Shedding my Skin (Shaking that Ass)

Image

I found myself once more

Remembering who, what & where I am – who my friends are

Reminding myself of love

Where I’ve been, where I’m going

Trusting whatever will be, letting go

Going with the flow

*

I’ve found my heart again

Radiating like a white lightening inferno

Spreading love like seeds to sow; in my happy place once more 

Smiling, laughing

Dancing my way into the light, with a new lease on life

*

Once more I defy cruelty by design

Rising up, shaking you off

Washing myself clean, shedding my skin (shaking that ass)

My right place is right here now

& I’ve found more than hope this time

My spark is brighter than before

& it’s time I finally closed that door

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


Volume

I’m So Over You 

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I cringe these days, remembering all the lies

They just rolled off your tongue without a second thought

You are one big lie

I still remember all the good times I thought we had, even though they were fake 

I guess it’s a sign of the times – fake heart, fake life, fake news

It was always going to be take, take, take with you

*

I’m so over you, that I laugh now when my friends find me a bumper sticker that sums you up in a nut shell

I’m so over you, that I find myself smiling thinking about someone else without having to watch my back

I’m so over you, that I find myself feeling sorry for you and your miserable, hard-done-by life and how you missed out

I’m so over you, that I hope you finally meet the one (in your dreams)

I’m so over you, I hope you find what you’re looking for and get everything you deserve 

because, let’s face it

You deserve everything you get 

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


Cringe

This Is How It’s Done

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Artist Unknown

It costs nothing to show me you care; 

holding my hand

makes me feel like I belong with you

stroking my face

makes me feel cherished

look into my eyes 

and I feel seen, really seen by you

hug me

and I feel loved

when you smile

I feel warmed by you

when you praise me

it makes me want to do even better

when you run your fingers through my hair

I want to bury my face in your chest

when you tell me you love me

I feel like I belong

when you say and do all of the above

you show me how much you really care.

Now that isn’t so hard

is it?

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

Create

The Great Love of My Life

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The great love of my life just walked away, for the last time

I fall in love with you every time I see you, preferring to forget your flaws

It was your smile, your cheeky grin ~ you’re looking up at me from under those lashes

I fear I would have you back in a heartbeat, if we were to meet again eye to eye

It’s the hardest thing, to choose what’s better for me, over my hearts desire

It would take years of reconciliation, together apart for the wound to heal to scar –

I think about it, us and you hoping, wishing, looking for bargains to bring us back

But it’s too late now

You left me four times, and I took you back; I could never trust a man like that

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

Taper

My Dublin Leprechaun 

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Photos by me, Jodine Derena Butler, 2017


I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple Bar

I found me seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

My leprechaun he raised his eyebrows, looked at me and sang a smile

He strummed his guitar, tapped his feet and I was left my heart on fire

For I had lost my Ireland, Dublin calling me back home

I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple bar

I found my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

A pint or three? he said to me, I laughed and clapped and danced a jig

He sang to me in Gaelic land and I held my Johnny’s strumming hand

And so it was, the cider flowed, and we were left beside us

I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple Bar

I found my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

We made our way to Clontarf castle, almost tripping over feet

Now it could be said, of what he did, that roseyed my cold cheeks in bed…

My Dublin Leprechaun beside me, crying in his arms he held me

He found me in old Dublin town, not far from Temple Bar

On my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

My Dublin leprechaun he found me, and to this day he will remind me

I came home that Temple Bar, he sang to me and stole my heart…

The Temple Bar Pub


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

Brassy
Version 2
I crossed the sea by winged plane

I landed in old Dublin town

I found my way to Temple Bar

Wth ruined roads a shambles
My Leprechaun was singing pretty
He sung to me of Dublin city

Fair lad and lass, love and loss

I felt my heart was heavy
I landed in old Dublin town

I found my way to Temple Bar

My ancestry lost long ago

Stories told me not remembered
My irish Leprechaun he told me

Some fair things are best forgotten

So I danced a jig to my long lost relies

And raised my glass of cider
 I found myself in dublin city no Guinness factory

I raised my glass in Temple Bar

My Irish Leprechaun reminds me

Down at Temple Bar

I found myself in dublin town

Down at Temple Bar

My Leprechaun was a playin

I danced a jig for my long lost relies

I raised my glass of cider

And that was me, you see

I found myself in dublin city

Temple bar a clappin
One two three four times

I danced a jig for my long lost relies 

Raised a jug to cider happy

Oh to be in Irish land

My irish Leprechaun held my hand

Oh my bonny lass

I Still Believe in Twilight 

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Twilight

still, a gut wrenched
mixture of intensity

grief and deep joy
a juxtaposition of us

I was like Bella
you, my Edward

and I wasn’t afraid

in my dreams
I soared in my heart

till my heart stopped
diving into sorrow

my Edward morphing into Aro

*

I still believe in Twilight

even in your blatant disregard

I had my fairytale

Lady Jane had her way
shredding my heart in two

over a thousand years it would have killed me

tucked away under your tongue

under my breath 

where everything moved
so bittersweet

*

I still believe in Twilight
although it is all I have left

of you 

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

Total

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

Revelation

Salt

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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

Imaginary

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

Tender

Check Mate

Photographer/Headpiece/Makeup by Andreas Boldt

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

/

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

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

Distant

Craving

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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

Blossom

Heart Trick

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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

Paper

All Is Not Lost

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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

Bottle

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

Puncture

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

Collaboration

Sensitive Weed

Image

image

She takes her hand

in hers, stepping

over rocks, dodging

sensitive weed

to find that perfect

path – way, leading us

to wildflowers.

she picks, a hand –

full of petals,

their fragrant oils

soothing, essential

for healing cuts

and grazes. her

nasal senses over –

whelmed with purity,

nature; nurturing

an abundance

of calm. her soft

self centered,

journeys

into the wilderness,

out – back returning her

safely to her mothers’

roots. her legs,

gingerly circum –

navigate thorns

and misleading purple

fluffy flowers with

prickles. trust,

holding hands held

together,

finding safety

in the familiar

land – scapes,

sensitive to touch.

we are falling

in love.

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

The Littlest Princess

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She brings joy in little effervescent bubbles of fizz.

Tickling our hearts. 

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

Heaven’s above!

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

Do you think she knows?

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

Pure love.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

RE BLOGGED by Bellever

Tears in Adam

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

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

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

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

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

/

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

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

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

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

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

Humbled

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

Descend

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.

We all watch the slow erosion of her innocence, see her wrestle in defiance

like I saw you, like I saw myself
she is my light & she heals me
her gentle softness radiating like a Halo
I heal her, my nurture having been
honed because of you, thank you

11.
I love you both with all my heart

It is no coincidence Karma
your boys will teach you everything
else you need to know
perhaps the curse is broken?
It was always meant for you
to become
the beautiful mother that you are
please understand, your boys
need me as much as I need them

Leisa, whether you like it or not
you are an extension of my self
I feel very proud of you & of myself
pain is like fire, it burns
I prefer to view my fire as a controlled burn
as part of nature’s regeneration
it makes way for new growth,
stronger roots & solid ground
I need you
as much as you need me

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved