Hard Times

Writing Through Hard Times

Each month, the Denver VOICE publishes a selection of writing from workshops sponsored by Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

The Hard Times Writing Workshop is a collaboration between Denver Public Library and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. This workshop is open to all members of the public—especially those experiencing homelessness.  

Hard Times meets every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of DPL’s Central branch. 

The Lighthouse sponsored workshop at The Gathering Place is specifically for that organization’s clients.

To check out more writing by the poets featured in this column, go to writedenver.org. 

In Aztlán, it is in darkness when our hearts must soar.

For below, bullets hit. Voices condemn.

Walls built by men twisted by their own fear, hatred,

 greed, power bring disaster and decay to us all.  

Our blood yearns to flow through dreams… love… light.

It is the artist, totlecatl nonalnan, who with hands 

guided by generations and a child’s simple wish,

 who draws the true nature of Aztlán.

 And with her candor of truth, bullets cease. 

Voices lift. 

Walls crumble to dust!


Excerpt from the screenplay, Daughters of Aztlán

I expected the concrete steps

sitting lonesome

where a house had been,

the black exes on doors

like chalk marks

from some children’s game,

but not the tree

huge and mournful as a whale

branches silvered with moss

smashed into the asphalt

roots still shaggy with soil

crawling through a green-grey sky

like rivulets of ink.

Amanda Howard


If I had one wish in my life, if I could be granted one wish, it would be to get my baby back. I’d like to go back 23 years. Yes, it would be 23 years now, when I was 23, and I would not walk through that doctor’s door. I’m 46 years old, and I have no children. I’ve wanted children, but I never met a man in those two decades with whom I’m compatible, and who wanted to get married—marry me, that is—and wanted a family. And there was no way that I would be a single mother. But, I’d like to go back in time, when I was young and stupid, but with the smarts I have now, and staying 23, of course, and keep my baby in my womb, and raise it, alone. The father? I don’t know who he is. I was raped then. They never caught him.

Rhonda Robinson

One Wish