Writing Through Hard Times – February 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

The DPL Hard Times Group

Bits & Pieces  |  Collected by Giuliana Brunner

Over several years, bits and pieces were collected from numerous attendees sharing their writing in the Hard Times Writing Workshop.  Amazing souls who have shared humor, heart, hurts, loves, and spirit openly among those of us honored to be able to participate in this experience. You might find words here that open a piece of you – if not possibly a trigger – a burst of joy, a tear, or a heart cry cracking an opening for a new light to enter – or – sense a connecting thread or recognition in another’s words.

Her hair and Jesus had the same stylist 

 The one who fights with the invisible 

Wizened wrinkled fuzzy face 

Tears of the sunset 

Incarcerated without indictment 

It’s in the stillness of the soft smile of the crescent moon resting on the sky 

Eat enough of the good and your temple will be at strife with itself 

Struggling to find my laughing place 

How does one vacate oneself 

Rainbow rivers rolling across the stars 

Never in the same room with its company 

Getting all my selves on one page 

Years had frosted her feathery shoulders 

What’s holding it up? My imagination of course 

Like a small mole blinking at sunlight 

A door pushed in a threshold crossed 

Think lost some of my tears not sure they were a useful way of getting from one place to another 

He’s talking dirty to us trading cake for the truth 

My mission is to crash into the sun 

Panorama of stars pathways to mysteries as if the universe could be held down 

I fall asleep and say to you what we can’t say when we’re awake 

If words could kill they have become victims – and she the survivor

The moon shrinks, wind-whittled, sinks down among the alley shadows 

Cling to my relationship like a toddler to adult legs

Scarlet haze surrounded my soul 

Monkey mind thoughts 

We need to remember that we need to march to the beat of our own drummer and tell it like it is 

George Carlin said “people will think you are crazy if they can’t hear the music that you are dancing to”

Cells rejuvenate daily so why not now force me to explore who i really am 

As time creeps on so does the snake 

Awe in all that is wonder 

Belittlement scars lace her wounded mind 

Dishing out dim sum, dim sum of her hope 

One day with god, a child without a filter 

Writing from the heart is always successful

Mike Sindler 


Joe couldn’t stand to be inside

and so he slept out on the street

under a roof, he felt confined

Joe couldn’t stand to be inside

For years, in a cell, he’d done time

his world comprised six by eight feet

Joe couldn’t stand to be inside

and so he slept out on the street

Daniel Angel Martinez

Getting Past Compassion

They came as “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

There’s no need to extend a welcome but a wall.

No reason for us to think compassionately.

Now those Europeans who came across the sea,

their hardships were no different, as I recall.

They came as “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Seems like we’ve forgotten our common history

in being stripped of homeland, family and all.

No reason for us to think compassionately.

Why can’t we be in the same good company?

In order for some to rise, do some have to fall?

They came as “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Scales of Justice now tip a different degree.

How did new arrival’s troubles become so small?

No reason for us to think compassionately.

Seems America is consumed with apathy.

On our great wall, these few words I’m tempted to scrawl:

“They came as ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ –

no reason for us to think compassionately.”