Am I A Feminist?

1.

Am I a feminist?

I make the fantasy real for him, giving up parts of myself –

My look

My mind

My body

My heart.

Pieces of me, served up over silver platitudes,

three course meals

and French champagne.

2.

Malleable breasts and tight buttocks

reclaim their complimentary one half of the whole

reality

filling holes in Psyche every time she is alone.

Separate and connected,

happy and unremarkable

half truths, open to anyone who will listen.

3.

In her deepest recesses, she is compartmentalised – a waif, aloof.

Dissociation

learned to leave a long time ago, doing only what they wanted to make them happier

for the two of us.

A tragedy, waiting for a fairy tale ending that doesn’t involve

the death of Eros.

Instead she paints pictures that never quite get finished –

My pencils

My paints

My inks

My pastel chalks

covered in charcoal dust fingerprints,

scared of letting go.

4.

She still held on

to dreams

of Volkswagon beetles,

Austin land crabs,

Holden utes and XD Falcon

panel van’s reinforced with 6ml steel plates

pink stickered on the side of the road.

5.

I say goodbye to all the abusers –

My family

My friends

My lovers

My colleagues.

Self care now cloistered in her abandon while you watch,

published one day by some back shed press, captioned

‘Clichèd-Poet-Ends-It-All’

because forfeiture has no shame.

She was happier then

and then she died,

turning grey like her foibles and colourless lines.

6.

Am I a feminist?

© Copyright 2019, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Set Fire

Image

image

I’ve been living in a war zone

so it seems, three and a half years
of Hell with nothing left
to show for it,
except heartache
and pain
watching love leach
from my soul; phosphorescent,

sparks like spheres

float up, up and away
to fizzle out in to nothingness

Since when did I become
the enemy?

clumped into the annuls of misogyny
tarred / scarred
for being a woman empowered
because I threaten the old ways
where women were barefoot
and pregnant,
swathed in floral aprons
with floured hands kneading
wholesome Madonna complexes
designed to subdue

I love

depth and passion
moving my heart to where I am
mesmerized in awe; my fragile smile
let loose like an arrow
straight and true into you
and I, jubilant
where I am left wondering
where you have been
all my life – that I would do anything
for you

I love my self more

and I am not broken completely.
I can take those looks of contempt
along with those cutting words
and stand my ground against interrogation/subjugation
I lead myself in cycles, navigating
my way out of ear shot for a while
till I can stand it no more,
when I hide away inside
and stuff my fingers

All is not lost

despite my sense of guilt at not being
strong enough in your eyes,
un-like grandma whom you adored,
admiring resilience
I am merely a shade by comparison
if I subscribed to your anger and hurt
if I took her on and became
a better person, wife, mother for you
if only I chose to keep my mouth shut
like she learned in the war

I don’t believe

staying silent will keep us alive these days
my life requires I fight
for truth, freedom, rights and for love
so you may find your self, lifted from those ashes – Dachau,
and understand that women need
tenderness, a kindness that takes away
the hurt of injustices, finding safety
your arms filling me with hope
that I am not alone

It is with great sadness

that I must choose love
letting go the innocence of youth
and embrace my own mortality
if I am to be a survivor
I cannot condone atrocities
of any kind and turn a blind eye
without losing that part of myself
that wanted to die, finding respect
in being true to myself
Lest We Forget

I am mourning

a life of trials and tribulations
that had me in tears for the most part
my heart is broken, I no longer believe
in you, us – I am setting fire to the 3rd mar
closing my eyelids on my dreams
facing those feelings that I have been too afraid to feel
reaching in to pull them out
into the open and lay myself bare
so I can finally heal

goodbye my love

we will all be OK.

Puncture

Snow Patrol

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