Hayden Beaulieu grew up in Seattle, Washington, with his father. They had a difficult relationship, and eventually Beaulieu felt forced to leave. He ended up in Arizona and Beaulieu’s family abandoned him there, completely uprooted from his home and past. Beaulieu was arrested for burning his Seattle belongings. The State of Arizona charged Beaulieu at the age of 15 as an adult for attempted arson. While Beaulieu was in an adult jail, he suffered physical and sexual abuse along with many other inmates, his age and older. After being released on adult probation, he ran to California where he felt safer. Beaulieu was arrested and incarcerated in the Alameda County Juvenile Hall for eight months while he awaited extradition to Arizona. When he returned to Arizona, his case was dropped.

Beaulieu has since returned to Oakland, California, where he fights for the rights of youth who would be otherwise forgotten. As a victim of neglect, abandonment, arbitrary punishment, physical and sexual abuse, and poor representation, he feel like he relates to every child who is on the inside today. For Beaulieu, juvenile justice reform and climate change are the two biggest issues facing youth today. The juvenile justice system has been proven to be racist, arbitrary in terms of policies and sentences for youth, and the cause of trauma in the lives of the children, as well as their families and friends. Beaulieu wants to bring his experiences to all who are willing to listen so that we can make a difference together.

Beaulieu’s writing commonly takes form as free-verse poetry. He has published op-ed pieces for The Beat Within and various other local media in California. His writing has also been published with Witness LA, a criminal justice focused news outlet. He is currently writing his own book, entitled Dear Society, which is about Beaulieu’s experiences with the justice system as a child. He firmly believes that no child belongs in the adult system when rehabilitative methods are much more effective and that incarceration is deeply detrimental to their fundamental development.



by Hayden Beaulieu

A sparkling cold gaze shivers through the air

A woman clothed in snow sheds an encompassing gaze upon me

Eyes that betray confusion

Open arms that invite contemplation

The orgasmic conjugation of two cultures into one

To experience a paradigm of mutual satisfaction

A tempest begins to stir amongst us

Each draft of wind carries a tiny reflection of the past

The woman is trapped by this terrible blizzard

She is merely the vessel of capsized memories

I run towards the woman and crash into an invisible wall

The wall begins to bleed from the essence of its smoothness

I see a cold bubbly reflection of myself

I scream and beg the woman to save me from myself

I smear the blood of those I’ve failed onto my face

And the wall breaks into its constituent torturous consciences

The woman sees my solemn slump on the ground

She begins to sprint towards me

A sword in one hand and a child’s nightgown in the other


I scream too late as she plunges the sword deep in my abdominal cavity

I awake some time later to the redundant tone of my phone’s alarm

The sweet touch of my lover’s hand stirs the sleep from my eyes

I check the time and contemplate my morning routine

The dream still weighs heavily upon my mind

I roll over and see my lover laying next to her younger sister

Her sister is wearing a decorated child’s nightgown