Poetry and Pottery filled the pavilion at Soda Springs Park in Manitou Springs, Colorado once again this summer. For six Tuesday afternoons, we gathered up tourists, locals, and street people to write poems, learn to make clay bowls on the throwing wheel, share some soup and enjoy a timeless span of creativity and curiosity. We had 60 or so visitors each week between noon and 2 PM. We couldn’t gather during the summer of 2020; it was glorious to be together again.
The best part of the event is when someone, young or old, says, “Can I just go do that?” One of the writing mentors says, “Of course!” and a grin pops open! Even through a mask, you can see a grin. We build community, encourage creativity, give weary caregivers and parents a break, introduce folks of all backgrounds and abilities to use art to express themselves, to release some energy, and to focus on one fun thing at a time. Overwhelmingly, the adults are gobsmacked that the event is so free flowing and, well, free of charge.
Every year, we have asked participants to write a word on a tag and then tie the tag on a string so we can use their words to create a community poem. This year Lindsay Deen, a writing mentor and poet, wrote the following poem using all the words in the order they appeared on the string. You can see a video of her reading here.
Community Poem from Poetry and Pottery in the Park 2021
German Shepherds bring
Inner Peace, joy, prosperity.
Slither through onamonapia serenely.
With mastery, defenestration becomes enigma.
Delicious scrupulous hope
Passes poggers, joins omori.
Curious? Hi dog
Caring kindness creates intersectionality and inertia for
Equality, inclusion, and diversity.
Indi’s life unweilding brings Ana Love.
Banana dancing with summer.
Love and no judgement
In wilderness, horses meet growth.
Mellifluous biota jumping, wildly happy, heard us.
Touch leading to spirals and serendipity redeems joy.
The Great Way is not difficult
For those who have no preferences or too many
“Hi, I am Bob,”
Sunshine, pizza, and the peaceful flowers hold eggs.
Cat and mosquito alike
Massage blessed fallacy
Hope ubiquitous focus is enough
To achieve equanimity and
Attend a victorious feast.
Forever, Cindy lives in green love.
My mom and me make pancakes and frolic.
Therapy’s exuberance humbled the heart and creates.
I still dream about…
Roxy the love we shared was and is eternal.
Waking up holding her
The smile on her sleeping face
The times we spent together
On the mountain
The way she made me feel loved
Her caring giving and kind heart
The golden stripes in her hazel eyes
That mischievous smile she showed me
Her smile that shined
From her soul
Love and miss you Roxy
You died way too soon.
Bloom cranky reprobate.
The following organizations made Poetry and Pottery possible (I do love my “p’s”). The Manitou Arts, Culture and History fund, Colorado Creative Industries, The Manitou Springs Arts Council and the Colorado Springs Health Foundation.