Writing Through Hard Times – August 2018

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

Daniel Angel Martinez

A Hard Times Poem

Are you expecting soothing words in life?

Have you not learned to read between the rhymes?

A poet’s pen can cut a slice of strife,

Reminding us each day of bitter times.

Do you rely on moon and starry nights?

Tell me then, what’s with all the dark in space?

It seems this life, in truth, has dimmer lights.

My words of gloom are gems that I embrace.

Extolling darkness I can find recourse.

So sweet the sounds without the noise of day.

Perhaps my muse will help to find the source.

On fragile wings my soul will blaze the way.

Ejecting flaws and blahs now brings about

My words to read to speak without a doubt.

Mike Sindler

For Emily D. and Trayvon M.

“Privilege” is the thing with ignorance —

That perches in the mind —

And sings the tune without the understanding —

and never stops — at all —


And gunshots — in the night — are heard

A youth has been gunned down —

towards the victim blame is turned

because his skin is brown —


I hear about it on the news —

Online and on — T.V. —

Yet — never — question validity,

It matters not — to me. 

Benjamin Eric Nelson

Exploding Kane

Compliment rejected

Faith concerned about life essence

Direct hit

The heart constricts and bleeds

Tears of acid rain explode

Glass jar of water crystalizes

The storm

Weathered but surviving

A cross of vapor able to sterilize

Able to circumcise

Cut off

Disabled and working

Hell has a nicer bar, but where is the bourbon?

Down a shot

Then water on the rocks

It’s okay just put the pipe down


We’ll all be shocked…

Listen to the sound!