Writing Through Hard Times

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. 


In the Beginning

Just a place to sleep is sometimes all you look for

Whose door?

Will anyone welcome the poor?

Panic attacks the closest to sunset

Or the colder it gets

At first it’s a matter of pride

You still look combed

And somewhat nice

You don’t smell

Hasn’t gone all to hell

Just don’t want people to know

You’re facing dirt and facing cold

There shouldn’t be shame

But there is the blame and disdain

That rots at your core

As you promise yourself

You will not beg

And will not “whore”

Just find a bed to place your head

To be safe and sound

Instead of lost

And never found

So stay in your car far

From the greedy meters

Aloof robots, thieves

Hack cheaters

And wife beaters

All with this same sentence

Those with greed

And We with assigned decadence

That would keep you or me

From opening that door

And not welcome the least,

And not welcome the poor

Benjamin Eric Nelson

Burnt Tongue

Heat Blasting My Body

The Smell Of Sweat

I Want To Break Free

Sun Still Containing My Awful Discomfort

Noodles Boiling Like My Brain

At Least That Heat I Can Live With

At Least I Can Cook Well

Cooking Like My Pain Wracked Skin

Pasta Al Dente And Sin

Inside The Waters A Burnt Tongue Lashes

Lashes Out At The Forceful Dictatorship

Oh King May You Live Forever

Sarcastic Tone To The Bland Speech

This Is The Retreat

To A Land Ravished With The Unlucky

This Is Not The Place That I Seek

My Spine And Bones Shriek

Calm Down Then Lose The Ability To Speak

Still Conversing With The Past

The Future In A Flash

Can I Be Able To Travel To Hell???

Time Will Tell

Can I Cast A Fiery Spell???

Or Will It Disappear As Well???

Walk The Road

Get Hungry

Need To Eat And Drink

No Time To Think

Must Believe In Green

This Ship Won’t Sink

Dean Glorso

A Feeling

How many eight legged creatures

Did I crush in the bathroom?


With a tissue


Before justice was served

For the murder of my niece

A real human being


With each extermination

Over these almost 30 years

I thought of this man

Who reportedly dropped dead today


Now I feel bad for the spiders