Scent

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Photographer Veronika Marx – V’s Anchor Studio

The scent of a woman

made from floral Oriental arrangements

imbued sandlewood, tall poppies and heady ambient aura’s

is enough to make me linger – longer than wiser men swoon

tripping over their good fortune, as I sway through the market overflowing with trinkets

glittery things; replaced driftwood, pinecones, seeds and pods

cinnamon sticks and stones

eau de parfum of musk, nascent wafts of earth and wild rain

stay hidden from your touch, designed to draw you in 

and leave you wanting

Scent

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

Check Mate

Photographer/Headpiece/Makeup by Andreas Boldt

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

/

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

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

Pan

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I could never look
at you the same way
I adored you, once
your true colours have me
in sensory overload
clutching my heaving chest
in shock, disbelief left winded

reeling from the blows
taking such pride

inflicting pain, deliberately
fueling retribution over lack
of supply, shows me I never knew
you – you who would do anything
for me, except love me
finding unjustified reasons
to hurt me

because I don’t abide
I could never trust

the man that revels in pain
his empowerment borne
plotting, scheming manipulations
splitting love in two
my aorta left to bleed
out, powerless –
it makes him feel

like a man
you’re not my man

I was your meal ticket
your way to escape
demons; Dachau passing down
suffering, such a way of life
completely misunderstood
cruel Nazi mentality, heartless
your Mockingbird,

your SS badge of dishonour
worse, using children

an apparatus for torture
where love nurtured trust,
spiritual guidance squandered
on self-serving childhood needs,
your own metered out
shortcomings
love is not yours to ridicule away

denying its abundant existance
I will never trust my heart,

expose her soft underbelly
or offer her up
in sacrafice; like a lamb,
your God is a manmade
fallacy designed to subjugate
misogyny, displaced whores
render Madonna complexes

in perpetual conflict
I am disappointed in you

you had it all, proffered up on a silver platter
wanted for nothing, except coveted jealousy
lusting after sinful greed
you let breed and wreck havoc
Mr Black is a predator, a perpetrator
you let run roughshod over me
I am not the only one, women

your past is predictable by nature
I hope with what’s left,

you learn your lesson well
I wanted a man – a man,
not a spoiled little boy
throwing tantrums to up
the Antichrist in pursuit
of misspent youth,
ungrateful to the core

matters let go out of hand
I am in Hell

sent there to rot in your abandon
but you didn’t bargain on meeting Demeter,
who will hunt you down
to save herself, mourning winter
the long days and sleepless nights,
haunting your nightmares

she, who see’s right through you
will dance on your grave

 

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Pan

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

The Joker

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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

Set Fire

Image

image

I’ve been living in a war zone

so it seems, three and a half years
of Hell with nothing left
to show for it,
except heartache
and pain
watching love leach
from my soul; phosphorescent,

sparks like spheres

float up, up and away
to fizzle out in to nothingness

Since when did I become
the enemy?

clumped into the annuls of misogyny
tarred / scarred
for being a woman empowered
because I threaten the old ways
where women were barefoot
and pregnant,
swathed in floral aprons
with floured hands kneading
wholesome Madonna complexes
designed to subdue

I love

depth and passion
moving my heart to where I am
mesmerized in awe; my fragile smile
let loose like an arrow
straight and true into you
and I, jubilant
where I am left wondering
where you have been
all my life – that I would do anything
for you

I love my self more

and I am not broken completely.
I can take those looks of contempt
along with those cutting words
and stand my ground against interrogation/subjugation
I lead myself in cycles, navigating
my way out of ear shot for a while
till I can stand it no more,
when I hide away inside
and stuff my fingers

All is not lost

despite my sense of guilt at not being
strong enough in your eyes,
un-like grandma whom you adored,
admiring resilience
I am merely a shade by comparison
if I subscribed to your anger and hurt
if I took her on and became
a better person, wife, mother for you
if only I chose to keep my mouth shut
like she learned in the war

I don’t believe

staying silent will keep us alive these days
my life requires I fight
for truth, freedom, rights and for love
so you may find your self, lifted from those ashes – Dachau,
and understand that women need
tenderness, a kindness that takes away
the hurt of injustices, finding safety
your arms filling me with hope
that I am not alone

It is with great sadness

that I must choose love
letting go the innocence of youth
and embrace my own mortality
if I am to be a survivor
I cannot condone atrocities
of any kind and turn a blind eye
without losing that part of myself
that wanted to die, finding respect
in being true to myself
Lest We Forget

I am mourning

a life of trials and tribulations
that had me in tears for the most part
my heart is broken, I no longer believe
in you, us – I am setting fire to the 3rd mar
closing my eyelids on my dreams
facing those feelings that I have been too afraid to feel
reaching in to pull them out
into the open and lay myself bare
so I can finally heal

goodbye my love

we will all be OK

Snow Patrol

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

Visible Woman

Image

image

 

I’m a whore.
A hooker for all
Intents & purposes

I fuck

Men, women or both
If they show me
Respect & pay my fee

How they treat
Me is how I screen;
They peep through key
Holes in my web,
Mobile phone or face
Book

Leave me clues
I peruse at my leisure.

On my unpaid time,
Weeding
Always pulling
Out roots & bare
Back, barking mad
Messages

Cutting into my family!

My family time
Intrigues you & yours –

Watching how we
Balance on that edge,
While I swing my leg
Over, hold on
Tight & tiptoe
Around the giant
Dildo in the room

But we do

Those Bill’s
Just don’t stop coming!

*

I work hard for the money
I work hard for family
I work hard
Pulling my weight where it counts
To make ends meet;
Reconciling differences
Underneath

I bleed red & my shit still
Stinks but that doesn’t make me
Invisible, unless you’re
Anti

Anti this, anti that
Why should it matter
What I do to support my
Self or my family?

I should ram my fist right up
Your arse, to my elbows
(I’d like to – bend you over) &
Piss all over your pride & prejudice!

Your mind is already made up.
Stuck up, to the eyeballs
In condescending lies pandering
To (un) popular beliefs;
Nothing like countering ‘prostitution
Narratives’ in the belly
Of the beast

I am a very tall poppy.
I am not so uneloquently on display
I am not a victim
I am not coerced
I am not a survivor
I am not damaged
I am not suffering any
More than anyone else

I don’t buy into
Negative, stereotypically ignorant
Profit driven victimisation
Either!

I choose to be the
Architect of my own life
Doing my bit,
Arousing your awareness
So that those who are
Tarred with the same brush
Can find support
Not rescue

It’s called autonomy.
Something I have more of than
Some, but you are not one

Tomorrow I’m going to wake up
Turn on my phone
Answer messages
Boil the jug & light up a dart,
Considering all my options
Before heading back in to sex work

It makes me stark raving
Mad, to think you could
Possibly be offended!

*

For what it’s worth,
I feel sorry for you

 

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved
Written in protest of the ‘World’s Oldest Oppression’ Conference in Melbourne, Victoria 2016

The Online Protest
Pieces of Meat
Sound of Silencing Sex Workers
Online Pocket Guide to Dealing with Antis

Murder & Mayhem

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I’m not preaching
But I am being true to

My self. There is
Murder and mayhem.

I asked for it. I asked
For learning,

Mourning views
At the ocean

Tasman Sea side, beside
my de-railed train.

Smart. Taking stock
Taking measures.

Working it all out
Through trial

And error’s; Finding pride
Empowering

*

Fuck mainstream
Stigmata up the arse!

I say. In the carnage,
In the afterglow

Of my Fukashima.
My sub-woofers’ set

To subvert you
From your dissonance

Apathy
Hatred

Denial there is a war. I choose
Resistance

And by God –
You will remember!

Fuck the world
For me

Lest We Forget

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

There is Nothing Special about Mary

Image

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Photographer: Judith Bender-Jura

1.

Mary, the one without
a Halo – a married whore,
found unconditional love
hiding in the soles of His feet.

After the fact – that
pseudo relationships
took precedence for a while,
she washed Him clean

for no other reason
than to show respect, reverence
for one that would give
His soul for her.

2.

My feet are bare, scarred
by broken beer bottles and red
blood paint – tips to toes,
manicured to perfection once

upon a time. his feet
are cold; numbness held in a vice –
like grip, as she works her way up
past calves & quads seeking

warmth in the apex, comfort
sucking a thumb – print. embedded
ecstasy applying pressure
where it hurts, to ease the pain.

3.

She thinks the sun shines out –
back, cradling his head, healing hands
mindful of circular breathing; muscles
& tendons ache for release.

Mary doesn’t mind manipulating
bones, fingering the spaces
in – between, redirecting blood flow
to all the right places, kneading

stretches & burns ping – back,
sending signals like sparks, endorphins
take up the slack, ushering in sweet
sensation & nipples peek. there’s

nothing special about Mary, knowing
a thing or two, making money serving
more than a hand – full of life’s little pleasures. making hay while the sun

shines requires little effort on her part,
preferring to let it slide, up past
the point of no return. those days,
over now before they really took hold.

4.

Mary looks at him spent, kinesthetic
energy on standby as he reconsiders
where he stands. the party’s over,
someone has to clean up, Mary

learning to love the hand
that feeds her, wishing sometimes
for independence and silence, in –
between phone calls. those days

are over, up for tender for the next
wave of youthful antagonists who seek
an existence un – beholden. love
knows no rules of engagement.

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

Loopy Slut Whore

imageArtist: Samantha Thompson
Image used with permission

You’re a ‘loopy slut whore’
he says, breaking down the door
standing over me
pinning me to the bed
rage spitting in my face
threatening

He wants the car
He wants the bike
He wants the business
He wants a wage
He wants to expose & hurt me
He wants the house too I bet

I paid all his debts
I paid all the deposits
I paid all his tax
I paid his lawyers
I paid for clothing, books, food
I paid the bills
I lose my home
I lose my marriage
I lose my family
I lose Goodwill
I set him up in business
I set myself up in every way
I wasn’t enough

Such a fool for love
trusting again & I lose
more than a small fortune this time
last straws coming
sooner than expected
love & generosity presumed unkind
blinded by the tree’s

Neither of us can stand to see
our littlest princess slipping away
traumatized,  lost
defiance just the tip of the iceberg
anger is palpable
& justified
God I love her so much!

BUT

I can no longer bear witness
I can no longer bear the brunt
projected anger & disgust
my own psyche laid bare unprotected
I am not yours, his or her scapegoat
you all need to find your own way
I’ve done my best; my best
can no longer survive
this battle

It is a battleground
anger exploding like a grenade
no one is safe
of course its my fault
I brought it on myself, jumping the gun
what’s one more act of defiance?
I’m used to it – the ones closest
the cruelest people on earth

I don’t play bluff
I don’t care anymore
it’s not my problem
not my circus
& definitely not my monkeys

Thank you for everything
it all makes sense to me now
you needed me
you all needed me
you don’t need your little slut whore anymore
we are all loopy slut whores anyway

You have everyone & everything
Good bye & good luck

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

I am now the owner of this beautiful piece of art. One of two. Jx

For my Sister

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I remember when you were born
in 1977 mum had a fall, sprawled
out on the lawn
I had to dial dad in the cowshed
on one of those antiquated wind up
Long Short Short – telephones
I was 9

You had a stripy bouncy, I still have
that photo of you I need to find & post
I changed your nappies; whoa
what an eye opener that was!
I dressed you, fed you your bottle
I loved playing mum, babysitting

You didn’t have a dummy, preferring
an old cloth nappy that you wore down
bit by stringy bit, till all that was left
was the bias edge – you still have
shoved right up your nose
we all wondered what that stench was
when the doctor pull it out
green & gooey, everybody cleared out
gagging

When you grew older, I would sing
Roy Orbison ‘Crying’, I used to
make you cry but you wanted me to
you were my cute little blonde blister
we all loved you, you could do no wrong
that’s how it should be of course

When you had Stanlee, you were still a baby at 18
but so proud of your achievement
then you had Tayla, another blonde terrorist
lucky you
one of each to drive you round the bend
for the next 15 years or so

You always had a thing for cars
panelbeating, time out
in your woman-cave, your room/womb
you are now driving yourself
round the bend
your lead foot finally putting the boot in

Dad loved cars too, least you
haven’t lost a wheel yet – his wheel
won the race that day at Pukekohe
midget number 33
they used to race blind back in the 70’s
him & Barry Butterworth & Ted Tracey

Years went by & you met Ross
it all fell into place – finally
you make a great pair
‘Team Vulcanator’, team Campbell
my little sister all growed up
showing them all up
your happiness becomes you

I am proud of you, knowing you
have played your cards to suit
piggie-in-the-middle
tempered frustration behind the scenes
you tried for me, us and them
to see reason broaching the topic
with that fun sense of humour
laughing absurdity in the face

Thank you for being my big little sister
despite all the family bullshit
too young to understand
you can thank me for showing them
how to love you
they were too wrapped up
in themselves to notice me, such is life
children don’t come with a handbook
unfortunately

Anyhoo…I love you
I will always be here for you
no matter what they might say
I have money now (I hear you laughing)
I stole mine apparently (I’m laughing)
I don’t deserve anything
least of all happiness
but then I’ve only got to look at mum
trying to convince her self she is
her denial, anxiety & depression
past being passed down

Keep smiling & having fun
everything gets better with time
nothing else matters
but you’ve already worked that out
maybe there is hope for me yet?
but I hate everyone I don’t trust
having had the rug pulled out
from under me too many times
losing innocence & love
lost parts of my self I will never find
but as long as you are happy
I’m happy

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dancing with the Faeries

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Photographer: Jason Majewski
Photo used with permission

I watch my littlest princess
dancing away with the faeries
expressing pain so magnificently

her voice, exploding anger
her mind, opposing self
her heart, barely beating

my mind-splitting headache pounds
containing my own maelstrom
that subterranean refuge

where I once found comfort
where there was none
where my soul learned to fly

holding on, innocence
letting go & spirituality guiding
me back home

I hold her now, meet her gaze
no words cling to each other
we plant flowers in the earth

tending our garden, nurturing our selves
her pain temporarily reconciled
my own thunderous affront subdued

I don’t let her see my pain,
I protect her, I love her like I love
my self, mirrored back in her eyes

I watch her from afar
she knows I’m there on the outskirts
her nice stepmother, soothsayer

I can watch & bear, witness
one step removed my fire
unseared, tempered in her presence

I am not a fool, knowing transference
like God, is everywhere & no
where at once, I remain steadfast

she heals me, my littlest princess
igniting my candelabra
rays of warmth piercing the dark

she will be ok with love, gentle
strokes; my cradle rocking a rhythm
peace descending around her to nest

I can watch although I didn’t then
but I can see clearly now, the rain
I trust my self to know the difference

dissociation & dissociative
here in the now my mindfulness
my present is my gift to her

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

For My Children

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1.
I miss you both
It saddens me, that you hold on
with such contempt
that I must wait for you
to grow, make peace with yourselves
in order to find forgiveness
in others, in me

2.
I was not a perfect mother
I don’t know anyone who is
except in our minds,
which compare; an apropos
of nothing really

One thing you can both be sure of
is that I do my very best
with the ancient tools I was given
with dedication & commitment
to myself, to raise you both better
better than I had ever known
or been shown of love
& I love you both deeply

3.
The women in our family carry a curse
I believe, still being passed down
Great Grandmother to Grandmother,
Grandmother to Granddaughter,
Mother to Daughter – witnessed
eyes knowing cruel contempt
for women

Somehow the trauma each of us
experienced, experiences
real, imagined or embellished harm
passed down through our DNA
our nature
through our environments
our nurture
trying to show us the wisdom
to know the difference

It is a blessing
your tenacity, persistence
& determination
fight to right those wrongs
letting go the past moving on
steadfast in search of that love
you desire

Our cells remember
the past lives of our ancestors
those crossed paths imprinted
on our mind, body & soul
power & passion
did not escape unscathed; scarred
permanently
our heart skipped many beats

We observe each other
observed by our men (& women),
surviving their own stories,
our selves attract to ourselves
psyche healing vicariously
most of the time, everyone
learning to find peace, love
happiness taking its time –
but don’t be fooled by pride
awareness is awry, warning

I do my best to break this cycle
not expose you to harm
triggered reactions lead us astray
our nautical compass
navigates storms, skewiff
I cling to my internal lifesaver
lest I drown at sea

My own mother is a farce
painfully denied & despised
tea leaves attempt to predict failure
our grandmothers are responsible
for nothing but vindication
like her mothers mother’s mother

I am your mother
you came from my body
you are of my blood
I love you,
my mother could never say that
once, in past tense
once, in goodbye

4.
I refused to drink
drunkenness hurt me more than ever
in the past, I was scared

I refused to drug
& I was spiked for my efforts, in vain
I learned his true psychedelic colours

I refused to parade men; a room
full of strangers, who could
watch & wait for those opportune moments…

I must have failed
I feel like a failure, ashamed of myself
ashamed of you both at times too
but only because I see how it could end

I warn you about danger
from yourself from others
predators in the world prey
dark & destroyed souls
seek nothing but instant gratification
self-righteous justification
anger is violence
no excuse is proffered up
& we are all culpable to some degree

5.
I am a strong woman
I feel very deeply the injustices
of others, of yours, of mine
I only have myself to chastise
& you, that part of me I protect
in my mind

I am harder on myself
my self is much harder to bear
I expect much more than vengeance
to ease our hurt awakening anger
we need love & kindness
I only want the best for you, for me

I am also very proud of you both
I see two beautiful, independent
headstrong women, myself
on a good day
I want you to be happy, exude warmth
I need you to love me, back
the way I loved you, back then
when we would all laugh & play
when we all had our innocence & joy
I want you both to come home

6.
I feel pain of the most heinous kind
happiness eludes me most days
searching, my self finds traces
of her, that little girl that became
lost in the ethereal space between
what was & what could have been
she separated parts of her self
doted & despised, both
in continual conflict

I have memories, denied versions of truth
I struggle to reconcile – I feel violated
I despise lies & deceit, power & control
I wrestle with such terrifying demons
who tempt me to trust & I am often
mistaken – I no longer believe it exists
on a bad day

7.
My fear became terror
when they both laughed
& came for me in my corner
I was held down while the soap stick
ripped through me
turning me inside & out
as I floated away
I was 4

My cat could have been shot
in front of me
he held up the gun, she held
the cat steady
“do you think the bullet will go
straight through?”
I was 5 or 6

My life could have been over
when I choked
but he said “she’s not my kid”
I pulled the sinewy gristle out
by myself spewing onto my plate
I was 6

He told me I was ugly
unwanted, unloved
I should never have been born
but I had a guardian
He told me “it’s meant to be this way,
it won’t be like this forever”
I was 6 or 7

My body knew pleasure before
it knew pain, before he touched me
& my spirit carried me
away to safety
I was 8

I watched him
his violence incarcerating those cows
chained, their backbones
smashed with a galvanized pipe
they had no where to go
I remember blood pouring from sores
like an avalanche
I was 8 or 9

My eyes saw the Sheep’s throat cut
with a blunt knife
he held our heads together
forcing us to watch, laughing
I was 10

I might have felt loved
if I wasn’t told it was the worst day
of my mother’s life when I was born
on my birthday
I was 13

His brother was a sneak
he came into my bedroom
he tried, I failed in his eyes
his brother’s too
though he was blind
I was 16

I trusted him
the Blue Mountains forever etched
into my brain
it was midnight
“if you don’t…I will leave you here
& they will find your body”
there was a cyclone in 1984
I was 16 then too

Death, like Charon is ever present
He resides beside & inside us
He will happily take us one way or another
if we let Him
I refuse to pay although I am tempted
He doesn’t give a shit at the end of the day
so don’t waste time entertaining him
or sway your hips to his tune

8.
My heart only ever loved one man
My Grandfather
I never knew my Father, not
until I was 17
& now I don’t want to know
because violence is not OK for you two
but I must have deserved it

I might be his daughter
but he only raised boys
he doesn’t know how much
daughters need their Fathers
you both need your Father
I needed my Father

I knew this, then & now
I never withheld them from you
I fought for them as much as for you
so that they understood
how to love, the girls who would become women
so you can recognise a gift
when you see it
& trust

9.
I watch my man with our littlest princess
I find I am comforted & confronted
that silver arrow that pierced my heart
let loose grieving
I sob for her, for you, for him & for me

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

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

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

11.
I love you both with all my heart

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

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

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

I Am Yours Forever

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Jack said to Sally, “I am yours forever”
I have no doubt he’s got her back
she leans into him, safe
in their existence

💜

The worst of my emotional turmoil
has taken a calculated step back
from that precipice – my Abyss
I now have my feet planted firmly
on this beautiful earth of ours

My man has had a breakthrough too
He is as strong as an Ox, spiritually
speaking, he came to me
shared & bared his most dangerous
depths, in that moment, I was lifted
& my heart rose to meld with his

Cancer became the Rabbit
& Rabbit overcame his Cancer
I sank into his soft silky skin
breathing him in, his musk – fragrant
His trust rekindling all hope
I saw him in that moment, solid
stoic, replenished & I am his witness

Faith & love; Trust & kindness
Honesty is something else to behold
together our voices sing synchronicity,
we no longer fear – death
Hades has been defeated, cheated
I slurp it up now, that Pomegranate
juice splashing my face, devoured

We look forward to the future
with another kind of sixth sense
Letting go, we accept our fate
with a new, gratifying lust for life
a new found freedom
a new way of being
having found what others fail
to recognize

I’m so proud of my man
I’m so proud of me
I’m so proud of our family
& that’s all that we need – love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

RE BLOGGED on Dream Big Dream Often

Cold Comfort

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I’m going slightly insane
Oh, to be deaf, dumb, blind & mute!
turning that blind eye, having nothing
more to do with it – all

No shoes on her feet
her hair a mess
the first thing she says is,
“Are you a mean stepmother or a nice stepmother?”
cuddling me, she tells me I’m nice before I can answer, awed
saddened & proud
all at once

I’m so afraid for our little girl
afraid to bear witness; joy, pain, confusion, innocence
I do my best, continuing to be consistent,
loving, nurturing & hiding
my own pain to shelter her

I need time out
not from our littlest princess, never
from that bright spark that lights up my world, my own fear worse for wear
knowing truth; being called a liar
cruelty appears nonchalant & we all know
ignorance breeds ignorance

I rise
above this time & detach
from that confined space lodging
deep in my brain & heart, threatening
to expose my GI Jane

She thrashes inside her prison cell,
the bars of my prison bend
but do not break, I give thanks
to God & Godesses & the Furies,
my Crone; for temperance
my aenima inanimate for the moment

,●

I hear her laugh,
that contagious giggle
putting a smile on my face
all I need is patience; I can wait
Karma has not yet spoken, giving
cold comfort will come at a cost – all
I can do is love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Common Threads

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‘Tapping in’ by Jonathan Solter

I’m nearly fifty, but I feel nigh
on ninety on a bad day.

This past week has been absolute
Hell on earth.

I’ve been triggered back
to being a child.

Losing her felt like losing
innocence; myself years ago. 

Traumatized, I thought
about ending it all.

The relationship.

But to my credit, my common sense intervened, giving me a serve. 

My man became a man in my eyes.
Not just another man.

Not just any old man.
My man.

Trauma has an ugly side;
it brings people to their knees

where they may as well be pissed on while their down there.

I am so worried for her…

/

How to reach me in that state, is almost futile. 

Almost.

I hear them knocking, butting their heads up against my wall, the double

thick English brick kind; multiple layers of insulating red. 

I pretend it’s nothing more, nothing less. 

“I don’t care”, I resign.

But then my beautiful man drew,
drawing me a shoebox.

Explaining how pain lives, dies
and re-lives inside my brain.

Overwhelmed with grief, I lift the lid
crawl inside and relive my dark past

over and over. Ashamed. 

He lifted my chin, to meet his gaze.
He held me. Loving me more

in that one single moment, I trusted.
“It’s no good” he said.

/

At the 11th hour, we failed. Let down, we had no voice. Mute

blind, deaf and dumb in one single sentence.

The system of things is definitely flawed. 

Corrupt?

That would be making an unjust statement. 

For those in the hot seats, forced
to call the shots, know many lives

are at stake. It must take its toll.
But I have no sympathy.

Our truth was not heard. 

Our fatal flaws not even our own; her
actions (or lack there of), denied.

A resounding ‘NO’ echoes through
my shriveled neurons finding dead

ends. My synapses have nothing
left to ignite. 

My family are in shock. 

My family was slit right down the guts; entrails threatening to turn us inside

out. We were split.

/

Here in our beloved home away from home.

He said, “you cant carry the torch
all on your own”. 

He said “I can’t watch your fire fade to black, your candle flicker in the wind”.

Sinking

deeper into that hole; my abyss dragging me into its darkest depths.

Broken. 

I could no longer hold my fractured pieces together. 

In my mind I dispersed like a million stars on a clear night. 

/

My self died a little bit more that day.

In my room with four walls,
no windows, no doors and no light

my world ceased to exist
and everyone in it.

It’s time to let go, heal.

He gave me hope.
understanding beyond anything

I have ever experienced
through years of therapy

1.  PROBLEM: Being torn.

I think of my beloved stepdaughter.
Everyday.

2.  INTAKE:  Its difficult

coming to terms and all that
that entails I cannot reconcile.

3.  PROCESS: Grief

Pain \ Anger / Trauma \ Up / Down
bracing \ myself for a hell ride.

Depression.

4.  STRATEGISE: Break –

down my past, hurt and forge ahead.
Gathering strength, wisdom and hope.

5.  EXECUTE: Eat.

Drink (water). Rest. Cry. Garden. Bathe.
Write to heal, even when my body

wants to heave. 

/

I look after my family.
Nigh on three years now in my own

special way. Not in a traditional way. 

I’m a hopeless cook.
I don’t appreciate housework.

I’ve been neglectful at being
the proverbial ‘good’ housewife.

My desire to grow flowers, fruit
and vegetables is my compromise.

Growing something edible to put in
the kitchen – for someone else to cook.

I hold us all together in many ways. Focusing on her safe and sound.

Consistent.

Loving, gentle kindness; watering
our gardens together.

/

Our home is beautiful.

Everyone finding that remembered
piece of themselves there; a sense of

belonging my own children lack. 

I want them to say, “I’m coming home”.  I want my beautiful, bitter, twisted

naive, angry children to come home too – to me and my family. 

It’s ever too late to love
and to be loved in return.

/

Finding trust again – she is as resilient as I am loved, unconditionally.

We watch the sun rise and marvel
at the light that shines on all of us.

I will learn to forgive but never forget.

I tend the earth, ripening my fruits
finding pride in nurturing my love.

I read. A cuppa, kiss and a cuddle regenerate my dreams. 

I wake with no nightmarish thoughts,
finding only more I can do to make

my garden grow. Knowing she is being
loved all the while.

/

Right now I need peace.

I love my family. Jason, Madison
La Donna, Whisky, (Carmen), Karmin

Leisa, Seth, Harken and Ronan.

Still too young (bar one) to see
the wood for the trees or realise that

not all flowers smell delightful – except the Rose.

/

The world doesn’t owe me a God damned thing.

My children will learn a much harder lesson than I.  

I forgive them, and I always will, over and over.

The thing about trauma is that it can only hurt us if we let it.  

I refuse.

/

(Myles will remember he said something similar.)

I hope you are smiling wherever you are my friend.

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

God is Love

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I feel shattered
fragmented
my self dispersed
willy nilly
this way & that; sparks

on a funeral pyre

*

Isolated in a new country I proudly call my home, desperate for unconditional love and understanding. I am estranged from family who need no explanation least of all from me. We are grieving the loss of our precious little girl. The softest most gentlest child who has ever graced my presence. That’s the worst thing to comprehend. How could it all go so wrong?

Self pity and blame/shame become a toxic breeding ground for self-doubt.  Feeling victimized beyond where my psyche can find peace, I am being eroded from within. Still, those wicked thoughts work their way into my cracks, ever-widening, poisoning me from the inside out. I have a parasitic demon spreading its hideous tentacles into every mistake I have ever made reminding me of my foolish flaws. My lifesong is no more heard than those women in history; burned at the stake.

I thank God I was not born in that cruel Medieval era, although I recognise similarities in unjust sentences and we all know no one has a leg to stand on in times of prejudice. I see common sense, at the last-minute at least. Those women were tenacious, brave beyond measure and while the odds are gathering sticks stacking my pyre, my heart is with her and them, my love knows no bounds.

I make the calls, I speak my truth. It is all I can do to retain my dignity. My integrity is not in question, it has never been. I know right from wrong. There is  something insidious here at work, attempting to thwart justice by all devious means imaginable. It cannot last forever. She threatens me and us but though the system of things is corrupt, I am not.

Every day people are being dis – membered, crucified in the coldest places on earth. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but she has brought us here to witness our incarceration and suffering, inflicting us with that cold, soulless stare. Her lust barely disguising her thirst for that elusive elixir of life.

I am human. I suffer like everyone else. My reserves are low and my inner flame is almost extinguished – doused by lies and deceit of the most heinous kind. I pray everyday for divine intervention. More than ever to Mary, to God, Goddesses, to the Crones, to whoever will listen. Those who weave their ancient threads on the great wheel of life, deciding our destinies.

By descending into hell, this time I know with certainty that wheel will rise again and I will find myself ascending, transcending all that was before. My faith wrapping my warm, safe, loving arms around her and us. I believe we are in the right place at the right time but the reasons for it are as yet unknown. I face this wrath. I take full responsibility for whatever I have failed to see and I will mourn.

My needs are the least important right now. Longer lives are at stake here. I am reminded of the Inquisition where women and poor innocent children were burned for nothing more than uttering truth in a world full of unscrupulous doings. My littlest princess is growing up way too fast. Her world separate from her self.

My focus is on one innocent child who is but a pawn in this farce. It is she who I admire, her resilience and the knowing that one day soon she will be reunited with love and have the best that love can offer her to heal. It won’t be too late, for love can work miracles for the most cruel of experiences. I have witnessed first hand how God will intervene having carried me in his stead before. Children are born resilient. They have inbuilt protection and I trust that she will be OK.

God is love and he does not desert his flock.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

She Sells Sanctuary

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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

Monogamy is a Death Trap

My love
is in a constant state of flux:

she is a free spirit
as naked as she is coy

& shy beyond reason
her senses betray her

ever-widening polygamous circle
of ‘friends with benefits’

today, I languish in the arms of those
who, in the privacy of their shared

experience/existence
profess to asexual tendencies

off & on

a pair of comfortable shoes
is the next best thing

to the proverbial
wet patch

she cloaks herself
in makeshift aroma & powdered illusions

power & control
wanting & needing

pushing & pulling
to feel simply unencumbered

monogamy is a death trap
says the muse

my love is everywhere
I want it to be

 

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

I Can’t Wait

I can’t wait

to get you
where I want
you to be:
on your back
with your hands
tied & your
legs spread
eagle,
blindfolded
so I can look
at you with
reckless
abandon
& you can’t
do a damn thing
about it

I will take
what is mine

& have my way
& fuck you
till I am
spent
& you are
left wondering
what day
of the week it is
& whether or not
the wet patch
is on your side
of the bed
or mine

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved