I Choose 

I choose to remember, you

At your best

Full of smiles, laughter and honest love

Way back when, when I fell head over feet for you

On my balcony

Still remembering how we made love

Anywhere and everywhere

I think about those times, more often than not

Saddened by the depths of despair

That tore us apart

Fighting for our princess and all our hopes and dreams for her, for us

I miss you, your touch, your wanton ways that had me yearning for you, hourly

Do you remember?

Or choose to see me, like all the rest

Another woman whose done you wrong, although I never did

I loved you and we would have had it all, save the trauma and distress

Looking forward to a wonderful life

Even now, I choose to remember you as I knew you then

Plied up to the eyeballs on codeine and Restavits, just so you could sleep

Me, telling you there was a better way, and you cut that big pharma shit – lest Heath had a lend of your good humour

You were running thin and away

I thought you found what you were looking for and I nearly died

Saving myself from you

I long to see your face and look into your beautiful eyes, still

For a brief moment I found love

I hope to think that it wasn’t all for nothing

I wish only the best, despite it all

I forgive you

© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved


Salt

Image

Grief is pouring out of me
unexpectedly violent, suddenly indecent 

assault tempts me to die, stealing whatever else you left behind

my soul, violated 

shredded skin, giving away my heart for safety

killing her off slowly

and I can’t bear it any longer – this pain

consumes me, squeezing every last breath I take

to want nondescript now; everything I had left with you

totally and utterly forlorn, I am bereft of any life, when you said
you loved me – that was an evil lie

there is no faith left in my world when I think of you

I am foetal, cradled in my own embryonic arms

closing bloodshot eyes

for darkness to caress my fetid skin, sinking in

lost; longing for you in vain, my grief is pouring out of me

and it won’t stop – I can’t make you stop

broken, and excrutiating to remember

you abandoned me, destroying everything I thought I meant to you

and the salt, knowing you’re laughing – telling how you want torture 

before dismembering my body for a barrel

some days the grief is so bad I want to die, check 

my self in to the nearest vein before I slice my way in – till I can’t feel you anymore

and watch my self disappear


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

I Wish

‘Newborn Nightmare’ by Photographer Wojceich Zwolinski – Cambion Art

I wish you could see me but more crucial that you could see yourself

I loved you more than anyone but you gave me nothing to hold on to

or stop making nonsense some sort of sabotage

pandering to your paranoia – I preferred your sweet smile

remembering laughter when you really meant it

everything on our own terms not needing anyone or anything

your eyes meeting mine discarded clothes strewn about the place

you are all I see, nothings changed; my heart is still beating for you 

wishing we were naked in our secret place, playing

with each others present tense, feeling everything we’ve lost

so we can find love again. I wish I could be happy in the madness

doing all the things you wanted me to

this something is not what I want no matter how much I keep thinking

you are everything and more because I could never love another and look past

history is so different this time, I can’t let you go when that first kiss was love

I am breaking down in my darkness my world running after my memory of you

I wish you would pick me up and cradle me in your warm arms because I’m so tired 

let those thoughts go from my mouth; taste your beautiful lips

I want to take it all wrap myself around and breathe you in

I dont want to waste a minute wasting time waiting for you to rise

I wish you would walk away from those liars and tell me you love me

time wondering if it’s too late watching everyone take a deep breath

I wish I never met you but I want to see you one last night

you and all your misbehaving hoping it’s alright – but it won’t be

there is nothing worse than watching a man with his demons

and love die

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

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

Craving

Image

i’m craving you, today
all those beautiful things about you
that glittered like gold; your face,
literally a ray of fucking sunshine
portending our future
happiness, growing old together

i crave to see your smile, fall
about the place laughing

i look back through photographs,
those ones on the balcony
encapsulating you against a green backdrop
when we were ecstatic, tripping
over our good fortune pleasured to meet,
makes me weep now

i loved you so much it’s unbearable
witnessing our public demise

i chastise my foolishness,
choosing to believe in love – you
i would do anything to turn back time,
start over knowing what we know now
hold on to that part of us
that was true, before

reality ripped me a new one
and i belly flopped into despair

my eyes search for you everywhere,
in my rearview
to steal a glance, catch a glimpse
to see if you remember me, re-ignite
one final psychic spark
awakening those butterfly’s

i don’t want the dawn to sing to me
i long to dream rainbows and fairy floss

instead of axe handles / switch blades
cutting off my head,
dismembering my brain stem
from my heartbeat for you
some days i look for ways i can feel
my fingers frantic

without prying ears interfering
and i ride you into rhythm

doublets, triplets and fours
before i stare transfixed
into the silent night – did you feel anything?
i don’t like this, nastiness unbecoming
it’s not how i want to remember you
but it’s all you’ve ever known

it’s not too late to salvage respect
putting it all down to folly, our hurt

doesn’t need to scar, on par
with adolescent angst
i love all those who have gone before
each finding that special place
lodged in the spaces between
the good, the bad and the ugly

forgive me, for i will in time; make
it all worthwhile

i want you to be happy,
successful and content
please don’t fall back into line
choosing thugs for pittance
you’re worth more than pseudo security
it’s all bullshit, that old way

you are made for enlightenment
not eternal darkness

i still love you the way i remember you
i just don’t believe in the Devil

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

Heart Trick

Image

I miss you

how you were when we fell
over each other’s Cheshire
licking the crème de la crème
from our fingertips,
trusting hoards of butterfly
antennae, sensing under the sheets
or up against the wall
or door, searching for foothold’s
to keep us steady,
while the world burned.

I miss you

your delirious smile
smoldering stare held me
for ransom, taking what was mine in
reckless abandonment
left, existentially speaking
our hemispheres to render unnecessary
for nothing else mattered.
you were my light
my world burned for you – you
set me on fire.

I miss you

everyday my heart breaks,
shattering into shards
splintered like thorns
penetrating my psyche,
where our wedding Rose once bloomed
I sink further
than ever green roots
searching for a wellspring and I
long to love you, remembering
ourselves ecstatic.

I miss you

it hurts too much
to open my self up, invite
you in like Twilight wondering if
demons have you ensnared, tortured
reasons where I cease to exist
beyond anything pale.
I loved you so, adoring everything I love
I can’t help but feel lost without you
wanting to take another leap and plunge,
but it’s too late

*

my heart tricked me
to remind me love died.

Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

All Is Not Lost

Image


Photographer: Jodine Majewski

I have no ill feelings

surprisingly

God knows I have plenty of reason to feel

angry or resentful, hurt

but it’s not in my nature

I feel proud actually,

that I helped a  family to have a future

I really worked hard for her, for him

I am satisfied here in my garden

now, pottering

I’ve found peace here

finally, after losing it all

on a gamble

I should have known much better too

but love is truly blind,

even though my eyes were wide open

I can’t take money with me

so I’ll let it go

they need it more than I

I can hold my head up and feel proud

I don’t have to hurt anyone

to get what I want, tenderness

I can give to myself 

*

when you love someone,

you don’t do anything to hurt them

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Set Fire

Image

image

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

Snow Patrol

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

Snapshot

Image

image

Photographer: _foto_in_vivo
‘Metamorphosis’

Because you pushed
Me away
You said
Looking in, forgetting
Conveniently what
Snapped at me
Before
And I asked you
Not to talk to me
That way

I’m afraid
It will become
A daily occurrence
Because you don’t
Respect me
Enough to treat
Me with love
And kindness

I watched you treat
Your mother
With contempt
Before
But maybe
You’ve found someone
Else to take
The blame
For your anger
And pain

Where do we fit
In to the grand
Scheme of things?
Marriage
A family
A home
A lover
A friend
Is it all to be
For nothing less
Than another
End?

I know you are hurt
In chronic pain
Everyday
I watch you
Pacing, shifting
Moving, frustrated
And bored
You can’t
Or won’t settle
And you distance
Yourself
Defensive over
Nothing
I can do for you

How can you find love?
When fear
Is driving you
To lash out
At me
Only me
When I love you
And I can’t do anything
To fix this
Torture and
Torment

Let it go
Softness is strength
Tears are healing
Together we can
Learn to trust
And fall in love
Again

‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)

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

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

image

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

image

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

Dancing with the Faeries

image

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

For My Children

image

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

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

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

10.
My man knew love too
Grandparents are vital for our children
we now know another kind of love
because of them
I watch his metamorphosis into manhood
his lessons finally internalised
he knows how to love himself,
mirroring

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

image

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

image

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

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
resonates in your drums

Ronan, Harken, Madison, Seth, La Donna, Whisky, Carmen, Karmin and Leisa
– our family so far, more to come, perfect!

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