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

Michael-Roman Dixon

My Two Daughters


I saw God’s spirited angels, languid and

laughing curled fetus-like beneath a butternut

tree. Their pale, white wings like laser light flapped

lightly in the sun. Their pale hazel eyes

like caramel crystals, their wide soft mouths,

wide and soft as Cupid’s heart drew me like

a mite in a magnet wave. But wait a second.

Is that you? Is it really you whose pearl-

white blouse flaps lightly like wings whose soul glows

like Nat King Cole sings? Oh Alexa, my angel Alexa,

It’s you!


So there you are Nikki, going to heaven,

clothed in white robe, beaming like light.

Fly fast.

But leave your heart, so I’ll have somewhere large

and warm to hide awhile.

Fly fast.

But leave your arms to cradle me when I cry

and cry and lie that you are still here.


The Scent of Light

How do we recognize the scent of light?


My objective is to stay true to the notion of doing onto others 

as you would have them do onto you.


It is a difficult thing to do, 

for all of us 




All of us feel, at different times, 

small or weak 




Other times we feel in harmony 


We all at times feel hopeless or hopeful.


It is hard to live up 

to the Namaste objective

especially when we hurt - 

hurt as if we are in pain,

or hurt as in causing another to have pain


I want to give up 

because sorrow 

and anger overwhelms me


Especially when the world 

or in my own confusion 

in all its forms 





My objective remains strong 

despite obstacles





For at times during the day or 

deep in the night

I do find good in others and even

in myself. 




Someone must have found it as well.


I like you, have the right to be human.


Our capacity is our strength

to choose

to not choose

to understand, 

to forgive

to let go

to nurture, 

to grow


How can we recognize the sent of light?

Dean Glorso

Let Kindness Breathe

Gravity pulls at the soul

Like a grand piano being raised

With a single rope

Attached to a precise and critical

Balance point


One false move and the kindness

Of the day, will remove itself

The jostle will set into motion

A harmonic rhythm

Building to a crescendo of calamity


Speak now

To the inner workings of your mind

Before the tone

In your voice

Fails you


Loved ones remove themselves

Today is the time, to live the life one has

Breathe in, until the kindness

You know you possess