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

Looby — Get Out of the Way!

Dad is making breakfast in the kitchen.

The toaster goes FffAP!

Two slices of toast leap into the air, flying crumbs are everywhere.

Looby sitting under foot, pricks her ears and has a look.

Dad nearly jumps out of his skin and Atlas turns to see the din.

Dad swivels to catch the flying toast but Looby was standing way too close.

A paw, a slipper, a yelp and a shriek, dad nearly crashes head first in the sink!

One of them knew just what to say, it was dad telling Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is hanging out the washing in the garden.

The screen door goes THhhUNK!

Atlas came out to show dad his toy, Looby had followed and was full of joy.

She waddled and sniffed, chose a fine spot, and what do dogs do? She sat down to squat.

She grunted and sneezed, hunched and then squeezed – this time it wasn’t only just wees!

She scratched and pawed, bumped into dad’s leg – knocked him off balance what more could be said?

Dad took a step back and stood in the poo, threw his hands in the air and said, ‘not this too!’

He hopped as he landed while she jumped away, ‘for goodness sake Looby, GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is bringing Atlas’ lunch by the pool.

A ball hits his head with a TWAaCK!

Dad had to juggle or else he would trip, a plate of full of sandwich’s had started to tip.

A handful of odd sorts of things left his fingers, poor Dad had to struggle just to stay nimble.

Atlas was splashing, giggling and such, a huge smile on his face watching the fuss.

Then out from under the table shot Looby, spying a sandwich – her lunch had come early!

Dad’s face had gone red, he was losing his sh*t, he’d had enough, he was over it!

She was up-setting the balance that day, ‘for goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is cleaning Atlas’ bedroom.

The vacuum cleaner goes PffMPT!

Dad peered down at a half eaten sock, ‘Oh no’ he said, the nozzle was blocked!

He bent down to fix it and pull it out, but Looby the dog would have none of it.

She jumped up and yapped and then bit the bar, Looby was taking it way too far!

Atlas had wandered away up the stairs, both of his fingers were shoved in his ears.

None of them wanted to deal with the mess, first it was breakfast now it was this!

Dad rolled his eyes and started to shake, ‘for goodness sake Looby, GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is preparing everyone’s dinner.

The pantry door slams shut with a SLAaP!

Atlas had been helping himself! He thought he would sneak a handful of stuff.

Fistfuls of crackers, biscuits and junk, he was not going to eat what Dad made with love.

Dad took those things off him and had a fit, he growled at poor Atlas and told him to sit.

Typical Looby had started to bark, protecting the family from imagined  harm.

She ran in then away, yapping all the while, a barrel of legs, ears and snout and a nub for a tail.

Dad barked right back and told her to stay! ‘For goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is resting in his lounge chair.

The volume on Atlas’ ipad goes UP!

Atlas was listening to clips at the table –  balloons pop, things rip and the sound of crunched gravel.

Dad’s tired eyelids were about to close, he’d sneak a quick nap while the boy was amused.

Needless to say the day was not over, what more could happen Dad started to wonder?

Looby was asleep in between Dads leg’s, but the sound going up, had hurt Looby’s ears.

All of a sudden she jumped up and barked, stood on Dad’s balls and did a loud fart!

Dad’s eyes flew open, he grimaced in pain, ‘for goodness sake Looby, ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Dad is putting Atlas to bed.

The curtain rod fell off, hit the floor with a CLAaaNK!

Atlas had had fun, he’d trashed his room, toys were all scattered and clothes were all strewn.

Looby was standing all dopey and still, it was her bedtime, and she knew the drill.

She decided to be as quiet as a mouse, she was all sleepy and very tired herself.

Dad had to sort things and put them up high, but he tripped over Looby and let out a cry!

He stubbed his toe on the end of the bed, fell over head first, what more could be said?

He grimaced in pain, grabbed his foot and he howled, once again he raged ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY!’

Finally it was the end of the night, dad sat down in his chair and closed his eyes.

Looby had scratched and scrunched up her bed, did a few circles then lay down her head.

Atlas was curled up and fast asleep, it had been a big day, he was out to it.

The night was so quiet and everywhere was still. Goodnight dear family, sweet dreams and sleep well.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

His Soul and my Insignificance

Neglect

In my dream I was a dog.

Some sort of mangy matted thing tethered to a rope and stake. Fragments of cracked bone and coagulated mud puddles, stuck to my fur.

In my dream

I saw the man come— he brought his cold black eyes and set his sights on me, hurled another bucket of slop at my feet and I wept.

In my dream

I saw through the black hole in his soul and my insignificance outshone the brightest star, even then I wore my existence well, shut my mouth and kow-towed, I became nothing more than a flea.

In my dream

I wore a collar and bore love just to prove that point I once knew before I disappeared into a maelstrom of mourning. Nothing left to give.

I am reminded of the wife beater singlet and mullet crop of men way back then, the stench of decay followed by assault and I know it’s only a matter of time before I die.

Still, in my dreams

I am honoured to be graced by his presence but in reality, I am worthless.

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

Mourning Molly

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My Molly died today.

It was the venom that slowly ravaged her tiny frame. I nursed her. Four days of hugs, crooning she’s beautiful, so beautiful & that I love her; the emancipation of denial.

She never left my side, until the day she faded away, her expectant brown eyes slowly glazed over an opaque skin & it sunk in.

I dripped drops, to keep them moist – mine overflowing a continuous silent stream.

I held her floppy skin & bones close, before wrapping her in a purple Silk Air blanket, tucking her in for the last time.

I buried her in the morning sun, her favourite place to wake up, bask & warm.

Her memory lingering longer in my heart, her quirky quirks igniting my giggles – multiple kisses on her petite deer face, carrying her bundle under my arm to our next time & place.

Mourning my Molly in the lonely spaces in between.
© Copyright 2018, 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

Snoop

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“I wrap myself around you because I never want to let you go” JD Butler

I recognise, that you are as sensitive as I am emotional & I understand you more everyday. It makes a change to see your demons rear their ugly head, while you trust

yourself for the most part & you’re not as corrupt as you think you are, or broken. I’m attracted to your strength. You could never be corrupt, although you carry a weight 

upon your shoulders, that I have only just begun to comprehend. I only learn from what you share, to compare & you will share as you see fit, when the smoke clears & you can look me in the eyes; present,

your true colours in all their glory, will remember that responsibility means letting go – surrender, your last great bastion of growth.

*

I wrap myself around you because I never want to let you go.


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




Citrus Juice

Today,
my Pipi
completely demolished
her ball

it split
right down the mid-dle

& her tail
wagged

she set about
mesmerised;
the final task
yet to be savoured

her fine front teeth
nipping
& pulling
the strands of
fluff
to a string

/

paws
& awkward dexterity
placed

\

if only
she had
a thumb
to peel
& fingers
to pry
& lick

citrus juice

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

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

Ours

Our hearts, snatch moments
filled with remorse, vehement
in truths. open
sesame seeds sown
willy nilly in back yard hovels –
dining on scraps
while junkyard dogs
howl.

Our time, spent
gorging on coronary
disbelief, tethered.
strings like chains,
embedded injustice;
cross over
invisible lines,
separated by fools.

Our past, mirrored
back and forth. etched
early Victorian details
beautifully inscribed.
a time of certainty
in knowing places. my
fractious splinters
render.

Our life, stapled
to tea-chests in storage
cubby holes. cramped
piled high walls
lived in once, now
embroidered in newspaper
cuttings – yesterday’s
old news.

Ours, together
demoralised. sucked dry.
used but(t)s,
in overflowing
ashtrays; crutches
stubbed into cajoled corners.
ashes to dust
till death do us part.

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Dogs At My Door (Redlight Series)

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Lovers of pain and comfort, unconditional
with puppy dog eyes wide shut
Head on my stomach fur coat attired
foetal and like old things, worn
Moments and memories dispensed
a hairs breath between prickles
and whiskers tease
rubbing the shredded skin of dissociation
Thoughts escape, awakened
stirred and panting
Playful ball sports and eyebrows raise
sniffing familiarity
Belly rubs and legs splayed
assuming the mould from in behind, the scene
anticipation hungry for food
Dependence in exchange for love
money in exchange for lust
No flea’s here, no blood,
no life-sucking thoughts here
Gods comfort wrap fur-lined with licky tongue
slobbering kisses of conversation
Done and dusted.

© 2007 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved
First Published in Side Stream, Issue 7, August 2007, “Poetry From The Fringe”
http://www.myspace.com/sidestreampoetry