The Undead Mermaids

The Undead Mermaids by Valerie Parente

Little girl skipping pebble stones
in the bay behind her little home
mother told her not to go
but to that little lake she strolled.

She played a dangerous game
with creepy mermaids her age
they said “dip your toes in the lake”
beneath the water lily maze.

Little girl offered one tiny inch
that’s when she got sucked in
groped and bitten
by those devious sirens.

Then took place the wicked spell
the undead mermaid hell
little girl turned into one of them
luring other girls to that realm.

Prominent were their ribs
with hair that became thin
so emaciated and addicted
to rotting in their grey skin.

Once choice is all it takes
a little curiosity in your brain
to turn you into a slave
recruiting more undead mermaids.

– Valerie Parente (4-23-2022)

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)

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)

Moonchild Manifesto: A Poetry & Prose Collection by Valerie Parente AVAILABLE NOW

AVAILABLE HERE

Moonchild Manifesto by Valerie Parente is a body of work that documents the parallel between two acts: feeling a profound connection and making it your whole mood, and taking a topic and making it your artistic muse. There is a similarity between poetry and the spell we call love. A Moonchild is hyper-sensitive to this similarity and understands how it is equally enchanting as it is taxing. Divided into three moon phases, this poetry and prose collection follows the subconscious trajectory of The Hurt, The Heal, and The Hope.

Valerie Parente’s third poetry and prose collection manifested out of what she does best, mixing psychology, spirituality, and fantasy to make sense of her mental experiences as both a human being with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a whimsically dark artist.

Hedge Maze

Hedge Maze by Valerie Parente

Hedge maze, nature made,
this confusing mystery,
then man came with sheers,
to make me feel pretty.
I didn’t ask to be planted,
when I became a seed,
sharp corners you touch,
in a labyrinth of evergreen.
You must get through the brush,
if you want to see,
what it’s like to love,
and be loved effortlessly.
I stumble through this maze,
it’s so new to me,
even though these hedges,
are my anatomy.
I am one with this path,
and it is one with my pleas,
never straying too far,
from the dream I dreamed.
I trust where it goes,
without a map to read,
even when I get lost,
I’m never out of reach.
I give you this hedge maze,
if you give me your feet,
we’ll do this together,
navigate this journey.

– Valerie Parente (4-23-2021)

Where I Come From

Where I Come From by Valerie Parente

I made it personal on purpose,
so you could see the grace and the grit,
made the heartache so worth it,
’cause it’s an artist you played with.

Here’s the muse I choose to use,
thank you for seeing these metaphors through,
it got rough when I spoke the truth,
because of how much I love you.

Now it’s copyrighted to my tongue,
never resent where I come from,
using the fire in my lungs,
let’s flip the pages for fun.

My collection, my protection,
from any potential detriment,
it brought me the ideal lesson,
that’s the power of manifesting.

– Valerie Parente (6-16-2021)

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)

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)

Sequence

Sequence by Valerie Parente

If I got to pick and choose the order
it would still be chronological
because I want you to see the progression
forever a path, and not an obstacle.
Hurting led to healing,
healing led to hope,
hope is ongoing,
and there will always be growth.

– Valerie Parente (6-2-2021)