Writing Through Hard Times – July 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

Giuliana Brunner


Holder of all


all life,

all death,

                                               here on earth.

Absorber of water

                                                                til full.

Beneath what the eye can see

underworld of life

creating breathing pockets

from creatures living in murky grey darkness.

Feeding from it, eating from it.

Even leaves rustling their own melody in the breeze

will return to you

to nurture.

As I wish upon my passing to nurture

Feed you with blessings

with gratitude of the sacred mysteries

you have given,

unfolding when I’ve walked your cushioned path.

Linda Magnuson

Mom’s Battle

Mom’s battle is coming to an end.

Cancer rages through her body.

Realization dawns on us.

Time is growing short.

Everything needed to be said,

has been said.

Everything we needed to know,

We’ve be told.

She slips into a final coma.

She is beginning to leave us.

Each family member in turn

Approaches her hospital bed.

Our eyes red, voices thick,

each tell her it’s okay to go.

My sister and I talk quietly.

There nothing more to be done.

Her girls are exhausted.

We agree the need to leave.

Home to rest,

For what is to be.

Mother and daughter united 

In this time, in this place.

As she watched over her mother,

her daughter now watches over her.

As she was strong for us,

I’m now strong for her. 

Now we wait in the eternal now.

Death set its own schedule.

The room is still and cold,

as she begins her final journey.

She takes her last breath. 

The world recedes.

Her heart beats for a moment.

Then no more.

I speak my final words to her.

Quietly I leave the room.

Edward Curlee


It was a hard choice to make,

but I settled down, relaxed and took the journey inside myself.

The gate had been left open, waiting for me,

The Tudor-style road led straight to my memories, where I hesitated.

I didn’t want to proceed —

no, not even a glance — 

for I had forgotten who I was and where I came from.

It happens —

Shit messes with your life and you retreat,

complete with herb and vodka,

into your comfort zone,

pulling the covers to the neckline while

rolling that stone in front of the entrance.

Today is not the day —

Enough of the fits and fights

between my id and my ego.

I want my mind back

I want myself intact

I just might intentionally attack!

Smack in the middle of what is and what it’s supposed to be.

Jacked into a corner by the powers that see,

I want me to go back to being me,

to slap the sun upside its head,

to dance till music tucks me into bed,

to work that sex machine like it’s risen from the dead!

I want what’s called a life instead.