Like a Bird

image

Today is reverently calm and clear
Cockatoos haven’t yet squawked
their presence over head
Kookaburras haven’t yet congregated
their favourite bough in full view
the multitude of parrots haven’t
yet fed on the ripe palm fruit
above my hammock
gracing me with their beautiful dance

a slight breeze cools my skin
intermittently absorbing blistering beads
the Jabotocaba tree tempts me
off the couch to graze; preferring
to savour my surroundings instead
all is quiet, peaceful
everyone occupied and happy
in their own world as I am in mine

something is afoot; another calm
eye of the storm

the girls and dad are cleaning the cars
the littlest princess armed, sprays
squeals of laughter resonating
out-back to me in my solitude
out-skirts admiring peace
my self looking out onto tropical trees

paradise could be lost in a cyclone; one
never knows which path

it can not continue. scars
crack and re-seal themselves thicker
all that’s left is keloid and nothing
covered up indefinitely
amidst pseudo happiness
I watch and wait to see who is left
anger raised awareness
I tiptoe in this climate, heated

my part tempered enough
to walk away

I have done my best in the face of worse
I stand strong on this earth
not even a blustering gale
could knock me off my perch – grounded
I have endured, faltering only once
the past three years, found strength where I least expected courage
my own ability to ask

no shame, just integrity
I am very proud to let go and be seen

Like a Bird on a Wire – Aaron Neville

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Sewer Rats & Wood Snakes

Shove it all down
shove it down
shove it
all

all – is not well 
in the OK corral.

transactions are flawed
analysis is weak
subterfuge cowers in corners
colluding behind cardboard walls 
in the safety zone

I get my back up
I want to be defiant
I want more than ever 
to say NO
just to piss you off!

Give me one good reason to feel
alienated, subjugated
discounted

reduced
to your
pa-
the-
tic

whimper

I want to scream
& jab
& smash
& rip the optic nerves
right out of your filtered
monochrome 1950’s
TV screen
head

stretch them into sinewy strings
that snap\
back/
like  rubber bands\
& slap/
you\
in the face/

Look at me
Look at me

Look at you –
weak knee’d
lily livered
coward of a man
hiding behind my emotions

wily wood snake

sizing up rats &
other small
rodents

watching

waiting

manipulating

/

that damn sewer
rat never
had a
chance.

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Poetry in Motion

Words meander; lazy ripples through my brain
ekk out stony nooks and crannies
my cerebellum

Grey matter-like pools
stagnant water bursting with leaves
screeds, tangled hanks and loose ends

Thoughts, nothing more
than philosophical bull rushes
that float; ideas
dragonfly or mosquito rendering

Where I hang off your every line
where waterfalls lead me astray

© 2010 Copyright.  Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved.

Family

Christmas with family at lunch.  loved
ones in spirit present. noticeable
some of us not our usual selves. all of us
a couple of weeks and months ago
father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin
brother, sister, husband, wife, lovers.

love is in the air with a sombre undertone
changing and evolving.  stronger
softer holding on
our spirit’s enquiring gently.  hearts
like cedar louvres
blissfully breathing
lots of hugs and kisses
lots of smiles.

bull mastiffs lap attention unknowingly
giving of themselves.  more
a small child asks for help to go wee’s
as children do.  nona
chuckling as she leads her by the hand.

teenagers frolicking in the pool.  glorious
unfettered minds and bodies celebrating
organic feijoa wine freshly squeezed it seemed.  ripe
the sun in all of us.

pockets of people mingling.  glasses
raised and table laden.  giving thanks
quietly un-quiet mouths, eyes ,ears, skin
and something else.  savouring
sustaining the living and life.  gone
but not forgotten.

© 2008 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Oil Birds

A Bird is mired in oil…
A Brown Pelican sits in heavy oil…
A Pair of Brown Pelican’s covered in oil…
A Sea Bird soaked in oil…
A Brown Pelican is seen on the beach…
A Bird covered in oil, flails…
A Brown Pelican is mired in heavy oil…
A Brown Pelican covered in oil…

all sit on the beach
at East Grand Terre Island
along the Louisiana Coast
on Thursday, June 3, 2010

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Inspired by the photo’s of Charlie Riedel and also by the rescue effort of Bird Rescue in the Louisiana area.

To sign a Greenpeace petition to stop Oil Drilling off the coast of New Zealand click HERE.

Communicate

Aerial acrobatics, a comet

starring straight ahead, eye’s ten

fold, an unblinking cinema

landscape.  Emu

barely concealed, like an exposed mount

of butterfly antennae, immune

to conversation, mute

now the deaf cease.  ammo

extinguished wholeheartedly, nice

smiles radiate like sonar, tame

received in kind, a mate

© 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Hearts & Minds (Insomnia Series)

autonomic irregularities skip
& flutter in awkward abeyance
of the heart.

conflicts of reason. para-
sympathetic meltdown’s.
expose flawed synaptic gaps.

conjoined minds, like wind chimes
this night. a metallic taste
signalling rain. a flood of memories

like elephants. unwilling to bend
divided now, patronisation
mindful of Godhead & self.

armed & dangerous
hormones the rag. emotional deprivation is ironic, lonely

a contradiction in terms;
cut off flowers in one room apartments,
sensory overload. hung drawn & quartered.

acceptance is no love lost. self
respect is also learned behaviour. I am myself, in all of her.

mobile phones out of range,
search for meaning & purpose.
meaning & purpose.

meaning & purpose.
hearts & minds they say,
fade away

© 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Stewart Island/Rakiura (for Squizzy)

A rare Hector’s dolphin
rides the bow of Lo Loma
returning to Halfmoon Bay –
everything is rare on Rakiura.
even the locals
born from rugged resignation
and angry moans
stand stoic, proud
wild as the South Sea
confronting island inlets and the ferry from Bluff
These men are calloused, weather-worn and feral
who ride the waves
and tend their waters like rose gardens
carefully thinning and pruning
long lines and skin furrows sinking further than the eye can see;
long meaningful looks, cast
as the tourists land with raucous bluster
and high pitched squeals and screams –
“Listen up!” says Squizzy, commanding his crew
his Captains beanie pulled, folded and rimmed
he is clean-shaven, his rosacea cheeks peeking,
rise to the booming command of his voice
but he is not brash
tumultuous sea’s lay calm this day
I take instruction not from a Mainlander
but from an icon
Mollymawks ski and bob
like pontoons moored just out of reach
Seagulls circle and Albatross grace
our presence, all of our mouths watering and
gawping, tasting the salty sips of paradise
I am in Heaven
I breath in the crisp seasoned fresh air
deep into my lungs, my nostrils flaring
the bite of the cold stands hairs on end
brings tears to my eyes. exhaling
through my mouth, I let it all out
I let the Auckland carbon monoxide drain from my body
only to be recycled again and again and again.
although these men have never experienced
the scourge of traffic on the motorways at 6, 7, 8, 9
I now know why because I have tasted
I could learn from these people.
the women are equally as strong, equally as fierce
equally as protective of their land
and their men
“Fresh meat!” us women from up North
I scanned the horizon as I landed and saw
more than I bargained for
Paua (Abalone) and Blue Cod in abundance
and plenty of trawlers on the horizon;
Inside the South Sea’s Hotel I saw a sign.
25c, 50c, $1.00, $2.00 fee’s for excuses
offered up to angry wives and girlfriends
I had to laugh at the underlying meaning of it all
local women have given up on their local men
they bide their time and wait
watching for a break in the weather
watching for the tide to turn
watching with bated breath to see who stays.
who goes is of no concern
Rain and wind, as unpredictable as the locals
intermingles with sun and warmth
four seasons in one day is an understatement!
a contradiction in terms as pristine
beaches are bereft of bathers or bikini
clad nymphs but take another look
everything is as it should be
Oyster Catchers will likely peck you on the head
I only brought my Rusty summer dress
because I was unprepared for the bite
I leave this island with my emotions rolling
and listing, crashing about in this battered brain
if I stayed I would be eaten alive by the sandfly’s
but I am also strangely drawn, drawn
to the peace and people as much
as to the trials and tribulations that make up this land.
it would take years, to return to the land and live
here, off my life – I would leave it all behind for simplicity
but somehow there is much more here than simplicity
here, I could be myself.

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Edited by Miriam Barr

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

Unprotected

1.
Love is truly blind.
The disparity between conditional
and unconditional love –
and the lack of understanding for either,
peels back the layers of my heaving chest

2.
Silence is punishment.
Feelings and wounds left unsaid, fester
their very existence is denied.
Children birthed from pleasure and pain
turn their back and forget where life began –
throwing their toys at the indignity of it all.

3.
The sound of silence is deafening.
Vengeful breakers crash on my shoreline –
forcibly taking back what was un-given.
I am being stripped down to bare bones
my flesh eroding
my bleeding heart displaced

I let it all wash over me
but I am not mechanical.
My soul out-pours frequently drained
every orifice is like a tidal wave of emotion
ripping through and of me
till I am nothing more than driftwood

4.
My world is full of strangers.
Loved ones who don’t know the meaning of love.
I feel unprotected.
My fingernails are raw and bloody
for clinging tooth and nail
holding on for dear life and limb

5.
My heart has the unfortunate tendency to feel.
I am reminded constantly that I fail
repeatedly
my life can be described as heartbreaking at best
and devoid at worst
there is no in-between

When protection is taken for granted
and I am gutted,
every fibre of my being recoils and retreats.
She tells me to be foetal
and she cradles my broken parts.
She is all that I have left

6.
I am a free bird.
Riding the salted earth and spray.
I am my own gift.
Nothing can touch me except the wind.
He reminds me that I am
alive

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Edited by Miriam Barr

Ours

Our hearts, snatch moments
filled with remorse, vehement
in truths. open
sesame seeds sown
willy nilly in back yard hovels –
dining on scraps
while junkyard dogs
howl.

Our time, spent
gorging on coronary
disbelief, tethered.
strings like chains,
embedded injustice;
cross over
invisible lines,
separated by fools.

Our past, mirrored
back and forth. etched
early Victorian details
beautifully inscribed.
a time of certainty
in knowing places. my
fractious splinters
render.

Our life, stapled
to tea-chests in storage
cubby holes. cramped
piled high walls
lived in once, now
embroidered in newspaper
cuttings – yesterday’s
old news.

Ours, together
demoralised. sucked dry.
used but(t)s,
in overflowing
ashtrays; crutches
stubbed into cajoled corners.
ashes to dust
till death do us part.

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Sheep and Mosquitos 

Sheep follow
one, after the other
two, blind to see
the fence was an imaginary
escape route to nowhere

in particular –

juxtaposed with mosquito
banter on migration to a
carbon dioxide induced
head rush.

A palpable end
to an otherwise
paltry existance
for those not otherwise
engaged in slumber.

Blind and blood thirsty,
rhetoric is
not lost – who pulls
the shrouded woollen
scarf across their eye’s?

Semi clothed in
parachutes, attired
belligerence and
artificial libido,
comfort wrapped

as if –

fences don’t exist.
Premature collisions
run roughshod
over ruminating
premarital cliffs

sheep follow
one, after the other,
the blind leading the blind
relentless in pursuit
of happiness

a pantomime of
mosquitos dance,
while I endure
a never ending
kaleidoscope of noise

© 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved