Malady Peg

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Artist: Unknown

You build a picture of me
outside the elongated square
peg shaped box
I find myself circling.

Each single step
widens following
two side steps lengthening
nearly five decades deep —

before I’m back in the shit
standing in front of the same scale
stained window or solid oak door
or Samsung S4.

My self imposed barricade
chain and key close
to my heart keep-safe
trusting no one

except a chain gang
of miscreants and misfits
mulling over life, just right.
Subliminal messages

only those in the know can
decipher; wisdom in code, words
biting off more than we can chew
at times, like these.

You help build a picture of me
outside the elongated square
peg shaped box
I find myself picking apart

with my fingernails, prying
into cracks like an
unsuspecting little upstart
who has everything and nothing.

We are social creatures
by nature, nurture featuring ways
to stray outside our four walls
where I space out

dependent distance, my avoidance
keeps my heart still beating.
Any attempt to heal is an affront
my demons wreck havoc,

threaten to cut me off at the knee’s
if I don’t conform or dance
to the pipers tune. My malady
freaks the hell out of everyone.

Torture held captive.

You are a picture of my self
outside my elongated square
peg shape box, my reason
to die respectfully

circumnavigating
ways through and around,
bashing my head up
against invisible walls

that thwart my existence
here, questions unanswered
philosophical paradoxical paradigm s;
the meaning of life and death.

I want to go home,
listen to the ebb and flow
of waves, seagulls and the sound
of sand crunching between my toes

and decide to live.

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

Farce

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,
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,
unlike 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. 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
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

There is Nothing Special about Mary

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Photographer: Judith Bender-Jura

1.

Mary, the one without
a Halo — a married whore,
found unconditional love
hiding in the soles of His feet.

After the fact that
pseudo relationships
took precedence for a while,
she washed Him clean

for no other reason
than to show respect, reverence
for one that would give
His soul for her.

2.

My feet are bare, scarred
by broken beer bottles and red
blood painted tips to toes,
manicured to perfection once

upon a time. His feet
are cold; numbness held in a vice-like
grip as she works her way up
past calves & quads seeking

warmth in the apex comfort
sucking a thumb print, embedded
ecstasy applying pressure
where it hurts, to ease the pain.

3.

She thinks the sun shines outback.
Cradling his head, healing hands
mindful of circular breathing, muscles & tendons ache for release.

Mary doesn’t mind manipulating
bones, fingering the spaces
in between, redirecting blood flow
to all the right places. Kneading,

stretches & burns ping back, send signals like sparks; endorphins
take up the slack, usher in sweet
sensation & nipples peek.

There’s nothing special about Mary
knowing a thing or two,
making money serving more than a handful of life’s little pleasures. Making hay while the sun

shines requires little effort on her part, preferring to let it slide
up past the point of no return. Those days over now
before they really took hold.

4.

Mary looks at him spent, kinesthetic
energy on standby as he reconsiders
where he stands. The party’s over,
someone has to clean up, Mary

learning to love the hand
that feeds her, wishing sometimes
for independence and silence, in
between phone calls. Those days

are over, up for tender for the next
wave of youthful antagonists who seek an existence unbeholden. Love
knows no rules of engagement.

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

Impression

Call the Shots

Archangel Michael

I know where I stand

You know what I want

I have what you need

Value me and my worth

Nothing comes for free

Trust and betrayal

Go both ways

I am an older woman

My desires are different

I don’t have my whole life ahead of me

I have my best years yet to come

It’s all up to you

It’s called love

It’s called commitment

You’re not fucking over another woman!

I mean it with every fibre of my being

Don’t fuck with my head and heart

Love is not a fucking game

Calling the shots.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Surrender

Janet Parsons Art

Snails pace, in my frenzy to move the mountains of my dreams / nightmares of pirate ships, skull and crossbones flap uncontrollably on a tumultuous sea, draw ever near.

Albatross and Kookaburra tear me apart, settling somewhere in between; salvation coming in from all sides, conjures vibration and a vortex rages, weaving through those fateful past lives — Furies casting their spell.

I have lived through aeons and yet I have not yet lived. My desire to ascend a blessing in disguise and wise, for we all must return to the stars to find peace. Our time on Earth, stepping stones to enlightenment fraught with danger and it will continue to go on and on and on.

We navigate the shit storms, weather the highs and lows, scan the horizon for those rogue waves we see coming in a little too late \ curse ourselves before they crash land on our front doorstep. They’ve brought me back down a peg or two.

My life is blessed. I have always been protected by the Gods, Goddess filling my heart with love but it’s not always been for me. I stole love and devoured hearts like Daenerys Stormborn; her last supper broke the spindle but she left her mark.

We all make mistakes, fuck up, hurt the people we love until we face ourselves in the mirror | pray for forgiveness.

Uhh!

Awakening taking an age to consolidate this solid ground, surrender showing us release in the end, so we break the wishing wheel, ride the lightening Zeus inspires and feel our way back home.

Surrender

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Holy Pizza

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Judas tosses my skin dough

kneading

Spread too thin

Wood fire burnt, ends

Encrusted mounds & blisters

Slough

fall

Tears another hole &

I become a meal;

A tv dinner deal.

At the last supper, Mary

Sings a hymn &

All the Angel’s

rejoice!

My veil lifted drifts

Chewed fingertips boxed in

Swallowed whole, followed by

An after-dinner mint & toothpick.

But what I really need is a good

stretch.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Strangers

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It was like meeting a stranger.

That uncomfortable feeling of awkward recognition and detachment — that made me want to run least I fall apart, reveal my core which you saw, reflected back at you between glimpses.

That unspoken knowing.

I felt the push of energy and the pull of old habits back into regression, back into the familiar comfort zone of old where nothing changes and we both die a little bit more inside and destiny forgets to reset.

I’m wondering if we’re humble enough to surrender, strong enough to become vulnerable long enough to push through the sparks, ignite the fire and transform pain into passion so we can both decide to rise.

We dance as if we’re going nowhere but in reality, we are already somewhere. Somewhere untapped, viscerally raw and undeniably on the edge of something far greater than either of us anticipated of love.

I want us to push through.

We are free falling to unknown depths and still creating marble pillars from blind faith alone, to eck out an existence that illuminates the veils so we can both find freedom in enlightenment.

All we need to do is walk through the door and let go of the past once and for all and finally fall completely and utterly in love where nothing else matters, except us.

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

I Am

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Lifting the Second Veil

I am

The High Priestess
Lifting the Second Veil

I am grieving

That I am
Invisible

That I am
Denied
Used & abused
Wounded

That I am
Powerful

That I am
Spiritual
Magnetic
Eternal

That I am
Goddess

That I am
The Medicine Woman
The Artisan &
The Determinatress

I am healing
My Akashic DNA

I Am

Akashic DNA

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Artemisia

Artemisia

Demeter feels deep shame.

That niggling voice belies demons who whisper their disapproval. I don’t want them to hate her. It’s easier to hide away until she can return, find compassion for their mistrust.

She is too big.

The things she pontificates under duress, scare me. It is best that I learn to trust Hermes – to ask for something with a reason instead of stealing something without one.

Mourning.

Loss, tears open a hole — splits a scar further apart; destroying a perfectly sealed crust. Fragments of flaky skin scatter to the wind, shed a diatribe of unforgiving.

She moves in and out of the ether.

Flying through space and time searching for another wormhole, another passage to take her to Persephone, that damned alter-ego who dwells in the deep recesses of purgatory. Home is where her heart aches to return.

Demeter negotiates another extrapolation.

Manifesting a spiral vortex, she hones her parts and I wait for the impact to knock me off my feet — wake me up with a jolt of epiphany where I love the magnificence of my creation.

She does not belong to Hades.

Demeter is radiant. All the virtues I try to bestow; a culmination of strength and vitality and love to honour – my integrity in spades.

I am omnipresent.

Her mouth is shut preferring solace over a wailing lament that conjures a maelstrom of death and dying. I could do well to endure no more, wrath has held me bound.

Tonight Demeter ascends.

I return to myself and you are free to wander in search of true love and find your Artemisia, a perfect match for your Nemesis.

No Light, No Light by Florence and the Machine

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Ether Box

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Ethereal

My ether box
graunching & grinding through stargates
shudders, misfiring synapses
lurch from push to pull
ascending
descending
traversing my self worth,
mitigating losses
tempering gains.
I am giving in,
my self esteem proving much harder
to love and set free.

I’m trying to make peace my lover.
Finding my path with you
is unconventional at best
excruciating at worst,
leaving behind
socially acceptable hopes & dreams
settling in to formalities — contracts
designed to pave the way; a gold lining
to my pewter paradise
on that long road to happiness.
I stare into Aphrodite through my looking glass
& blow her a kiss goodbye.

Skeleton’s eventually decay
but demons still want to purge pain,
set me up to fail
tempt Narcissus to stray,
to step away from his reflection
& risk a coward’s death.
I ask the Goddess for forgiveness
trust my fate & fury
& instinct to guide me.
Psyche would lead me astray
to plummet over the edge
of reason — but Aphrodite will broker a deal.

Start over. My fossil fuelled forge
will always find a way forward,
transform blue light beams
into fire, illuminate those pitchforks
& burning crosses hiding in my ether;
shadows that threaten
to cast spells & incinerate whole galaxies,
merely pseudo reflections
of my reality. I choose you
& take no prisoners at the same time,
for I choose wisely.

There is no burden I cannot bear
when it comes to you,
how you see yourself is a reflection.
We hold our head & hearts
in their hands; their hands
create a destiny for us both.
We are intertwined & enlightened —
a gift from God.
Our souls recognise, accept & understand
there is only now, the past is gone. The future is
whatever we divine.

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Demeters Descent

Demeter Descending

You’ve been breaking me.

Killing me softly like that song, trying not to harm me, trying not to lie — letting me fall to see if I come back stronger. I know what you’re doing; giving me facts to face my fears
so you don’t have to wear a mask.

Sinking me down further, bit by bite.

You watch me wrestle with Psyche, see the squalls before they arrive, the rogue waves looming on the horizon and try to navigate the shit storm that is my life or so I imagine her lot,

Sometimes.

Forecast’s based upon trust, an old school remedy tried and tested over centuries of trial and error, almost on the doorstep of my abandonment. I have to want to choose my life over my life, play with fire or die in vain — seek some sort of comfort hold that pulls me close (safe), that doesn’t strangle me in my sleep.

Demeters demise.

Comes as no surprise then. Her return from the underworld fraught with danger, shed the All, her only hope of salvation and ascension coming to light; Zeus rumbling his desires expects nothing less than a fathers love in return.

I think I am forsaken.

You think I am like Poppy, offer me a chance to be apart of a real family, show me another way to heal, to find warmth and trust that I am genuinely loved where I can thrive, in time. Something I have too much of and not enough to squander.

I want to give it all away.

My job, my friend, my life in exchange for something worth fighting for, yet I am bereft, devoid and damaged beyond repair and you cannot reach me. I need more time to get over you.

Another, will begin another end

to wear me down to char. Somehow my destiny taunts me, forces me to watch and become nothing but a burdon I still have to carry when I can no longer fight and I don’t have what it takes to push through, for you.

Trust no one.

Bravery has always been a strong fulcrum point, an internal compass that leaps toward faith, a little too close for comfort in the end. My judgement will come as swiftly as Hera came forward to claim what was rightfully hers, tearing out her own heart for the sake of her enemies!

You don’t want me.

My demons are telling me I have to die a bit more in order to live but it still hurts to say goodbye. Either way, I am lost right now and there’s nothing anyone can do. You’re all in for a hell ride while I deconstruct and I make no guarantees that I will survive intact this time.

Evolution.

My head is trying to cling to straws while my heart is breaking and I have no where left to go, except home. The secret to survival is balancing hope and despair. I am doing my best and I am so tired.

Guflydktskyl vg j jkhlhc. Khhc khckhc. Uclhfflh. Yxjrekh. Kyeekgxkyggl. It all makes no sense to me. Just empty words in hollow spaces

All This & Heaven Too – Florence and the Machine

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Home to Freedom

Companionship

True companionship
Comes from creating what you want
Creating the environment
Letting each other go
To see if we keep coming back

Home to freedom
Home to peace
Home to love
Home to our selves

Away into chaos
A way into the darkness

To find the light
The joy
The unknown

And live a fulfilling life.

So Tied Up – Cold War Kids & Bishop Briggs

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Welcome To My World

You don’t get to my age
Without learning a thing or two

I’ve learned to trust no one
But myself

I’m not about to risk everything
On blind faith, alone.

You think you’ve been burned?
You’re not the only one.

Do you think I haven’t been there?
Because I have, and it didn’t end well.

You think your trust is broken?
You have no idea about my life.

I’m not about to risk it all, again
When your cards are not on the table.

I am an aging woman, in a man’s world
Willing to show you who I am

To a point. The rest is up to you.
I am a partner, not a trophy

An equal, not a mistress
Older, wise, psychic and astute.

I am here now because I trusted
More than once, twice too many.

Don’t you dare tell me I have broken your trust!
When I’m the only one who is here for you.

I am still here, waiting for you
To stop cutting off your nose

Yet you expect me to trust you
Your word, your honour, your faith?

That only goes so far
Actions speak much louder than words ever will.

You have no idea how much I gave
Am willing to give, how much I have

To bring to your table —
Treat you like the King you are

But I don’t have first world choices
And I don’t want third world realities

Everything I do, is to survive
Calculating risks, hedging my bets

I don’t have to be dishonourable to do it.
I can see well enough when I look.

What I saw, was not what I wanted to see.
You, your tells betrayed you.

Nothing more, nothing less.
You are not willing or able to see me

Yet, but you will.

The best five months of your life
Is compared to borderline personalities from your past

And those voices set you up to fail.
Still, you choose to see only what you expect to see in me.

I am not here to play games.
I chose to be with you because it felt good

But you are uncomfortable with good.
You don’t know yourself as well as you think.

You are not me.
I am holistically unique and

Cruelty is not my style.
I don’t kick the dog when he’s down,

I take responsibility for my part
You will not humble yourself enough to bare.

I have not abandoned you
You pushed me away, again.

I see you for what you are
Right here, right now a mirror.

I can roll with you quite content
But I keep her on a leash

(You know exactly what I’m talking about)
Because I sense something isn’t true.

The difference is I feel,
I express and I talk to you about it.

I asked you to meet my darkness,
You left me.

I process my thoughts and feelings raw,
I know no other way

To show you what I’m willing to risk
Of myself for you.

You lie, because you think it protects me,
I call it as I see it.

I saw.

You will never know who I am
Until you see yourself through my eyes and feel.

If you actually love me
You’d show it when shit gets real

By being kinder, softer
Compassionate and loving.

I don’t need your help
to take out the rubbish.

You discarded me
Because I called bullshit.

Does that mean I was right?
Prove me wrong.

Take me to Church – Hozier

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Kraken Nemesis

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Worry, picking apart my brain, forms tentacles & infiltrates the darkness demolishing barriers discarding all sense of reason.

Fear, prys open the latch & pokes it’s ugly noggin out amongst folded loops, sensing freedom & an opportunity to breed.

I recoil; form more sunken chests & box in my indignation, push it back down subterranean & throw away the key.

I threaten to rip the legs off my giant colossal squid if she doesn’t do as she’s told!

My kraken nemesis.

That self entitled bitch, sticks her beak in where it doesn’t belong!

I square off, walk the grid like an executioner plans strategy & make the first move.

I am flawed. No better than humanity subdues & ignites.

I feel ashamed
I feel ashamed
I feel ashamed

Finding my place, my people & my self taking an age to surface.

I can’t make head or tails of it.

I float, drift around in the ether, neither up or down — threads like silk ferry me away. Is this what it’s like to crack?

Psychicly split down the middle.

One half tending the earth, grows old gracefully, wears away the lines to paint a picture. The other chips away at my sanity like a termite.

She is mad. A lost cause. A first world problem searching for a third world solution, juxtaposes sense.

I don’t know if I’m any good at treading water. She’s drowning.

I think I’m gonna crack.

Who is there for me?

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

The Rainmaker

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Matty Phoenix

His aura hell bent; Phoenix halo,
sparks, fire
& inertia creep.

Cool swagger sways a third eye,
the back of his head
scans in infared.

The Rainmaker’s blood
red right hand fisted to brawl,
gets it done.

Dirty deeds wipe the slate
clean — a power vacuum sealed.

Still waters run deep.

%

Hozier moves the tempest
to where the heart meets
the sun & the moon.

Atlas, holding up
the weight of the world,
brings him back down to Earth.

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Dead

Shitcunt

You’re dead to me. I’m dead.

My mother with her snide, jealous perversion sticking her tongue down my husband’s throat.

Sick cunt
Shit cunt

My mother’s a fucked up, narcissistic shit cunt

and I’m a whore.

© Copyright 2020, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

The Bell Jar of Mixed Blessings

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If it’s not the bloody buzzing mozzies, it’s a bell jar of mixed blessings and a monologue of nothing but geese!

Voices resounding, reimagining, conjuring up memories about red shoes and dwarves and something out of Aesopica!

This totally ridiculous,

unwanted attention seeking behaviour burns my eyes, while my jaw grinds like carpet burn and my ears ache.

If I have to bite the bullet – I need to do it by 9pm and knock it back with a big shot of poison!

I’m not up for this kind of angst, destined to play and replay on repeat. I already made peace a priority but where is she now?

(Sylvia is waiting in line for electroconvulsive therapy, just to wipe the slate clean; clear the air so-to-speak).

That’s the truth of the matter!

Finding my own voice and lifting the skullcap off Pandora’s Box, just enough to breathe.
© Copyright 2019, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Traumasutra

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Sitting/

Staring/

Laying/

preparing for the long rest.

Avoidance/

of people, places, sights and sounds.

Depression/

an abyss-like-nightmare that wants to kill me and I battle for my life.

Anxiety/

strangles me to within an inch of my suffocated existence.

Silence/

except for the machine head that analyses and deciphers psychic projections.

Fear/

the worst my mind can conjure, always on the lookout for my nemesis.

Panic/

attacks that leave me exhausted, foolish, irrational, exposed and defeated.

Boundaries/

overflowing – pushing people away, proving that point I once knew.

Distraction/

compulsion’s that envelop me like a synthesized loop; engulfed, and left devoid of all feeling.

Mistakes/

battles to right wrongs, that fail appallingly.

Agoraphobia/

refusing to put myself at risk, unfortunately I still need to eat.

Guilt/

burdens I endure for both of us.

Sensory deprivation/

just to make it stop!

*

Complex PTSD/

is all of this and more.

Trauma/

leaves a lifelong scar.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved