The Joker

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The Joker
plays his cards then prays
for forgiveness
to a middle eastern Christian God
before hurling abuse
to those who aren’t white
professing to love women
secretly harbouring unfathomable hate
suppressed rage
staring Red indifference in the face
of reason, his reason
an excuse for payback; vindictive
retribution designed to maximize
powerfully charged emotional punches.

I have loved more than once
choosing my heart over head
batting eyelids deflecting
eggs scrambling to make sense
of the impossible scenario
time after time questioning
my self refusing to settle for anything
less than truth
watching loved ones turn
roll over, pulling the wool
over already unseeing orbs
holding on to contempt for love
lost

Death has defined me
grief ripping me apart
till I am stripped bare and
‘The Joker’ plays me for a fool
his denial hardly concealed now
his truth defining him in the end
hidden underneath a facade
charm dangerously like a predators
false sense of security
when his hands are tied
his dirty hands
he tries to launder abrasive
repeatedly.

Money
the root of all evil
threatens to ignite the paper trails
that have us entwined
enmeshed together by banks
loans and fine print
our future only leased
the balance drains the half full cup
sentiment caught never to be released
that Holy Grail
proving to be forever out of reach
what chance did we have?
the die has been cast.

My love
my darling
you were my everything
my beautiful sweet illusion
my heart aches for remembering you
how you were before you changed colour
I fell head over feet for you and yours
grazing my knee in the process
I succumbed, numbing my defenses
getting back up being pushed back down
losing another fragment of hope
each time threatening don’t
now, the joke is on you.

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

Illusion

Sea of Possibility

Aurora Australis

Wrap me in a padded cell
so I may kick
& flail
eke out my existence
purge my maelstrom,
those configured fires
left to smoulder
in relative calm

bound by containment.
I strain every sinew
to breaking point
every muscle to burn
my cognisance; fragmented
Freudian slips
of recognition
rubbed raw.

I will break free.
Stretch the threads
of my fabric,
my very being
so that I may ignite
the Phoenix
to take on life
& soar.

My thoughts are like charred embers;
reminiscent remains
of a Godless era,
mountains of mole hills
set in the West
cast shadows
my gauntlet
rearing its ugly head.

What will become of her?
My desolation, left
to wander this Papa
where great lakes
threaten to burst
their asides
remind us
we are at Her mercy

but to fail is not an option.
Deliverance stands
turning on my heel
to where the sunrise
promises more
than just to warm
my bones
hope, skipping pebbles —

perhaps to sail?
Riding the salt & pepper coast,
my salvation avoiding
complex low pressure systems
preferring to watch the Seagulls
negotiate on my behalf
squalls rolling
in my wake.

Mollymawks
crash land burly trails
full of anticipation
my Mull
living on a prayer
an easy meal
but not without compromise
black, white & grey.

Pre-determined destinations
finding solace
at the end of the Earth,
Aurora Australis
leading me
not into temptation
for Albatross are always on the lookout
searching the sea.

*

Sandal-less feet
pale skin tinged olive,
doves on a distant spire
cooing a lull; my cradle,
rocks
a fishing line
tied to my big toe
where everything is as it should be.

© Copyright 2012, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Too Big for my Shoebox

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Photographer: Nicolas Sènègas

This head fuck
of name calling
of twisted tattle tales
designed to enlighten
denial, woefully inadequate
thoughtless mistakes.

Repeat

Repeating

Sorry, like an episode
for Days of Our Lives
sitcom reruns running
us around everyday
almost all day
serially on a brim
full of bullshit
on a 45.

Repeated

Bullshit,
as much as toward myself
as arrogance is arrogant —
my head is a
spinning vortex gaining
cyclonic ferocity; something
akin to time travel
on fast forward.

Repetition

Repeats

Repeating

The same old same old
he said she said
you said I said
till one said too many flew
over the fucking cuckoo
to nest – resting
between my ears
stuffing my fingers.

Repeatedly

Measuring spoons
gauging the airs
and graces; my presence
testing the water
temperature finding
temperament doused
in acidic
misogyny.

Just fucking stop it!
Fucking stop it!
Stop it!
STOP!

You’re too big
for my shoebox.

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

Savage

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

The Mariners Tale

Home7

“Land Ahoy!”

His First Mate
not more than two feet away, still doesn’t see Hinemoana coming.

“Bring her about hard & fast
& shut your bloody mouth boy!”
after the full force
hits the stern with a swift kick
aimed right up the Jacksie!

She giggles.

It’s an entertaining Port
full of surprises, guffaws
& sudden gusts of wind;
her Devil’s Tongue
quick as lightning
her Siren Song
slipping in & under.

He lays it on thick.

He would feed me grapes
if it weren’t for the Oyster’s, Swordfish, Tuna, Salmon & Lumpfish, a good bottle of Veuve serving up a concoction of frivolity with a sharp spank on the arse for good measure.

No sea legs required here.

Our naked flamboyance
barely creates a ripple,
our island paradise
looking out over the sea
from a safe distance —
your bridge.

I can see the stars up there
& planets
my world seems bigger
brighter
I stare transfixed into space
but I am not lost
I feel strangely nestled.

Green Tree Frogs
& the hope of a Vine snake or two
keep my curiosity peaked.

Michael rows
his boat ashore.

I am not unlike an island.

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

REBLOGGED on Dream Big Dream Often

Lady Lazarus & the Voice of Ratified Reason

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“If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment”. JD Butler

He’s using me, I’m using him – both of us working on a palatable means to several ends & everyone’s happy on the dance floor, except me / Lady Lazarus, fully loaded

machinations mimicking my madness & everything I have survived is temporarily erased from my memory / the neglect, the rapes, the con artists & the turning of blind eyes. The violence

of insanity, cleansing the last of my contemptible dirty pieces. A ruse in the end, designed to ratify my plea bargain, still set to drown in a sea of toxic shame, churning

out green bile – something the dogs love to salivate over.

/

It all sounds so depressing, except for the sun that continues to rise; refracted light beams infiltrating my cracks,

forcefully illuminating all remaining fragments of hope that haven’t yet marvelled at a setting sun. I am thankful.

If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment, you would all marvel at my unadulterated halo & drop to your knees, prostrate

but I am a mere mortal woman. No God could ever carry me across the sand or walk on water or set me down on the island of my choice,

without some sort of comeuppance; paying the ferryman requires nerves of steel / I lack the will to either live or die,

in peace.

© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Imagination

Working through Cobwebs

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Melbourne Street Art – Artist Unknown
Photographer: Jennifer Cox
Photo used with permission

I’m trying to work through cobwebs, he said,

with eyes pouring like rain
into a leaky boat
squaring off the shoreline
heading out to sea
avoiding Redbacks
like the plague
negotiating rogue waves
behind his back
facing his fear; ex
tended arms pull
away — escape
for a moment.

He scans the horizon
left to right that sinking
feeling farther, closer
than he expected denial; a river
too far away to row a thunder clap
into eternity
Isis turning a blind eye
Triton drags him
under, spinning
a vortex only Terra
firma can translate.

Taking the bull
by the horns he finds
solid ground wrestling
knee deep in mud that sticks
like shit on the inside,
cobwebs cling to hard
wired neurons
lodged in the gaps
in between grey,
a matter for the black
and white.

Separate facts find
fiction fornicating
in a web of deceit
by design, too lurid
for children like
Persephone – abducted
innocence; a metaphor
for rape choking the Hell
out of life, all the while
pseudo affection bribes
a handful of lollies
to sweeten the blow.

I want everything to be saved,
he said.

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

Notorious

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

I Can’t!

Henwood

Henwood the Woodster, ‘Woody’ for short, was having a hard time making things work. He decided he’d try to put on his shoes, he had his socks on, this he could do but when he was trying to tie up his lace, he went round in circles again and again!

He had it all sorted inside his head going over and under and grabbing both ends but when it came time to twist through the hole, he couldn’t do it and he started to howl.

He was losing his sh*t, you could see it build up — till he finally snapped and then kicked a plant! He stamped his foot, let out a grunt, threw his hands in the air and said, ‘I CAN’T!’

He did a big sigh, he was doing his best but it was p*ssing him off so he gave up instead. He called to his mum with tears in his eyes, but he was trying really really hard not to cry.

It was doing his head in figuring it out, his brain was too quick for his hands to catch up. He almost had it before he gave in, but true to his form he kept persisting.

Woody the Woodster tried many times but his brain was so fast he couldn’t keep pace. He would get half way there and once more he’d snap, throw his hands in the air and yell, ‘I CAN’T!’

‘Its not working’, he said, his face going red, ‘I can’t seem to get the last little bit. Mum, can you show me one more time? This time I’ll get it, I think I’ll be fine’.

Mum sat down with Woody the man and showed him just how to twist round his hand. She popped the loop right through the hole and pulled them tight to make they hold on.

Woody was studying the way that mum moved, he undid the lace and tried once more. This time he got the loop through the hole but couldn’t quite grasp the two loops at a time, threw his hands in the air and again said ‘I CAN’T!’

Woody the Woodster walked away in a huff, he’d try another way he said to himself. He knew that one day he’d learn to do it, so he’d try again tomorrow, ‘to hell with it!’

The next day was Sunday, they were all going out, he had to put shoes on and get it right. He sat down in the corner out of sight and worked on his laces this way and that.

All of a sudden he let out a cry, he’d made it work and was full of delight. ‘Look Mum!’ he said ‘it went through the hole, I pulled both the loops and I made a bow!’

‘You did!’ said Mum, ‘I knew that you could, you just needed time to understand it’. Woody was chuffed, he felt like a man, threw his hands in the air and said ‘I CAN!’

He pranced around in his shoes all day, running and jumping and feeling gay. He felt good about himself, he had learned a new trick, he took off running then started to skip.

‘I CAN!’ he thought, and away he went with his bigger brothers Ronan and Harken. They had a great day in a national park, made all the more better with Woody’s bright spark.

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

The Little Toe Rag!

Atlas Justice

Mama J woke up on the wrong side of the bed, during the night she had tossed and she’d turned. Atlas woke her up at some ungodly hour, whinging and whining with fingernail gouges.

Mama J tried to calm him by rubbing his back, but he was carrying on like a right ole twat!

(Atlas was really, missing his Dad).

Bleary eyed and dopey, Mama J rose from her bed, she was doing her best to stop seeing red. She changed little Atlas out of his jammies, gave him some toast and some Vita Gummies.

Mama J was not in a very good mood, she wanted to sleep in and stay warm in her bed. Atlas decided he didn’t want toast he went for the pantry for something else!

(But that was too bad, he didn’t have a choice!)

Mama J wasn’t up for any of his sh*t, he would do what he was told, that was the end of it! He stamped and he growled and then bit his hand, gave her the death stare which said ‘do it now!’. That didn’t work either and she sat him back down, and told him to stop acting like stupid-ass clown!

He got up from his chair and grabbed his iPad, stamped his feet, whinged and then turned it up loud! Atlas thought he knew how to behave, so he created more noise to annoy Mama J.

Mama J adjusted her vibe a little bit, tried to stay calm and keep control of it. Even then the little toe rag wouldn’t stay put, continued being defiant and amped up the sook. Mama J switched off and ignored him altogether, turned on YouTube and played something mellow.

(She was not in the mood to entertain the little fellow.)

She was NOT going to put up with any of his crap, he was NOT going to have what he wanted to have! Atlas continued to open the pantry, Mama J continued to tell him to stay.

They did this for an hour before it sunk in, Atlas had realized he just couldn’t win. He finally sat down and ate all his toast, had a sip of water and played with his toes.

Mama J praised him and said ‘well done’, opened the pantry and said ‘here pick one’. Atlas had wanted to eat cupcakes instead but Mama J rewarded him when he was behaved.

Atlas looked at Mama J with a great big grin, he had pushed through and he’d had a win! Mama J was happy too and everything was fine, she had time to make coffee, relax and unwind.

Dad would be home soon for the rest of the day and Looby would do circles when she saw him again. There was nothing quite like it when the family were together, especially when Atlas was feeling much better.

Mama J was awake now and starting to move, dusting and vacuuming and wiping surfaces. She loved giving Dad a clean house to come home to, they made a good team and THAT’S what friends do.

Atlas Justice

© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022

Endings

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Set It Free

I don’t like endings.

I’d rather switch off
Nod and agree,
Even when it’s bullshit.

I don’t like the drama.

I’m a set-it-free kinda gal—
If it comes back
It was meant to be.

We all have to figure it out for ourselves.

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

Last Mile Home

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I feel like I’m on the last mile home. Everyone is gone. Although most people are just lost trying to survive.

I think about people, wonder how they are but I don’t really believe they care much. ‘Trust no one’, is being bandied about like Al Capone’s mandate in the Godfather but I’d rather have him on side than deal with the average Joe Blow shitcunt who’s self absorbed selfishness means it’s only a matter of time before they want something.

Everyone is just trying to make it through another night, live another day and create a semblance of paradise in their own backyard before they flip the bird for the last time.

I’m really struggling to make my ends meet. I can see no end and I’m getting older by the year. I find myself dreaming of the last mile home; the last death row to freedom.

Last Mile Home by Kings of Leon

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

Lovers Lament

She longs to be held,
my Mary Magdalene, in a lovers embrace.
Spooned & cocooned
Jesus, giving his life
for her.

His arms, extend
holding on giving in
sinking further; a fusion
of flesh & bone,
a comfort hold & home.

I know he too saw
the black curtain fall
& from that moment
they were lost. Lost
& found.

Karma settles scores
resets the All, divine demands
an eternal sacrifice
& Mary yearns for desire
to make it all worthwhile.

A light.

Recognition, foretells
omens coming in three’s,
a wiccan rede; magic, morality
& the afterlife,
a promise from Eden.

She wails. Mary
kisses the soul of destiny,
trusting something bigger
than her parts & let’s go
giving in to fates fury.

A slow grind
losing lust’s sake
to find love & the third eye
delves to depths of compassion
just to be touched.

I long to find her
bring her back whole
to let you in & feel
time expand & contract
as-if we were one.

Despair leaves her wanting.
Holy moments
of magic come & go
Mary holds on, buries herself
in Jesus’ warm arms & hides.

Two lovers lament
looking for something
& leave with nothing; numbness
held in a vice-like grip.
Begone!

Time, will ignite
the cosmic fire
that drew them together. Love,
is bigger than what they once
knew of love.

If I surrender, we can
let go — trust
universal intelligence &
rebuild the architecture of life
in our own image.

Mother Mary is finding her way
& it is already written in the stars.
Jesus IS the way, the truth
& the light.
Ours is creation.

© 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

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

Am I A Feminist?

1.

Am I a feminist?

I make the fantasy real for him, giving up parts of myself –

My look

My mind

My body

My heart.

Pieces of me, served up over silver platitudes,

three course meals

and French champagne.

2.

Malleable breasts and tight buttocks

reclaim their complimentary one half of the whole

reality

filling holes in Psyche every time she is alone.

Separate and connected,

happy and unremarkable

half truths, open to anyone who will listen.

3.

In her deepest recesses, she is compartmentalised – a waif, aloof.

Dissociation

learned to leave a long time ago, doing only what they wanted to make them happier

for the two of us.

A tragedy, waiting for a fairy tale ending that doesn’t involve

the death of Eros.

Instead she paints pictures that never quite get finished –

My pencils

My paints

My inks

My pastel chalks

covered in charcoal dust fingerprints,

scared of letting go.

4.

She still held on

to dreams

of Volkswagon beetles,

Austin land crabs,

Holden utes and XD Falcon

panel van’s reinforced with 6ml steel plates

pink stickered on the side of the road.

5.

I say goodbye to all the abusers –

My family

My friends

My lovers

My colleagues.

Self care now cloistered in her abandon while you watch,

published one day by some back shed press, captioned

‘Clichèd-Poet-Ends-It-All’

because forfeiture has no shame.

She was happier then

and then she died,

turning grey like her foibles and colourless lines.

6.

Am I a feminist?
© Copyright 2019, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Communiquè

Talking,

as you do when time permits

an exchange

of energy, pleasantries & psychic projections,

bouncing

between words, a soul searching

communiquè of sight & sound,

swirling intonations gauging

our airs & grace’s,

our ever-present mindful interludes

pausing between us

for breaths, eyeballing the silences

of our head & heart,

where we come together

& connect

sifting through all the bullshit,

of where we’ve been

who we are & when we first met,

picking

up the threads of where we left off

before we hug & wave goodbye again,

till next time.
© Copyright 2019, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

I Choose to Run

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“I think we’ve been put through the emotional wringer and there are only fraying threads left of the tapestry we once sewed togetherJD Butler

Just like me to need a pacifier when the going gets tough but

it’s not all about me.

You’ve changed – maybe we’ve both changed, but not for the better. You used to care if I cried but

not any more.

I guess you’re strung out, over-worked, under-paid, under-sexed and looking for a way out in your Red Dead Redemption II,

outback adventure.

Maybe you also feel trapped? What if I left, left the house for you to rent? I can go anywhere to live

and start again.

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth perhaps. 6 months here, 6 months there (in New Zealand). Reinventing myself

is what I’m good at.

Jezabel is never too far away for me to find a way to survive. She never leaves me or changes. I can count on her

to do the right thing.

I’ll miss you. Everything about you. How wonderfully beautiful you are with your deep dark brown eyes. You are talented, loving and rich beyond anything resembling money.

I consider

myself blessed.

It’s time I moved on. I’ve reached a point where I don’t think we can offer each other the best part of ourselves any more. I think I hold you back from your true potential.

I think you resent not seeing your friends as often as you would like – cultivate those

friendships and opportunities.

I think you would feel better with money in your own pocket. I want to see you happier, less frustrated,

less aloof and less distracted.

When I met you, you were larger than life, full of happiness, generosity, love. You were loyal to me.

I think we’ve been put through the emotional wringer and there are only fraying threads left of the tapestry

we once sewed together.

I’m distressed. I’m trying to preserve the last of my sanity in order, to survive.

I’m concerned. I want to give you as much as I can for you to feel secure. You’ve worked hard and

I have no intention of ruining you.

I’m not like my ex because I love you – he never did.

I don’t want to see you cry, or curl up and die inside,

but I still choose

to run again this time.

© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

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Photo by JD Butler

1.

Your love for me has already gone

& you don’t even know it.

I lie awake, tensing & untensing, reminding myself to breathe.

Numb.

I don’t remember what it feels like to be loved, lying next to you, rubbing your shoulders, listening to your faux sleep or nightmarish fits & starts.

I only ask you dont take my friends with you.

What little I have left that teeters on that ledge where I start again & you leave off.

Do you know what colour my eyes are? Know their depths & greys?

Do you know what keeps you close & yet so far away?

I don’t understand.

You give me so little to hold on to, I feel invisable but you seem to think the world owes you a favour & you’re mine.

I cease to exist.

I refuse to live.

I’ll take the scraps like a good little bitch – watch & wait for the next tasty morsel to fall onto the floor.

If this is what you need, I have no choice but to accept.

Throw me a bone every once in a while, when you remember not to forget.

2.

I’m being selfish.

You love me with all your heart. You’re working your skinny white arse off for me, for us & I’ve got you all wrong.

You can see into the future that promises money, hotel rooms, boats, fine wine & women but didn’t you already piss that up against the wall?

I’m jaded.

Am I really what you want, tucked away in the back of suburbia, barefoot, looking like a dyke in my short-shorts & singlet?

Age wearing me down where I just want peace.

I dont want to dance or drink or muck around with you knowing there’s nothing in it for me.

Oh but there is?

Did it only just dawn on you that what’s mine is mine & you either choose to accept this mission or it will self destruct in 5, 4, 3…

What have you got to worry about anyway? You can make money, friends, music anywhere.

Well I’m 50, a woman, unemployed, questionably sane & dubiously employable & up to my eyeballs in debt.

My options are limited & guess what – you’re it!

You don’t believe in marriage & I concur. You believe in hard work in love but no cigar?

Why do it all at all if you get nothing out of it?

Why are you here complaining?

What the fuck do you want from me, if this is not a game?

3.

I’m not sure I know exactly what I’m in for.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved