Lovella Calica

Writing a Decade

15 years ago, I would never have believed it
10 years ago, 5 years ago, I just met you
you had been angry
drinking at bars, alone
fighting, crying, calling at 2 am
slept with a gun at night
were spilling pills, powders
couldn’t leave your house, wouldn’t answer your phone
you were pacing, shouting, distrustful, resentful
we sat together
talked, wrote, cried, yelled, laughed
fought, stood up, found we had voices, used them
learned to look up, look around
learned to lean on each other
set our feet more firmly on the ground
your body is no longer something to punish shedding habits you learned long ago
you take it outside, go fishing
stretch, do yoga, dance, run, strum
fill it with nutrients instead of chemicals
you have a vision now, focus, purpose, confidence
we’ve been walking together for years
still digesting the mess
molding it into more
I see you loving
I see you struggling
I see you smiling
still crying and trying
see you putting yourself together
I see you speaking up, I see you growing
I see you getting stronger, smarter
readjusting, recalibrating
I see we all have more work left to do
we’ll keep walking together
learning, trying, helping, growing
cheering each other on along the way

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Lovella Calica
Lovella Calica is the multi-talented founder/program advisor/former director of Warrior Writers.
This project would not exist without her vision, dedication, creativity,
sensitivity, editorial savvy, organization, compassion, spirit and humanity.
Thank you, Lovella!

Lovella Calica is a writer, photographer and multi-media artist. With backgrounds in Human Development, English and social justice organizing, she offers a unique perspective and develops creative, collaborative ways of organizing and communicating. She is the founder and Program Advisor of Warrior Writers, a creative community for veterans articulating their experiences. She has edited four anthologies of veterans’ writing/artwork entitled: Move, Shoot and Communicate, Re-Making Sense, After Action Review and Warrior Writers 4th Anthology. Lovella has received three Art and Change grants from the Leeway Foundation and was honored with the Transformation Award in 2009. She self-published two chapbooks of poetry Makibaka: Beautifully Brave and Huwag Matakot: Do Not be Afraid. She is currently at work on her memoir which will be poetry and creative nonfiction. Lovella is a co-founder of the Pilipino-American artist collective, Tatlo Mestiz@s and served on the board of Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia. She has trained staff of arts organizations and universities around the country on how to better work with and understand veterans. Lovella has worked closely with veterans for over 10 years, primarily post 9/11 veterans. She is pursuing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan and will graduate in May 2021. She is currently working at Bastion Community of Resilience.