Writing Through Hard Times – January 2019

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

Patricia Jayne

A Rant with Odes To John Trudell and Andrea Menard

Haha laughter

Invades my space

Emotional roller coaster

Feel nothing?

Without passion 


I will stand solid

Speaking my heart

Fully unfiltered

Crushed at times

By the opinions

Of my voice

Loudly echoing 

Through my whole being

Moments of strength

It takes resistance 

To come to a place of calm

Of oneness

Separation clings like a blanket

I must find balance to sustain composer

Wandering strongly in emotions

Passionate about to much

Longing to feel numb

About something


I will stand firmly 

In my conviction to 

Protect the Sacred

I will NOT stand down

The Earth 

Has called me


I will Walk into the role of my spirit

Standing Silent No More

The song of my heart 

To heal calls me to my highest light.

I sit 


In the web of spiny swords

That cascade off the tongues of

Radio talk show hosts

Invaded by their violence

Both sides of the forked tongue

Biting itself

As it rambles 

on to convince us It is right

The same story 

The Wagging Lips of NPR

or Rush’s half gargled words

Voices tainted with the disease of Colonization. 

Tortured soul of noise

As planes dump War’s waste

On the soil

On the Being Humans

Hearts of Community

Children’s love surprising

Hand me my coffee

It stands stout 

Tortured soul of options

Wipe clean

My pain

Love invade

This stream of thoughts

Free me

My lust 

Let me Love

My true Love 

The Land 

The Sacred

The Mni Wiconi

The Community of Enlightened Beings

Fran Ford 

Winter Hunt

Cold night ’neath a crescent’s pale glow,

Skadi skims over bright, fresh snow.

Dark She flits, exquisite shadow.

Strong, swift, softly press Her skis. So

sleek Her traces slip the hollow,

so quick, so keen is Her arrow,

mortal senses cannot follow

Her deadly stealth, Her silent bow.

Marrianne Reid


When my kids were growing up, I spoke to them from time to time about the harsh realities for refugees in the world, displaced by some catastrophic political, climatic or spiritual dynamic. I pointed out that even we could become refugees. The kids maintained that it was highly unlikely they would become refugees.

As it turned out, I was the only one to become a refugee, if you can call it that. I chose to go, to put a stop to, my catastrophe of hope-sapping encounters with my husband. It did result in my displacement. Leaving home and country of the past 25 years, I flung myself two hundred miles north, landing up on Capitol Hill, half a block from Colfax. 

I went from hearing coyotes at night to hearing the sleep apneic snores of the person passed out up against the bars of my basement apartment window. I know my experience pales in light of the vivid pain of people displaced in this world. Still, I was left with a faint sense of it.