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. 

Fran Ford

What Words Are

Words are to the rolling tongue

rattle-tattle rides.

Their touches and their textures

bear its burden on all sides.

Words are rippling waves of sound

borne on tides of air.

They’re dark stains upon paper

otherwise left clean but bare.

Words are made of light and shade

typed across a screen.

Words are physical. They’re real,

no matter what they mean.

Sheryl Luna

Prayer for this Clay Earth

Teach us the language of spilling out of ourselves.


Teach us the language of moon, rain beating on cheeks, 

divinity lighting our eyes. Teach us nothing 


conceptual about fear, only how it concretely tightens 

chests, trembles down arms. Teach us fiery music, 


the silence of trees, the currents of sky and water.


Teach us to rebuke the language of drowning,

 to hold close breath and pulse of the body—


Teach us healing above all, soothing the center 

of our being. Teach us dark 


solitude without longing.

Freddy Bosco


Samuel Johnson said,

“Nobody but a blockhead

ever wrote, except for money,”

I recall a psychotic episode I had

while I was at the University.

I freaked out a bit

oversmoking the stash a friend

had me keep. I went ove the edge

because I couldn’t write fast enough

to keep up with my mind,

Expressing that, one of my professors

urged me “to write from both ends.”

By his remark I deduced that

I needed to switch from marijuana

to scotch. That mellowed me out

until that got to be a fresh problem.