All Those Times

All those times you wanted a home for the family and when I bought one, you didn’t like it and I felt disappointed

All those times you stalked me around the house and picked the locks, and I was afraid

All those times you cornered me, hurling foul put downs, till I stuffed my fingers in my ears to protect myself

All those times you told me I was loopy, a slut, a whore – a loopy slut whore and I was hurt

All those times you kicked open the door to pin me to the bed in a fit of rage, and I was struck dumb

All those times you pressured me to buy an investment property instead of renovating the house because you were plotting way back then and I felt betrayed

All those times you moved out, damaging property as you went. It hurt your youngest more than me, when you painted over her beautiful mural and I felt sad

All those times you misled me, hiding behind your Samsung, and your daughter for cover, conjuring plans to deceive and I was manipulated

All those times you spoke ill of me in front of others, your son and my friends – your friends and family and I felt ashamed

All those times you hid your cash, pleading poverty and gutted the 

business and I trusted you

All those times you forbade me to enter our shop, and denied you wanted it for yourself and your daughter and I was controlled

All those times you refused to finish my tattoo’s, claiming you were too busy but not too busy for your daughters’ and I was left with rubbish

All those times you said you would draw me a portrait (like yours) and have it tattooed, but you didn’t have enough money even though I gave it to you

All those times you wanted me to go back to work, promising me you could handle it, but you couldn’t and it was my fault

All those times you withdrew your sex, claiming you could go without and I felt unwanted

All those times you accused me of fucking the neighbour, tradies, my boss, anyone and got upset because I sat too close to my ex and I withdrew

All those times you threatened to expose my client, and pounded on the apartment door and I was embarrassed

All those times you judged my friends, for no apparent reason and said they were damaged and I felt damaged

All those times I warned you not to stop taking your medication suddenly, but you did and became abusive and you told your daughter but I was deceived

All those times you resented my money, but took it anyway promising to pay it all back but you had other plans

All those times you said you would do anything for me, then complain you were my slave and I felt trapped

All those times you maligned your ex, your ex wife, your family and those who had crossed you, detailing your revenge and I felt scared

All those times you lied, gas lighting me to my face and Police, to make me doubt myself and instill madness and I became anxious

All those times you said you adored me, meaning as long as I shut my mouth and did as you expected and I went quiet

All those times you said you could never hurt me like your ex’s, because you loved me, giving me a false sense of security and I became depressed

All those times you stole our customers and redirected them to your personal email, yet I was silly for imagining it and I felt set up

All those times you put your personal email on our business pages, but it must have been me and I felt confused

All those times you damaged my property and denied it and allowed your daughter to do it too and I felt ganged up on

All those times you instructed your daughter to remove texts, business files and photographs from my phone and laptop, stating you knew nothing about it, and I felt tricked

All those times you refused to allow me to give a gift voucher to my friends and family, but you said family is always free and I felt nothing

All those times you withdrew your youngest daughter from me, assigning the mother role to your teenage daughter, leaving me outcast

All those times you washed your car, thrice, but wouldn’t wash mine and I felt insignificant

All those times you expected me to cook, but said you loved cooking your special diet anyway but I felt guilty

All those times you failed to communicate in texts for fear of litigation, so we agreed to delete them frequently so they couldn’t be used, but you secretly kept them and I was blind

All those times you said you wanted nothing to do with bikies, their associates or the security crew but you were in cahoots with them the whole time and I feel threatened

All those times you told me it only cost $5000 to get rid of someone and I asked you to stop talking like that, but you didn’t and I felt intimidated

All those times and more, happened but you have your own reasons for behaving this way, after all

You were angry

Transcript

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


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

Halfway House

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I have a beautiful husband. Loving beyond anything I could ever ask for. His children are gems, the littlest one is an Angel I swear! I miss my man even when he yells at me and says the worst things imaginable in his pain. The man I once knew has eroded away before my eyes. He doesn’t remember how he loved, except his children and rightly so – they are himself and they were stolen. I understand that, I do. I only wish the love I feel for mine is returned in my lifetime. Mine are gone. It seems everyone I love disappears.  I take the blame. It must be my fault, some days I don’t want to be here. Some days I want to fade to black, let that white noise sing me a lullaby and take me home. I lived in many houses once, and my worst nightmare continued. Maybe I relive that moment when I was stolen, against my will. It took me years to find solace in that place till the time came for me to leave. I was homeless, loveless and inconsolable. I did my best with what I knew, made decisions I thought were the best for me and mine. I still feel their eyes upon me, watching me fail and imagine them raising a toast to my demise. Such is life. Whatever I try to do, whomever I try to love, it seems like none of it returns. Sometimes I feel like a desolate child,  still. I’m nearly 50 and I have nothing left least of all to give myself. I exist from day-to-day listening to a monologue of misgivings and self doubts that continue to remind me I’ve never truly belonged anywhere. When I’m gone, I’m still nothing more, nothing less. Of course there are those that profess to love me but that’s only so they can make penance for their own sins – you know, make themselves feel better. That sounded so jaded – I don’t really mean it. I made the most selfish half-hearted attempt at finality. I was chastised for buying my beautiful step-daughter therapeutic books to help her heal.  She’s only four.  I was reminded how I failed to buy books for my beautiful happy grandson.  He turned one recently. I wasn’t thinking straight, obviously. “Your new family can have you!”, she doesn’t want to be a part of that mess. By God I cried. I cried like a little baby. It doesn’t matter what I do its never going to be good enough for her. I may as well resign myself to a life of condemnation, contempt and misery. My man loved me once a long time ago. His daughter is here to keep me company, while we wait for our littlest princess to return. My home may as well be a halfway house. Where is the love? I’m too hurt to see anything beyond what’s yelling at me, leveling me, sucking everything left from inside of me. I sit. I wait. What will happen next? Your guess is as good as mine. My machine parts are too rusted; too many salted tears have cut through all the bullshit. It’s just me and always will be.

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

In My Face (Relationship Series)

‘Gimme the money!’

he said
in my face
my face staring straight
long lashes pointing like cutty grass
sharpening a knife

‘Gimme the keys!’

she said
between two unfinished corners
footsteps sidestepping a rusty nail
tripping over indignity
as it crawled between the wall space
catacombs

‘Gimme the fucking money!’
‘Gimme the fucking keys!’

a grab, a push and a shove
takes the piss, misses the bowl by a mile
handbags with long straps are useless.
Max was only vinyl like a 45
with a great big hole in the middle
only good for one thing

my arm hurts my shoulder plug
ripped from its wall socket
my power bill standing on end
like the hairs on the back of my neck
I guess he got the money
I can’t figure out where I put the keys

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved