Inspiration Point

 Volume 4 Issue 1 May 2010                         Advisor: Dr. Susan Carpenter         Editors: Nicci Frazier and Mindy Hood
      To the Reader  

We’ve reached the end of another academic year, marked by Commencement, which means, literally, Beginning. This volume of Inspiration Point appears right at the year’s edge – a fitting way to mark a year of border-crossings. The Civic Engagement Theme was Immigration, so for this issue we focused on borders (thresholds, boundaries, transgressions) of all kinds, noting that immigration is a psychological as well as physical journey, and that semester-long and May term cross-cultural experiences, of course, take students and faculty across  emotional and mental as well as cultural borders.

          Editor Nicci Frazier’s poem “China” is drawn from her experience in that nation. Frazier reverses the usual nostalgia for home, replacing it with “homesickness” for the far away land where “fright [gives] way to adventure” and the speaker is “dancing in myself,” discovering new inner freedom.

          Other borders were breached this year as Bluffton students, faculty, and staff extended the boundaries of the campus to welcome strangers and learn from them. We are making an effort to establish safe spaces for everyone. In creating literature (the stuff of this magazine) writers explore boundaries between innocence and experience, youth and adulthood, the waking world of concrete reality and the dream- or spirit-world. Editor Mindy Hood’s poem “Landlocked” evokes the legendary Selkie, a creature who moves between seal and human form; set at “the border /between earth and sea”  the poem brings us close to the footprints of a woman on the edge, neither one nor the other.

          Our featured writer Zach Fleming is a boundary-crosser in his bones, returning to college after more than a decade out in the world. We’re privileged to publish two long stories here, “Bombing” and “Living”, both written during the 2008-09 academic year. The first takes us to a grim, deteriorating city where two young taggers (graffiti artists) find self-fulfillment and beauty only in the act of “bombing” – or painting on walls with spray cans. Predictably, the joy of “bombing” is enhanced by extreme danger.

The protagonist of “Living” sees ghosts–but the boundary is not between the living and the spirit-world; it is between people and their ability to feel for each other. Crossing that boundary makes a love story.  


Nicci Frazier

I miss you
Streets of light and sound,
Symbols I love but cannot comprehend
Energy that vibrated my skin
& jerked my lips to smile. Content.
With you I was the optimist. Bright side and dancing in myself. 


Katie Skon

The soul is often called delicate or fragile, and Kati Skon investigates the nature of the divided soul in her story “Ambitious.” Once a character’s soul is divided, it finds itself operating as separate entities, divided by borders none knew existed until they were apart from one another. Through this piece of creative fiction, Skon explores the darkest, bravest and most ‘ambitious’ fragments of a single soul. 


   The English Club Tea Party  


Beyond Borders




Mindy Hood 

Hidden behind the rock
I find the soft abandoned selkie skin.
The fur is wet with drops of brine,
and the land’s fresh dew
on the whiskers, which lie smooth
and straight
across the folds of
empty skin.



Angie Huston

Borders can appear in surprising places, forcing an individual to rework the maps they have created for themselves. Angie Huston’s creative nonfiction story “Spelling” deals with one of these borders through the eyes of a child and with the reflection of an adult.  

Plea to my Significant Other, the Traveler

Lauren Canaday

Be as enticed to travel as the speaker in Canaday’s poem.



Sam Cook

The border in Sam Cook’s story “Invisible” is not a line on the ground, but a vertical one that stands on a hill. The main character in Cook’s story is faced with the floating border that is hidden behind the leaves of the tallest tree in Milford and the social borders he and his friends have arranged for themselves. In a quest to cross one border, the other might also be passed.

Taco Bell, a Three-legged Dog, and the Simplicity of Love 

Lauren Canaday

Maybe sometimes it happens

when the crescent moon

kisses the sea-covered horizon,

the breeze caressing your fairytale faces

in that opportune instant. 

It So Happens

Sarah Ricks

Put yourself in the bare, blistered feet of the young captured girls in Ricks’ poem.  

Psych Ward Love Poem

Evan Miller

Read what an abandoned Asylum has to say to a young photographer in Miller’s poem. 

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Inspiration Point


Featured Author



Zach Fleming 

The most significant event of Ty and Ian’s young lives occurred on a Friday evening in Ian’s backyard when they were both ten years old.  The boys were deeply engrossed in playing “war,” loosely based on Ty’s grandfather’s reminiscences about his time in the Pacific Theatre.  


Zach Fleming 

She will come to him unbidden, an intruder into his solitude.  The pain caused by this meeting will force the realization that something vital is missing from his life. He will be unable to identify it. She will give it a name. He will come to resent this knowledge.  

     Adler Lackey was entering his sixth 
month of silence when he first noticed
the ghosts inhabiting the city.

Hospitals at Night

Evan Miller

I had to sit and watch death
Dry up 92 years, every last drop.
I drove home to meet it.
Torn, wanting instead
To take off in the opposite direction.


To the Graduating Class

Emily Shellabarger

I stand before you
In the shadows of memories that are as dark
As the eyeliner worn by the abused freshmen

Whose lives were a burning hell because of your priorities. 
  Bill Takes Art at Bluffton College  


Sam Wildow

“Jump” by Sam Wildow presents a story that most students at this university could probably have empathy with. The characters in her story are finding themselves facing a dual set of borders – geographic and personal – as they prepare to leave the world of their high school days and move on to the world of college. 

From the Republic of Nightmarish Reality 

Emily Shellabarger

The young girl sat on top of the hill
Picking green roses from the red grass
As the violet sun smothered the horizon.

She looked like my sister,
But her eyes were as black as the spiders
Crawling on her arms.

All material  is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission. Violators will be prosecuted.

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