The Ebony Library

The Ebony Library by Valerie Parente

Welcome to the Ebony Library
where the words you choose to say
are never reduced to ash,
where the voice you choose to use
spits fire like facts.
We don’t burn books here
nor do we back-track,
we recall how bad it felt
to prevent any more bad.
Here history stays untouched
while the past is the past,
we will remember how much it hurt
and we will never go back.

– Valerie Parente (3-21-2021)

We’re Headed for a Dystopia

We’re Headed for a Dystopia by Valerie Parente

The precedent we’re setting is incredibly scary
where I can’t talk and you can’t talk
unless both of us agree;
where my freedom and your freedom
is no longer free.
Our basic freedom to think
is our soul’s freedom to just be.
To recognize that opinions aren’t objective
is what marks our humanity;
to collect our differing ideas
is what make us a society.

I don’t know if we can get any more low
than our current reality
where people are in a race to ruin each other’s livelihoods
just because they don’t like the way someone else breathes
and I know we all mean well
but any form of censorship is the enemy
the right to feel is dissolving before our eyes
and I think it’s a symptom of a bigger disease
because my generation was given a broken world
and we feel more in control dictating how each other speak.
We all have a different mind
and I want to hear the different stories
but we are headed for a dystopia
if we can’t agree to disagree.

– Valerie Parente (8-22-2020)

Provocateur

Provocateur by Valerie Parente

The more they say I can’t paint that way
the more I’m going to become a public display
because the controversial thrives in me
and I make pictures from a world of make-believe.
If you say this body of art needs to stop
then congratulations, you just elongated that prompt.

I can take a thought from my own head
and plant it inside yours using the magic of words.
If this world tries to censor my sensitivities
then a storm of more expression is about to empty me.

– Valerie Parente (8-22-2020)

Public Display of Creation

Public Display of Creation

by Valerie Parente

She is afraid
of what it means to be admired
in the physical way.
And what does it mean
to be a public display?
The glitter and glamour
of all of the fame
or will she succumb
to the pressure to hide away?
What does it mean to be successful
in this day and age
when all your words are picked apart
and everyone has a say?
Because her words are her art
but the public could always manipulate
the words from her heart.
Oh but how dare they?
How dare you have an agenda,
to destroy what others make?
How dare you burn the books
when you don’t like a phrase?
How dare you take this world
and demand it revolve around your name?
Because we are all artists
with a freedom to create
and to censor what becomes popular
will only lead to a world of heartache.
Yes she’s afraid
of making it to the mainstream
but that’s a risk she’ll take
because every story needs to be seen.

– Valerie Parente (7-8-2020)

Misguided Benevolence

Misguided Benevolence by Valerie Parente

We grew up admiring heroes on this earth
and learned early on that we too could save the world.
Now we just look for problems
for the satisfaction of solving them.
We attack people for not using words we like
instead of attacking the real bad guys.
And I’m learning more and more every day
that my peers can be so full of hate.
Some people want to be a hero so badly
that they’ll create a villain out of habit.

Valerie Parente (6-10-2020)