruit, the falling rain and subsequent memories of childhood mudpies, the mighty oak bridging the decades of springs past and future, and finally the ebb and flow of streams, spring breezes, and the very breathing of life itself.  Hult’s masterful use of repetition, imagery, and the association of metaphors creates the expectant feeling that is at the very heart of the spring poem and the expresses the lively hope for new life that is the very heart of what it is to be human. Read More