Songs Of Themselves

The Denver Foundation

This article originally ran in The Denver Foundation's Summer 2019 Issue of Give Magazine.

Lighthouse Writers Workshop wants to get everyone in the city writing. Toe nonprofit literary center (and Denver Foundation grantee) has recently amped up efforts to engage writers of color, those in the LGBTQ+ community, seniors, immigrants and refugees, people transitioning out of incarceration-and everybody else. Through the Hard Times Writing Workshop, people who are experiencing homelessness, poverty, or other difficulties come together to express themselves and tap into the restorative power of creativity. Toe weekly workshops normally take place at public libraries, but the group sometimes seeks inspiration elsewhere. A recent visit to Denver Botanic Gardens sparked ruminations on nature, as we see in this beautiful piece from local poet Fran Ford (pictured below, to the right). To Learn more, visit

The One with the Problem

By Fran Ford

Leaning over the bridge at Speer and 6th gets me sunlight riding slow current 
rain-sated, sleepy, cool, and limpid 
as a spill of hue less jelly on a long slide 

among islets of prairie grass, 
and it gives me a look at large gray rats glad on the glide from frowsy fronds, 
algae-frocked rocks and soggy shreds 

of floating fast-food sacks. 
Too, it offers plastic bottles a-bobble 
and soda cans sunk in nooks of sunshine, 
a recycler's ready hoard of hap. 

The creek returns my frown, my looking down. Guess I'm the one with the problem. 


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