I’m Like a Bird


Today is reverently calm & clear
Cockatoo’s haven’t yet squawked
their presence over head
Kookaburra’s haven’t yet congregated
their favourite bough in full view
the multitude of parrots haven’t
yet fed on the ripe palm fruit
above my hammock
gracing me with their beautiful dance

a slight breeze cools my skin
intermittently absorbing blistering beads
the Jabotocaba tree tempts me
off the couch to graze; preferring
to savour my surroundings instead
all is quiet, peaceful
everyone occupied & happy
in their own world as I am in mine
something else is afoot – another calm
eye of the storm

the girls & dad are cleaning the cars
the littlest princess armed, sprays
squeals of laughter resonating
out-back to me in my solitude
out-skirts admiring peace
my self looking out onto tropical trees
paradise could be lost in a cyclone; one
never knows which path

hopefully, it will all be over soon
predicted before Christmas
Maureen told us all one by one
she’s been true several times before
our hopes & dreams hinge upon it
for her, him, me, us
not quite sure we’ve weathered well
our eyes having seen too much
our ears having heard too much
our hearts having been squeezed, hard
tempered pain overflowing

it can not continue; scars
crack & re-seal themselves thicker
all that’s left is keloid & nothing
covered up indefinitely
amidst pseudo happiness
I watch & wait to see who is left
anger management raises awareness
I tiptoe in this climate, heated
my part tempered enough
to walk away

I have done my best in the face of worse
I stand strong on this earth
not even a blustering gale
could knock me off my perch – grounded
I have endured, faltering only once
the past 3 years found strength
where I least expected courage
my own ability to ask for help
no shame, just integrity
I am very proud to let go & be seen

Loopy Slut Whore

imageArtist: Samantha Thompson

You’re a ‘loopy slut whore’
he says, breaking down the door
standing over me
pinning me to the bed
rage spitting in my face

He wants the car
He wants the bike
He wants the business
He wants a wage
He wants to expose & hurt me
He wants the house too I bet

I paid all his debts
I paid all the deposits
I paid his lawyers
I paid all his tax
I paid for clothing, books, food
I paid the bills
I lose my home
I lose my marriage
I lose my family
I lose $450k of Goodwill
I set him up in business
I set myself up good in every way
but it wasn’t enough

I am such a fool for love
I trusted again & I lost
more than a small fortune this time
the last straw coming
sooner than expected
my generosity presumed unkind
I can see no other way ahead

Neither of us can stand to see
our littlest princess slipping away
traumatized,  lost
her defiance just the tip of the iceberg
her anger is palpable
& justified
God I love her so much!


I can no longer bear witness
I can no longer bear the brunt
projected anger & disgust
my own psyche laid bare
I am not yours, his or her scapegoat
you all need to find your own way
I’ve done my best; my best
can no longer survive
this battle

It is a battleground
anger exploding like a grenade
no one is safe
its all my fault of course
I brought it all on myself
what’s one more act of defiance?
I’m used to it – the ones closest
the cruelest people on earth
I don’t play bluff

I don’t care anymore
it’s not my problem
not my circus
& definitely not my monkeys

Thank you for everything
it all makes sense to me now
you needed me
you all needed me
you don’t need your little slut whore anymore
we are all loopy slut whores anyway

You have everyone & everything
Good luck & good bye

For my Sister


I remember when you were born
in 1977 mum had a fall, sprawled
out on the lawn
I had to dial dad in the cowshed
on one of those antiquated wind up
Long Short Short – telephones
I was 9

You had a stripy bouncy, I still have
that photo of you I need to find & post
I changed your nappies; whoa
what an eye opener that was!
I dressed you, fed you your bottle
I loved playing mum, babysitting

You didn’t have a dummy, preferring
an old cloth nappy that you wore down
bit by stringy bit, till all that was left
was the bias edge – you still have
shoved right up your nose
we all wondered what that stench was
when the doctor pull it out
green & gooey, everybody cleared out

When you grew older, I would sing
Roy Orbison ‘Crying’, I used to
make you cry but you wanted me to
you were my cute little blonde blister
we all loved you, you could do no wrong
that’s how it should be of course

When you had Stanlee, you were still a baby at 18
but so proud of your achievement
then you had Tayla, another blonde terrorist
lucky you
one of each to drive you round the bend
for the next 15 years or so

You always had a thing for cars
panelbeating, time out
in your woman-cave, your room/womb
you are now driving yourself
round the bend
your lead foot finally putting the boot in

Dad loved cars too, least you
haven’t lost a wheel yet – his wheel
won the race that day at Pukekohe
midget number 33
they used to race blind back in the 70’s
him & Barry Butterworth & Ted Tracy

Years went by & you met Ross
it all fell into place – finally
you make a great pair
‘Team Vulcanator’, team Campbell
my little sister all growed up
showing them all up
your happiness becomes you

I am proud of you, knowing you
have played your cards to suit
tempered frustration behind the scenes
you tried for me, us and them
to see reason broaching the topic
with that fun sense of humour
laughing absurdity in the face

Thank you for being my big little sister
despite all the family bullshit
too young to understand
you can thank me for showing them
how to love you
they were too wrapped up
in themselves to notice me, such is life
children don’t come with a handbook

Anyhoo…I love you
I will always be here for you
no matter what they might say
I have money now (I hear you laughing)
I stole mine apparently (I’m laughing)
I don’t deserve anything
least of all happiness
but then I’ve only got to look at mum
trying to convince her self she is
her denial, anxiety & depression
past being passed down

Keep smiling & having fun
everything gets better with time
nothing else matters
but you’ve already worked that out
maybe there is hope for me yet?
but I hate everyone I don’t trust
having had the rug pulled out
from under me too many times
losing innocence & love
lost parts of my self I will never find
but as long as you are happy
I’m happy

Lilith & the Incubus


Here we go again
for those of you sick
of this shit – Karma

Happiness, eludes me
over-analyzing everything
searching for that choice to make

Looking to purpose choose life
simplicity a complex solution
blind, numb, lost & forgotten

My brain hard-wired my eyes shut
Persistent Depressive Disorder
convincingly sees only what was

Nothing gets any better
I’ve never known anything different
happiness is Far Far Away, folklore

Farther apart I age, no wiser
life flashes before my eyes, wasted
it’s a miracle I have survived thus far

I may as well be dead
it’s like I’m dead
I feel dead

Burdons not just my own; contagion
leaching into every soul I touch
Incubus fornicate in my sleeplessness

Pervasive nightmares & thoughts
leave little light – my aura
hedonism postulating pleasure

Shit shows on at 4am

Doom & disaster, spiritituality
leper colonies shun; shamed
beyond toxicity

I am cursed
so is everyone in it
locked up for my own safety

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dancing with the Faeries

image Photographer: Jason Majewski

I watch my littlest princess
dancing away with the faeries
expressing pain so magnificently

her voice, exploding anger
her mind, opposing self
her heart, barely beating

my mind-splitting headache pounds
containing my own maelstrom
that subterranean refuge

where I once found comfort
where there was none
where my soul learned to fly

holding on, innocence
letting go & spirituality guiding
me back home

I hold her now, meet her gaze
no words, clinging to each other
we plant flowers in the earth

tending our garden, nurturing our selves
her pain temporarily reconciled
my own thunderous affront subdued

I don’t let her see my pain,
I protect her, I love her like I love
my self, mirrored back in her eyes

I watch her from afar
she knows I’m there on the outskirts
her nice stepmother, soothsayer

I can watch & bear, witness
one step removed my fire
unseared, tempered in her presence

I am not a fool, knowing transference
like God, is everywhere & no
where at once, I remain steadfast

she heals me, my littlest princess
igniting my candelabra
rays of warmth piercing the dark

she will be ok with love, gentle
strokes; my cradle rocking a rhythm
peace descending around her to nest

I can watch although I didn’t then
but I can see clearly now, the rain
I trust my self to know the difference

dissociation & dissociative
here in the now my mindfulness
my present is my gift to her

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Warnings & Good Tidings


She said I could get sick
very ill, if I don’t check my self
warning me about someones
place with drugs & a room
with lights
I hope they are flashing
for I want nothing to do with it!

Despite that, I have good luck
all around me
I would happily pack my bags
to go to family, content
my wish coming true
somewhere to look forward to
happy feelings so often elude me
but not this time

Maybe more study
maybe, but I can’t see it
12 years or so was enough
unless it’s something different
working with children; children
more rewarding spiritually

There is money coming, lots
in the hand, I am shaking
an agreement; good feelings
it always turns up when least expected
I don’t have to worry
it’s all around me in abundance

She said I would help
a young man or small boy, maybe
a teenager an in-between
I can only think of one, Whisky
it would be my absolute pleasure
I’ve always wanted a boy
to love two/too

I’m invited to a wedding
either twice, or plus another
it would be a challenge, all those people
I sometimes get overwhelmed
in crowds, I am still
surprisingly happy

I am aware of security,
prowlers & thieves
several attempts fail to break
my safety zone, honed
creating our home like a fortress
I’d like to see them try
it’s under constant surveillance

My life is changing
& it’s all new, exciting
all good things come to those who wait
I feel great, finally I see
trust & calm
light is all around me
I am optimistically optimistic

I’m going to visit a girlfriend soon
somewhere beside the sea
a glass of wine, she tells me
more good news, I am truly blessed
thank Goodness

I’m not really a drinker
having learned from watching
others & my self
besides, drink driving
I’m not prepared to take the risk
the stakes are too high for everyone

Our home is beautiful
it feels lucky, a seven even
we want to go away
just the two of us, inland
no where in particular
as long as there is water near by
I think I can arrange that

It all looks good
whatever I wish for –
for once in my life, I have
everything I need
good tidings are coming
into Christmas
I am ecstatically happy
listening to the ‘Ring of Fire’
my ‘Hurt’ knowing

My man is like living
with two sides of the same coin
he makes me very happy
his kindness seeing into me
his goodwill radiating in
& out of all of us, his children

He is a wonder to behold
his capacity to love & to watch
him self & his boy, with Whisky
this Christmas will be magical
Summer barbecues & sunshine
ALL my family around me

Our littlest princess is surrounded
by love & happiness too
I’m surprised about that
under the circumstances
that’s not for lack of wanting; my wish
for she is eternal
love knows know bounds
blood not necessarily blood

Daddy will be OK too, different
but OK because he is also loved
joy takes on many forms
it might not be what we expect
in laughter, safety & trust
either way we are lucky; money
doesn’t buy happiness

It will all be done by Christmas
my grandchildren, both my daughters
good news a plenty
the four of us together with family
you all make my life complete
I could not be as happy without you

I have to watch my health
I am under far too much stress
I worry, too much worry in my little finger
I will have a stroke one of these days
another warning
I don’t want to be alone with no one
left to care for me properly
my ambulance, my casket

I want a good, long happy life
to live till I’m 92 or more
good health, a great marriage
in love, light & laughter
I don’t think I’m being selfish
to want what everyone wants

I want to be around water
waves; breathing in & out
no squalls nearby, just calm
there is a rhythm here on earth
if we listen, if I listen
& let the silence speak

I am made of water
but my fire boils
I need to be dampened
just enough, so that I am tempered
fire needs water, water needs fire
to let off steam
my existence is dependent upon it


I can handle that
that reminds me
I need to drink more

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

For My Children


I miss you both
It saddens me, that you hold on
with such contempt
that I must wait for you
to grow, make peace with yourselves
in order to find forgiveness
in others, in me

I was not a perfect mother
I don’t know anyone who is
except in our minds,
which compare; an apropos
of nothing really

One thing you can both be sure of
is that I do my very best
with the ancient tools I was given
with dedication & commitment
to myself, to raise you both better
better than I had ever known
or been shown of love
& I love you both deeply

The women in our family carry a curse
I believe, still being passed down
Great Grandmother to Grandmother,
Grandmother to Granddaughter,
Mother to Daughter – witnessed
eyes knowing cruel contempt
for women

Somehow the trauma each of us
experiences, experienced
real, imagined or embellished harm
passed down through our DNA
our nature
through our environments
our nurture
trying to show us the wisdom
to know the difference

It is a blessing
your tenacity, persistence
& determination
fight to right those wrongs
letting go the past moving on
steadfast in search of that love
you desire

Our cells remember
the past lives of our ancestors
those crossed paths imprinted
on our mind, body & soul
power & passion
did not escape unscathed; scarred
our heart skipped many beats

We observe each other
observed by our men (& women),
surviving their own stories,
our selves attract to ourselves
psyche healing vicariously
most of the time, everyone
learning to find peace, love
happiness taking its time –
but don’t be fooled by pride
awareness is awry, warning

I do my best to break this cycle
not expose you to harm
triggered reactions lead us astray
our nautical compass
navigates storms, skewiff
I cling to my internal lifesaver
lest I drown at sea

My own mother is a farce
painfully denied & despised
tea leaves attempt to predict failure
our grandmothers are responsible
for nothing but vindication
like her mothers mother’s mother

I am your mother
you came from my body
you are of my blood
I love you,
my mother could never say that
once, in past tense
once, in goodbye

I refused to drink
drunkenness hurt me more than ever
in the past, I was scared

I refused to drug
& I was spiked for my efforts, in vain
I learned his true psychedelic colours

I refused to parade men; a room
full of strangers, who could
watch & wait for those opportune moments…

I must have failed
I feel like a failure, ashamed of myself
ashamed of you both at times too
but only because I see how it could end

I warn you about danger
from yourself from others
predators in the world prey
dark & destroyed souls
seek nothing but instant gratification
self-righteous justification
anger is violence
no excuse is proffered up
& we are all culpable to some degree

I am a strong woman
I feel very deeply the injustices
of others, of yours, of mine
I only have myself to chastise
& you, that part of me I protect
in my mind

I am harder on myself
my self is much harder to bear
I expect much more than vengeance
to ease our hurt awakening anger
we need love & kindness
I only want the best for you, for me

I am also very proud of you both
I see two beautiful, independent
headstrong women, myself
on a good day
I want you to be happy, exude warmth
I need you to love me, back
the way I loved you, back then
when we would all laugh & play
when we all had our innocence & joy
I want you both to come home

I feel pain of the most heinous kind
happiness eludes me most days
searching, my self finds traces
of her, that little girl that became
lost in the ethereal space between
what was & what could have been
she separated parts of her self
doted & despised, both
in continual conflict

I have memories, denied versions of truth
I struggle to reconcile – I feel violated
I despise lies & deceit, power & control
I wrestle with such terrifying demons
who tempt me to trust & I am often
mistaken – I no longer believe it exists
on a bad day

My fear became terror
when they both laughed
& came for me in my corner
I was held down while the soap stick
ripped through me
turning me inside & out
as I floated away
I was 4

My cat could have been shot
in front of me
he held up the gun, she held
the cat steady
“do you think the bullet will go
straight through?”
I was 5 or 6

My life could have been over
when I choked
but he said “she’s not my kid”
I pulled the sinewy gristle out
by myself spewing onto my plate
I was 6

He told me I was ugly
unwanted, unloved
I should never have been born
but I had a guardian
He told me “it’s meant to be this way,
it won’t be like this forever”
I was 6 or 7

My body knew pleasure before
it knew pain, before he touched me
& my spirit carried me
away to safety
I was 8

I watched him
his violence incarcerating those cows
chained, their backbones
smashed with a galvanized pipe
they had no where to go
I remember blood pouring from sores
like an avalanche
I was 8 or 9

My eyes saw the Sheep’s throat cut
with a blunt knife
he held our heads together
forcing us to watch, laughing
I was 10

I might have felt loved
if I wasn’t told it was the worst day
of my mother’s life when I was born
on my birthday
I was 13

His brother was a sneak
he came into my bedroom
he tried, I failed in his eyes
his brother’s too
though he was blind
I was 16

I trusted him
the Blue Mountains forever etched
into my brain
it was midnight
“if you don’t…I will leave you here
& they will find your body”
there was a cyclone in 1984
I was 16 then too

Death, like Charon is ever present
He resides beside & inside us
He will happily take us one way or another
if we let Him
I refuse to pay although I am tempted
He doesn’t give a shit at the end of the day
so don’t waste time entertaining him
or sway your hips to his tune

My heart only ever loved one man
My Grandfather
I never knew my Father, not
until I was 17
& now I don’t want to know
because violence is not OK for you two
but I must have deserved it

I might be his daughter
but he only raised boys
he doesn’t know how much
daughters need their Fathers
Daughters need their Fathers
you both need your Father

I knew this, then & now
I never withheld them from you
I fought for them as much as for you
so that they understood
how to love, the girls who would become women
so you can recognise a gift
when you see it
& trust

I watch my man with our littlest princess
I find I am comforted & confronted
that silver arrow that pierced my heart
let loose grieving
I sob for her, for you, for him & for me

Her Father is effervescent, his love
has the capacity to transform hate
into grace under pressure
while we watch the seeds of destruction descend
on, in & around her
we recognize she needs all of us
you included, so she can find comfort
& become what we all needed
unconditional love
there is no place for jealousy & resentment
she is now a part of you, me & us

We all watch the slow erosion of her innocence, see her wrestle in defiance
like I saw you, like I saw myself
she is my light & she heals me
her gentle softness radiating like a Halo
I heal her, my nurture having been
honed because of you, thank you

My man knew love too
Grandparents are vital for our children
we now know another kind of love
because of them
I watch his metamorphosis into manhood
his lessons finally internalised
he knows how to love himself,

I love you both with all my heart

It is no coincidence Karma
your boys will teach you everything
else you need to know
perhaps the curse is broken?
It was always meant for you
to become
the beautiful mother that you are
please understand, your boys
need me as much as I need them

Leisa, whether you like it or not
you are an extension of my self
I feel very proud of you & of myself
pain is like fire, it burns
I prefer to view my fire as a controlled burn
as part of nature’s regeneration
it makes way for new growth,
stronger roots & solid ground
I need you as much as
you need me

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved