Ravenheart

Ravenheart by Valerie Parente

Illihana was born with a Ravenheart
a sanctum dark as midnight
so debilitating in its comfort
making a cozy life from her demise.
Each vein black and branching out
scaring off every knight
like spiderwebs on her skin
or cracks on a doll so pallid white.
This blackness, it infected it all
every touch, every thought in her mind
she couldn’t control its presence
so she hid during the daylight.
She made a home with her ravenheart
grooming pride instead of spite
isolated from the fear she drew near
and in men’s fear she started to thrive
emboldened by the way her beauty
was so personal and precise
something too scary during the day
and too camoflouged to touch at night.
The grit, the grime, the gore
was never worth a common man’s fight.
But Sir Dovetail was no common man
he was so resilient in all his light.
The prince spoke to her in the pitch black
getting to know her dark side
and he didn’t care to run away
even when she cried.
The love was glorious, the love was grand
the love made her start to realize
that isolation that once consoled her
no longer felt like a source of pride.
When she had to leave her prince before dawn
she wished she could leave the ravenheart behind.
She could accept the darkness for her sake
the way its wrath made her writhe
but what she could not come to accept
was the way it impaired his life.
Though never once did he express distress
never once did he resent her strife
but she knew that deep down
he missed having her in sunlight.
Illihana emerged from her cave
with dark veins in plain sight
and as the townspeople stared
so did Dovetail in delight.
When he finally saw her blackened heart
he couldn’t help but notice her beautiful eyes
so big and bold and brave
and oh he loved how they shined.

– Valerie Parente (2-11-2022)

Pixie Dust

Pixie Dust by Valerie Parente

Little nymph with rainbow wings,
sprinkling pixie dust,
making the darkness sparkle,
with her magic touch.

Little fairy with sharp intuition,
seeing auras through glass eyes,
your energy is clear to her,
even when you try to hide.

Little creature of the forest,
with empathy like the stars,
she envisions how you feel,
dividing light in equal parts.

Their whimsical spirits exceed the days,
like totems passed down the human race,
so very minuscule in this time and place,
yet endless in the sentiments they convey.

– Valerie Parente (3-8-2021)

Sage for Sage

Sage for Sage by Valerie Parente

Cleanse the room
like I’ve cleansed myself.
Heal the collective conscience
and its mental health.
The air and its smoke
is so much bigger than you
but we are all connected
to the wisdom’s roots.
Sage for sage,
please accompany me.
Sage for sage,
I will learn as I breathe.

– Valerie Parente (2-16-2021)

Sitting on Skulls and Bones

Sitting on Skulls and Bones by Valerie Parente

A pile of skulls and bones,
she sits on them like they’re her throne,
resenting the death that rots beneath,
while presenting the depths of her beliefs.
So much destruction from perfectionism and ultimatums,
so in love with what she had, but love’s what made it complicated,
she was suspended in a bittersweet purgatory,
still existing, but never free,
not quite in heaven, not quite in hell,
and you’d be surprised how bad that felt,
so she did what she does best,
she poured her heart out then she left,
convinced there’d be a savior,
but no one came to save her,
now she mourns all the love she once had,
while the things she loved don’t mourn her back,
it’s a truth she has yet to accept,
so she built this throne out of death,
coping by spinning gold,
out of moping that has grown old,
so regal in all of her grief,
turning life lessons into a trophy,
because there’s so much value in every loss,
you don’t fully see it until it’s gone,
now she sits here in grateful defeat,
honoring the things she willingly reaped,
dead and gone but not dead inside,
because this gratitude is still raw and ripe.

– Valerie Parente (10-9-2020)

Noise

Noise by Valerie Parente

Chaos is noisy.
When you finally get out
Prepared for the silence of safety
But for some reason there is still noise
That noise is the trauma.
Echoes are normal as you distance from the moment of chaos
Music is normal as you feel newfound inspiration
But noise,
Noise is the sign of post traumatic stress.
If it is noisy instead of quiet, that is how you know you have been traumatized.

"Noise" by Valerie Parente

– Valerie Parente (2-19-2020)

Sad Truth

Sad Truth by Valerie Parente

“What did I do to deserve such disrespect?”

“You loved someone who doesn’t even love themself.”

– Valerie Parente (12-9-2019)

Games

"Roll the Dice" by Valerie Parente

Games by Valerie Parente

I’m not over you,
I’m over the games.

I’m over rolling the dice to see if today you’ll be nice, wondering if I’ll have to fight to bring out your good side.
I’m over the way you play me for a fool while I just play aloof, pretending I don’t see the truth but I know your every move.
I’m over showing all my cards like I’ve got the king of hearts but then you try to be smart and leave me at a loss.
I’m over not knowing what comes next because you’re shuffling the deck trying to create randomness before it’s my turn to guess.
I’m over calling all your bluffs and trying to earn your trust because you’re too scared to grow up and admit there could be an “us”.

Then you yell and you scream because you want to beat me but what you failed to see is we’ve been on the same team.

– Valerie Parente (7-10-2019)

Tangled

"String Me Along" by Valerie Parente

“String Me Along”

Tangled by Valerie Parente

All these tangled thoughts
have one common thread
twisted in a pattern
I’ve memorized in my head.

Stringing me along
with so much time spent
leaving me weak and worn
frayed and torn to shreds.

So much pretty yarn
it tells me where I’ve been
but it’s nobody’s concern
when I tie up the loose ends.

I wonder how long
until someone notices
I’ve been weaving my words
hoping that they’ll be read.

– Valerie Parente (5-31-2019)

the truth is, I’m frustrated

the truth is, I’m frustrated by Valerie Parente

"the truth is, I'm frustrated" by Valerie Parente

I’ve been the strong one. I’ve proved I’m smart, have a heart, and can read the mind of the most troubled. I’ve traveled, I’ve stayed, I’ve gone out of my way, I’ve done everything under the sun to prove that I am good enough. I’ve felt high, I’ve felt brave, I’ve felt the electricity every cliché claims. I’ve given time, I’ve given space, and left you so amazed. I’ve been brutally honest, I’ve been reassuring, even when my mind was hurting. I’ve been a friend, I’ve been family, I’ve been a team-player even when you played me. I’ve been wise, I’ve been right, and I understand your mind when I write my lines. I’ve been forgiving, I’ve maintained a good mood even when I should have been rude. I’ve been sweet, I’ve been grateful, even when I should have hated you. I’ve been impressive, I’ve been respectful, I’ve shielded you from my pain even when it drove me mental. I’ve gone above and beyond and I did it for what?

At what point did I go wrong?
I see a boy care about me then I watch it dissolve.

What is it about me that nobody wants?
Because every time I care I become the saddest person of all.

The truth is, I’m frustrated, and I think I have every right to be. Because I’ve been the kindest person of all and the girl God needed from me. So why the hell am I alone? Why the hell am I unseen? I’m right in front of your faces being the best damn version of me.
Call me crazy, why not?
But I think it’s a damn shame
when you’re there for someone’s darkest hour but they won’t give you the time of day.

All I want is to be loved.
And I think I’m fairly done.
Because I don’t know how much longer I can be the strong one.

– Valerie Parente (5-28-2019)