Demeters Descent

Demeter Descending

You’ve been breaking me.

Killing me softly like that song, trying not to harm me, trying not to lie — letting me fall to see if I come back stronger. I know what you’re doing; giving me facts to face my fears
so you don’t have to wear a mask.

Sinking me down further, bit by bite.

You watch me wrestle with Psyche, see the squalls before they arrive, the rogue waves looming on the horizon and try to navigate the shit storm that is my life or so I imagine her lot,

Sometimes.

Forecast’s based upon trust, an old school remedy tried and tested over centuries of trial and error, almost on the doorstep of my abandonment. I have to want to choose my life over my life, play with fire or die in vain — seek some sort of comfort hold that pulls me close (safe), that doesn’t strangle me in my sleep.

Demeters demise.

Comes as no surprise then. Her return from the underworld fraught with danger, shed the All, her only hope of salvation and ascension coming to light; Zeus rumbling his desires expects nothing less than a fathers love in return.

I think I am forsaken.

You think I am like Poppy, offer me a chance to be apart of a real family, show me another way to heal, to find warmth and trust that I am genuinely loved where I can thrive, in time. Something I have too much of and not enough to squander.

I want to give it all away.

My job, my friend, my life in exchange for something worth fighting for, yet I am bereft, devoid and damaged beyond repair and you cannot reach me. I need more time to get over you.

Another, will begin another end

to wear me down to char. Somehow my destiny taunts me, forces me to watch and become nothing but a burdon I still have to carry when I can no longer fight and I don’t have what it takes to push through, for you.

Trust no one.

Bravery has always been a strong fulcrum point, an internal compass that leaps toward faith, a little too close for comfort in the end. My judgement will come as swiftly as Hera came forward to claim what was rightfully hers, tearing out her own heart for the sake of her enemies!

You don’t want me.

My demons are telling me I have to die a bit more in order to live but it still hurts to say goodbye. Either way, I am lost right now and there’s nothing anyone can do. You’re all in for a hell ride while I deconstruct and I make no guarantees that I will survive intact this time.

Evolution.

My head is trying to cling to straws while my heart is breaking and I have no where left to go, except home. The secret to survival is balancing hope and despair. I am doing my best and I am so tired.

Guflydktskyl vg j jkhlhc. Khhc khckhc. Uclhfflh. Yxjrekh. Kyeekgxkyggl. It all makes no sense to me. Just empty words in hollow spaces

All This & Heaven Too – Florence and the Machine

© Copyright 2021, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Skin & Bitch Bone

I don’t want to go to Church;

Have to kneel for a scrap of bread,

Have to beg for forgiveness,

Have to swallow an empty vessel for a measly sip of port wine.

All of it, on my divine time —

For a bullet with my name on it.

I don’t want to be told what to do;

When I am deemed worthy enough for you.

Where I can live, when you decide

Who I can be with, if it suits them.

What I can wear, to show off my hour-glass figure & classic class.

How I earn my pittance pay & not be dependent on you for anything —

That doesn’t meet with family approval.

I don’t want to live this way;

Waiting for a skin & bitch bone

Salivating over moldy morsels

Wagging my mangy tail,

Waiting for that prayer of approval.

I am of Mary Magdalene.

The Patron Saint of Prostitutes

The red right hand of Jesus —

His only true partner in crime.

I am a Goddess in my own right

& I deserve to be equal, besides

I don’t take kindly to being manipulated by Romans or Benedictine

Monks, attempting to make meals on wheels look A La Carte.

Men who would starve a loved one, & feed a stranger, if it meant they were a step closer to the light.

Attonement casts an evil shadow —

Double standards rape & pillage your family values & family members drop like flies amongst the lies.

/

Heart’s bleed out through cathedrals & stained glass window’s, while you profess your love in gypsy spades.

You piss all over me like a stinking leper!

You, who would decide if I live or die!

Let those who cast the first stone wallow in self pity because I turn my back.

I walk away from you & yours, my bright future fading into despair like the grandiose mirage that it was.

All of it, on your terms.

You would discard me in a heartbeat.

Your entitlement precedes your entourage of everything & nothing,

Where you would set limits on love to the detriment of your own broken heart.

So be it!

These are all moot points in the grand master plan anyway.

The great scheme of things to come, comes at a much greater cost & one I can live without.

Hozier- Take Me To Church

© Copyright 2020, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Delilah

In the depths
Of my despair, flawed

Imperfections serve only to pander to Delilah.

She is much too fast for freedom, too slow to let go.

She could never bring her self to Samson half arsed.

Her darkness tempers his desire

Cool, waters his deflated ego

And she, too far away from home

Floats like a lotus.

© Copyright 2020, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

The Venus Flytrap of Love

She fell for him.

She learned to feel ashamed.

Feelings; the dirty word for love, left her sitting in the dark on my balcony, stubbed out like a cigarette butt.

He had to go.

He learned to feel afraid.

Feelings; the Venus Flytrap of love, left him closing the door to my apartment, shut down like a stubborn ass mule.

Still.

Denial stole like a thief.

Feelings; think it would be easier to maintain a smile, but neither of them like bullshit or manipulation or lies.

© Copyright 2020, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

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

Killing Heidi

Last night was a true clusterfuck.

This morning, she’s thinking about taking a class

Act.

Flashbacks of a child making desperate promises she can’t keep

Pray.

She learned there was no one who really cared

Naked.

A victim of conditioned responses or lack thereof killing Heidi off

Halo.

Inextricably separate, forever grieving the loss of her

Forgiveness.

When all it takes is to swallow it down whole and roll

Die.

Does she know how much it hurts?

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

Heidi

Most Days

Image

“I’m in my garden planting, weeding or harvesting.” JD Butler

1.

Most days I want to die.

My heart breaks

over the most

stupidest of things.

My thoughts tell me I am not

strong enough

pretty enough

skinny enough

feminine enough

kind enough

friendly enough

sexy enough

compassionate enough

caring enough or

rich enough.

My brain tells me I’m too

moody

angry

sad

depressed

anxious

ugly

scared

fragile

emotional

weak

unpredictable

unstable

flighty

and fickle.

My brain tells me to think

the worst of every situation, interpret every thing as an

attack

snide remark

slur

corner

lie

deception or

ulterior motive.

I really shouldn’t take things so personally.

Others think I’m too

Sexual

Slutty

Useing

Abusing

Needy and

Crazy.

I guess

that’s why he told me I have no friends.

Most days I can’t stand it any more.

I’m too much of every thing or not enough.

I wish I was never born.

/

I’m ok on a good day, but I struggle. Demons,

in my waking hours, have a go at me for every-little-thing that ever was.

How, do I continue to survive?

Most days, I just want to die.

2.

Some days I feel happy.

content

pleased

proud

relaxed

calm

and secure.

I’m in my garden planting, weeding or harvesting.

And I think about what else I want to do.

Paint

draw

read

make

sculpt

weld

and create.

Money holds me back so I continue watering the garden.

Some days I feel optimistic.

I am convinced I’m going to get that job,

find that financial independence,

not go back to sex work although I miss it terribly.

Some days I don’t think about

pain

loss

fear

humiliation

rejection

or torment.

I’m numb, but at least I’ve stopped

shaking in my boots,

jumping all over the place,

looking around every 5 fucking seconds

or wanting to run.

Some days I feel hope that I won’t

take my life

end up on the streets

be alone and lonely

have no friends

have no lover

or find love.

Whats wrong with me?

I live with trauma, fuck up daily and behave like a bitch –

and I dont think I can be fixed

sometimes.

Some days I’m OK.

I smile

laugh

joke

play

make love

not war.

I try not to let the voices win. I try to

bite my tongue

shut my mouth

hold back tears

try my best

please my man

and stop complaining.

I try not to wait for the end, although I push everyone away – my deluded saving grace

is more likely cutting off my nose, to spite my face.

Some days I think I will survive.

But most days, I still want to die.

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

A Mummers Dance: Demeters Descent into Hades

Image

What will become of her?

The three Fates furiously pull Demeters hair / dragging resistance, weaving fistfuls of slate grey strands into knots through gnarled fingers. She struggles to break free.

Their mummers puppet, refusing to stay a decision, deciding that nothing can be done that hasn’t been done before.

Demeter in her craven mind, reluctantly resigns & begins her inevitable descent into death / succubus airs sliding down around those slippery steps like a mortal wound.

What terrible unknown awaits?

Letting go, becoming a ghoulish nightmare / a back-lashing monologue of regret that terrifies her waking hours leaving nothing else to be desired.

Oh the fury!

How ill-equipped her gaze, stripped bare of stippled ends & brushed strokes / all hope is lost, perished in the long-black-abyss of eternal sleep.

She remembers Persephone, in her full bodied beauty & wails at the indignity of brittle bones & a peeling river of flesh falling from her ancient body, with every maudlin step.

Demeter stumbles. Trips. Her fall from grace crash landing at her own feet / anything is better than another mask, in the pantomime of lifes abomination.

She finally meets Persephones gaze / a ravaged maniacal stare, steady amongst the carnage of after-birth strewn all about her.

There is no escape.

It’s here her malicious appendages thrash / manipulating moans & pathetic misery, chaos finally falling on deaf ears.

If the end must come, make it swift!

/

A hard, fast jolt into the after-life, where the ambrosia of a ravaged soul is drained from existence / that rancid elixir of a life less loved, can finally be laid to rest

& lost for all eternity.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Hard-wired

It’s a hard-wired

ephemeral life

I lead.

Half of me yearning.

Half of me mourning.

Desire

for a quick death,

overcome by the

monotonous grind;

clandestine,

dragging

it’s heels inching

forever forward

toward an unremarkable

destination.

Except for

that constant ache.

A low throb

moan between my

legs,

rising up & into

my belly, disturbing

the dying butterflies

there.

Oh to be blindfolded!

Black out spread eagled,

all solidified reminders

teased to know pleasure

for pleasures sake.

Played

like an object

of your imagination

& devoured

like a ripe peach.

I’m too old

for this shit!

Wanting

to just be loved.

No out-back

salt lakes to be found.

Slip streams

giving way

to an avalanche

in a classical black

& white silent movie.

It’s all too much

to take in,

the depravity

of age & of consent.

Too young, yet

too old to let

things slide.

Still, the tears come,

let loose

to chide & deride

my feminine critique;

that contemptible self

loathing that likes

to sink her

teeth in.

Heart

broken,

wanting for nothing

but life’s

simple pleasures

to sweep her

off her feet —

lead her into

an ecstasy of wanton

abandonment

for just one moment,

to still the voices

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

Nude

Persephone

Image

 

“Persephone never quite forgave injustice, but she did learn to shed her skin” JD Butler 

You came over larger than life, in all your big beautiful buxom-ness,

I got you naked.

My legs wrapping themselves around you like spider star’s, our flambuoyant embraces creating seismic ripples in our milky way.

When you weren’t whingeing about the cold – manifesting uncontrollable shivers & shakes, I watched your face smile like iridescent plankton sparkling in the moonlight; the ebb & flow of your once moored reserve.

You let it all hang out under cover of darkness, except for artificial red lights intermittently flashing, innocent for all of it’s risquè innuendos but oh so enlightening!

*

I don’t presume to know you intimately, although you remind me of Persephone – Hades having honed her fury, tempering Demeter’s mournful wrath all thanks to Hercate.

My third eye dived into your psyche, recognising myself in your reflection. Tidal waves of emotion crashed through and over, till I could see and you could see me.

*

Persephone never quite forgave injustice, but she did learn how to shed her skin & find rebirth in the spring,

bursting into wild rain.


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

Myth of Persephone & Demeter

Sympathy

The Great Love of My Life

Image

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 

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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

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

Silence is White Noise

Image

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

Image

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