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

Arrogance – A Found Poem

Winter Rose

Well, when you’re climbing,
everything’s against you.
Gravity, wind and weather
altitude, time, geography.

You’re nothing but a spec
on the face of a monolithe,
one that’s been where it is
since the dawn of time.

But you don’t care
about any of that.

If you did, you wouldn’t be there.
But you are there, daring
disaster and death
and all of it

a little flea
climbing up a mountain.

A mountain.

What is that,
if not arrogance?

Excerpt from The Winter Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, 2006, pg 560.  Re-written in poetic form as seen here, by Jodine Derena Butler, 2012.  Copyright permission pending.

Dogs At My Door (Redlight Series)

image

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