Visible Woman

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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

Purple Rain

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My father, Malcolm Roy Ball, Vietnam 1967-1970

War Torn

our world is being torn apart
I threaten conflicted outbursts
in remembrance of him
and them

*

My great grandfather’s fought in WWI
My grandfather’s in WWII
My father in Vietnam

He protests in his own way
no purple reign on his parade
or Prince
to overshadow
dvd’s re running over blue
and red clashes – violent flashes
of memory
in black and white snapshots
of the fallen
and homeward bound comrades
of Malaya and Singapora

They were shafted
in one way or another
left to ponder life
and death
still

images Napoleon could not reconcile
nor the English continue to suppress

I don’t think he will ever forget.

‘See that guy there?
He had his arm blown off
and that one hung himself
a couple of years ago’

His way of keeping it real
as much as for him
as for us, who are held captive
in his momentum

They were drenched in Orange, Red
and Yellow agents
descendants of a Purple rain
then left to fend for themselves
amidst a wrath and fury
one can only call ignorance
blinded by a politically correct
notion of compassion

They were only nineteen
and nothing compares to youthful
enthusiasm; to be not unlike
their forefathers

Teenagers today
get their psychedelic fix
whining and dining on a scourge
that has become a pandemic –
a demonic frenzy
of self indulgent arrogance!

Mary-Jane makes
a Nightingale of pain

Today is ANZAC Day
I am both proud and sad

I have a legacy to uphold
and if it weren’t for those men
and women who experienced trauma
I would not have known complex PTSD
or to let my mind take me
to a battlefield of my own design

In remembrance of them
and parts of my self
lost forever,
I like the eulogy of
walking in the purple rain

Lest We Forget

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

Prince, Street Art Eulogy

Simplicity

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Photographer: Unknown

Keep it simple
Stupid
It’s I thirst
Not I’m thirsty

*

I thirst
For simplicity
A life with freedoms
Human rights
Free healthcare
Free education
Freedom of speech
Harming no one
Just to simply be
Happy

I thirst
For life

Without complications
Or baggage
No corruption
No crime
No bikie gangs
Threatening to cut
Off hands for
Fifty thousand dollars
And a slice of pie

I thirst
For life

Searching for peace
Raising children
Content in knowing
I helped to create
A future
For generations
Creating stability
Creating trust
Creating an environment
Upon strong foundations
So they can feel safe
Secure

I thirst
For a life

Of my own making
Having learned
Freedom
Comes at a cost
My grandparents waged
Through wars and depression
Strengthened by knocks
Strengthened by hard work
Strengthened by community
Generosity
No where to be seen
These days

I thirst
For a life

Where I am not afraid
Of living
Loving
Wanting
Needing
At peace
With my aching bones
And weathered skin
Secure
In the knowledge
I have done my best

Then
And only then
I can take my final breath
Knowing
I have quenched
My thirst

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

Alphabet Poem

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Artist: Jodine Majewski & Tabitha Lee, ‘Cairns Esplanade’ 2014

A
B
C
Do
E
For
God
Has
I
Just
Know
Let
Me
Now
Open
Please
Quality
R
So
The
U
View
We
X
You
Z

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

Alphabet

Morph Feign

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Artist: Unknown

Morphing into something
Resembling reason

Feigning change; talk
Telling truth, lies heart

Punctured to the core
Bleeding out, spattering

Red, volcanic lava trails
Tearing through my skin.

The cracks, wrinkles
Widening like gulfs;

Rifts of etched nuances.
Cooled down cuts

I still want, telling
Morph Feign

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

Morphing

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 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

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

Billy off the Grid

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Jean François Millet
‘Shepherdess with her Flock’

I’d be content
I think, maybe
if I put one
of those solar
thingy’s on the roof,
and grow my own
medication
in between the
herbs and gourmet
spuds. I could
collect rain water,
filtered by cheese –
cloth, milk
a Capricorn goat
and call her Billy
Bold tethered
to a tree on a long
line. I would have
to buy a ham – mock
and mosquito net
but first I’d have
to settle it all up,
let it go
to the highest bid –
ders, then look
around off the beaten
track for somewhere
remote, outback
with at least a well –
spring for summer;
when it all dies
and I’m left
looking at the goat,
licking my mutton
chops wishing
for a pork, cracking
open a Veuve. I’d do it
and serve up a con –
coction of hysteria
only fit for the loony
bin – laden. I would
laugh at the irony
of having nothing
and no – one to
complain about, ex –
cept who I was
before I decided
to go off grid; fate
leading me astray
after yet another
furious outburst of
solipsism. cynicism
better left
with no one
to witness my de –
mise, except for
Billy Bold
in my bed
keeping me awake,
chewing the fat.

Billy Bold – Graham Brazier (Hello Sailor)

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

Snapshot

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Photographer: _foto_in_vivo
‘Metamorphosis’

Because you pushed
Me away
You said
Looking in, forgetting
Conveniently what
Snapped at me
Before
And I asked you
Not to talk to me
That way

I’m afraid
It will become
A daily occurrence
Because you don’t
Respect me
Enough to treat
Me with love
And kindness

I watched you treat
Your mother
With contempt
Before
But maybe
You’ve found someone
Else to take
The blame
For your anger
And pain

Where do we fit
In to the grand
Scheme of things?
Marriage
A family
A home
A lover
A friend
Is it all to be
For nothing less
Than another
End?

I know you are hurt
In chronic pain
Everyday
I watch you
Pacing, shifting
Moving, frustrated
And bored
You can’t
Or won’t settle
And you distance
Yourself
Defensive over
Nothing
I can do for you

How can you find love?
When fear
Is driving you
To lash out
At me
Only me
When I love you
And I can’t do anything
To fix this
Torture and
Torment

Let it go
Softness is strength
Tears are healing
Together we can
Learn to trust
And fall in love
Again

‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)

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

Happiness is a Blue Frog

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Photographer unknown: Blue Frog

Blue frog,
is it selfish
to pursue happiness?
Why is life so hard?
If not for this
I’d be happy
when life hurts.
Can you choose
happiness?

Our mind is a magnet,
desperation
and detachment,
we attract what we feel.
Why did this happen to me?
Blaming
and forgiveness
I’ll never forgive myself!
I’ve lost everything!
It’s good to make money!

Our beliefs
keep us trapped.
Does money really make us happy?
Rich people invest,
poor people consume
where wealth begins,
focusing on what we want,
commitment,
but we can’t change.

We look for good things,
attracting opportunity.
The world doesn’t
have to change
if we ask
for what we want.

Finding answers
is the importance
of being
happy.

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

A ‘Found poem’ from the Contents page in ‘Happiness in Hard Times’ by Andrew Matthews.

Sensitive Weed

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She takes her hand

in hers, stepping

over rocks, dodging

sensitive weed

to find that perfect

path – way, leading us

to wildflowers.

she picks, a hand –

full of petals,

their fragrant oils

soothing, essential

for healing cuts

and grazes. her

nasal senses over –

whelmed with purity,

nature; nurturing

an abundance

of calm. her soft

self centered,

journeys

into the wilderness,

out – back returning her

safely to her mothers’

roots. her legs,

gingerly circum –

navigate thorns

and misleading purple

fluffy flowers with

prickles. trust,

holding hands held

together,

finding safety

in the familiar

land – scapes,

sensitive to touch.

we are falling

in love.

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

My Favourite Whore

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Artist Unknown

I want
the brutal facts,

negotiating
a purchase or two. slip –
ping up. two stairs
and the pain is
off the chartered
Rhicter scale.
sliding – skating
on your arse. in
dire need
of emergency. horrors
to come. no
good news is
bad news. stuffed up
plans. rendezvous’
post – poned before
you can even
walk the walk.
talking crutches
and neck
braces. on
your back shock
absorbing
shit. painfully
anticipating anecdotal
conundrums. the bite
of teeth
and Lilies. more
than you
can chew. I can
buggaring up
stowed away.
from warmth
and inner
thighs. doctors
and nurses
precisely un –
lucky. nearly losing
the plot as it
thickens. muscles flex
into verbal canes. an ex –
pected debacle of
ruined tension.
de – faulting
into chaos. she didn’t
want or need. your
birthday or
Christmas. travel
in one
breath. denied
children understand
sorry. the world
is still there
for you. home
with your first mate
and friends.
another mate
for life. love is
giving us what
we need
to heal. pretty
but it could be
much worse
for you
and her. your nut
shell cracked.
take all the time
you need.

your favorite whore
x

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

Mutation Sea – Lost Sea Souls

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Collaboration poems by Juan M. Santiago León and Jodine Derena Butler

(FOURTH/FINAL) SPANISH AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION COLLABORATION

Mutation Sea

1. I think
of remembrances
that I don’t want to avoid.

Desperate waves.

2. I fight
against my brother’s gentile heart
winning softness,
competitive happiness.

3. Caronte’s travel

It comes, Death towards us 
as a black and white film
in which once there was Love.

4. Listen

You told me beautiful stories
that filled our hearts with Joy
and eyes with feeling.

Relieved you read
that Amity kept alive,
then we could say goodbye.

5. Come in
you once said to me.

After that
I received your grace and blessing.

Everything would be given to you
although you were wrong.

6. Walk away

Be grateful for all they have given
pray with no shame,
it’ll be your healing.

I shall see you on the horizon,
a shadow running after –

7. I disappear.

By Juan M. Santiago León & Jodine Derena Butler (English Editor)

” I agree with you [Jodine, that] spanish is more romantic or passionate language, like all the latin languages are [but]… English, like other germanic languages, has a special power… [It] is a language able to call upon the forces of nature”. Juan

“I absolutely love the poems, in all their forms! You have an exceptional talent Juan, for interpreting and translating poetry from English to Spanish and vice versa. Beautiful! I have enjoyed working with you so much, that I am inspired to experiment with other languages (German, French, Polish, Russian). I think we can both feel proud about our beautiful poetic creations. Thank you”. Jodine

(THIRD/FINAL) SPANISH TRANSLATION

Perdida Alma Marina

1. Pienso
en recuerdos que no quiero evitar
Desesperado reflujo.

2. Lucho
contra el gentil corazón
de mi hermano,
suavidad ganadora
competitiva felicidad.

3. Viaja
y se acerca nuestra muerte
en blanco y negro
película
en la que una vez
existió el amor.

4. Escucha
me contabas bonitas historias
que nos daban alegría;
con ojos llenos de emoción
aliviado leías
que la amistad viva se mantenía
así fue posible decirnos adiós.

5. Ven
me dijiste una vez
después
recibí tu gracia y bendición.

Yo te lo daría todo
aunque tuvieras otra opinión.

6. Marcha
agradece lo que te dieron
reza sin ningún pudor
es tu curación.

En el horizonte me verás
de una sombra correr detrás

7. Desaparezco

By Juan M. Santiago León

” [It is] such a hard job [in] translating poems, because the point is not only the rhyme, the rhythm, but the sense…but it’s just another poem. And my translation of another poem is another another poem, so far from the former version in english, with another sense in spanish. Curious…” Juan

“Awesome Juan…I literally tried to capture the essence of your attempt to write [a poem] in English [for the first time]. I love seeing the Spanish version and I like the numbering…It is truly beautiful to see the poetry transform. You are quite right. Translations create poem after poem… the Spanish language is so much more romantic in my view than English”. Jodine

(SECOND) ORIGINAL ENGLISH INTERPRETATION by Jodine Derena Butler

Lost Sea Souls

Thoughts

Memories from moments
Avoided to forget
But I remember
Despair

Fight

My brothers gentle heart
I let softness win
Competititive
Happiness

Journey

We approach our death
Black & white re-runs
Love existed
Once

Listen

You told me beautiful stories
Memories made joyous
Emotional eyes
Reading
Relief
Our friendship
Made my feelings alive
It’s much kinder to say goodbye

Come

You said to me one time
I received your grace

Blessed

I would give anything freely
Although you think
Opposites

Leave

Be grateful for what was given
No shame in prayer
Healing

You’ll see me on the horizon
Running after a shadow
Dissappearing

By Jodine Derena Butler

“I will send back my version of your poem…” Jodine

(FIRST) ORIGINAL SPANISH TO ENGLISH POEM by Juan M. Santiago León

Head out of the sea, floating soul

Think ´bout this :

a memory is coming to you at this moment
and you cannot avoid it
you want to forget but…
…but you can´t do it, can´t want to
because that memory is the only thing you keep
and out of it
it remains none at all.

Beat it :

The soft fight against your bro´
a competition that you´ll never win
but you always let him
because it´s glad to see the happiness
in his face.

Walk along :

An end is approaching to us
movies from other era
where it still existed love.

Listening beautiful stories made us better ones
reading emotion inside your eyes
makes me feel alive.

To share my relief with you, my friend
is a kind way to throw away.

Come with me :

As you said once,
I receive your grace
like blessed people do.

For me, anything is easy
although you think the opposite.

Exit :

You must be grateful for all the given
if you are ashamed for praying,
let your feet be watered by waves.

In the horizon, you´ll see a figure running out
follow that shadow until dissapear.

By Juan M. Santiago León

“… this first try of writing a poem in english directly, it is not a translation. Maybe it’s an exercise, an attempt”. Juan

Too Big for my Shoebox

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Photographer: Nicolas Sènègas

this head fuck
of name calling
of twisted tattle tales
designed to enlighten
denial is woe –
fully inadequate
thought – less mistakes

Repeat

Repeating

sorry, like an episode
for days our lives
sitcom re – runs running
us around everyday
almost all day
serially on a brim –
full of bullshit
on a 45

Repeated

bullshit
as much as to myself
as to arrogence, arrogant
my head is – a
spinning vortex gaining
cyclonic ferocity; something
a – kin to time travel
on fast forward

Repetition

Repeats

Repeating

the same old same old
he said she said
you said I said
till one said too many flew
over the fucking cuckoo
to nest – rest
between my ears – stuffing
my fingers

Repeatedly

measuring – spoons
gauging the airs
and graces; my presence
testing the water –
temperature finding
temperament doused
in acidic
misogyny

just fucking stop it
fucking stop it
stop it
stop

stop

STOP!

you’re too big
for my shoebox

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

Write to Heal – Interview by Drem

Writing To Heal Featuring:
Jodine Derena Butler

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Art of Drem

POSTED ON DECEMBER 21, 2015 BY DREM

Jodine is a fantastic poet and writer from New Zealand. We connected on WordPress early on in my endeavors. We find inspiration in each other’s work. We give each other strength. We both…

Write To Heal

Here’s a Q & A I did with Jodine recently that highlights her life’s journey and her Writing To Heal process.

Jodine, to start, where are you from? What’s your life like?                                           
                                                                                                       
     I was born in New Zealand and moved to Cairns, Queensland, Australia in 2011 where I currently reside. I have two dogs, two cats, two adult daughters, three grandsons (and counting), four stepchildren and one awesome husband!
I have been a counsellor, social worker, supervisor, group facilitator, sex worker and more recently a cosmetic tattoo artist at Cosmech Ink, our tattoo business, but I’m too blind, my anxiety goes through the roof and I start to shake. Not good with a tattoo machine in my hand! At the moment I am a stay at home wife and stepmother to two beautiful girls.
                                                                                                       
And of course, you’re a writer. When did you start writing?
                                                                                                       
     I was introduced to poetry at primary school, like everyone was as part of the curriculum, learning Haiku and Rhyme. I knew I loved writing then. I won a story competition in high school for English at age 13, at Te Awamutu College, in the King Country of New Zealand. I always got top marks for English. I did three undergraduate papers in creative writing, thinking I would apply for the Master of Creative Writing degree at Auckland University. I passed well but I had a meltdown. I wasn’t ready then.
                                                                                                       
Well, I can see you’re ready to keep writing now! When do you write and how? Is there a specific time of day you set aside to work?
                                                                                                       
     I write whenever I feel words and thoughts are ‘coming to me’. Usually if I am processing a problem or feeling. Age has changed how I write as I have more experience to draw from. In my 20’s, I tended to write more during the day and always in rhyme. The content was more about relationships, trying to understand them and myself in them. My 30’s was more during the night, all night often, and I would experiment with different styles and ways ie: randomly point to a list of words from the dictionary and then work with my unconscious to see what came about. In my 40’s, I did some creative writing classes and learned other tecniques, the names of different styles ie: stream of consciousness, appropriation, list poems etc and began to read more about other poets work ie: Sylvia Plath, Alan Curnow, Wystan Curnow, Sam Hunt, Murray Haddow and Miriam Barr. I wrote less, but better executed.

     I used to physically write on paper, then into journals, then on computer and now I write ‘live’ to my blogs via my Android S4 and edit often. I need to print my work out as I have no physical copy but I am always editing.
                                                                                                        
You have so many different venues to put your work out. You must be writing more often now.
                                                                                                       
     Whenever I feel the words coming. It depends. If I am going through a traumatic time, I write more. As I learn to see and appreciate happiness, I try to write about that rather than problems, but it’s much harder for me however I’m improving all the time.
                                                                                                     In a traumatic time, it’s hard to see the light. Why do you continue? What keeps you going and gives you the strength?
                                                                                                       
     I write to heal and it’s good for me and others… To make sense of my childhood, depression (I may have Persistent Depressive Disorder) and trauma (I also may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I sought the aid of therapy for years to address these issues which reared its ugly head in my earlier relationships. I needed to find a way of articulating my thoughts, feelings and actions in order to heal. I started Head Lines NZ, to encourage others to do the same by promoting mental health awareness in New Zealand.

     …Life, love, pain, death. I like to include mythology a lot. Maori, Greek, Irish, Welsh and others. I have written one poem for an American friend Chip Allan of The Pine Ridge Philosopher , where I researched the meaning of a phrase I wanted to include in Comanche in my poem ‘Mother Nature’s Siren Song’ for Poetry Out West. He emailed me a little about where he lived in West Virginia which inspired me.
                                                                                                       
What dreams do you have for your writing now?
                                                                                                       
     I am reconsidering doing a Masters in Creative Writing at James Cook University.  I want to publish a book of poetry, a memoir in poetry of sorts. I also want to publish an Anthology of my New Zealand national poetry E-zine Head Lines NZ. It is open to Kiwis all over the world and I have a wonderful eclectic range of contributors who I would love to see in print.

Her poetry is published on Poetry Out West.

Her Promoting Mental Health Project in New Zealand is at Headlines NZ.

Her fiction is found on Far North Fiction

Her tattoo business and husband’s tattoo art is seen at Cosmech Ink

• Photo creditor is Jason Majewski as seen on Cosmech Ink

Walking Away

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Photographer: Victor Hamke

I rearranged all
the furniture. in
the house
especially. outside
on the huge deck

cleaning as I went

I did it. to change
the energy

cleaning as I went

moving. paintings
photo-swapping
the office. room
around

cleaning as I went

found time.
to drink coffee
under the fan. sweat
pouring out from
the humidity. I am
motivated

cleaning as I go

doing. washing
making the bed.
I packed up some
of his shit. ready
for collection. today
or the next

cleaning as I go

tomorrow. I am
in the garden
weeding.

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

Polishing Pearls

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Photographer: C.J. Kale
Photo used with permission

healing time

this mindful interlude.

children soothing self-

fish seven second

memories

and I gulp.

hold my breath

and blood eyes bulge.

my mouth

a clam. shut

tight swallowing.

sinewy tentacles

constrict – squeeze

life. giving

up on the surface.

too far away to escape

drowning. my own

tears like Nemo’s

fin flounder. no

Gill to trust

courage to find

gems in the dark

depths. blind despite

a heart

the size of

an ocean. rogue

waves propel me against

the grain. grinding

in to sand. washed

sea dust; bleached

clean white coral. spheres

of soft step-ping silicas.

I spit out. waiting

for a hand

full of perfect polished

pearls to appear

out of no

where. wisdom

shell sheltering

a hermit.

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