Flip Side Stories provided by Art from Ashes Denver

Received some lovely thoughts, poems, and stories from the people at Art from Ashes in Denver (see below).

Also, check out the wonderful things they are up to at www.artfromashes.org.  Support their amazing mission!

“Our minds can be full of isolation, believing that we are the only ones aware of our existence. Connecting to others solidifies our sense of self and purpose. Building our identities beyond the calcified barrier and breathing real life into our hearts. Expanding our worlds to create something more, something grander and better. Turning our thoughts into collective action and unity of spirit. By no means a melting pot, but a garden for future growth and abundance of love and commitment to one another and ourselves.”  – Anonymous

“Finding something bigger than ourselves shows us that we have a place in the world and that we really can make a difference. Even one person is an important addition to whatever we join.  We all live in one world, so we all need to help each other however we can.”  – Anonymous

“As a kid I went through life avoiding the truth, reality

It hurt too much

As I got older,

Life made that impossible

Forced to take life as it is or leave it completely

No more avoiding

No more hiding

Tragedy smacked me in the face

Hospitals, jails, court, and cemeteries

I struggled and fought to find my way out

And I found someone to believe in me

Now I can see life is not something to avoid

You should grab it by the horns

Confront the bad

Embrace the good

For you never know what life will bring

And you never know what day will be your last

Share life and teach the life lessons you have already learned

To help those just starting the journey”


“I’ve always had a blessed life, but only since I started volunteering my time to help others, have I learned to count my blessings. Not everybody has had an amazing family and support system life I grew up with. It can be easy to take this for granted! About a year ago I decided it was time to give back, and it has changed my life. I had been working jobs that I didn’t care about just make money, and now I have work with purpose. For the first time ever, several hours of every day are spent toward the goal of empowering those less fortunate than me, and giving them some of the tools they need to live a positive life. This work for me is a gift and a blessing! I hope that everyone who gets the chance to read this can also be inspired to change lives everyday.”  – Anonymous

“How easy it is to ignore cliché’s… to let them pass by you like another advertisement or being a part of your day. “You won’t miss them until they’re gone.” Of course. You ignore it until you actually lose someone. Someone close. I lost my father. I wasn’t surprised I lost him, but we weren’t speaking when he left this earth. Unimportant fights and negativity that gets in the way of love is that which we were consumed. My radical dream is to rewind and tell that person I love them every single day. Not just him but every one I came across. I don’t care if I make them uncomfortable. I want love to spill out of me- I want my dam to be broken.” -Anonymous

“Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Harold Whitman.  What makes you come alive? – Anonymous

“You are beautiful and powerful.

You are vital and important to this world.

You matter, your words matter.

The lives you touch are better because of you.” – Anonymous

“Everyone is special. Everyone’s special. Wonderful ideas should be heard. Our differences make us unique. We are wonderful, people of the world.” – Anonymous

“Life isn’t fair, we can’t change that, but we can make everyone around us feel better and feel love and happiness. This is the most important thing.” – Anonymous

“I sat in the back of the cop car before the fire had even been put out. Where I was and how I got there was as alien to me as the little green men that populate the dreams of Steven Spielberg. My life was in shambles. I burned myself to the ground. The building that was literally in flames was just collateral damage. My favorite movie ever includes a line that became my mantra after this moment. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. From the ashes of despair, abuse and addiction, I decided to craft a new life with a new outlook. I wanted to be the example. Although it is always a precarious dance, with lots of forward and backwards movement, missteps and the occasional face plant, I have dedicated this dance to my own blasted past and the frightened little boy who was thrust into manhood all too early. Some of us are dealt a royal flush; some of us are a few cards shy of a full deck. But we don’t all have to play poker. We can be magicians. We can cut the cars up and collage the kings and queens into a beautiful mosaic. We can create beauty from the bits and pieces of our fragmented lives. We are powerful, capable, and glorious. So long as we allow ourselves to be.”  -Link


More Flip Side Stories provided by Art from Ashes Denver

Art from Ashes is a local Denver Non-profit that uses the creative arts to transform the lives of struggling youth (check out their website at www.artfromashes.org).  Young poets, artists, and just regular people at Art From Ashes shared the following Flip Side entries:

“Everything is changing and rearranging all around me

Music has done a 190-degree angel on me

Graduation grows closer and closer…

As I get more and more anxious

My love has expanded drastically

And gone weird on me

The only thing I’ve got left is me

And the power of my voice

Being not what I wanna call a musician,

When really I’m just an expresser!

Like everyone else…


When you hear me

When you hear my voice

You’ll know

I’m not like everyone else”

–       Khalid,  Peace & Love

“If I am 2 enjoy my fruits granted in this world all must have sweet lips.

I’m convicted 2 giving I don’t give I just pass the proper necessary energy I simply exist, they day I only consume is the day I’ve failed my purpose.” –Anonymous


“I give because it makes me feel good. I’m blessed and want to pass it on. I’m sure someone/anyone can use it. Someone always needs it. I’m-thinking-I feel like I’ve given a little part of myself and I like that. I’m wondering what else I will say. It’s always nice to see a genuine smile on someone’s face or a smile in someone’s eyes because they are truly grateful.” –Anonymous


“I give my heart and soul to the world

Not cuz its right

Not cuz I have to

Cuz I want to

Why despite all the wrongs in the world

You always give it you’re all

And never give up on a miracle

Cuz some day you might need them in return”

–       Shyla


“Giving, Sharing, Caring

A world that has none…

the stress that builds,

but the motivation in these fields

I can’t see them suffer

I give,

I live.

No more struggle or no more pain.

This disturbance has me insane.

Share the wealth,

give to charity just once

will you share with me?

Everyone take a toll,

but be real not so dull.

Relationships, love and hate

Just help that person, this is fate.

Believe in those who don’t believe

in the end I will achieve.”  –Anonymous


“I am a being of darkness

A creature of pain

Not the physical pain that can heal,

But the kind of pain that feels like shards of frost

Are slowly seeping their way into your heart

Freezing your feelings

And making you hold nothing but the sea of deep blue

That you find yourself treading

I am a being of sadness

A creature of suffering

Not the suffering you see on tv with small children

And their fragile ribs protruding from their skin

But the suffering inside

The weight of a cruel world pressed on your shoulders,

The weight of harsh words pressing on your heart”  –Anonymous


“My life so far has shown me that taking one moment to thank someone not only shows my appreciation for them but I feel better about me.”  –Anonymous

“Goodbye my love goodbye,

don’t make me look back as I go.

Let me walk away proudly,

holding my head up high.

Don’t ask me any questions,

goodbye my love goodbye.

Don’t wish you knew the answers

just let me venture on my way,

all I know of this

is that I simply cannot stay.

I have no explanations as to why

I cannot be the one for you to have,

to hold,

please try dear

just to see.

I’m too tired

you’re too scared,

I even want to cry,

my love I just can’t stay here,

goodbye my love goodbye” –Anonymous


“Who am I and were do I be long cold streets pulsate with powerful energy negative and positive balance the existence of this strange nature society adopted within the confine I struggle with great anticipation to be something or someone with a face not a mask. For the mask holds in my love in fear that those I want to love or open to will scatter like fire ants after the foot has come down. Its hard to call out from behind the wall perhaps they hear me but do not respond. I belong in love and I am strong beyond my own grasp.” –Anonymous

“My mom has had the greatest impact on my life. She taught me how to give love and be a world citizen. I admire her in every way. ” –Anonymous, Denver, CO

“Something you want to hold because life can be rough with a lot of things. People have life, respect, & trust.”  –Anonymous

“When was the last time I tried something new? Hmmmm I just realized that new doesn’t have to mean big. New can be simple. I drove past homeless person and decided to go to McDonalds and buy him a hamburger. I drove back and asked if he was hungry, asked him name and…..yes he was really hungry and his name was Tracy…and…I made a new friend.” –Anonymous

“There was a time when I had to worry about the weather outside. Not like most people did. Sometimes I had to wonder if I would freeze to death in a world that had turned a cold shoulder to me. I refuse to do that to anyone else. That I one reason why I have chosen to follow the examples of Daisaku Ikeda, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Ghandi.  To dedicate my life to peace and serving others.” — Anonymous

“It seems to be that life has a face sometimes stern and critical others loving and wishful. These faces shift constantly with great precision I search for masks to cover these faces maybe simply cause these faces scares me or maybe they will consume me in billions of thoughts and ideas. I run from these faces but in my heart looking into the eyes of life I see my own face true face.” –Anonymous