Pan

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I could never look
at you the same way
I adored you, once
your true colours have me
in sensory overload
clutching my heaving chest
in shock, disbelief left winded

reeling from the blows
taking such pride

inflicting pain, deliberately
fueling retribution over lack
of supply, shows me I never knew
you – you who would do anything
for me, except love me
finding unjustified reasons
to hurt me

because I don’t abide
I could never trust

the man that revels in pain
his empowerment borne
plotting, scheming manipulations
splitting love in two
my aorta left to bleed
out, powerless –
it makes him feel

like a man
you’re not my man

I was your meal ticket
your way to escape
demons; Dachau passing down
suffering, such a way of life
completely misunderstood
cruel Nazi mentality, heartless
your Mockingbird,

your SS badge of dishonour
worse, using children

an apparatus for torture
where love nurtured trust,
spiritual guidance squandered
on self-serving childhood needs,
your own metered out
shortcomings
love is not yours to ridicule away

denying its abundant existance
I will never trust my heart,

expose her soft underbelly
or offer her up
in sacrafice; like a lamb,
your God is a manmade
fallacy designed to subjugate
misogyny, displaced whores
render Madonna complexes

in perpetual conflict
I am disappointed in you

you had it all, proffered up on a silver platter
wanted for nothing, except coveted jealousy
lusting after sinful greed
you let breed and wreck havoc
Mr Black is a predator, a perpetrator
you let run roughshod over me
I am not the only one, women

your past is predictable by nature
I hope with what’s left,

you learn your lesson well
I wanted a man – a man,
not a spoiled little boy
throwing tantrums to up
the Antichrist in pursuit
of misspent youth,
ungrateful to the core

matters let go out of hand
I am in Hell

sent there to rot in your abandon
but you didn’t bargain on meeting Demeter,
who will hunt you down
to save herself, mourning winter
the long days and sleepless nights,
haunting your nightmares

she, who see’s right through you
will dance on your grave

 

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Pan

All Is Not Lost

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Photographer: Jodine Majewski

I have no ill feelings

surprisingly

God knows I have plenty of reason to feel

angry or resentful, hurt

but it’s not in my nature

I feel proud actually,

that I helped a  family to have a future

I really worked hard for her, for him

I am satisfied here in my garden

now, pottering

I’ve found peace here

finally, after losing it all

on a gamble

I should have known much better too

but love is truly blind,

even though my eyes were wide open

I can’t take money with me

so I’ll let it go

they need it more than I

I can hold my head up and feel proud

I don’t have to hurt anyone

to get what I want, tenderness

I can give to myself 

*

when you love someone,

you don’t do anything to hurt them

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Murder & Mayhem

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I’m not preaching
But I am being true to

My self. There is
Murder and mayhem.

I asked for it. I asked
For learning,

Mourning views
At the ocean

Tasman Sea side, beside
my de-railed train.

Smart. Taking stock
Taking measures.

Working it all out
Through trial

And error’s; Finding pride
Empowering

*

Fuck mainstream
Stigmata up the arse!

I say. In the carnage,
In the afterglow

Of my Fukashima.
My sub-woofers’ set

To subvert you
From your dissonance

Apathy
Hatred

Denial there is a war. I choose
Resistance

And by God –
You will remember!

Fuck the world
For me

Lest We Forget
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/peter-dutton-delivers-a-new-low-with-comments-on-manus-island-rampage-20170420-gvp6tr.html
© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Dancing with the Faeries

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Photographer: Jason Majewski
Photo used with permission

I watch my littlest princess
dancing away with the faeries
expressing pain so magnificently

her voice, exploding anger
her mind, opposing self
her heart, barely beating

my mind-splitting headache pounds
containing my own maelstrom
that subterranean refuge

where I once found comfort
where there was none
where my soul learned to fly

holding on, innocence
letting go & spirituality guiding
me back home

I hold her now, meet her gaze
no words cling to each other
we plant flowers in the earth

tending our garden, nurturing our selves
her pain temporarily reconciled
my own thunderous affront subdued

I don’t let her see my pain,
I protect her, I love her like I love
my self, mirrored back in her eyes

I watch her from afar
she knows I’m there on the outskirts
her nice stepmother, soothsayer

I can watch & bear, witness
one step removed my fire
unseared, tempered in her presence

I am not a fool, knowing transference
like God, is everywhere & no
where at once, I remain steadfast

she heals me, my littlest princess
igniting my candelabra
rays of warmth piercing the dark

she will be ok with love, gentle
strokes; my cradle rocking a rhythm
peace descending around her to nest

I can watch although I didn’t then
but I can see clearly now, the rain
I trust my self to know the difference

dissociation & dissociative
here in the now my mindfulness
my present is my gift to her

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Cold Comfort

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I’m going slightly insane
Oh, to be deaf, dumb, blind & mute!
turning that blind eye, having nothing
more to do with it – all

No shoes on her feet
her hair a mess
the first thing she says is,
“Are you a mean stepmother or a nice stepmother?”
cuddling me, she tells me I’m nice before I can answer, awed
saddened & proud
all at once

I’m so afraid for our little girl
afraid to bear witness; joy, pain, confusion, innocence
I do my best, continuing to be consistent,
loving, nurturing & hiding
my own pain to shelter her

I need time out
not from our littlest princess, never
from that bright spark that lights up my world, my own fear worse for wear
knowing truth; being called a liar
cruelty appears nonchalant & we all know
ignorance breeds ignorance

I rise
above this time & detach
from that confined space lodging
deep in my brain & heart, threatening
to expose my GI Jane

She thrashes inside her prison cell,
the bars of my prison bend
but do not break, I give thanks
to God & Godesses & the Furies,
my Crone; for temperance
my aenima inanimate for the moment

,●

I hear her laugh,
that contagious giggle
putting a smile on my face
all I need is patience; I can wait
Karma has not yet spoken, giving
cold comfort will come at a cost – all
I can do is love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Common Threads

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‘Tapping in’ by Jonathan Solter

I’m nearly fifty, but I feel nigh
on ninety on a bad day.

This past week has been absolute
Hell on earth.

I’ve been triggered back
to being a child.

Losing her felt like losing
innocence; myself years ago. 

Traumatized, I thought
about ending it all.

The relationship.

But to my credit, my common sense intervened, giving me a serve. 

My man became a man in my eyes.
Not just another man.

Not just any old man.
My man.

Trauma has an ugly side;
it brings people to their knees

where they may as well be pissed on while their down there.

I am so worried for her…

/

How to reach me in that state, is almost futile. 

Almost.

I hear them knocking, butting their heads up against my wall, the double

thick English brick kind; multiple layers of insulating red. 

I pretend it’s nothing more, nothing less. 

“I don’t care”, I resign.

But then my beautiful man drew,
drawing me a shoebox.

Explaining how pain lives, dies
and re-lives inside my brain.

Overwhelmed with grief, I lift the lid
crawl inside and relive my dark past

over and over. Ashamed. 

He lifted my chin, to meet his gaze.
He held me. Loving me more

in that one single moment, I trusted.
“It’s no good” he said.

/

At the 11th hour, we failed. Let down, we had no voice. Mute

blind, deaf and dumb in one single sentence.

The system of things is definitely flawed. 

Corrupt?

That would be making an unjust statement. 

For those in the hot seats, forced
to call the shots, know many lives

are at stake. It must take its toll.
But I have no sympathy.

Our truth was not heard. 

Our fatal flaws not even our own; her
actions (or lack there of), denied.

A resounding ‘NO’ echoes through
my shriveled neurons finding dead

ends. My synapses have nothing
left to ignite. 

My family are in shock. 

My family was slit right down the guts; entrails threatening to turn us inside

out. We were split.

/

Here in our beloved home away from home.

He said, “you cant carry the torch
all on your own”. 

He said “I can’t watch your fire fade to black, your candle flicker in the wind”.

Sinking

deeper into that hole; my abyss dragging me into its darkest depths.

Broken. 

I could no longer hold my fractured pieces together. 

In my mind I dispersed like a million stars on a clear night. 

/

My self died a little bit more that day.

In my room with four walls,
no windows, no doors and no light

my world ceased to exist
and everyone in it.

It’s time to let go, heal.

He gave me hope.
understanding beyond anything

I have ever experienced
through years of therapy

1.  PROBLEM: Being torn.

I think of my beloved stepdaughter.
Everyday.

2.  INTAKE:  Its difficult

coming to terms and all that
that entails I cannot reconcile.

3.  PROCESS: Grief

Pain \ Anger / Trauma \ Up / Down
bracing \ myself for a hell ride.

Depression.

4.  STRATEGISE: Break –

down my past, hurt and forge ahead.
Gathering strength, wisdom and hope.

5.  EXECUTE: Eat.

Drink (water). Rest. Cry. Garden. Bathe.
Write to heal, even when my body

wants to heave. 

/

I look after my family.
Nigh on three years now in my own

special way. Not in a traditional way. 

I’m a hopeless cook.
I don’t appreciate housework.

I’ve been neglectful at being
the proverbial ‘good’ housewife.

My desire to grow flowers, fruit
and vegetables is my compromise.

Growing something edible to put in
the kitchen – for someone else to cook.

I hold us all together in many ways. Focusing on her safe and sound.

Consistent.

Loving, gentle kindness; watering
our gardens together.

/

Our home is beautiful.

Everyone finding that remembered
piece of themselves there; a sense of

belonging my own children lack. 

I want them to say, “I’m coming home”.  I want my beautiful, bitter, twisted

naive, angry children to come home too – to me and my family. 

It’s ever too late to love
and to be loved in return.

/

Finding trust again – she is as resilient as I am loved, unconditionally.

We watch the sun rise and marvel
at the light that shines on all of us.

I will learn to forgive but never forget.

I tend the earth, ripening my fruits
finding pride in nurturing my love.

I read. A cuppa, kiss and a cuddle regenerate my dreams. 

I wake with no nightmarish thoughts,
finding only more I can do to make

my garden grow. Knowing she is being
loved all the while.

/

Right now I need peace.

I love my family. Jason, Madison
La Donna, Whisky, (Carmen), Karmin

Leisa, Seth, Harken and Ronan.

Still too young (bar one) to see
the wood for the trees or realise that

not all flowers smell delightful – except the Rose.

/

The world doesn’t owe me a God damned thing.

My children will learn a much harder lesson than I.  

I forgive them, and I always will, over and over.

The thing about trauma is that it can only hurt us if we let it.  

I refuse.

/

(Myles will remember he said something similar.)

I hope you are smiling wherever you are my friend.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved

Halfway House

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I have a beautiful husband. Loving beyond anything I could ever ask for. His children are gems, the littlest one is an Angel I swear! I miss my man even when he yells at me and says the worst things imaginable in his pain. The man I once knew has eroded away before my eyes. He doesn’t remember how he loved, except his children and rightly so – they are himself and they were stolen. I understand that, I do. I only wish the love I feel for mine is returned in my lifetime. Mine are gone. It seems everyone I love disappears.  I take the blame. It must be my fault, some days I don’t want to be here. Some days I want to fade to black, let that white noise sing me a lullaby and take me home. I lived in many houses once, and my worst nightmare continued. Maybe I relive that moment when I was stolen, against my will. It took me years to find solace in that place till the time came for me to leave. I was homeless, loveless and inconsolable. I did my best with what I knew, made decisions I thought were the best for me and mine. I still feel their eyes upon me, watching me fail and imagine them raising a toast to my demise. Such is life. Whatever I try to do, whomever I try to love, it seems like none of it returns. Sometimes I feel like a desolate child,  still. I’m nearly 50 and I have nothing left least of all to give myself. I exist from day-to-day listening to a monologue of misgivings and self doubts that continue to remind me I’ve never truly belonged anywhere. When I’m gone, I’m still nothing more, nothing less. Of course there are those that profess to love me but that’s only so they can make penance for their own sins – you know, make themselves feel better. That sounded so jaded – I don’t really mean it. I made the most selfish half-hearted attempt at finality. I was chastised for buying my beautiful step-daughter therapeutic books to help her heal.  She’s only four.  I was reminded how I failed to buy books for my beautiful happy grandson.  He turned one recently. I wasn’t thinking straight, obviously. “Your new family can have you!”, she doesn’t want to be a part of that mess. By God I cried. I cried like a little baby. It doesn’t matter what I do its never going to be good enough for her. I may as well resign myself to a life of condemnation, contempt and misery. My man loved me once a long time ago. His daughter is here to keep me company, while we wait for our littlest princess to return. My home may as well be a halfway house. Where is the love? I’m too hurt to see anything beyond what’s yelling at me, leveling me, sucking everything left from inside of me. I sit. I wait. What will happen next? Your guess is as good as mine. My machine parts are too rusted; too many salted tears have cut through all the bullshit. It’s just me and always will be.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’. All Rights Reserved

God is Love

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I feel shattered
fragmented
my self dispersed
willy nilly
this way & that; sparks

on a funeral pyre

*

Isolated in a new country I proudly call my home, desperate for unconditional love and understanding. I am estranged from family who need no explanation least of all from me. We are grieving the loss of our precious little girl. The softest most gentlest child who has ever graced my presence. That’s the worst thing to comprehend. How could it all go so wrong?

Self pity and blame/shame become a toxic breeding ground for self-doubt.  Feeling victimized beyond where my psyche can find peace, I am being eroded from within. Still, those wicked thoughts work their way into my cracks, ever-widening, poisoning me from the inside out. I have a parasitic demon spreading its hideous tentacles into every mistake I have ever made reminding me of my foolish flaws. My lifesong is no more heard than those women in history; burned at the stake.

I thank God I was not born in that cruel Medieval era, although I recognise similarities in unjust sentences and we all know no one has a leg to stand on in times of prejudice. I see common sense, at the last-minute at least. Those women were tenacious, brave beyond measure and while the odds are gathering sticks stacking my pyre, my heart is with her and them, my love knows no bounds.

I make the calls, I speak my truth. It is all I can do to retain my dignity. My integrity is not in question, it has never been. I know right from wrong. There is  something insidious here at work, attempting to thwart justice by all devious means imaginable. It cannot last forever. She threatens me and us but though the system of things is corrupt, I am not.

Every day people are being dis – membered, crucified in the coldest places on earth. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy but she has brought us here to witness our incarceration and suffering, inflicting us with that cold, soulless stare. Her lust barely disguising her thirst for that elusive elixir of life.

I am human. I suffer like everyone else. My reserves are low and my inner flame is almost extinguished – doused by lies and deceit of the most heinous kind. I pray everyday for divine intervention. More than ever to Mary, to God, Goddesses, to the Crones, to whoever will listen. Those who weave their ancient threads on the great wheel of life, deciding our destinies.

By descending into hell, this time I know with certainty that wheel will rise again and I will find myself ascending, transcending all that was before. My faith wrapping my warm, safe, loving arms around her and us. I believe we are in the right place at the right time but the reasons for it are as yet unknown. I face this wrath. I take full responsibility for whatever I have failed to see and I will mourn.

My needs are the least important right now. Longer lives are at stake here. I am reminded of the Inquisition where women and poor innocent children were burned for nothing more than uttering truth in a world full of unscrupulous doings. My littlest princess is growing up way too fast. Her world separate from her self.

My focus is on one innocent child who is but a pawn in this farce. It is she who I admire, her resilience and the knowing that one day soon she will be reunited with love and have the best that love can offer her to heal. It won’t be too late, for love can work miracles for the most cruel of experiences. I have witnessed first hand how God will intervene having carried me in his stead before. Children are born resilient. They have inbuilt protection and I trust that she will be OK.

God is love and he does not desert his flock.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Mothers

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Who says there is a God?
wishful thinking created by man
to control the masses; no
Mothers in sight – save Mary
but look
look what happened to her our Lady!
Mary Magdalene
will rise again
she will be known by all her names
fire, earth, sea and sky; Ishtar

we shelter in the rivers and forests
gathering all the sticks and stones

Mary emerald as the forest green
will ride with Rhiannon
her shoes of moss and lichen
her cloak of rainbow silk: transformed
eye’s like Innana shedding tears
as sisters mourn and do
& all that is dark and been before,
will shadow us no more

she has awakened in terrible wrath and has unleashed a whore

Kali destroys and  makes anew
Pele knows which heart is true
Abundantia  makes it very clear
there are no more second chances here

Gaia,  Papatuanuku and Ostara, forging ahead new life
Innana, Dana and Isis surrounding them with light
Athena and Mother Mary have much to undo and teach
Aphrodite, Ostara, Nemetona and Ixchel
Mothers of divine healing heart

all these Mothers will guide us through without the slightest flinch

she is all Mother and we recognise her full
we run with open arms, no fear
she restores our wayward souls with care
she cradles our broken hearts to weep
peace will be reborn again
where war has gone before with man
our raging rivers will forge and cut
ravage and avenge; our rivers
will shed tears of pain
new paths lest we forget

calling all our wonderous women
our voices banshee wail
we will hear them in our hearts full throb
and never fear again
here comes Persephone from the dark
the first to see the light,
Demeter fills an earthen jug that overflows with tears
she gently wipes her daughters feet to cleanse away her fears
and without Mothers no seed will grow
and so they must obey

but men are men, God or not
and evil still prevails
our Mothers cast all seeing eyes
and none shall let them pass
Zeus may watch with Ranginui
for both have known this day
Hades left enraged behind
his plans for her subdued
for she is with the Mothers now
a war he cannot  rule

Persephone is free at last
Who says there is a God?
for Goddess rule this world or ours
Papatuanuku birthing fruit
my Maiden showing me the truth, wary as she treads
my Mother prays the safest journey our Mothers forged ahead
my oldest Crone will rest her bones on her dying day
and sisters will be reborn again and again
woven waxed and waned

© Copyright 2010.  Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Dysthymia

D don’t mind the melancholic meanderings
of my psyche, festooned fervent ranting’s;
water-coloured lines distilled over time.
Y         you see what you want to see.  I
have no control of yours.  my only comfort is
the willingness to breathe life into otherwise
contrived lives.
S          see (ing) through opaque, leaded glass
cathedrals; coloured splendor giving
rise to the muse in me.  the sun in words
rises in the east with the future
and time.  I cannot see past the red
hue on the horizon.
T          the yew – an ancient tree.  synonymous
with dead wood; revered branches
of old. wisdom once gained, lost long ago
on mass hysteria.  I digress.
H         hunger pains
perverting the cruelness of lust rage and longing;  layering, serves
to cushion psychic blows.
Y         yearning only serves to belittle
normality; a figment of the imagination.
feeling isolated from the masses is probably
a blessing in disguise.
M         madness,  inviting
a semblance of restored faith to jaded
emotional jigsaw puzzles; sequestered
identities, like my idiosyncrasies. mundane
existence is tangible evidence that
conflict earns respect and
honour akin to martyrdom.  subjugation
I           intelligence? is nothing more than that of
the Descartes and Hippocrates of yester-world,  doomed.
archangel’s like Michael are
condemned by their own father;  there are no
mother’s in sight.
A         a deliberate oversight in my book.
It doesn’t matter at the end of the day,
mental illness is like God,  everywhere
but it’s only called dysthymia on a bad day

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Excerpt First Published by Like Minds Like Mine, 2010, ReTHiNK the Meaning of Madness, a Respond-Response Community Art Project, ‘Ethosphere Exhibition’, exhisbited at Te Karenga Gallery, Auckland

Persephone Personified


I am trying to understand this place;
my skin crawls with dissatisfaction.
I pray to an unknown God
while Goddess whisper in my ear,
stoning my heart, burying me in the sands of time
the river Styx shines its mirrored veil
I am sucked beneath ancient waters, blackened
as the night is deep
my soul writhes in despair
I sink
I breathe water while my spirit swears
Hades dark and foreboding bearing gifts like fruit
I recognise him and defend

I am weary
for God has forsaken me
I cry out in anger throwing my fist
I am but a child, small and snivelling
Persephone personified
I am reborn, again and again and again
dying each time
if life has meaning then I am blind
for I see no reason
where are you Demeter?
Mother!
I have no mother
I close my eyes and weep but do not pray

*

my soul surrenders
the Fates weave their ancient threads
I am suckling at her breast, at last
I am dead
I am dead
I am dead

 

© 2007 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved.

Hearts & Minds (Insomnia Series)

autonomic irregularities skip
& flutter in awkward abeyance
of the heart.

conflicts of reason. para-
sympathetic meltdown’s.
expose flawed synaptic gaps.

conjoined minds, like wind chimes
this night. a metallic taste
signalling rain. a flood of memories

like elephants. unwilling to bend
divided now, patronisation
mindful of Godhead & self.

armed & dangerous
hormones the rag. emotional deprivation is ironic, lonely

a contradiction in terms;
cut off flowers in one room apartments,
sensory overload. hung drawn & quartered.

acceptance is no love lost. self
respect is also learned behaviour. I am myself, in all of her.

mobile phones out of range,
search for meaning & purpose.
meaning & purpose.

meaning & purpose.
hearts & minds they say,
fade away

© 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