Mark Wong teaches Frankie how to make a pot.

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 folx 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.


Free spirit

Love and no judgement

FIERX funfynunya.

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

Prancing bananas.

“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.

Vern courageous.

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.