The Joker

Image

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

She Sells Sanctuary

image

Photographer/stylist: Ra Kai

It’s quiet outside

her ears adjust, vicariously
searching out cracks/
a radar mind

finding edges where paths
begin & end
& life circles

inside her four walls
escape & sigh breath
carbon dated memory

each time reflected upon
once/ a crudely stirred
softly shaken sonic echo

a lawnmower cuts
more than
the grass/

in between two or more spaces
she chooses
to wipe away the years

sealed red letters/
sifted thoughts more like
ocean liners

her past full
of Pomegranate blossom
seed

she sells her sanctuary
in blocks/
cubed quarters

organised delivery
ensures a safe return
of a very sure thing?

but not now
there is nothing left to steal.
she sells her sanctuary

from her living room
& chooses life
letting go

/

his miniature shoulders
resemble an old man
Led Zeppelin

his sticks are bundled/
all he can see
is the highway

© Copyright 2010 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,
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

Working through Cobwebs

Image

image

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

Interstellar Medium

Orion Constellation

1.

Orion takes my breath away!

His belt & scabbard first
then shoulders
& I wrap myself around himI am at peace
looking out over the ocean
& a sky full of stars

You are not unlike Orion
guiding distant ships on the horizon
I am like Klingon
(Klingon usually mate for life)

but not this tide
we are an interstellar medium:
the space between
Euryale & Poseidon

2.

We are of the Sea

reef, rocks & shoals
perilous waters
where foghorns & Siren songs sound familiar
where fishy tales flush pink
& my Veuve overflows

It doesn’t take me long to remember
expectation is one, two, threefold
we navigate in the dark sometimes
moonlit mirrors reflect only one part of the whole
our universe is bigger than most.

3.

I draw a line in the sand

for both our sakes
there can be only one
I feel the waves crash on the shore
we are all arms & legs
slipping & sliding

in & out of the water.
I look to the stars & my faith
for one brief moment there is no existential crisis
Orion’s heavy breathing & sigh of relief

bring us both back to reality
under the surface
Death is not an unknown entity:
one last roll of the die
& our fate could be sealed.

4.

Thank you

Orion will always be near
Jupiter will always be the biggest planet
the full moon will always shine on me.

I could never go past King Island
without thinking of you
candlelight, frogs & our best mate
Captain’s call still falling on deaf ears

but nevermind
I’m still as blind as a bat
& you’re as old as the hills.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

REBLOGGED on Ink & Quill

Red Flags & All

Archangel Michael

He wasn’t my usual punter. There was something in the way he greeted me at the door that piqued my interest. A smile, a quick flash of his eyes, a bowed head and the way he made a surprised Mmmm sound as he came inside.

His name was Michael and I was intrigued. We exchange pleasantries, he a wad of cash, reading each other in between the transaction. I go into routine-mode, show him the shower and wait for him in the bedroom.

I almost always start with sensual oral, kisses and licks but he had other designs. I wasn’t sure I was agreeing to this then and I was tense but he was gentle and reassuring so I let him touch my skin.

He cradled me in his left arm while his right hand caressed my body and mound. He whispered gently and I feel my legs begin to relax and spread. He rubbed my vulva in rhythmic circles over and under before slipping his fingers inside me.

I had a moment of uncertainty and my legs began to shut. I am not sure that I’m ready for this, intrude my thoughts, but he said I would be ok and I allowed myself to relax under his control as he penetrated me further.

He used a technique I hadn’t experienced before. I rarely let my clients touch me intimately, a boundary that protected my psyche and separated love from lust. His two middle fingers curved up in behind my clitoris, his two outer fingers down toward my anus, his thumb acting as a brace hold.

He moved me up and down, his internal fingers sliding purposely back and forth. I felt an intense sensation that made me spread my legs wide, completely open. He sped up and then I freaked out again. I thought I was going to pee — this strange delightful sensation created such confusion that I shut down and closed my legs in a moment of fear.

This is not how my typical clients behaved. I was not the one in control and it was a little unnerving. He murmured reassurance and gave me permission to let go. He was so experienced and strangely loving with his care and skill, that I had no choice but to relax into his hand and bury myself into his armpit breathing in his masculine musk.

I felt raw, open and exposed, my vulva swollen, wet and warm. I let him move me with his fingers and allowed myself to moan, surrendering unabashed. My vagina responded like she’s never responded before. I had no choice but to bear down and let out a long, high crescendoing Arrrrrrrgh as I ejaculated for the first time, soaking his hand, his arm, my bed, spraying cum everywhere.

I burst into hysterical laughter. A mixture of embarrassment and shame, enlightenment and release but he wasn’t finished with me yet. He kept going. Slower, faster until he had milked me spontaneously multiple times and I was completely drained of all my juices.

He moved to missionary and looked me in the eyes, held my limp legs and sensually slid his thick penis inside me. He took his time and I watched him bring himself to a long, slow erotic orgasm.

I couldn’t stop giggling when we were both sated. I think during the throes of ecstasy, I even bit him on the arm. We lay there beside each other in silence, me cocooned in warmth and basking in what felt like divinity. He, beaming prowess. I think we both felt blessed.

We went out onto my balcony and talked for hours. The professional in me, negotiated another transaction, although I refused another advance near the end of our encounter. I was still processing and because it was such an unusual night, I felt a little uncomfortable with performance anxiety. The tables had well and truly turned, I knew I was smitten and that was a huge red flag in my book.

Two years later and together, for all intents and purposes and nothing about Michael and I is normal. It’s as-if he comes from another world and my world has been tipped upside down and ripped a new arsehole (not that I’m complaining) I chuckle, but Oh how we have both grown!

We still struggle with our presence at times, and our sex life is a hit and miss affair. The love building up slower than our trust in itself. One thing is for certain though, we are on a different plane and the spiritual depth between us is deep enough to continue to endure and evolve. As exhilarating as it is exhausting, it is well worth the risk, red flags and all.

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

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

Where’s Our Daddy?

Looby (Princess Tallulabelle)

‘Wheres our Daddy?’ said Mama J. Dad was on his way home from a weekend away.

Everyone was waiting for Dad to arrive, all very happy and feeling revived.

Looby did circles and Atlas was all cheer. Mama J, so excited, nearly slid off her chair!

Everyone was waiting for Dad to get there.

Atlas & Looby (Princess Tallulabelle)

‘Where’s our Daddy?‘ said Mama J again, peering out the window with Looby and ‘The Man’.

Looby was transfixed, she refused to move, Atlas beside her both watching the road.

Atlas was grinning from ear to ear, rocking backwards and forwards in Looby’s bed.

The family could sense their Dad wasn’t far, any minute now they’d see the blue car.

Everyone was waiting for Dad to arrive.

Atlas (Justin Timberlake – ‘Say Something‘)

‘Where’s our Daddy?’ Mama J said once more, it was too much for them all, to be sure!

Everyone was beaming, they all loved their Dad, soon there’d be much more fun to be had.

Dad would be home soon feeling all chipper, relaxed and refreshed, feeling much better.

Then Mama J spied him, in his car pulling up, Looby’s ears pricked and Atlas was chuffed!

The garage door made a sound, he was almost here, then the door opened up, he was coming upstairs!

Looby, Atlas & Dad (Matthew Phoenix)

‘Here’s our Daddy!’ said Mama J to the kids, waiting to show Dad how much they loved him.

Mama J held back, watched them all from her chair, giving thanks for the love that was in the air.

Dad looked relaxed as he took it all in, he had recharged his batteries and felt good again.

Dad was at home, he’d come safely back, we all felt the love, kisses and pats — he even gave Looby’s fat a*se a smack!

Dad turned around and smiled at Mama J, (grateful the chance to have had time away), gave her a red rose and said, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. 🌹

The family were vibing listening to YouTube, all of them relaxed getting into the groove.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

Yabba Dabba Dad!

Matthew Phoenix

Yabba Dabba Dad jumped up and down, dancing a jig and acting the clown.

He couldn’t remember the last time alone, without Atlas or Looby following him round.

Yabba Dabba Dad was so full of beans, his face was radiating sparkly sun beams.

It was finally Friday, a weekend away, all by himself, alone for two days!

Yabba Dabba Dad shot out the door so fast, he left a trail of smoke as he flew past!

His feet were on fire, his mind was all set, he was on a mission to reset and forget.

Yabba Dabba Dad needed a break, to recharge his health, take care of himself.

It wasn’t about Atlas or Looby as such, he was just tired from doing so much.

Yabba Dabba Dad struggled to get through, all of the things that single dad’s do.

Day in, day out they blurred into one, sometimes dad life wasn’t much fun.

Yabba Dabba Dad was doing his best but every Dad needs a few days to rest.

Atlas and Looby would both be OK, they were having a sleepover with Mama J.

Yabba Dabba Dad was heard driving away, yelling ‘Cocaine and hookers, weed and drag race!’ 😂

(yelling ‘WOOHOO, bring it on! HIP HIP and HOORAY!)

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved
First published on Raising Atlas Rising

Looby — Get Out of the Way!

Dad is making breakfast in the kitchen.

The toaster goes FffAP!

Two slices of toast leap into the air, flying crumbs are everywhere.

Looby sitting under foot, pricks her ears and has a look.

Dad nearly jumps out of his skin and Atlas turns to see the din.

Dad swivels to catch the flying toast but Looby was standing way too close.

A paw, a slipper, a yelp and a shriek, dad nearly crashes head first in the sink!

One of them knew just what to say, it was dad telling Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is hanging out the washing in the garden.

The screen door goes THhhUNK!

Atlas came out to show dad his toy, Looby had followed and was full of joy.

She waddled and sniffed, chose a fine spot, and what do dogs do? She sat down to squat.

She grunted and sneezed, hunched and then squeezed – this time it wasn’t only just wees!

She scratched and pawed, bumped into dad’s leg – knocked him off balance what more could be said?

Dad took a step back and stood in the poo, threw his hands in the air and said, ‘not this too!’

He hopped as he landed while she jumped away, ‘for goodness sake Looby, GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is bringing Atlas’ lunch by the pool.

A ball hits his head with a TWAaCK!

Dad had to juggle or else he would trip, a plate of full of sandwich’s had started to tip.

A handful of odd sorts of things left his fingers, poor Dad had to struggle just to stay nimble.

Atlas was splashing, giggling and such, a huge smile on his face watching the fuss.

Then out from under the table shot Looby, spying a sandwich – her lunch had come early!

Dad’s face had gone red, he was losing his sh*t, he’d had enough, he was over it!

She was up-setting the balance that day, ‘for goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is cleaning Atlas’ bedroom.

The vacuum cleaner goes PffMPT!

Dad peered down at a half eaten sock, ‘Oh no’ he said, the nozzle was blocked!

He bent down to fix it and pull it out, but Looby the dog would have none of it.

She jumped up and yapped and then bit the bar, Looby was taking it way too far!

Atlas had wandered away up the stairs, both of his fingers were shoved in his ears.

None of them wanted to deal with the mess, first it was breakfast now it was this!

Dad rolled his eyes and started to shake, ‘for goodness sake Looby, GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is preparing everyone’s dinner.

The pantry door slams shut with a SLAaP!

Atlas had been helping himself! He thought he would sneak a handful of stuff.

Fistfuls of crackers, biscuits and junk, he was not going to eat what Dad made with love.

Dad took those things off him and had a fit, he growled at poor Atlas and told him to sit.

Typical Looby had started to bark, protecting the family from imagined  harm.

She ran in then away, yapping all the while, a barrel of legs, ears and snout and a nub for a tail.

Dad barked right back and told her to stay! ‘For goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is resting in his lounge chair.

The volume on Atlas’ ipad goes UP!

Atlas was listening to clips at the table –  balloons pop, things rip and the sound of crunched gravel.

Dad’s tired eyelids were about to close, he’d sneak a quick nap while the boy was amused.

Needless to say the day was not over, what more could happen Dad started to wonder?

Looby was asleep in between Dads leg’s, but the sound going up, had hurt Looby’s ears.

All of a sudden she jumped up and barked, stood on Dad’s balls and did a loud fart!

Dad’s eyes flew open, he grimaced in pain, ‘for goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is putting Atlas to bed.

The curtain rod fell off, hit the floor with a CLAaaNK!

Atlas had had fun, he’d trashed his room, toys were all scattered and clothes were all strewn.

Looby was standing all dopey and still, it was her bedtime, and she knew the drill.

She decided to be as quiet as a mouse, she was all sleepy and very tired herself.

Dad had to sort things and put them up high, but he tripped over Looby and let out a cry!

He stubbed his toe on the end of the bed, fell over head first, what more could be said?

He grimaced in pain, grabbed his foot and he howled, once again he raged ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Finally it was the end of the night, dad sat down in his chair and closed his eyes.

Looby had scratched and scrunched up her bed, did a few circles then lay down her head.

Atlas was curled up and fast asleep, it had been a big day, he was out to it.

The night was so quiet and everywhere was still. Goodnight dear family, sweet dreams and sleep well.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

The Process of Evolving with a Special Needs Child

Atlas Justice

Life is good
But sometimes it’s incredibly hard.

Atlas wakes up at 5am, jumps into bed and snuggles me. He’s wet, but I’m too tired to move except to throw my arm over him and pray he’ll fall back to sleep. Peace, lasted all of ten minutes.

Sleep deprivation creates at atmosphere that’s blurry at best and tunnel visioned at worst. Quick to rise, de-escalation tactics take all my efforts to stay cool, calm and reasonably collected while I fumble through toast and a nappy change.

I make my coffee, roll a cigarette and head outside to watch the sunrise from the balcony. So far, so good. Atlas is giggling with his iPad, seated at the table and picking at his breakfast. Happy, lasted all of 10 minutes.

He doesn’t want toast, he wants something from the pantry instead except that’s not going to happen. Out come the fingernails – gouging and scratching and a temperamental defiance that escalates into a full blown tantrum.

Matty storms out of the bedroom, red-eyed and livid and puts his foot down. Peace, lasts all of another ten minutes before the pattern repeats.

I’ve had enough too. Gone are my attempts to keep the child’s mood on an even keel, gone are those feelings of inadequacy that I can’t contain Atlas long enough to let his father have a much needed sleep-in and so I take him to his bedroom, shut the stairwell gate and try to discipline the problem.

I fail miserably.

Snap! The proverbial shit hits the fan once again and this time, silence is a warning best served cold. Matty descends, a leg is slapped, a door is slammed and peace returns for at least an hour this time.

Meanwhile, I contemplate taking Atlas out of the house for a drive before he starts the cycle again. I panic. My clothes are in the bedroom, I’m not sure where the car keys are, will Matty approve, will Atlas lose it in the car anyway? I decide to wait a while longer. My jaw is sore from grinding my teeth.

Matty needs respite but I’m all there is and so we lurch from dawn to well into the early hours, exhausted and running on fumes.

Atlas is a cockblocker too.

The countdown to esctasy on hold for the indefinite future. Foreplay, fails to get either of us off the ground or high enough to move to first base, let alone dive in fingers first and squeeze one out. The conditions of our release barely blow off steam and the only thing getting hard, is life for the next two months, while we reassess the situation.

A temporary adjustment. Life is actually pretty good. Most days Atlas is on form and we make a great team but school holidays with a child with special needs, without any respite, requires strategy.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

Oh No!

Image

Atlas & Dad (Matthew Phoenix)

Oh no! thought Atlas,

Looking at the mess.

Oh no! says Dad,

Not this again.

Nappy fluff is everywhere

There is no end

All over the carpet

In Atlas’ hair!

Oh no! says Mama J,

What is going on?

There’s fluff on the patio,

There’s fluff on the floor,

There’s fluff on the bed,

And there’s fluff on the walls!

There was no end

To the fluff Atlas caused.

A confetti of fluff

Had kept Atlas amused

He’d forgotten about other stuff

That he could be doing,

Like playing with Looby

Or arranging his toys

Or watching his iPad

And listening to noise.

Instead he made carnage

A world full of fluff!

Oh no! thought Atlas,

I think I’ve f*cked up!

Oh no! says Dad,

Ready to scold

Oh no! says Mama J,

Looking forlorn.

In the meantime, Atlas

Had sneaked out the back!

He’d snuck up the stairs

While they sorted it out!

He picked up his iPad

Plonked down on his chair

Grabbed a handful of crackers

Threw them in the air!

A squeal of happiness

Burst out from his mouth.

Oh no! exclaimed Dad,

Where’s Atlas now?

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

Flashes of Alchemical Code

Amun Ra

You, with all of your abundance —
Soul
Heart
Mind
Flesh & bone.

Your esoteric arms; a
Metaphysical circumference
Surrounding all those you love
Raising them up,
Showing up like a star.

A lighthouse.

That blue beacon
Saving souls, including your own.
Flashes of alchemical code
Roll up & over like waves
Crash a symbol in crescendo.

Bravery,
Taken to depths
Only Gods can create,
Your God
Is The All of you
& he could never be lost.

You are like Amun Ra.
Creator of the universe
Our Sun, light
Ra’s right eye
Life (& creation)

I am of Hathor
Protector of children &
Your left eye; Moonlight
For your darkness,
Your Milky Way
Your Lady of the Stars
Your Mistress of Life.

Genius,
Emanating love
Balance &
Harmony —
Holding onto us.

We breathe each other in & distill
Our fate, fortune & favour
Past, present & future
Wisdom, magic
& higher learning,

Guided by our beloved Thoth (Hermes Trismegistos).

Hathor
Thoth (Hermes Trismegistos)

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

Hathor

Artemisia

Artemisia

Demeter feels deep shame.

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

She is too big.

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

Mourning.

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

She moves in and out of the ether.

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

Demeter negotiates another extrapolation.

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

She does not belong to Hades.

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

I am omnipresent.

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

Tonight Demeter ascends.

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

No Light, No Light by Florence and the Machine

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

Ether Box

Image

Ethereal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crime & Devotion

My heart aches.

I feel your absence &

withdrawal; a choke hold on my creative impulses.

Punishment for some unforgivable crime?

Another cycle of illusion.
Another full moon delusion.

I wait.

Patience, Aphrodite’s one remaining virtue

bites her tongue.

Still, her voice will not be silent.

Another cycle of illusion.
Another full moon delusion.

She holds you even now

but where are you taking her?

I hang by a silver thread, a hangman’s noose

on a whim & a prayer.

Another cycle of illusion.
Another full moon delusion.

Aphrodite is on her knees!

Still, I remain invisible.

All the excuses in the world are unworthy

of the Emperess’ devotion.

Another cycle of illusion.
Another full moon delusion.

They all remain at arms length.

Close enough to touch

yet too far away to miss; a bouquet of wildflower’s &

the greener grass of home.

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

Welcome To My World

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

I’ve learned to trust no one
But myself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet, but you will.

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

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

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

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

You are not me.
I am holistically unique and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I saw.

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

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

By being kinder, softer
Compassionate and loving.

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

You discarded me
Because I called bullshit.

Does that mean I was right?
Prove me wrong.

Take me to Church – Hozier

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

Limbo Suffragette

Image

Limbo

Isolation
Lonliness

Altruistic tendencies.

A real man looks after his woman.

Builds up hope
Says all the right things

Means what he says
Does what he means.

Love.

Means nothing if it’s bullshit.

Is he going to break me?
Is he breaking me?

Old habits?

Does he want me to leave?
Could I leave?

Would I keep coming back?

Hurting me
Being hurt

Loving you
Being loved.

What is magic?

Where do I belong?

Destiny.

Who is there for me?
Who is there for you?

How long do I wait for what exactly –
Love, security, money, both?

Hibernation.

Am I discarded?

Be like water.

Do I belong here yet?

A limbo suffragette.

A caregiver.

Am I just a caregiver?

He doesn’t want me for that.
What does he want me for?

Companionship.
Am I expected to be faithful?
Am I enough?

Convenience
A means to an end?
I’m not sure what he wants.

Friendship.
Am I on the market?
I’m not sure I’m available.

Marriage.
Will I accept the contract?
Do I really belong here?

I want a partner.

He needs a wife

Wants a legacy.

More children?

Hanging by a thread
Dangling on a ledge.

Friend, enemy, lover, acquaintance.

Loving.

Leaving?

Family, security
Money, happiness

Asking for nothing
Expecting something.

Dignity.

Respect.

Honour.

Am I worthy?
Is he worth it?

Will he build me up?
Bring me down?

Take me on?
Walk away?

Why does he want me?

What did he get?
What am I taking?

What did I get?
What is he taking?

Just roll with it.

Wait for nothing.

Be grateful for everything.

The Devils’ going to make me rich.

I don’t have to worry.

We’re all in it for something.

Yet you offer me everything & nothing.

I just want to love and be loved.

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

Heavy Heart

Eros & Psyche

Wide open, heart splayed fish knife style

Psyche, screaming white light laser beams; shoots

all remnants of Eros back into the ether

from that gaping hole he left behind, where he once belonged.

Back into the darkness.

Back into the arms of Hades.

Charon mimicking that elusive eternal light with his sway,

caressing Eros once again.

Psyche, abandoned

sinks like a torpedoed battleship straight to the bottom — much to Aphrodite’s delight.

Zeus, doing us all a favour by staying away this time,

crash lands lightening bolts a million miles from now.

One can only imagine the carnage.

Respect is earned.

It costs nothing to behave with honour.

Psyche deserves much more than angry lip service.

Love is not a fucking game!

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

Aphrodite
Zeus

Skin & Bitch Bone

I don’t want to go to Church;

Have to kneel for a scrap of bread,

Have to beg for forgiveness,

Have to swallow an empty vessel for a measly sip of port wine.

All of it, on my divine time —

For a bullet with my name on it.

I don’t want to be told what to do;

When I am deemed worthy enough for you.

Where I can live, when you decide

Who I can be with, if it suits them.

What I can wear, to show off my hour-glass figure & classic class.

How I earn my pittance pay & not be dependent on you for anything —

That doesn’t meet with family approval.

I don’t want to live this way;

Waiting for a skin & bitch bone

Salivating over moldy morsels

Wagging my mangy tail,

Waiting for that prayer of approval.

I am of Mary Magdalene.

The Patron Saint of Prostitutes

The red right hand of Jesus —

His only true partner in crime.

I am a Goddess in my own right

& I deserve to be equal, besides

I don’t take kindly to being manipulated by Romans or Benedictine

Monks, attempting to make meals on wheels look A La Carte.

Men who would starve a loved one, & feed a stranger, if it meant they were a step closer to the light.

Attonement casts an evil shadow —

Double standards rape & pillage your family values & family members drop like flies amongst the lies.

/

Heart’s bleed out through cathedrals & stained glass window’s, while you profess your love in gypsy spades.

You piss all over me like a stinking leper!

You, who would decide if I live or die!

Let those who cast the first stone wallow in self pity because I turn my back.

I walk away from you & yours, my bright future fading into despair like the grandiose mirage that it was.

All of it, on your terms.

You would discard me in a heartbeat.

Your entitlement precedes your entourage of everything & nothing,

Where you would set limits on love to the detriment of your own broken heart.

So be it!

These are all moot points in the grand master plan anyway.

The great scheme of things to come, comes at a much greater cost & one I can live without.

Hozier- Take Me To Church

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