Family

Christmas with family at lunch.  loved
ones in spirit present. noticeable
some of us not our usual selves. all of us
a couple of weeks and months ago
father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin
brother, sister, husband, wife, lovers.

love is in the air with a sombre undertone
changing and evolving.  stronger
softer holding on
our spirit’s enquiring gently.  hearts
like cedar louvres
blissfully breathing
lots of hugs and kisses
lots of smiles.

bull mastiffs lap attention unknowingly
giving of themselves.  more
a small child asks for help to go wee’s
as children do.  nona
chuckling as she leads her by the hand.

teenagers frolicking in the pool.  glorious
unfettered minds and bodies celebrating
organic feijoa wine freshly squeezed it seemed.  ripe
the sun in all of us.

pockets of people mingling.  glasses
raised and table laden.  giving thanks
quietly un-quiet mouths, eyes ,ears, skin
and something else.  savouring
sustaining the living and life.  gone
but not forgotten.

© 2008 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Carpenters Tale

My memory recalls
a time in the sunshine
at Christmas
those many years ago –
running and firing
the pistol drenched
us in tears
it was yellow
and red
like the times I bleed
like the time before that time
I thought I was dying
you remember laughter?
it comes and goes now
like a nervous leaf in Autumn
long after Summer
on the horizon
in the blue ute
down Tamaki Drive;
music loud
me singing a heart
shaped note in tune
I hoped
you’re bright Red tool
box taking pride
of place in the back seat
may as well.
You fell over me
warning you alarm bells
would soon wake you
for work
remember?

© Copyright 2008 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Unprotected

1.
Love is truly blind.
The disparity between conditional
and unconditional love –
and the lack of understanding for either,
peels back the layers of my heaving chest

2.
Silence is punishment.
Feelings and wounds left unsaid, fester
their very existence is denied.
Children birthed from pleasure and pain
turn their back and forget where life began –
throwing their toys at the indignity of it all.

3.
The sound of silence is deafening.
Vengeful breakers crash on my shoreline –
forcibly taking back what was un-given.
I am being stripped down to bare bones
my flesh eroding
my bleeding heart displaced

I let it all wash over me
but I am not mechanical.
My soul out-pours frequently drained
every orifice is like a tidal wave of emotion
ripping through and of me
till I am nothing more than driftwood

4.
My world is full of strangers.
Loved ones who don’t know the meaning of love.
I feel unprotected.
My fingernails are raw and bloody
for clinging tooth and nail
holding on for dear life and limb

5.
My heart has the unfortunate tendency to feel.
I am reminded constantly that I fail
repeatedly
my life can be described as heartbreaking at best
and devoid at worst
there is no in-between

When protection is taken for granted
and I am gutted,
every fibre of my being recoils and retreats.
She tells me to be foetal
and she cradles my broken parts.
She is all that I have left

6.
I am a free bird.
Riding the salted earth and spray.
I am my own gift.
Nothing can touch me except the wind.
He reminds me that I am
alive

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Edited by Miriam Barr