The Great Love of My Life

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The great love of my life just walked away, for the last time

I fall in love with you every time I see you, preferring to forget your flaws

It was your smile, your cheeky grin ~ you’re looking up at me from under those lashes

I fear I would have you back in a heartbeat, if we were to meet again eye to eye

It’s the hardest thing, to choose what’s better for me, over my hearts desire

It would take years of reconciliation, together apart for the wound to heal to scar –

I think about it, us and you hoping, wishing, looking for bargains to bring us back

But it’s too late now

You left me four times, and I took you back; I could never trust a man like that

© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Taper

I Still Believe in Twilight 

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Twilight

still, a gut wrenched
mixture of intensity

grief and deep joy
a juxtaposition of us

I was like Bella
you, my Edward

and I wasn’t afraid

in my dreams
I soared in my heart

till my heart stopped
diving into sorrow

my Edward morphing into Aro

*

I still believe in Twilight

even in your blatant disregard

I had my fairytale

Lady Jane had her way
shredding my heart in two

over a thousand years it would have killed me

tucked away under your tongue

under my breath 

where everything moved
so bittersweet

*

I still believe in Twilight
although it is all I have left

of you 

© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Total

Yellow

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Photographer Renk Renk Resimler

Yellow; traditionally the colour of death

Yellow roses in particular

Yellow, reminds me of my step-daughter

Yellow is also the colour of grief

the colour of cowardice and cowboy’s

jaundice and Nicorette

Lemons leave a bad taste in my mouth

Yellow. Not one of my favourite colours


Yellow

First published on Far North Fiction

© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved


Salt

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Grief is pouring out of me
unexpectedly violent, suddenly indecent 

assault tempts me to die, stealing whatever else you left behind

my soul, violated 

shredded skin, giving away my heart for safety

killing her off slowly

and I can’t bear it any longer – this pain

consumes me, squeezing every last breath I take

to want nondescript now; everything I had left with you

totally and utterly forlorn, I am bereft of any life, when you said
you loved me – that was an evil lie

there is no faith left in my world when I think of you

I am foetal, cradled in my own embryonic arms

closing bloodshot eyes

for darkness to caress my fetid skin, sinking in

lost; longing for you in vain, my grief is pouring out of me

and it won’t stop – I can’t make you stop

broken, and excrutiating to remember

you abandoned me, destroying everything I thought I meant to you

and the salt, knowing you’re laughing – telling how you want torture 

before dismembering my body for a barrel

some days the grief is so bad I want to die, check 

my self in to the nearest vein before I slice my way in – till I can’t feel you anymore

and watch my self disappear


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

Imaginary

Heart Trick

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I miss you

how you were when we fell
over each other’s Cheshire
licking the crème de la crème
from our fingertips,
trusting hoards of butterfly
antennae, sensing under the sheets
or up against the wall
or door, searching for foothold’s
to keep us steady,
while the world burned.

I miss you

your delirious smile
smoldering stare held me
for ransom, taking what was mine in
reckless abandonment
left, existentially speaking
our hemispheres to render unnecessary
for nothing else mattered.
you were my light
my world burned for you – you
set me on fire.

I miss you

everyday my heart breaks,
shattering into shards
splintered like thorns
penetrating my psyche,
where our wedding Rose once bloomed
I sink further
than ever green roots
searching for a wellspring and I
long to love you, remembering
ourselves ecstatic.

I miss you

it hurts too much
to open my self up, invite
you in like Twilight wondering if
demons have you ensnared, tortured
reasons where I cease to exist
beyond anything pale.
I loved you so, adoring everything I love
I can’t help but feel lost without you
wanting to take another leap and plunge,
but it’s too late

*

my heart tricked me
to remind me love died.

Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Paper

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

Bottle

The Joker

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The Joker
plays his cards then prays
for forgiveness
to a middle eastern Christian God
before hurling abuse
to those who aren’t white
professing to love women
secretly harbouring unfathomable hate
suppressed rage
staring Red indifference in the face
of reason, his reason
an excuse for payback; vindictive
retribution designed to maximize
powerfully charged emotional punches.

I have loved more than once
choosing my heart over head
batting eyelids deflecting
eggs scrambling to make sense
of the impossible scenario
time after time questioning
my self refusing to settle for anything
less than truth
watching loved ones turn
roll over, pulling the wool
over already unseeing orbs
holding on to contempt for love
lost

Death has defined me
grief ripping me apart
till I am stripped bare and
‘The Joker’ plays me for a fool
his denial hardly concealed now
his truth defining him in the end
hidden underneath a facade
charm dangerously like a predators
false sense of security
when his hands are tied
his dirty hands
he tries to launder abrasive
repeatedly.

Money
the root of all evil
threatens to ignite the paper trails
that have us entwined
enmeshed together by banks
loans and fine print
our future only leased
the balance drains the half full cup
sentiment caught never to be released
that Holy Grail
proving to be forever out of reach
what chance did we have?
the die has been cast.

My love
my darling
you were my everything
my beautiful sweet illusion
my heart aches for remembering you
how you were before you changed colour
I fell head over feet for you and yours
grazing my knee in the process
I succumbed, numbing my defenses
getting back up being pushed back down
losing another fragment of hope
each time threatening don’t
now, the joke is on you.

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

Illusion

Set Fire

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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

Silence is White Noise

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image

Photographer: Michael Färber

1.

still calm waters
wrap itself around

my skin raised up –
lifted the lows, sinking

stones left turned
bubbles barely breaking

the surface, ebb
rebounding shock

waves ripple bounce
back & forth, listening.

2.

reason resides in hidden depths,
brackish stagnant pools

light resists, blacking out
stretching farther than first

thought, hindsight;
water – cooled fires

like lava, surface warmth down
played where gravity catches

molten feelers, still
too cool to touch.

white noise, silence
hidden hissing in the depths.

3.

healing is impossible
under these conditions

where I fight
to subdue feelings

while she floats
detached from her

body watching with
no arms & legs

visualizing her flops
failing to protect

her self sub – merged.
the hard unyielding

cold reaching out,
waiting for you to come home.

4.

afraid, fearing words
attack another layer

scar – tissue requiring
exising, freed up

canker replacing foul
with pink flushes

rosey & open to
new life, breathing

where there was once decay.

5.

death, a living Hell
where Hades hath no fury

like a woman

hurt, drowning
in her own tears.

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

The Daily Post – Weightless

Working through Cobwebs

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image

Melbourne Street Art – Artist Unknown
Photographer: Jennifer Cox
Photo used with permission

I’m trying to work through cobwebs, he said,

with eyes pouring like rain
into a leaky boat
squaring off the shoreline
heading out to sea
avoiding Redbacks
like the plague, negotiating
rogue waves
behind his back
facing his fear; ex
tended arms pull
away – escape
for the moment.

he scans the horizon
left to right that sinking
feeling farther, closer
than he expected denial; a river in Egypt
too far away to row
a thunder clap into eternity,
Isis turning a blind eye
Triton dragging him
under, spinning
a vortex only Terra
firma can translate.

taking the bull
by the horns, he finds
solid ground wrestling
Taurus, knee deep
in mud that sticks
like shit on the inside,
cobwebs cling to hard
wired neurons
lodged in the gaps
in – between grey,
a matter for
black and white.

separate, facts find
fiction fornicating
in a web of deceit
by design, too lurid
for children like
Persephone – abducted
innocence; a metaphor
for rape, choking the Hell
out of life, all the while
pseudo affection bribes
a handful of lollies
to sweeten the blow.

I want everything to be saved,
he said.

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

Notorious

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

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

Abyss

image

I don’t recognise myself anymore

that fool
that blind stupid fool
whose face lit up and smiled
like Cheshire – following you everywhere

once

/

she saw the sun shine
out of your arse like a fractured halo and dared to love you

it’s gone

and all she can think about
is how to sign off
how to extricate herself
from humiliation; still
that cacophony of cackling voices

the concept of love is as corrupt and meaningless as the world in which we live

/

its not for me
I want out
I don’t want to look
for anything to look
forward to or to be reborn
only to have love fail –
rubbed in my face like spent semen
again and again
spoiled

how can love co-exist anymore than Buddha, Allah, Jesus or Mary?

/

love is blind
and refusal often offends
I want oblivion, finality
one painful life is enough for me

I swallow my insecurities
like my black and white thinking
allowing acid to corrode me from within
turning me upside down
inside out

/

I think about death and dying
like that single stone
that skipped a few beats
before it sank
out of sight
never to be thought of again

there is absolutely nowhere left to go
and I am like a shell of what I once was a hollow husk of withered cells
dying my slow and agonizing death
angry for being so magnificently vulnerable in contemptible
self loathing

and to think that there are those among us who want to live!

I should feel blessed – accept
except everything feels so jaded
burned and extinguished

life just isn’t worth living
sometimes
but I do

I struggle to see the light
shining on me when I am in pain

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Behind My Apron Strings

Death by Cigarette

1.

“By God it’s good to see family when you’re sick!”, he beamed
arms o u t s t r e t c h e d, averted
teary eyes near
over
flowing

He really must be dying
I feel bad for him
& Him

who feels worse?
wounds are open now
exposed
affection weeping years

suppression/repression/aggression

he shys away from him
behind: behind my apron
strings
pull him toward me
I lean forward: toward
Him

too soon for hymns
but not too late

/

is this what it feels like to die?
to soften for once in your life?

2.

Do I have to wait
that long before I see
the next generation cry
before I
find something to be defensive about?

a fathers legacy

He feels sorry sad
& scared
I follow his every move
I watch Him from behind
corners

He has a lot to answer
He doesn’t know how to feel
the loss
not knowing; the baby
wanting hugs
finding joy in the smallest of things

He will be gone soon

Thy Will Be Done
& life
Will

/

He is not my father
he is my grieving lover
I shake their tears loose

© Copyright 2007 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved