Garden Girl

Garden Girl by Valerie Parente

Garden girl
the way she unfurled
took a long time
to fulfill her words.

Garden seeds
dirt on her knees
buried her sadness
with a thumb so green.

Garden rain
it’s just a mind-frame
we could be our gloom
or we could be its grace.

Garden growth
from hell she coped
decided to be resilient
in how she spoke.

There is always a choice
between wreckage and poise
she can’t control the weather
but she could control her voice.

The clouds rolled in
and the garden listened
come rain or tears
it does not know the difference.

– Valerie Parente (7-31-2021)

Beg A Question (The Royal Harpy & The Lunar Druid)

Beg A Question (The Royal Harpy & The Lunar Druid) by Valerie Parente

The royal harpy’s sickness
has always been her muse
and that’s precisely why this princess
couldn’t differentiate from the two.

On a night of pure stillness
she captured the druid of the moon
she took him as her witness
and begged him for the truth.

“Surely it’s your business,
and I will not be made a fool,
tell me, am I my condition
or is my condition just a ruse?”

The lunar druid was oddly smitten
remembering all the princess had been through
a young harpy tormented by children
so he posed a question too.

“Did they bully you for your condition?
Or was this your condition because they bullied you?”
“I’m not sure I know the difference,”
the princess whispered so confused.

That druid of the moon simply listened
as he heard all he needed to
and as his emerald eyes glistened
he whispered, “That is your proof.”

– Valerie Parente (7-30-2021)

Hummingbird (A Loved One Says Hi)

Hummingbird (A Loved One Says Hi) by Valerie Parente

We spoke of her
while tears overflowed
remembering our love
when it had a place to go.

That was when
our pain became borrowed
nature came by
and acknowledged the sorrow.

A sweet hummingbird
tapped on the window twice
that little girl came back
to show us she’s alright.

And even if
that body wasn’t hers
it still sparked
a sweet reminder.

We won’t know the truth
but we do know this
that another being’s life
made us think of her image.

What remains true
is the shape of nature
a circle of incarnations
being made by a maker.

Not in this life
can I ever be sure
that the hummingbird
was really her.

But what I am sure of
is a feeling so profound
that this little bird’s life
is tied to where she is now.

– Valerie Parente (7-24-2021)

Shadow Sign

Shadow Sign by Valerie Parente

Shadow Sign
you weren’t the light of my life
you were just the shape in which I had been traumatized
I thought you were what I wanted
after all these years of being haunted
because the truth of the matter is
I was never really his
and that unofficial kind of bliss
had me tracing my steps with darkness.

Because Shadow Sign
you were never mine
and with your outline I realize
you weren’t the problem, you were its signal
not something that I was ever meant to rekindle
a simplification of the self
implied light from somewhere else
and that’s the truth to mental health
I looked for love when what I needed was help.

– Valerie Parente (7-21-2021)

Spark

Spark by Valerie Parente

I didn’t need the unequivocal reciprocation from the stars
to feel that motivating spark
all I needed was a feeling
then I ran like the wind.

Nothing mutual was necessary when I decided to run
I felt compelled and that was enough
ambivalence nor rejected mattered
I ran, and rewards came after.

That path was everything because that path was my point of view
I ran a marathon not because the stars told me to
but because they lit up the dark
even when I could not.

Something beautiful happened during those simple, naive days
I didn’t realize, but I won before the end of the race
I aimed to be like the stars early on
but that spark was in me all along.

– Valerie Parente (7-11-2021)

The Key To Happy

The Key To Happy by Valerie Parente

I didn’t get better because I got to love you
I got to love you because I got better.

I didn’t heal for you
I healed for me
and that is why
I am finally free
to truly enjoy
another being
without depending
on them for healing.

This is the honest truth
this is the real key
accept yourself
then enjoy company.

– Valerie Parente (7-6-2021)


In The Moment

In The Moment by Valerie Parente

What about you
makes me not identify with the past?
Because I act like a ghost
of every experience I’ve ever had
but with you
I’m present in my path.
One step at a time
pain that never lasts
get up again
and enjoy what I have.

– Valerie Parente (6-29-2021)

Rose Buds

Rose Buds by Valerie Parente

I collect rose buds
for the fun
and I feel immortal
like I am one
with the showcase
of my collection
that’s why I display
the things I love
infinite treasures
flow and flux
perpetual motifs
personification
they mirror me
like a reflection
objects with stories
never fully done.
It’s not hoarding
it’s admiration
for the symbols
in my vision.

– Valerie Parente (6-28-2021)

From A Mile Away


From A Mile Away
by Valerie Parente

When you realized I was your teammate
I saw it coming from a mile away,
that’s why I tried to steer you towards a path
when it wasn’t really my place to ask,
and now I understand I was too compromised
by an infatuation that soared beyond my pride,
and when it all blew up in the worst way
I saw it coming from a mile away.

I understand now why I didn’t stick around
and even though it brought on a pain so profound,
I’m so glad I learned how to rely on no one else
to take care of my ever-evolving mental health.

– Valerie Parente (3-30-2021)