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)

Divine Design

Divine Design by Valerie Parente

There’s no such thing as coincidence,
there has to be design,
because how can I find the perfect words,
that just so happen to rhyme?
You’re telling me poets are just lucky?
That language just so happens to coincide,
that there’s rhythm to the psyche,
that can be written in artistic lines,
that the material world naturally mirrors,
the effortless world inside my mind?
No, I don’t believe in luck,
I believe in the divine,
based on every one of your points,
used to describe otherwise.

– Valerie Parente (6-15-2021)

Quintessence

Quintessence by Valerie Parente

You didn’t have to try too hard with this one,
it came from the quintessence,
picking up that brilliant oak wand,
tracing words, not weapons,
they’ve been harnessed from spirits,
the whispers from the heavens,
the damned called you mad,
but you were really just present,
hearing what is here all along,
commentary from another dimension,
you can hear it if you choose to live,
and then learn from your lessons,
your scars are your wisdom,
may you honor their impression,
and at the end of each day,
you will feel the quintessence.

– Valerie Parente (6-15-2021)

Nemesis (Not Me)

Nemesis (Not Me) by Valerie Parente

I’m finally happy
and my OCD still found me.
I see you in my dreams
with a tangible body
but when I go to defeat you
you’re the nemesis that continues
like a chain that keeps repeating
in a relationship so uneven.
I see you in so many forms
using my sweet slumber to return
and I punch, I kick, I scream
I wrestle to separate from the enemy
and I get oh so frantic
to justify my antics
begging the peers before my eyes
to understand that I’m the good guy
that I am separate from this disease
but then I wake up and it’s not a dream.
I still have this sickness on my skin
when I’m awake I’m still hallucinating
and it’s hard to believe I used to be afraid
convinced I’d be so lost without this charade
but now that I’m full grown I finally see
that this disease is nothing without me.
You’re just a sickness that attaches
used my puberty to take advantage
and I was far too young to understand
that your golden offer was a cruel scam.
How dare you stick yourself to me
even when my brain is asleep?
How dare you attack those I love
as if my entire psyche wasn’t enough?
And even though I’m so damn exhausted
by the nemesis in my subconscious
I’ve finally found my grace and solace
knowing I can manipulate you as an artist.

– Valerie Parente (6-13-2021)

Catharsis

Catharsis by Valerie Parente

When she asked “How do you deal with the toxicity of the public?”
I said “Write, write, write,
channel all your frustration in creation,
create, create, create,
channel all your energy into artistic placement,
paint words into memorable phrases,
find meaning in the oddest places,
make a collection of your lessons,
help the lost find their blessings,
the hardship will always get better,
and the wisdom goes on forever,
find your catharsis and give it away,
translate the world that lives in your brain,
be the God you want God to be,
and then you will find your peace.”

– Valerie Parente (6-7-2021)

I Want To Be Heard

I Want To Be Heard by Valerie Parente

It’s not that I want to be famous,
it’s that I want to be heard,
and I know I can touch you,
if you get in touch with my words.

I took a lot of carefully constructed time,
from a child to the adult I am now,
I try my best to add a positive spin,
a piece of beauty in an ugly crowd.

There is nothing more important than a voice,
I realized that when I was a sick teen,
and if you don’t like what you hear,
you sure as hell have the right to intervene.

I saw a lot of talk about mental disorders,
that glamorized the illness over healing,
and I knew right then and there,
I wanted to patch over the bleeding.

There are always silver linings to our pain,
and it took a long time for me to see them,
but the one thing that saves me every day,
is the process of creating and artistic freedom.

I didn’t go through hell for nothing,
mental health awareness is the goal,
there’s a darkness we can manipulate,
shedding light in the shadows.

Make it meta, make it metaphorical,
make these poems layered infinitely,
I’ve got your back and that’s a promise,
if you’re kind enough to listen to me.

– Valerie Parente (6-7-2021)

Obsidian Dagger

Obsidian Dagger by Valerie Parente

If you think about messing with her
think again,
she’s got this obsidian dagger
in her right hand,
ready to cut you up
into a celestial blend,
fall out of touch
you’ll get the glossy edge,
a ritual of writing
ready to commence,
her way of fighting
a black glass weapon,
make no mistake
it’s all self defense,
for this ebony blade
she’ll never lament,
she takes a phrase
like a witch in a garden,
praising mental states
for the efflorescence,
dare you take her art
under a false pretense,
she’ll slice you apart
then wish you the best,
’cause she comes from stardust
the same place you’ve been,
but a language monarch
can bring you back to heaven,
she’s only just begun
so due and diligent,
with that silver on her tongue
and a dagger of obsidian.


– Valerie Parente (5-22-2021)

Value In Pain

Value In Pain by Valerie Parente

At the end of the day
you are only as valuable as your pain.
Anybody can do good when they feel good
but tell me what you gain
when you’re far from fine.
Do you learn from your broken heart?
Or do you let it deteriorate your mind?
Tell me what you create
when expression is the focal point
and everything else
is no more than background noise.

– Valerie Parente (4-21-2021)

An Artist’s Battleground

An Artist’s Battleground by Valerie Parente

It’s not a battle I should have to fight
but it’s a battle I don’t mind
because I know what its like
to fight for my life
when my own mental strife
destroyed me from the inside
and I was forced to find
a new reason to try
so if someone out of spite
wants to give me a hard time
about the things that kept me alive
then I’m perfectly fine
fighting that fight.

– Valerie Parente (12-7-2020)