Silence is White Noise

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Photographer: Michael Färber

1.

still calm waters
wrap itself around

my skin raised up –
lifted the lows, sinking

stones left turned
bubbles barely breaking

the surface, ebb
rebounding shock

waves ripple bounce
back & forth, listening.

2.

reason resides in hidden depths,
brackish stagnant pools

light resists, blacking out
stretching farther than first

thought, hindsight;
water – cooled fires

like lava, surface warmth down
played where gravity catches

molten feelers, still
too cool to touch.

white noise, silence
hidden hissing in the depths.

3.

healing is impossible
under these conditions

where I fight
to subdue feelings

while she floats
detached from her

body watching with
no arms & legs

visualizing her flops
failing to protect

her self sub – merged.
the hard unyielding

cold reaching out,
waiting for you to come home.

4.

afraid, fearing words
attack another layer

scar – tissue requiring
exising, freed up

canker replacing foul
with pink flushes

rosey & open to
new life, breathing

where there was once decay.

5.

death, a living Hell
where Hades hath no fury

like a woman

hurt, drowning
in her own tears.

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

The Daily Post – Weightless

Malady Peg

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Artist: Unknown

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

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

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

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

except a chain gang
of miscreants and misfits
mulling over life just right
subliminal messages

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

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

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

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

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

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

torture held captive

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

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

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

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

and decide if I want to live.

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

Working through Cobwebs

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

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

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

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

taking the bull
by the horns, he finds
solid ground wrestling
Taurus, 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
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

Pretty Even

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Photographer/model: Xena Avramidis
Photo used with permission

I don’t know what to say…

I am left speech-less…

sad…

wondering about you…

feeling something…

other than numb…

moved…

remembering catharsis…

sobbing out lines…

my channel out-pouring out…

unstoppable…

26…

I wrote a poem…

like you…

it just came and went…

but I was not alone…

it was beautiful…

pretty even

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

REBLOGGED: by Art of Drem, 2015

Lilith & the Incubus

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Photographer: Ange Harper

Here we go again
for those of you sick
of this shit – Karma

Happiness, eludes me
over-analyzing everything
searching for that choice to make

Looking to purpose choose life
simplicity a complex solution
blind, numb, lost & forgotten

My brain hard-wired my eyes shut
Persistent Depressive Disorder
convincingly sees only what was

Nothing gets any better
I’ve never known anything different
happiness is Far Far Away, folklore

Farther apart I age, no wiser
life flashes before my eyes, wasted
it’s a miracle I have survived thus far

I may as well be dead
it’s like I’m dead
I feel dead

Burdons not just my own; contagion
leaching into every soul I touch
Incubus fornicate in my sleeplessness

Pervasive nightmares & thoughts
leave little light – my aura
hedonism postulating pleasure

Shit shows on at 4am

Doom & disaster, spiritituality
leper colonies shun; shamed
beyond toxicity

I am cursed
so is everyone in it
locked up for my own safety

Where is Lilith?

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

REBLOGGED: By Art of Drem, 2015

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

Abyss

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I don’t recognise myself anymore

that fool
that blind stupid fool
whose face lit up and smiled
like Cheshire – following you everywhere

once

/

she saw the sun shine
out of your arse like a fractured halo and dared to love you

it’s gone

and all she can think about
is how to sign off
how to extricate herself
from humiliation; still
that cacophony of cackling voices

the concept of love is as corrupt and meaningless as the world in which we live

/

its not for me
I want out
I don’t want to look
for anything to look
forward to or to be reborn
only to have love fail –
rubbed in my face like spent semen
again and again
spoiled

how can love co-exist anymore than Buddha, Allah, Jesus or Mary?

/

love is blind
and refusal often offends
I want oblivion, finality
one painful life is enough for me

I swallow my insecurities
like my black and white thinking
allowing acid to corrode me from within
turning me upside down
inside out

/

I think about death and dying
like that single stone
that skipped a few beats
before it sank
out of sight
never to be thought of again

there is absolutely nowhere left to go
and I am like a shell of what I once was a hollow husk of withered cells
dying my slow and agonizing death
angry for being so magnificently vulnerable in contemptible
self loathing

and to think that there are those among us who want to live!

I should feel blessed – accept
except everything feels so jaded
burned and extinguished

life just isn’t worth living
sometimes
but I do

I struggle to see the light
shining on me when I am in pain

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

These Days

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I am sad

I wake up alone these days
I wake up
alone

I make my breakfast
thinking
I am changing
a lifetime of bad habits

these days are nothing
like I imagined

I’ve seen better days
I think
maybe if the hollow feeling
in my chest decides
one way or another
to cut me
loose

my existential crisis;
one foot forward
two steps back

these days
turned out nothing
like I had planned

Where do I belong?
Am I where I’m meant to be?
Who do I trust?
Why would I want to anyway?

My bed is calling me
to my happy place
in more ways than one

she comforts me
while my pillows
are makeshift muscles
I spoon
& wrap around
& cling,
burying myself

I long to get lost
to disappear
to re-emerge somewhere else;
transform
into something
resembling reason

They say I run

More often than not
I turn my back
close my eyes
& hope for the best

They say ‘feel the fear
& do it anyway’

that’s never been a problem
until now

today
every move I make
takes my breath away

These days
I am like a Lily

© Copyright 2012, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dibb

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when I was born
I was an orphan.

illegitimate problem child
doted & despised

promises were made
& broken

carpets were pulled
knives were drawn

ashes & best wishes
dead & buried

I don’t belong to him or her
or them,

they
look
down
their
noses

& their favourite lie
is snivelling

Dibb

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Fey

An emotional midget lives inside my fettered mind. The sprite kind, green as the Irish, young like Danu’s children dancing, invisible to most save Fey. She is gullible, easy prey for those with nothing better to do – they say opposites attract: I am like rat bait.

She is not quite right in the head my sprite but don’t get me wrong, she might have a little hunch in her brain stem, walk around muttering under her breath, but she is conjuring up Narcissus in an attempt to fill up the holes in her white tunic.

How she came to be this way is a long story, suffice to say that public humiliation is akin to Oedipus Complex
with a tiny bit of Penis Envy on the side; there is nothing quite like having an orgasm at someone else’s expense.
If you are a man, well I guess you just grew a little taller, women, maybe just a little bit smarter.

My sprite has been known to feign a smile. Rather than cower in the corner, she has worn patches. I heard this one woman say she would never
have plastic surgery on her face, (in male company of course), then make an appointment to have her breasts enlarged, the bags under her eyes lifted.

I wear my heart on my sleeve most days melancholy. She plays while listening to The Pied Piper watching hoards of people leave single file.
Emotionally speaking, she is not known to accurately sift thoughts; binge eating her way into the Guinness Book of World Records, one defiant leap of blind faith at a time.

My wee lass likes to be alone, but craves the company of others so she doesn’t have to hide. Once upon a time there was no such thing as social isolation, the preferred title was Witch rather than loony toon. She thinks too much, trying in vain failing miserably; second sight may as well be as viable as the second coming.

In my mind, my confused emotional midget state of a mind, I am wondering where she has been and where I am going. Most days I re-live the past with distorted accuracy staring into the wide blue yonder sitting on my desktop. She looks out on to a Google landscape, straining. I can’t see the wood for the spam.

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dysthymia

D don’t mind the melancholic meanderings
of my psyche, festooned fervent ranting’s;
water-coloured lines distilled over time.
Y         you see what you want to see.  I
have no control of yours.  my only comfort is
the willingness to breathe life into otherwise
contrived lives.
S          see (ing) through opaque, leaded glass
cathedrals; coloured splendor giving
rise to the muse in me.  the sun in words
rises in the east with the future
and time.  I cannot see past the red
hue on the horizon.
T          the yew – an ancient tree.  synonymous
with dead wood; revered branches
of old. wisdom once gained, lost long ago
on mass hysteria.  I digress.
H         hunger pains
perverting the cruelness of lust rage and longing;  layering, serves
to cushion psychic blows.
Y         yearning only serves to belittle
normality; a figment of the imagination.
feeling isolated from the masses is probably
a blessing in disguise.
M         madness,  inviting
a semblance of restored faith to jaded
emotional jigsaw puzzles; sequestered
identities, like my idiosyncrasies. mundane
existence is tangible evidence that
conflict earns respect and
honour akin to martyrdom.  subjugation
I           intelligence? is nothing more than that of
the Descartes and Hippocrates of yester-world,  doomed.
archangel’s like Michael are
condemned by their own father;  there are no
mother’s in sight.
A         a deliberate oversight in my book.
It doesn’t matter at the end of the day,
mental illness is like God,  everywhere
but it’s only called dysthymia on a bad day

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Excerpt First Published by Like Minds Like Mine, 2010, ReTHiNK the Meaning of Madness, a Respond-Response Community Art Project, ‘Ethosphere Exhibition’, exhisbited at Te Karenga Gallery, Auckland

Happy Faces

So this is what it’s come to
distant memories of innocence
lost long ago
memories relived, mistakes
my undoing, all played
out on life’s stage

you’re out there miles away
untouchable, I tell myself
over and over where I’ve gone wrong
it’s too much for the bravest,
I’m not
I know what they’re thinking

I hear it in my head
like a broken record, jumping
over lines.
I look for ways out,
ahead of my future
there is no parallel universe

in my world
just constant reminders
of what I fail to become
and could have been
if it weren’t for me
I am swimming to stop the sinking

feeling, dragging me
down.  it would only take one gulp
one backward sigh of relief
to make it all go away
I never do anything by halves
I am no saint

no martyr for a greater cause
I leave behind everything
that ever was
they could never understand
what I know is my truth,
my world

I don’t belong here anymore
than the rest of us
but you don’t complain
if I could reach out and touch,
the sky, I would
melt away, floating my drops

I trace tracks with my finger
down the window pane
my happy face
smiling back at me

(in memory of Ian Curtis, Joy Division – D.O.D, 18th May 1980.  The birth of New Order.  The 2007  movie release of Ian’s life and times is called Control)

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

the righteous & the wicked

Righteous. Pictures, Images and Photos

behavioural voice-over
exposed negatives
eyes flash a jaded smile
ruminating/pessimism

recycling the truth
defying natural laws –
impulsive machinations
scream
in the face of boundaries & trust
limited
to ones own imagination

wonders never cease to amaze
me here
in the recesses of my mind
where I control the masses
giving voice to unspeakable
shame

I am like the freedom march
my own prison; a running scared
commentary

my shank is chipping away
at the mortar leaving
remnants to slip

protection & self worth are inextricably linked
my inner critic my own worst enemy
here
the righteous & the wicked
seek refuge

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

I Am Sylvia 

I wonder how it was.
Sylvia locked away
all those years
inside
untouchable –
incarcerated like Frida
painting her
escape

I am alone in her.
My own padded cell
akin to 3 square meals
a day
if I am lucky,
no daily visitors
for I am cursed
unlike Sylvia – blessed

I may as well be
a ward of state,
owned, privately
operated on a pen
and paper budget
my four walls like
Fear and (self) Loathing
in New Zealand

I pose the question.
Many times, on
deaf ears, meaning
and purpose, meaning
whatever will be will
be, but for now
I am Sylvia –
there is hope for me yet.

© 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

First published by Blackmail Press, Issue 28,  http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index28.html