All Is Not Lost

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I have no ill feelings

surprisingly

God knows I have plenty of reason to feel

angry or resentful, hurt

but it’s not in my nature

I feel proud actually,

that I helped a  family to have a future

I really worked hard for her, for him

I am satisfied here in my garden

now, pottering

I’ve found peace here

finally, after losing it all

on a gamble

I should have known much better too

but love is truly blind,

even though my eyes were wide open

I can’t take money with me

so I’ll let it go

they need it more than I

I can hold my head up and feel proud

I don’t have to hurt anyone

to get what I want, tenderness

I can give to myself 

*

when you love someone,

you don’t do anything to hurt them

The Joker

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plays his cards then prays

for forgiveness

to a middle eastern Christian God

before hurling abuse

to those who aren’t white

professing to love women

secretly harbouring unfathomable hate

suppressed rage 

staring Red indifference in the face

of reason, his reason

an excuse for payback; vindictive

retribution designed to maximize

powerfully charged emotional punches.

I have loved more than once

choosing my heart over head

batting eyelids deflecting

eggs scrambling to make sense

of the impossible scenario

time after time questioning

my self refusing to settle for anything

less than truth

watching loved ones turn

roll over, pulling the wool

over already unseeing orbs

holding on to contempt for love

lost.

death has defined me

grief ripping me apart

till I am stripped bare and

‘The Joker’ plays me for a fool 

his denial hardly concealed now

his truth defining him in the end

hidden underneath a facade

charm dangerously like a predators

false sense of security

when his hands are tied

his dirty hands

he tries to launder abrasive

repeatedly.

money

the root of all evil

threatens to ignite the paper trails

that have us entwined

enmeshed together by banks

loans and fine print

our future only leased

the balance drains the half full cup

sentiment caught never to be released

that Holy Grail

proving to be forever out of reach

what chance did we have?

the die has been cast.

my love

my darling

you are my everything

my beautiful sweet illusion

my heart aches for remembering you

how you were before you changed colour

I fell head over feet for you and yours

grazing my knee in the process

I succumbed, numbing my defenses

getting back up being pushed back down

losing another fragment of hope 

each time threatening don’t

now, the joke is on you.

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Set Fire

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I’ve been living in a war zone

so it seems, three and a half years
of Hell with nothing left
to show for it,
except heartache
and pain
watching love leach
from my soul; phosphorescent,
spheres leaving like sparks
float up, up and away
to fizzle out in to nothingness

Since when did I become
the enemy?

clumped into the annuls of misogyny
tarred / scarred
for being a woman empowered
because I threaten the old ways
where women were barefoot
and pregnant,
swathed in floral aprons
with floured hands kneading
wholesome Madonna complexes
designed to subdue

I love

depth and passion
moving my heart to where I am
mesmerized in awe; my fragile smile
let loose like an arrow
straight and true into you
and I, jubilant
where I am left wondering
where you have been
all my life – that I would do anything
for you

I love my self more

and I am not broken completely.
I can take those looks of contempt
along with those cutting words
and stand my ground against interrogation/subjugation
I lead myself in cycles, navigating
my way out of ear shot for a while
till I can stand it no more,
when I hide away inside
and stuff my fingers

All is not lost

despite my sense of guilt at not being
strong enough in your eyes,
un-like grandma whom you adored,
admiring resilience
I am merely a shade by comparison
if I subscribed to your anger and hurt
if I took her on and became
a better person, wife, mother for you
if only I chose to keep my mouth shut
like she learned in the war

I don’t believe

staying silent will keep us alive these days
my life requires I fight
for truth, freedom, rights and for love
so you may find your self, lifted from those ashes – Dachau
and understand that women need
tenderness, a kindness that takes away
the hurt of injustices, finding safety
within your arms fills me with hope
that I am not alone

It is with great sadness

that I must choose love
letting go the innocence of youth
and embrace my own mortality
if I am to be a survivor
I cannot condone atrocities
of any kind and turn a blind eye
without losing that part of myself
that wanted to die, finding respect
in being true to myself
Lest We Forget

I am mourning

a life of trials and tribulations
that had me in tears for the most part
my heart is broken, I no longer believe
in you, us – I am setting fire to the 3rd bar
closing my eyelids on my dreams
facing those feelings that I have been too afraid to feel
reaching in to pull them out
into the open and lay myself bare
so I can finally heal

goodbye my love

we will all be OK

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Visible Woman

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I’m a whore.
A hooker for all
Intents & purposes

I fuck

Men, women or both
If they show me
Respect & pay my fee

How they treat
Me is how I screen;
They peep through key
Holes in my web,
Mobile phone or face
Book

Leave me clues
I peruse at my leisure.

On my unpaid time,
Weeding
Always pulling
Out roots & bare
Back, barking mad
Messages

Cutting into my family!

My family time
Intrigues you & yours –

Watching how we
Balance on that edge,
While I swing my leg
Over, hold on
Tight & tiptoe
Around the giant
Dildo in the room

But we do

Those Bill’s
Just don’t stop coming!

*

I work hard for the money
I work hard for family
I work hard
Pulling my weight where it counts
To make ends meet;
Reconciling differences
Underneath

I bleed red & my shit still
Stinks but that doesn’t make me
Invisible, unless you’re
Anti

Anti this, anti that
Why should it matter
What I do to support my
Self or my family?

I should ram my fist right up
Your arse, to my elbows
(I’d like to – bend you over) &
Piss all over your pride & prejudice!

Your mind is already made up.
Stuck up, to the eyeballs
In condescending lies pandering
To (un) popular beliefs;
Nothing like countering ‘prostitution
Narratives’ in the belly
Of the beast

I am a very tall poppy.
I am not so uneloquently on display
I am not a victim
I am not coerced
I am not a survivor
I am not damaged
I am not suffering any
More than anyone else

I don’t buy into
Negative, stereotypically ignorant
Profit driven victimisation
Either!

I choose to be the
Architect of my own life
Doing my bit,
Arousing your awareness
So that those who are
Tarred with the same brush
Can find support
Not rescue

It’s called autonomy.
Something I have more of than
Some, but you are not one

Tomorrow I’m going to wake up
Turn on my phone
Answer messages
Boil the jug & light up a dart,
Considering all my options
Before heading back in to sex work

It makes me stark raving
Mad, to think you could
Possibly be offended!

*

For what it’s worth,
I feel sorry for you

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Murder & Mayhem

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I’m not preaching
But I am being true to

My self. There is
Murder and mayhem.

I asked for it. I asked
For learning,

Mourning views
At the ocean

Tasman Sea side, beside
my de-railed train.

Smart. Taking stock
Taking measures.

Working it all out
Through trial

And error’s; Finding pride
Empowering

*

“Fuck mainstream
Stigmata up the arse!”

I say. In the carnage,
In the afterglow

Of my Fukashima.
My sub-woofers’ set

To subvert you
From your dissonance!

Apathy
Hatred

Denial there is a war. I choose
Resistance

And by God –
You will remember!

FUCK THE WORLD!!
For me

Lest We Forget

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Purple Rain

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My father, Malcolm Roy Ball, Vietnam 1967-1970

War Torn

our world is being torn apart
I threaten conflicted outbursts
in remembrance of him
and them

*

My great grandfather’s fought in WWI
My grandfather’s in WWII
My father in Vietnam

He protests in his own way
no purple reign on his parade
or Prince
to overshadow
dvd’s re running over blue
and red clashes – violent flashes
of memory
in black and white snapshots
of the fallen
and homeward bound comrades
of Malaya and Singapora

They were shafted
in one way or another
left to ponder life
and death
still

images Napoleon could not reconcile
nor the English continue to suppress

I don’t think he will ever forget.

‘See that guy there?
He had his arm blown off
and that one hung himself
a couple of years ago’

His way of keeping it real
as much as for him
as for us, who are held captive
in his momentum

They were drenched in Orange, Red
and Yellow agents
descendants of a Purple rain
then left to fend for themselves
amidst a wrath and fury
one can only call ignorance
blinded by a politically correct
notion of compassion

They were only nineteen
and nothing compares to youthful
enthusiasm; to be not unlike
their forefathers

Teenagers today
get their psychedelic fix
whining and dining on a scourge
that has become a pandemic –
a demonic frenzy
of self indulgent arrogance!

Mary-Jane makes
a Nightingale of pain

Today is ANZAC Day
I am both proud and sad

I have a legacy to uphold
and if it weren’t for those men
and women who experienced trauma
I would not have known complex PTSD
or to let my mind take me
to a battlefield of my own design

In remembrance of them
and parts of my self
lost forever,
I like the eulogy of
walking in the purple rain

Lest We Forget

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Prince, Street Art Eulogy

Simplicity

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Photographer: Unknown

Keep it simple
Stupid
It’s I thirst
Not I’m thirsty

I thirst
For simplicity
A life with freedoms
Human rights
Free healthcare
Free education
Freedom of speech
Harming no one
Just to simply be
Happy

I thirst
For life

Without complications
Or baggage
No corruption
No crime
No bikie gangs
Threatening to cut
Off hands for
Fifty thousand dollars
And a slice of pie

I thirst
For life

Searching for peace
Raising children
Content in knowing
I helped to create
A future
For generations
Creating stability
Creating trust
Creating an environment
Upon strong foundations
So they can feel safe
Secure

I thirst
For a life

Of my own making
Having learned
Freedom
Comes at a cost
My grandparents waged
Through wars and depression
Strengthened by knocks
Strengthened by hard work
Strengthened by community
Generosity
No where to be seen
These days

I thirst
For a life

Where I am not afraid
Of living
Loving
Wanting
Needing
At peace
With my aching bones
And weathered skin
Secure
In the knowledge
I have done my best

Then
And only then
I can take my final breath
Knowing
I have quenched
My thirst

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved