Death Becomes Her (3/30)


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Before a cherry rots,
she breaks down her sugar,
darkens and sweetens her juice.

In autumn,
the leaves’ last living songs scream fire,

To read the rest of the poem, please see I wrote it as part of the Tupelo Press and Teen Creative Writing Center fundraiser. I hope you decide to sponsor my work. Every little bit helps! :)

Bathsheba (2/30)


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Trauma One
Like most cats, I never knew my father.

Having birthed litters close together, my mom and half-sister co-parented me.
Lying down and feeding us on their bitter sweet milk,
they took turns cleaning and chiding us.

My mom never named me. I knew she meant me by her touch.

Trauma Two
One day, someone adopted me and took me away from my real family.
I was alone with her and him, new smells of cat nip and tofu, new open palmed touches.

If you would like to read the rest of this poem, please see I wrote this poem as part of a fundraiser for Tupelo Press and Teen Creative Writing Center, my new work gig. I hope you consider sponsoring the poem and make a donation. As always thank you for your continued support of my writing!

At Church (1/30)


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I pushed
myself flat on the floor and pretended
to be dead.

I lied,
with my cheek pressed
to the carpet making
silent ohs with my mouth.

The worn carpet was cranberry red
like Mamma’s favorite summer dress
with pockets full of cashews and gum.

Where was Mamma now?

After the fireworks, gun powder filled my nose.
Stomping, black boots shook the floor.
I wondered if I would die here.

I remembered

To read the rest of the poem please go to

If you like the piece, please consider sponsoring it in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Fundraiser. Every little bit helps. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

Thirty Six


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At thirty six,
I look at my reflection as I move past all shiny things.
Not narcissism, but anxiety keeps my stare…
Am I am still here?

Reassured by my wide nose and eyes
in the sides of toasters and store windows,
I walk on.

I am immortal.

At thirty six,
I am older than this morning’s rain.
I am older than my last thought.

I will never be thirty seven or fifty.

Frozen even in the late summer heat.
My time stands still, as
I walk on.

The Decision


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I look
at his extended hand with open box.

I wonder
if we are in his palm’s future.

I drink
in the hopeful in his eyes.

I notice
how the black velvet slips in his sweaty, nervous fingers.

I remember
his saccharine kisses and nothings in my ear.

I smile
as I recall meeting his quirky family.

I say

Hurting People Hurt


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Hurting people hurt. Some hurting people choose to help.

Two people are abused as children. One becomes an abuser of their own children. The other becomes a children’s advocate and protects children.

What was the difference between the two?

One possibility is that the one who became a helper had a healing relationship that eventually taught her recovery from trauma happens.

A lot of people in the mental health field come to it, because of personal stories of mental pain either of their own or loved ones more so than intellectual curiosity. This fact although known among mental health providers is rarely known by mental health consumers, because there are rules about disclosure and professional distance.

I am one of them. I am a peer support specialist which means I have lived experience with both illness and recovery, and I have chosen to help others still in pain or early in their recovery. And, I can tell people my story of recovery, be a role model, and most importantly be a friend.

Friendship is the corner stone of building healing communities Healing communities create safe and therapeutic hot spots.

Without the responsibilities and joys of having a friend, we do not grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

When we shun or ostracize people for being different or being difficult, we stunt people’s growth.

We need to learn how to stop writing off difficult people and learn to write them in.

I have a lot of similar attributes as the person who shot the Roanoke news team.

I am sensitive to social justice issues. I have been fired from a lot of jobs. I have had mental health complexities that include homicidal tendencies, rage, and personality disorders. The list could go on.

The main difference, perhaps, is that my case worker introduced me to On Our Own of Charlottesville, a peer run mental health and substance abuse recovery house. There I have made lifetime friends and learned how to effectively deal with anger and stress management. There, I found people who were happy to write me and others like me in.

So, what can you do? You can support others who are doing this important support work. And, you can educate yourself about mental health complexities. Of course, you shun folks who you don’t understand or know. So, work toward your understanding and knowledge.

And, above all be a friend.

I think if there is any judgment at the end of our life, it is not about our achievements or philosophies or wealth, but how we treated human beings we did not like or we felt could do nothing for us.

So, be a friend.

mindful mandala


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before we sweep the sacred circles’ sands to the blessing river,
let us celebrate our living mandala, our finite cosmic diagram of the infinite.

strong, energetic red circles.
feminine pink triangles.
transformative orange waves.
laughing yellow parabolas.
nature’s green ovals.
healing blue birds.
spiritual purple branches.
mysterious black suns.

let it absorb your attention,
falling into it,
gazing into it,
swimming into it.

float with it.

our circle never ends but is pushed away, grains departing,
as life never ends, but its pieces are impermanent.
we are meditations forever whispered.
we are…

Author’s Statement–Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh


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Writing that upends, surprises, or jars attracts me. I am reading Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and I just finished Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye and Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism.

I write, because I need to understand. When I work on my craft, I work on myself. Through writing journals, blogs, poetry, memoir, and flash fiction, I come to terms with my inner and outer environments.

I write to help. I write to heal. I write to honor.

I attack apathy, personal and political.

I challenge myself and others to move beyond comfort zones and other narrowing forms of thought.

I critically reconstruct social, political, and cultural issues.

I center the marginal.

I document my communities of the mentally complex, the abused, the poor, the undocumented, the incarcerated, the young, the elderly, the larger, the addicts, the women, the transgendered, the people of color.

I strive to write immediate, active, sensual, honest, and metaphoric pieces.

I struggle to be reborn, to burst, to open.

Vocabulary Choices of a Pariah


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I was once a beautiful word full of richness and meaning.
I was derived from Latin and stuck around for thousands of years.
Then, I immigrated to America.
They shortened me and modernized me and Americanized me,
so I no longer recognized myself.
I became a poor and bereft word, a shadow of my formal self.
Desperate, I began to steal, spit on the sidewalks, curse.
Eventually, I was banned from polite language.
I exist now on the mealy breath of dissenters.
I hope one day to be resurrected.
Now, I lie in the gutter of expression staring at the stars.


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