Check Mate

Photographer/Headpiece/Makeup by Andreas Boldt

You went back to the old ways, baby
let those speak for me, on their behalf
poisoning your mind and self
to bring you back home, tethered
to that place you’ve been trying to leave
you let them whisper in your ear,
sweet nothings to woo betrayal,
the only thing you trust
you’ve gone full circle
fear taking what was good for you
over love held in contempt,
lust luring you back again
already screwing you
now they’re trying to screw me
with phone calls, designer texts
intimidation sending me
into undercover, in disbelief
believing you have a hand in thuggery
you were so protective
of me, once family
willing to sell it all to the Devil you know
sending them all away
but they have your head in a vice
that false prophet Halo
surrounding you in darkness; checkmate,
stealing more than just Mary’s soul
you are weak, following
in your fathers footsteps
the one closest to you, the first
learned her place underfoot
her escape futile, her existance
cruel penance for that lost child
proving her guilt
she accepts her fate, now
that’s why she turns a blind eye
allowing your atrocious behaviour
to go unchecked – you raise your voice,
she see’s him in you and resigns
I have fallen by the way
learning to let go of my heart,
my mortality reminds me daily
that I am alone
I look forward to other things, now
bringing fulfillment here,
my father in his Twilight
where I can care for love
without risk, losing it all
the best part – his death
teaching me everything else
I need to know

/

one day, I hope
you sneak back into my bed,
just because you can and
we have an hour or two
to ourselves, like it was before
remembering our smell,
feeling our hearts open
loving each other well, adjusted
until the next time we say goodbye
and life goes on

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

Distant

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Set Fire

Image

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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,

sparks like spheres

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
your arms filling 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 mar
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

Puncture

Snow Patrol

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

Visible Woman

Image

image

 

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 elbow
(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

Paragon

Written in protest of the ‘World’s Oldest Oppression’ Conference in Melbourne, Victoria 2016

The Online Protest

Pieces of Meat

Sound of Silencing Sex Workers

Online Pocket Guide to Dealing with Antis

Sensitive Weed

Image

image

She takes her hand

in hers, stepping

over rocks, dodging

sensitive weed

to find that perfect

path – way, leading us

to wildflowers.

she picks, a hand –

full of petals,

their fragrant oils

soothing, essential

for healing cuts

and grazes. her

nasal senses over –

whelmed with purity,

nature; nurturing

an abundance

of calm. her soft

self centered,

journeys

into the wilderness,

out – back returning her

safely to her mothers’

roots. her legs,

gingerly circum –

navigate thorns

and misleading purple

fluffy flowers with

prickles. trust,

holding hands held

together,

finding safety

in the familiar

land – scapes,

sensitive to touch.

we are falling

in love.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved.

The Littlest Princess

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She brings joy in little effervescent bubbles of fizz.

Tickling our hearts. 

We fall about the place; laughter spontaneously combusts into a heap on the floor. 

Heaven’s above!

Our stomach crunches burn.  Her light beams ear to ear.  Spreading over a meadow of wild flowers.

Do you think she knows?

We know. Her happy heart runs and jumps.  Arms wide open. A glory to behold.

Pure love.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

RE BLOGGED by Bellever

Tears in Adam

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It seems all is lost
tears stream unstoppable
sticky salted lines – pool

Adam’s well over flows, cascading
to the lowest point; gravity
to catch & release a river

torrential rain carves
through rocks & broken boughs,
cradle free falling

swept away out of reach
where he ‘can’t keep up’ for love
a fathers heart breaks

tenterhooks; out-stretched arms,
grapple unconditional love
lest children leave scarred for life

/

I hold no bitterness for her or him
one day they will carry me back
home, re-cycling Karma

love knows no bounds, I repeat
forgiveness reconciles eventually
nothing lives forever

I don’t believe in the Devil
I believe in demons, spawned by ego
wisdom taking years to age gracefully

I think of all that was before
I pushed them all away – I can
be gentle in my own sanctuary

pain is no better or worse for wear
seeking peace defines our nature
we all must seek forgiveness

Humbled

Maria Mandel – The Beast

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1.
Third Reich temporarily relocated
manageable – tangible concentration
Dachau liberation still being released
freedom taking years, eyes
adjust to light rays that pierce
our subconscious; burning
holes into our darkness

Reminds me of ‘The Beast’
her subtle sweet nasty streak
tempered in her ‘pets’
lecherous humiliation glares & whips
insubordination; any excuse
to lash out, eventually hanging
out for a punch up – not on my watch!

2.
I’m being overly dramatic
she is only a girl, ten feet tall
bulletproof but not yet vested
she is her mother & father
two degrees of indignant separation
dug heels into her size 10 boots
perpetrated under false pretenses
I am not like her mother

History is steep, Polish
past times remembered; repeated
incomprehendable trauma, still
repugnant infanticide – saving
your self in her
I admire your determination albeit,
age will polish temperance

3.
Soon we will all
coalesce together
one among many survivor’s
life is a journey not a destination
cliche, abundant blessings; gall
being called not by the balls
you wear on your T-shirt
our hearts on our sleeve

Category five winds rage
all that was before happened
lest we forget past lives forged ahead
sowing love, light & laughter
your time will come to transcend
armed with everything you need
carving your own temple & peace

4.
So will you my love
Grandma told you the stories
you pass down with pride
living, while others died for worse
your blessing may be a curse
but your heart is proud; a sin
none the less, reconciled with compassion
anger only perpetrates hatred

5.
Me? A well spring of knowledge
understanding beyond my years
faltering in the face of adversity
my strength testing integrity; loyalty
fidelity & trust
foolishness where my past collided
but I don’t have intent to harm
sadistic pleasure
is not mine to give

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Like a Bird

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Today is reverently calm and clear
Cockatoos haven’t yet squawked
their presence over head
Kookaburras 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 and happy
in their own world as I am in mine

something is afoot; another calm
eye of the storm

the girls and 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

it can not continue. scars
crack and re-seal themselves thicker
all that’s left is keloid and nothing
covered up indefinitely
amidst pseudo happiness
I watch and wait to see who is left
anger raised 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 three years, found strength where I least expected courage
my own ability to ask

no shame, just integrity
I am very proud to let go and be seen

Like a Bird on a Wire – Aaron Neville

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Adrift

For my Sister

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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
gagging

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 Tracey

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
piggie-in-the-middle
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
unfortunately

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

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dancing with the Faeries

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Photographer: Jason Majewski

Photo used with permission

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 cling 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

Descend

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

Imploding Stars

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It’s back
I’m shaking like a leaf
More trauma

It’s a normal natural response
So I’m told
Under these circumstances

I see very clearly
We have different strengths
But strengths we do have in abundance

Meeting in the middle
The two of us working together
Dialogue & adult discussion

Trauma is everywhere
Leaching into every cell
All of us – imploding stars

*

She is such an Angel
Beautiful in all her innocent glory
Loving & gentle

I rock her in my arms
I pat her back in rhythm
She relaxes, falling asleep

She is loved by all of us
To our core, that weeps
In our hearts, that bleed

I pray, pleading for guidance
My faith is in your hands
I am your servant

Love is love
There is no in-between
Just understanding & surrender

© 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

Cold Comfort

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I’m going slightly insane
Oh, to be deaf, dumb, blind & mute!
turning that blind eye, having nothing
more to do with it – all

No shoes on her feet
her hair a mess
the first thing she says is,
“Are you a mean stepmother or a nice stepmother?”
cuddling me, she tells me I’m nice before I can answer, awed
saddened & proud
all at once

I’m so afraid for our little girl
afraid to bear witness; joy, pain, confusion, innocence
I do my best, continuing to be consistent,
loving, nurturing & hiding
my own pain to shelter her

I need time out
not from our littlest princess, never
from that bright spark that lights up my world, my own fear worse for wear
knowing truth; being called a liar
cruelty appears nonchalant & we all know
ignorance breeds ignorance

I rise
above this time & detach
from that confined space lodging
deep in my brain & heart, threatening
to expose my GI Jane

She thrashes inside her prison cell,
the bars of my prison bend
but do not break, I give thanks
to God & Godesses & the Furies,
my Crone; for temperance
my aenima inanimate for the moment

,●

I hear her laugh,
that contagious giggle
putting a smile on my face
all I need is patience; I can wait
Karma has not yet spoken, giving
cold comfort will come at a cost – all
I can do is love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Common Threads

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‘Tapping in’ by Jonathan Solter

I’m nearly fifty, but I feel nigh
on ninety on a bad day.

This past week has been absolute
Hell on earth.

I’ve been triggered back
to being a child.

Losing her felt like losing
innocence; myself years ago. 

Traumatized, I thought
about ending it all.

The relationship.

But to my credit, my common sense intervened, giving me a serve. 

My man became a man in my eyes.
Not just another man.

Not just any old man.
My man.

Trauma has an ugly side;
it brings people to their knees

where they may as well be pissed on while their down there.

I am so worried for her…

/

How to reach me in that state, is almost futile. 

Almost.

I hear them knocking, butting their heads up against my wall, the double

thick English brick kind; multiple layers of insulating red. 

I pretend it’s nothing more, nothing less. 

“I don’t care”, I resign.

But then my beautiful man drew,
drawing me a shoebox.

Explaining how pain lives, dies
and re-lives inside my brain.

Overwhelmed with grief, I lift the lid
crawl inside and relive my dark past

over and over. Ashamed. 

He lifted my chin, to meet his gaze.
He held me. Loving me more

in that one single moment, I trusted.
“It’s no good” he said.

/

At the 11th hour, we failed. Let down, we had no voice. Mute

blind, deaf and dumb in one single sentence.

The system of things is definitely flawed. 

Corrupt?

That would be making an unjust statement. 

For those in the hot seats, forced
to call the shots, know many lives

are at stake. It must take its toll.
But I have no sympathy.

Our truth was not heard. 

Our fatal flaws not even our own; her
actions (or lack there of), denied.

A resounding ‘NO’ echoes through
my shriveled neurons finding dead

ends. My synapses have nothing
left to ignite. 

My family are in shock. 

My family was slit right down the guts; entrails threatening to turn us inside

out. We were split.

/

Here in our beloved home away from home.

He said, “you cant carry the torch
all on your own”. 

He said “I can’t watch your fire fade to black, your candle flicker in the wind”.

Sinking

deeper into that hole; my abyss dragging me into its darkest depths.

Broken. 

I could no longer hold my fractured pieces together. 

In my mind I dispersed like a million stars on a clear night. 

/

My self died a little bit more that day.

In my room with four walls,
no windows, no doors and no light

my world ceased to exist
and everyone in it.

It’s time to let go, heal.

He gave me hope.
understanding beyond anything

I have ever experienced
through years of therapy

1.  PROBLEM: Being torn.

I think of my beloved stepdaughter.
Everyday.

2.  INTAKE:  Its difficult

coming to terms and all that
that entails I cannot reconcile.

3.  PROCESS: Grief

Pain \ Anger / Trauma \ Up / Down
bracing \ myself for a hell ride.

Depression.

4.  STRATEGISE: Break –

down my past, hurt and forge ahead.
Gathering strength, wisdom and hope.

5.  EXECUTE: Eat.

Drink (water). Rest. Cry. Garden. Bathe.
Write to heal, even when my body

wants to heave. 

/

I look after my family.
Nigh on three years now in my own

special way. Not in a traditional way. 

I’m a hopeless cook.
I don’t appreciate housework.

I’ve been neglectful at being
the proverbial ‘good’ housewife.

My desire to grow flowers, fruit
and vegetables is my compromise.

Growing something edible to put in
the kitchen – for someone else to cook.

I hold us all together in many ways. Focusing on her safe and sound.

Consistent.

Loving, gentle kindness; watering
our gardens together.

/

Our home is beautiful.

Everyone finding that remembered
piece of themselves there; a sense of

belonging my own children lack. 

I want them to say, “I’m coming home”.  I want my beautiful, bitter, twisted

naive, angry children to come home too – to me and my family. 

It’s ever too late to love
and to be loved in return.

/

Finding trust again – she is as resilient as I am loved, unconditionally.

We watch the sun rise and marvel
at the light that shines on all of us.

I will learn to forgive but never forget.

I tend the earth, ripening my fruits
finding pride in nurturing my love.

I read. A cuppa, kiss and a cuddle regenerate my dreams. 

I wake with no nightmarish thoughts,
finding only more I can do to make

my garden grow. Knowing she is being
loved all the while.

/

Right now I need peace.

I love my family. Jason, Madison
La Donna, Whisky, (Carmen), Karmin

Leisa, Seth, Harken and Ronan.

Still too young (bar one) to see
the wood for the trees or realise that

not all flowers smell delightful – except the Rose.

/

The world doesn’t owe me a God damned thing.

My children will learn a much harder lesson than I.  

I forgive them, and I always will, over and over.

The thing about trauma is that it can only hurt us if we let it.  

I refuse.

/

(Myles will remember he said something similar.)

I hope you are smiling wherever you are my friend.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved

God is Love

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I feel shattered
fragmented
my self dispersed
willy nilly
this way & that; sparks

on a funeral pyre

*

Isolated in a new country I proudly call my home, desperate for unconditional love and understanding. I am estranged from family who need no explanation least of all from me. We are grieving the loss of our precious little girl. The softest most gentlest child who has ever graced my presence. That’s the worst thing to comprehend. How could it all go so wrong?

Self pity and blame/shame become a toxic breeding ground for self-doubt.  Feeling victimized beyond where my psyche can find peace, I am being eroded from within. Still, those wicked thoughts work their way into my cracks, ever-widening, poisoning me from the inside out. I have a parasitic demon spreading its hideous tentacles into every mistake I have ever made reminding me of my foolish flaws. My lifesong is no more heard than those women in history; burned at the stake.

I thank God I was not born in that cruel Medieval era, although I recognise similarities in unjust sentences and we all know no one has a leg to stand on in times of prejudice. I see common sense, at the last-minute at least. Those women were tenacious, brave beyond measure and while the odds are gathering sticks stacking my pyre, my heart is with her and them, my love knows no bounds.

I make the calls, I speak my truth. It is all I can do to retain my dignity. My integrity is not in question, it has never been. I know right from wrong. There is  something insidious here at work, attempting to thwart justice by all devious means imaginable. It cannot last forever. She threatens me and us but though the system of things is corrupt, I am not.

Every day people are being dis – membered, crucified in the coldest places on earth. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but she has brought us here to witness our incarceration and suffering, inflicting us with that cold, soulless stare. Her lust barely disguising her thirst for that elusive elixir of life.

I am human. I suffer like everyone else. My reserves are low and my inner flame is almost extinguished – doused by lies and deceit of the most heinous kind. I pray everyday for divine intervention. More than ever to Mary, to God, Goddesses, to the Crones, to whoever will listen. Those who weave their ancient threads on the great wheel of life, deciding our destinies.

By descending into hell, this time I know with certainty that wheel will rise again and I will find myself ascending, transcending all that was before. My faith wrapping my warm, safe, loving arms around her and us. I believe we are in the right place at the right time but the reasons for it are as yet unknown. I face this wrath. I take full responsibility for whatever I have failed to see and I will mourn.

My needs are the least important right now. Longer lives are at stake here. I am reminded of the Inquisition where women and poor innocent children were burned for nothing more than uttering truth in a world full of unscrupulous doings. My littlest princess is growing up way too fast. Her world separate from her self.

My focus is on one innocent child who is but a pawn in this farce. It is she who I admire, her resilience and the knowing that one day soon she will be reunited with love and have the best that love can offer her to heal. It won’t be too late, for love can work miracles for the most cruel of experiences. I have witnessed first hand how God will intervene having carried me in his stead before. Children are born resilient. They have inbuilt protection and I trust that she will be OK.

God is love and he does not desert his flock.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Miasma Rose

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my foetal body holds
nervous balls of Fear
tying themselves into knots
that make my stomach retch –
remembering a time before

my world collided everything
became fission; an existential
explosion of pieces of me
scattered

for a moment I lost my self

loving more
than my desire knows
escaping those merciless depths
drowning me
that miasma of Fear rose
letting go tears

what was once mine
forever stolen

its hard to breathe
here & now my Fear rising
its ugly head penetrating
only a fraction / friction culminating
in pitiful attempts to mollify

comparing my voice to yours
once more scolded, Fear
beyond measure
gulps for air
winded

wishing for all it’s worth
for more – more than life itself
to find peace & love

to seek out that softest place
our Eden here on earth
my beautiful self in your arms
our fruit ripening my garden

she remembers
being pulled this way – that
curtain calls still fall – still
I managed to climb
that long steep drive

her body of evidence
a sixth psychic sense

she is alone Daddy
14,000 years in advance
mister black burns
& black backs down

magic raises her up, my Crone
fragrance budding
watching her blossom
where she will become

Trials & tribulations
wax & wane

Karma will knock you off your feet
no stone will be left unturned

you will have no choice but to cut
off your nose to spite your face

I foresee Death
Charon jigging a jig
my wicked sense of humour
rejoicing

rotting in Hell for all eternity

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Belinda the Brush

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‘Come back here you little Pelican’
she mocks, her grin beaming
the littlest Princess tears off
at a hundred miles an hour
in the opposite direction,
her grin making a perfect pair
but where is Belinda?

‘Belinda the Brush is hiding somewhere and I want to brush your hair’

we sing, looking in all the usual spots
the bookshelf, the dressing table
in the bathroom before
she’s finally located on the chair
in front of us
the littlest Princess settles herself down
and we begin the next verse

‘Belinda the Brush is brushing my hair,
Belinda the Brush is brushing my hair’

What will it be today my love,
a ponytail or a plait like the witch?
A plait.

Julia Donaldson has made an impression
so I break into a witches cackle

We have some minor complaints;
those pesky knots require a change of tact,
under my magnificent spell
the job is done, satisfaction
filling my heart, hers brewing the buds of patience, temperance and pride

‘Belinda the Brush is brushing my hair and there’ll be no bullshit there’

I love my littlest Princess.
Our destiny entwined like my fingers through her hair
she doesn’t know it yet
but Our Lady watches over her
with great grandma, and granny working her magic almost daily

I can see all the kids,
you and me (and grandma),
green grass blue smoke,
my Harley
still under wraps – our home,
where the heart is
resonating in your drums

One day I will learn how to cook and teach my littlest Princess how to knit like Nana

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Rheumatic Stigmata

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The bed creaks like your bones
that moan and groan
that slow grind through clenched teeth,
that need between the sheets

~

It’s August now
as cold as it gets here in Winter.
I’m buying an electric blanket
to warm you through; least I run you through
with my lasciviously pointy finger!

Still, I wrap my legs
around your freezing appendages,
making a spoonful of sugar
while you lick the cream
from your Cheshire 😀

I can’t help but bear your stubborn,
stoic Far North Queenslander pride;
pleasured simplicity, complicit
with your Will to burn the wick
at both ends, ajoint screaming
a string of profanity

In Summer, I knead
your splintered lamb shank
while you shovel nutrition down
with a tincture of mindfullness,
layer upon layer of oil, and Green Tea
setting the scene for a modern beer

I find it hard, to watch your tenacity
come face to face with Dachau – Grim
barking out his contempt
while she ducks for cover in sewage…

We have to make the trip worthwhile
or its all for naught; she signs a cross
Pope John Paul II raised the host
because he had all the respect in the world

for Mary.  Sometimes I wonder
what will become of our inheritance
if the light at the end of the tunnel
really is another oncoming train?

We have to find a way through
our fragile past lives where we would
seethe on the outside and cower on the in,
if it weren’t for temperance; sharp edges constrained by blunt force trauma

In the meantime, I heat the purple wheat bag in the microwave
laying it carefully between the sheets

You know I love you most when you least expect it

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

RE BLOGGED on Dream Big Dream Often

Mr Black & the Muse

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I’m addicted to you
& your crooked muse smile
Mr Black

I’ll have you
know
you stole my heart
rendering her useless;
undoing held together
your thick lens
penetrating.
drunk & debauchery

Incognito
for a moment
nothing existed
except obsession,
compulsion mimicking
lust & Mr Black
rose like a Phoenix
under my skin

Every day, an eternity
to wait for you
my muse feigning temperance
the door handle turns
& I pick myself up off the floor
giggle & take the piss
Mr Black doesn’t
waste any time

Concord flights of fancy
meticulous mind-numbing marathons
whatever the abandoned mood once was,
I’m yours
you had me way back then,
smashed, crash landing on my bed
the sun about to rise
on the last place we left from

My balcony:
a table & two chairs
the Great Dividing Range
filtered by my Veuve Clichot
you with your Winnie Red
threshold surpassed
a box of beers,
tartan shorts & flannelette

*

I make you coffee.
night owls wouldn’t normally complain
under ordinary circumstances
but we are far from that place
the buzz & bleep of mobile phones
alter-egos known or not
pierce our cocoon
we drag our arse into work

Dreaming, we see all the children
& Grandma
Mr Black runs amok
kids fight over whose turn it is
blue smoke & green grass
Yamahahahahahahaha!
my Harley under wraps
coveted like our memories

© Copyright 2014, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved