Billy off the Grid

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Jean François Millet
‘Shepherdess with her Flock’

I’d be content
I think, maybe
if I put one
of those solar
thingy’s on the roof,
and grow my own
medication
in between the
herbs and gourmet
spuds. I could
collect rain water,
filtered by cheese –
cloth, milk
a Capricorn goat
and call her Billy
Bold tethered
to a tree on a long
line. I would have
to buy a ham – mock
and mosquito net
but first I’d have
to settle it all up,
let it go
to the highest bid –
ders, then look
around off the beaten
track for somewhere
remote, outback
with at least a well –
spring for summer;
when it all dies
and I’m left
looking at the goat,
licking my mutton
chops wishing
for a pork, cracking
open a Veuve. I’d do it
and serve up a con –
coction of hysteria
only fit for the loony
bin – laden. I would
laugh at the irony
of having nothing
and no – one to
complain about, ex –
cept who I was
before I decided
to go off grid; fate
leading me astray
after yet another
furious outburst of
solipsism. cynicism
better left
with no one
to witness my de –
mise, except for
Billy Bold
in my bed
keeping me awake,
chewing the fat.

Billy Bold – Graham Brazier (Hello Sailor)

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

Radiate

For My Children

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1.
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

2.
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

3.
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
experienced, experiences
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
permanently
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

4.
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

5.
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

6.
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

7.
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

8.
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
you both need your Father
I needed my 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

9.

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

11.
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

I Am Yours Forever

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Jack said to Sally, “I am yours forever”
I have no doubt he’s got her back
she leans into him, safe
in their existence

💜

The worst of my emotional turmoil
has taken a calculated step back
from that precipice – my Abyss
I now have my feet planted firmly
on this beautiful earth of ours

My man has had a breakthrough too
He is as strong as an Ox, spiritually
speaking, he came to me
shared & bared his most dangerous
depths, in that moment, I was lifted
& my heart rose to meld with his

Cancer became the Rabbit
& Rabbit overcame his Cancer
I sank into his soft silky skin
breathing him in, his musk – fragrant
His trust rekindling all hope
I saw him in that moment, solid
stoic, replenished & I am his witness

Faith & love; Trust & kindness
Honesty is something else to behold
together our voices sing synchronicity,
we no longer fear – death
Hades has been defeated, cheated
I slurp it up now, that Pomegranate
juice splashing my face, devoured

We look forward to the future
with another kind of sixth sense
Letting go, we accept our fate
with a new, gratifying lust for life
a new found freedom
a new way of being
having found what others fail
to recognize

I’m so proud of my man
I’m so proud of me
I’m so proud of our family
& that’s all that we need – love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

RE BLOGGED on Dream Big Dream Often

Citrus Juice

Today,
my Pipi
completely demolished
her ball

it split
right down the mid-dle

& her tail
wagged

she set about
mesmerised;
the final task
yet to be savoured

her fine front teeth
nipping
& pulling
the strands of
fluff
to a string

/

paws
& awkward dexterity
placed

\

if only
she had
a thumb
to peel
& fingers
to pry
& lick

citrus juice

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dogs At My Door (Redlight Series)

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Lovers of pain and comfort, unconditional
with puppy dog eyes wide shut
Head on my stomach fur coat attired
foetal and like old things, worn
Moments and memories dispensed
a hairs breath between prickles
and whiskers tease
rubbing the shredded skin of dissociation
Thoughts escape, awakened
stirred and panting
Playful ball sports and eyebrows raise
sniffing familiarity
Belly rubs and legs splayed
assuming the mould from in behind, the scene
anticipation hungry for food
Dependence in exchange for love
money in exchange for lust
No flea’s here, no blood,
no life-sucking thoughts here
Gods comfort wrap fur-lined with licky tongue
slobbering kisses of conversation
Done and dusted.

© 2007 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved
First Published in Side Stream, Issue 7, August 2007, “Poetry From The Fringe”
http://www.myspace.com/sidestreampoetry