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

Illusion

Indigo Girl

Left alone, thoughts ring and bells toll

Clanging inside my brain; memories running down

Corridors, splitting off at the junction. Persephone – dead,

That wilted little wretch with amazing airs and graces,

Grating on the pickle of pain. Demeter with her blind eye,

Hades and his Jekyll juice Pomegranate wine

Infiltrating an indigo child holding her breath

Mauve dug in, embedding her chariot rose

Heart to a stranger. Charon, larger than life

Roaming the dark halls, death casting shadows

Wherever he went, survival weaving invisible

Threads; a silver road to nowhere, her woven makeshift

Sanctuary cocoon. It was Persephone alone in the darkness,

Warm amongst catacombs and the river Styx

Charons lantern waving in the distance side to side

taking an age to dawn here in the crawlspace of time, refuge

Settled in like mothballs and cobwebs
swung between the skull and

Crossbones; A subterranean
Mosaic of Dante’s Inferno

Where prayer echoed off the walls
falling, on deaf ears and forgiveness

Became a hopeless lost cause.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

11 Typical Unintentional Behaviors of Emotionally Hurt People

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

Set Fire

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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

Lady Lazarus & the Voice of Ratified Reason

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“If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment”. JD Butler

He’s using me, I’m using him – both of us working on a palatable means to several ends & everyone’s happy on the dance floor, except me / Lady Lazarus, fully loaded

machinations mimicking my madness & everything I have survived is temporarily erased from my memory / the neglect, the rapes, the con artists & the turning of blind eyes. The violence

of insanity, cleansing the last of my contemptible dirty pieces. A ruse in the end, designed to ratify my plea bargain, still set to drown in a sea of toxic shame, churning

out green bile – something the dogs love to salivate over.

/

It all sounds so depressing, except for the sun that continues to rise; refracted light beams infiltrating my cracks,

forcefully illuminating all remaining fragments of hope that haven’t yet marvelled at a setting sun. I am thankful.

If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment, you would all marvel at my unadulterated halo & drop to your knees, prostrate

but I am a mere mortal woman. No God could ever carry me across the sand or walk on water or set me down on the island of my choice,

without some sort of comeuppance; paying the ferryman requires nerves of steel / I lack the will to either live or die,

in peace.

© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Imagination

Demeter & Persephone

Demeter’s world is falling apart
she enters the tomb
leaving behind every last bit
of skin and bone

her heart in jagged little pieces
tears condensed salted earth,
her spirit as dark as Hades, ashen
her womb, a barren undergrowth of loss, her voice, a howling banshee
sevenfold

Persephone revisited in dreams
her escape futile, Hades whispers
she runs, never holding on nor looking back

dismembered dissociation awaits
those who fail
while cadaverous limbs are discarded
fertile appendages flail
her pieces crumble to dust

Demeter withdraws her love
only to find a serpent tongue
suckling at her breast

Demeter descends, Persephone awaits
her chamber the great unclean
unashamedly devouring our lost souls

Demeter falls to her knees in despair
death is just a figment and life
here is just a memory

she breathes in the rancid air,
the smell of a distant pyre
she kisses the hand that feeds her

there are only fools here in paradise.

Copyright © 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

There is Nothing Special about Mary

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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 painted 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 outback.
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, send signals like sparks; endorphins
take up the slack, usher in sweet
sensation & nipples peek.

There’s nothing special about Mary
knowing a thing or two,
making money serving more than a handful 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 unbeholden. Love
knows no rules of engagement.

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

Impression

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

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

Endings

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Set It Free

I don’t like endings.

I’d rather switch off
Nod and agree,
Even when it’s bullshit.

I don’t like the drama.

I’m a set-it-free kinda gal—
If it comes back
It was meant to be.

We all have to figure it out for ourselves.

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

I Am

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Lifting the Second Veil

I am

The High Priestess
Lifting the Second Veil

I am grieving

That I am
Invisible

That I am
Denied
Used & abused
Wounded

That I am
Powerful

That I am
Spiritual
Magnetic
Eternal

That I am
Goddess

That I am
The Medicine Woman
The Artisan &
The Determinatress

I am healing
My Akashic DNA

I Am

Akashic DNA

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

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

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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

Demeters Descent

Demeter Descending

You’ve been breaking me.

Killing me softly like that song, trying not to harm me, trying not to lie — letting me fall to see if I come back stronger. I know what you’re doing; giving me facts to face my fears
so you don’t have to wear a mask.

Sinking me down further, bit by bite.

You watch me wrestle with Psyche, see the squalls before they arrive, the rogue waves looming on the horizon and try to navigate the shit storm that is my life or so I imagine her lot,

Sometimes.

Forecast’s based upon trust, an old school remedy tried and tested over centuries of trial and error, almost on the doorstep of my abandonment. I have to want to choose my life over my life, play with fire or die in vain — seek some sort of comfort hold that pulls me close (safe), that doesn’t strangle me in my sleep.

Demeters demise.

Comes as no surprise then. Her return from the underworld fraught with danger, shed the All, her only hope of salvation and ascension coming to light; Zeus rumbling his desires expects nothing less than a fathers love in return.

I think I am forsaken.

You think I am like Poppy, offer me a chance to be apart of a real family, show me another way to heal, to find warmth and trust that I am genuinely loved where I can thrive, in time. Something I have too much of and not enough to squander.

I want to give it all away.

My job, my friend, my life in exchange for something worth fighting for, yet I am bereft, devoid and damaged beyond repair and you cannot reach me. I need more time to get over you.

Another, will begin another end

to wear me down to char. Somehow my destiny taunts me, forces me to watch and become nothing but a burdon I still have to carry when I can no longer fight and I don’t have what it takes to push through, for you.

Trust no one.

Bravery has always been a strong fulcrum point, an internal compass that leaps toward faith, a little too close for comfort in the end. My judgement will come as swiftly as Hera came forward to claim what was rightfully hers, tearing out her own heart for the sake of her enemies!

You don’t want me.

My demons are telling me I have to die a bit more in order to live but it still hurts to say goodbye. Either way, I am lost right now and there’s nothing anyone can do. You’re all in for a hell ride while I deconstruct and I make no guarantees that I will survive intact this time.

Evolution.

My head is trying to cling to straws while my heart is breaking and I have no where left to go, except home. The secret to survival is balancing hope and despair. I am doing my best and I am so tired.

Guflydktskyl vg j jkhlhc. Khhc khckhc. Uclhfflh. Yxjrekh. Kyeekgxkyggl. It all makes no sense to me. Just empty words in hollow spaces

All This & Heaven Too – Florence and the Machine

© 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

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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

Sinking In

Let the water take us down

Sinking in

Under your skin

Amongst the blood & bone

Psyche,

Cocooned in the marrow & stem

Cells honeycomb;

A brittle, fragile hokey-pokey helix

Bittersweet & delicious.

To where the river runs red

Hades, scries a foothold & clings

To the matrices of you & I

Of our past lives & love.

Psyche, licking her lips

Offers herself to him

Desire sinks her teeth in

Biting off more than she can chew

& feeds on the canker & stench

Of death.

Let the water take us down

Hades, warming Psyche to ember

Psyche, tempering Hades to surrender

& all the essence of my being

Is holding space for you.

To wash us both clean

What the Water Gave Us

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