Writing Through Hard Times – March 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

Pete Simon

Pay Caracus No Mind

We police the world 

for profit and fun 

but when the nay-sayers here 

start belly aching 

they’ll see the tip of a gun;

at their front door 

on a naked windy night, 

when the temperature has dropped 

to the level of fright.

Don’t mess with power little one, 

it doesn’t become you at all; 

you do better when you’re playing that guitar 

down by the water fall; 

where the woman of your dreams 

comes to hear you play 

and brings your favorite blanket  

for a majestic lay.

Just keep away little boy

Just keep away.

Leave the heavy lifting 

for us.

Benjamin Eric Nelson 

Can’t Hide ShameElectric music pulses like

Digital fluid through wires as veins

Mourning the loss of words

A black shroud covers light’s doorway

Peek at the gifts that abound

Let go of common ground

A release

A short breath… pulled into symbols

The principled… shower with gold

Food turned to mold

A fixed eye stares like cold metal

Breaking free of stigma

Loud colors worn to impress

But can’t hide shame

Another day

Another way


Steel trap mind contained

Shaleen Figueroa

Ideologies Boggle Me

Psychology, philosophy, mythology, and theology

Some of the most difficult subjects in life.

Aquinas, Socrates, Plato, and Euripides

Tackling all apparent human strife.

...And finding a career in these fields

Is as solid as flying a kite

Without these humans,

Paths that have been paved,

Tread upon lightly, or gallivanted upon,

Would never be,

Or ventured all throughout.

Time never ceases,

Life’s experiences intrigues–

And at times: heart bleeds.

One wonders:

Greater or less

Finance or clout

Without a doubt,

Thoughts linger about


And where even I,

Am not able to find me.