FFS Atlas!

Atlas Justice & Matthew Phoenix

Dad woke up on the wrong side of the bed, Atlas had come in and pissed on his head! A mouthful of urine dribbled down from his chin, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GET OUT OF IT!’

Dad wasn’t off to a very good start and Looby had let off a foul smelling fart! He finally dragged himself out of his bed, and fumbled his way to the toilet instead.

The first pee of the day was always the best, Dad closed his eyes and listened to it. Atlas and Looby had followed him in, then all of a sudden it was silence…

Dad opened his eyes confused a little bit, he was still peeing but couldn’t hear it. He looked down at the toilet and what did he see? Atlas holding a cup under his stream! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GIVE THAT TO ME!’

Atlas looked at Dad’s face with a mischievous grin, then quick as lightening started drinking it! Dad looked at Atlas who was way off the chart and thought ‘this kid of mine wasn’t quite right’.

Dad had a shower and the kids disappeared, ‘this didn’t bode well, they’d be into shit!’ Dad hurried to get dressed and he braced himself, he was expecting carnage so he held his breath.

Dad had been right, they were up to no good, he walked into the kitchen and stood there stock still! His mouth dropped open as he looked all around, ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW?!’

Atlas had opened the pantry door, Two Minute Noodles were all over the floor! He’d been in the fridge and freezer too, all the doors were left open and he’d emptied the food!

Looby wasn’t much better she’d found a toy, ripped it to shreds till it was destroyed. She had pulled out the stuffing with her fine front teeth, it was everywhere even on the TV!

Dad’s face was all red, he was about to explode, ‘if this shit continued, the boy would be sold!’ He’d place a sign around his neck saying ‘Free to a good home! For FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS NO GOOD!’

Dad tidied and cleaned and put stuff away, there was SO much mess it would take half a day! Then he remembered the kids were downstairs but all he could think was he couldn’t hear noise.

He walked down the stairs hoping for the best but any minute now he’d run into the mess and sure enough as he rounded the corner, he could see the tap on and a flood of water!

Atlas had shoved facecloths into the plug, the water had no where to go except out. Up over the edge of the tub it came pouring, all over the floor and down the hallway. ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas! THIS IS ANNOYING!’

Dad had had enough, he felt like a wreck, he’d hardly had time to wake up correct. Almost every morning he had to deal with this, he didn’t know how he was still coping with it. He felt defeated and wanted to cry, he needed to have a long time away.

Good thing it was Friday and thank God for Mama J, she was having Atlas on the weekend for two days. He refocused his energy and got Atlas to school, he’d deal with the mess later that’s all he could do.

Atlas and Looby were no where to be seen, ‘Oh no!’ thought Dad and raced back upstairs – just in time to see Atlas piss on his bed! ‘for FU*K’S sake Atlas, GO PISS ON YOUR OWN, and while you’re at it, GO GET A JOB!’

When he got home and looked all around, he felt very sad and very overwhelmed. He let out a sigh and one single tear, people really didn’t have any idea.

Dad life wasn’t much fun in the sun, for a single parent family with an autistic son. There was no support for Dad for respite, he tried everything but no one was right.

Atlas was high risk so care was specialised, there was no one to handle him who was qualified. Not only that but he needed two carers and the fund didn’t cover all these expenses.

Dad pulled himself together and cleaned the whole house, did all the washing and felt proud of himself. He packed up a bag for his weekend away and gave thanks for his beloved friend, Mama J.

He had an hour to himself before collecting the boy so he had a wee nap with Looby the dog. He drifted off all snuggled on his arm chair and started to look forward to not being there.

Mama J really, really did care.

Atlas Justice & Matthew Phoenix

© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022

A Month of Bloody Sundays for a Soireè

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That bloody clock!

ticking away, oblivious

to the tension stretching

my larynx to breaking point,

reminding my throat

how fucking dry it is

without Vocalzone – my finger,

pointed up when she said

she’d bloody do it.

Rhiannon knew it was

a bit too much to expect

after her long hibernation,

but loved her never-the-less;

hopes, memories and failed dreams.

Sing.

Warm my little husky chops and

Put on a show, but no

it is not this day.

Falsetto minor slapped back

and bit me, packed up

and packed a fucking sad.

Portsmith Club won’t be looking for

quirky.

I’d need to practice

for a month of bloody Sunday’s

before Stevie Nicks invites me back

to her condo for a soireè.

I did her too,

I’ve done her a thousand times

belting out vibrato

in A minor.

Here I am ‘pick me, pick me’

I could sing,

I feel so lonely without her.

My happy place no more.

It’s like dying

a savage kind of

musical death and I’m so scared.

Who can be bothered with a

washed-out-has-been-old-girl

from New Zealand.

I’ll just stay at home

feel sorry for myself a bit more

and cry myself to sleep.

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

Do You See What I See?

Graffiti at Rex Burger Bar, Cairns, Australia

A city scape.

Lovers embrace.

The setting sun.

Water.

Reflections of a distant ship on the horizon.

Windows

and doors;

rooves, roads and

glistening alley ways,

streetlights, pavements, bricks and gutters

all seeming to drain.

An abyss.

Underground taverns, sewers and stormwater rivers.

Steps.

Tunnels and trams – passengers obscured behind frosty glass.

Rain and wind, dripping

drops and lines.

Hurried footsteps.

Coats,

and umbrellas.

*

Memories of Melbourne in winter.

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

Awkward

Lady Jane’s Ashcat

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“…his mantra postulating pleasure & someone slips up, spilling yet another cocktail” JD Butler

1.

Lady Jane breaks out into a smile, allowing her eyes to wander over Ashcat – watching play unfettered magnificently, staring at his beautiful body wanting, waiting for kisses & licks to parlay, his hands moving mountains.

2.

Ashcat, completely at home & grounded, giving; a generous lover of life & people (like she used to be before trauma showed her ugly), he takes the cake with no false pride – her ego aside.

He leaves her pinched – the tweaked kind (still not quite sure she made it out of purgatory), but all she can think about is decòr, finding that perfect vintage pattern, making bunting & a vendor box full of surprises.

3.

Lady Jane heal’s, while showing up under every stone who fake really are; womanizing, homophobic, racist, misogynist, hillbilly rednecks with mother complexes, she steer’s well clear.

Trust mistaking bogan’s for diamonds – fake faux for everything they’re worth (consciously unaware) & yet here he is authentic, laughter lines up between them & light sparks beam.

4.

Ashcat, full of life’s sugar & spice; saffron, baked Spanish cheesecake, sorbet & wine, swings 1920’s while Jane’s fat lady croon’s to wild cherries & Winehouse electro beats, ushering in new sensations where she doesn’t want to wipe that smirk from her face. 

He hands her the mic & confidence soars, roaring through the midnight tunes ecstatic. He breaks out into an albatross the moment she hits her groove, arms pushing & pulling – MC funky time grinds her way into heaven, deliriously happy.

5.

It’s been an age in-between gigs, bands & dance halls, where her voice belted out highs & low’s to crowds of private dancer’s & partners swigging on beers, peering through plumes of green smoke. Auckland, on any given weekend seven years ago.

A complete cellular cycle gone by, where she sold it all for a plane ticket & a ride on a rollercoaster at the Cairns Show – the only thrill worth repeating. Now, she rolls back the years side-stepping potholes & speed bumps, without checking out her rear view for crazy motherfuckers, riding up her arse.

6. 

A trip to Port with the top down blow’s the cobwebs, converting sea beans into tapas & something that blow’s her mind instead of arachnophobia (crab slider’s as close as it gets to eight legs). One brief unpleasant memory is replaced with a multitude of self soothing layers.

7.  

Circus hijink’s at the yacht club – neon hoola hoops, Lady Jane wearing a purple corset handing out lollies & buxom beauties swanning about fanning burlesque, a sea of legs two-stepping tuxedos, federer’s & fancy candy canes. All it took was a little effort, a time machine & something worth fighting for on their part.

Both of them look karma in the face, willing everyone around them to join in the feast; happy, pulling them out of their own little world’s into old school vintage frivolity. It doesn’t take long for contagion to spread outward in waves of pure, pulsing momentum & before you know it, Lady Jane is whisked off her feet, Ashcat taking her flapper hand in his leading her astray backstage.

8.

An after party, extends to more bubbles & a jacuzzi full to the brim – delightful mayhem unfolds as Lady Jane unfasten’s her corset, Ashcat losing his cravatt & all of their twisted innuendos culminate in uncomplicated hedonism; flesh, tripping the night fantastic!

Lady Jane doesn’t complain. She has it all & Ashcat is himself in all of his illuminated glory; batting those thick lashes, his deep brown eyes a beauty to behold. He smiles before ordering another round, his mantra postulating pleasure & someone slips up, spilling yet another cocktail.

9. 

A late afternoon checkout sky, invites their bodies to embrace, Lady Jane rolls over & Ashcat fits the mould perfectly, heavy breathing stirring slumber from an evening full of stars. 

10.

The parties over, it’s time to pack up.

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

Nest

Alphabet Poem

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Artist: Jodine Butler & 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

Tears in Adam

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It seems all is lost
tears stream unstoppable
sticky salted lines – pool

Adam’s well over flows, cascading
to the lowest point; gravity
to catch & release a river

torrential rain carves
through rocks & broken boughs,
cradle free falling

swept away out of reach
where he ‘can’t keep up’ for love
a fathers heart breaks

tenterhooks; out-stretched arms,
grapple unconditional love
lest children leave scarred for life

/

I hold no bitterness for her or him
one day they will carry me back
home, re-cycling Karma

love knows no bounds, I repeat
forgiveness reconciles eventually
nothing lives forever

I don’t believe in the Devil
I believe in demons, spawned by ego
wisdom taking years to age gracefully

I think of all that was before
I pushed them all away – I can
be gentle in my own sanctuary

pain is no better or worse for wear
seeking peace defines our nature
we all must seek forgiveness

Humbled