Writing Through Hard Times – September 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

Lew Forester

Anything Helps

Our Lady of Winter weeps all night. 

Sun rises on an immaculate sheet of ice, 

the unholy howl of branches breaking, 

whip and hiss of power lines.  

Another day in the flesh 

as all heaven freezes over. 

Bones balance in the ache of it, 

slip along the slick of it.

A car with a rap beat slides

through a red light, while a panhandler 

walks the icy median 

with a sign that says, God bless.

Fran Ford

Sunday Noonday at Colfax and Colorado

Today the sun glares so hungrily

down on Colfax and Colorado.

All color has fled the greedy

eye’s stare-dare. Its alchemical appetite

devours hues and gilds all things in white gold.

Not a weed dares make a vase from a cracked curb.

None dares; not a bum, not a bug, not a dog,

not a shadow of a nada stirs a step.

I do not dare even to look down. My feet,

I fear, cannot, nor can I, bodily, be

where sunlight takes such large and adamant shape

and breathes in such hot and dusty gasps. Reeking

of mortality, the scent of oil on tar

rises and ripples, swirls and sways on the air,

ritual incense of nausea, to fete

this gilt crossroads, this open air temple,

this big picnic table for a midday meal

where only the unsated Sun Goddess lingers,

forlorn and forgotten, sighs dust devils,

and picks her bright teeth with a broken bottle.  

Sheree L. Downs


Living paycheck to barely paycheck,

is this really living?

Work says it is “slow.”

I guess, 13th of the month, 

have only worked three days so far!

Disconnect notice from Xcel.

Living paycheck to maybe paycheck.