The Rage Monster

Atlas Justice

Atlas was sleeping over at Mama J’s, while Dad had some very important family calls to make.

Everything was fine, lots of giggles and play — the garden hose, scattering and Dads shaving cream.

Atlas rocked on the couch in the media room, went into the playroom and did it there too.

He ate all his dinner and had a bubble bath, then crashed around ten with Looby the dog.

He woke during the night and jumped in with Mama J, he slept like a log until the next day.

Mama J didn’t get much sleep through the night, Atlas was all arms and legs — the little shite!

The next day was fine too, all enjoying the peace, while Looby ran around patrolling the place.

Then out from nowhere Atlas lost his sh*t! He scratched and he screeched, yowled and then bit!

Out came the fingernails, the gnashing of teeth but Atlas couldn’t say why because he couldn’t speak.

Mama J put the move on him and held both his hands, non-violent crisis intervention was planned.

Still, poor Atlas stomped and he kicked, he didn’t like being held, not one little bit!

After a while when he’d let out his rage, he burst into tears like a lost boy being saved.

Mama J went into action, soothing the little man, told him everything was alright and that he’d be OK.

It took a wee while but they came to a truce, Dad was on his way home and Atlas was dressed.

(Mama J had a bit of time to clean up some mess).

His bag was packed and Looby had stopped barking, they were patiently waiting for the gate to swing open.

Atlas rested his head on Mama J’s shoulder and she stroked his hair and gave him a cuddle.

Atlas and Mama J had scratches all over, so she applied Pawpaw cream to make it all better.

Then just as expected Dad finally arrived, a zombie-kind-of-cooked dad, but very much alive.

Atlas was almost back home to himself but much more subdued and with flushed cheeks as well.

Dad chatted with Mama J about the night he had had, celebrating the beloved Anna-Marie.

(with Rita and Bobby, Sonya and friend).

When it was time for both of them to leave, Dad gave Mama J a big hug and a kiss.

Atlas walked away quietly holding onto Dad’s arm, then Looby and Mama J crashed out on the couch.

Atlas Justice & Mama J (Jodine Derena Butler)

© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022

Yabba Dabba Dad!

Matthew Phoenix

Yabba Dabba Dad jumped up and down, dancing a jig and acting the clown.

He couldn’t remember the last time alone, without Atlas or Looby following him round.

Yabba Dabba Dad was so full of beans, his face was radiating sparkly sun beams.

It was finally Friday, a weekend away, all by himself, alone for two days!

Yabba Dabba Dad shot out the door so fast, he left a trail of smoke as he flew past!

His feet were on fire, his mind was all set, he was on a mission to reset and forget.

Yabba Dabba Dad needed a break, to recharge his health, take care of himself.

It wasn’t about Atlas or Looby as such, he was just tired from doing so much.

Yabba Dabba Dad struggled to get through, all of the things that single dad’s do.

Day in, day out they blurred into one, sometimes dad life wasn’t much fun.

Yabba Dabba Dad was doing his best but every Dad needs a few days to rest.

Atlas and Looby would both be OK, they were having a sleepover with Mama J.

Yabba Dabba Dad was heard driving away, yelling ‘Cocaine and hookers, weed and drag race!’ 😂

(yelling ‘WOOHOO, bring it on! HIP HIP and HOORAY!)

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved
First published on Raising Atlas Rising

The Process of Evolving with a Special Needs Child

Atlas Justice

Life is good
But sometimes it’s incredibly hard.

Atlas wakes up at 5am, jumps into bed and snuggles me. He’s wet, but I’m too tired to move except to throw my arm over him and pray he’ll fall back to sleep. Peace, lasted all of ten minutes.

Sleep deprivation creates at atmosphere that’s blurry at best and tunnel visioned at worst. Quick to rise, de-escalation tactics take all my efforts to stay cool, calm and reasonably collected while I fumble through toast and a nappy change.

I make my coffee, roll a cigarette and head outside to watch the sunrise from the balcony. So far, so good. Atlas is giggling with his iPad, seated at the table and picking at his breakfast. Happy, lasted all of 10 minutes.

He doesn’t want toast, he wants something from the pantry instead except that’s not going to happen. Out come the fingernails – gouging and scratching and a temperamental defiance that escalates into a full blown tantrum.

Matty storms out of the bedroom, red-eyed and livid and puts his foot down. Peace, lasts all of another ten minutes before the pattern repeats.

I’ve had enough too. Gone are my attempts to keep the child’s mood on an even keel, gone are those feelings of inadequacy that I can’t contain Atlas long enough to let his father have a much needed sleep-in and so I take him to his bedroom, shut the stairwell gate and try to discipline the problem.

I fail miserably.

Snap! The proverbial shit hits the fan once again and this time, silence is a warning best served cold. Matty descends, a leg is slapped, a door is slammed and peace returns for at least an hour this time.

Meanwhile, I contemplate taking Atlas out of the house for a drive before he starts the cycle again. I panic. My clothes are in the bedroom, I’m not sure where the car keys are, will Matty approve, will Atlas lose it in the car anyway? I decide to wait a while longer. My jaw is sore from grinding my teeth.

Matty needs respite but I’m all there is and so we lurch from dawn to well into the early hours, exhausted and running on fumes.

Atlas is a cockblocker too.

The countdown to esctasy on hold for the indefinite future. Foreplay, fails to get either of us off the ground or high enough to move to first base, let alone dive in fingers first and squeeze one out. The conditions of our release barely blow off steam and the only thing getting hard, is life for the next two months, while we reassess the situation.

A temporary adjustment. Life is actually pretty good. Most days Atlas is on form and we make a great team but school holidays with a child with special needs, without any respite, requires strategy.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

Oh No!

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Atlas & Dad (Matthew Phoenix)

Oh no! thought Atlas,

Looking at the mess.

Oh no! says Dad,

Not this again.

Nappy fluff is everywhere

There is no end

All over the carpet

In Atlas’ hair!

Oh no! says Mama J,

What is going on?

There’s fluff on the patio,

There’s fluff on the floor,

There’s fluff on the bed,

And there’s fluff on the walls!

There was no end

To the fluff Atlas caused.

A confetti of fluff

Had kept Atlas amused

He’d forgotten about other stuff

That he could be doing,

Like playing with Looby

Or arranging his toys

Or watching his iPad

And listening to noise.

Instead he made carnage

A world full of fluff!

Oh no! thought Atlas,

I think I’ve f*cked up!

Oh no! says Dad,

Ready to scold

Oh no! says Mama J,

Looking forlorn.

In the meantime, Atlas

Had sneaked out the back!

He’d snuck up the stairs

While they sorted it out!

He picked up his iPad

Plonked down on his chair

Grabbed a handful of crackers

Threw them in the air!

A squeal of happiness

Burst out from his mouth.

Oh no! exclaimed Dad,

Where’s Atlas now?

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising, 2022

Sacred Reflections

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I can learn to trust:

Innocence, the touchy feely wonderfulness you share with everyone.

Respect, for private conversations with our beautiful friends.

Moments, when you forget you’re with me, until you remember lovingly.

Orbiter’s, that can barely disguise their agenda’s, until you assert yourself honestly.

Occasions, where I risk opening myself up to play – loving you.

Fear, when my thoughts take me to dark places & I have to learn to speak softly.

Silences, that are sacred reflections of us & I learn how to listen.

Times, when unconsciousness collides & I am awakened, letting go.

Your heart, that shines just for me in our togetherness.

*

I am learning to trust that I will be ok,

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

My Book

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I am about to publish my first book of poetry, being released in New Zealand and Australia. My collection of poems have been edited by the lovely Andra Jenkin (New Zealand) and myself with their new format soon to be updated, in excerpt form, on Poetry Out West. 

My book will be available for purchase in all the usual places. Watch this space for book launches (Australia and New Zealand) and a chance to get an autographed copy.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all, for your likes, comments, encouragement, support and critique. Poetry is everything to me and without you all, it falls on deaf ears (hearts and minds).
© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Angry Drunk Girl

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“It was well after midnight before the first cock crowed & the lights went out indefinitely.” JD Butler

We Ubered into town, once we got our shit together, sorted lines & tripped the lights. The Jack featured Bullhorn & us Dee Jay’s from Ashcats & Rizon, our Friday week off to a roaring 1920’s vintage swing finale! 

Bar tabs, Summers, champers & me, the bar bitch on fine swagger for most of the night – till the light flipped & the angry drunk girl was refused entry. She swung through mad backbeats in-between Bullhorns’ ska, till the shit hit the fan in spectacular speakeasy.

Rizon flipped digital vinyl, off & on like the open & shut of Phil’s steam punk pocketwatch – Ashcat’s in fine time. Me, almost deepthroating the mic, freestyling to a crowd of five hundred or more, just before angry drunk girl showed up again, taking the piss while she ripped off her brazen bustier & let it all hang out. 

It was not her finest hour, even though Carla’s lightbeam replaced stares, calming more than a sea of storming masculinity, it was well after midnight before the first cock crowed & the lights went out indefinitely.

*

Angry drunk girl reared her ugly head first thing in the morning – then decided it wasn’t worth the effort.


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


Witty

Fear

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I’m afraid to let you in

fear 

open myself up in case I make another mistake 

his hands around my throat

turning my vulnerability into high voltage more powerful than I 

fear

harming me more than my imaginations interrogate

the fusion of vocal chords 

when you say beautiful amazing things to me; I don’t know where to look

self doubt bonded to grey matter

on fire, using myself against myself, feeling violated – crazy

fear

wondering recognition, unseeing myself in you

your soulful eyes a lighthouse or warning?

my turbulent wake adjusting. I think I’m fucked up

fear, or is it?

*

You are so beautiful

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

Gate

Machiavellian Green-eyed Monster 

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My Machiavellian green-eyed monster bats her surreptitious eyelids to within an inch of her lasciviously sly lips, barking out orders like Lady Muck subconsciously screwing her fucking finger, but all I can hear is a drum roll; her Devonshire high tea served & my Mad Hatter sets the scene with nothing more than a whistle


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

Scamper

Euphoria 

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“I observe you – watching your every move. You’re watching everyone else…” JD Butler


Euphoria

spreading outward like your ‘Albatross’, set to soar; crowd surfing your way into Heaven

You ride it like the wind

steam punking up your moves like they’re going out of fashion, reinventing the wheel & cogs kick up a gear on your deck

Euphoria kicks up a storm in my heels, my flapper tassles set to sidle sidelong into your heart – if I could retrace my steps, pulling my own heart strings

You set the scene in red

parasols with frilly bits line your periphery, reminding us of beauty; love can still be found in all the right places, in more than one heart

I move in time to paradiddles, rhyme & unreasonable expectations, underneath a canopy of tune swinging my way into bliss & unwelcome trysts

You, ‘row your boat’ to freedom in the stars without wind in your sails or decompression, relying on faith & kindness; your current is like lightening in fractals

*

I observe you – watching your every move. You’re watching everyone else, until the parties over & you find me

For a nanosecond I am smitten, before I find myself too afraid to feel


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

Loop

Shedding my Skin (Shaking that Ass)

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I found myself once more

Remembering who, what & where I am – who my friends are

Reminding myself of love

Where I’ve been, where I’m going

Trusting whatever will be, letting go

Going with the flow

*

I’ve found my heart again

Radiating like a white lightening inferno

Spreading love like seeds to sow; in my happy place once more

Smiling, laughing

Dancing my way into the light, with a new lease on life

*

Once more I defy cruelty by design

Rising up, shaking you off

Washing myself clean, shedding my skin (shaking that ass)

My right place is right here now

& I’ve found more than hope this time

My spark is brighter than before

& it’s time I finally closed that door

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

Volume

I’m So Over You 

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I cringe these days, remembering all the lies

They just rolled off your tongue without a second thought

You are one big lie

I still remember all the good times I thought we had, even though they were fake 

I guess it’s a sign of the times – fake heart, fake life, fake news

It was always going to be take, take, take with you

*

I’m so over you, that I laugh now when my friends find me a bumper sticker that sums you up in a nut shell, “[insert name here] is a cunt!”

I’m so over you, that I find myself smiling thinking about someone else without having to watch my back

I’m so over you, that I find myself feeling sorry for you and your miserable, hard-done-by life and how you missed out

I’m so over you, that I hope you finally meet the one (in your dreams)

I’m so over you, I hope you find what you’re looking for and get everything you deserve 

because, let’s face it

You deserve everything you get 

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


Cringe

This Is How It’s Done

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Artist Unknown

It costs nothing to show me you care; 

holding my hand

makes me feel like I belong with you

stroking my face

makes me feel cherished

look into my eyes 

and I feel seen, really seen by you

hug me

and I feel loved

when you smile

I feel warmed by you

when you praise me

it makes me want to do even better

when you run your fingers through my hair

I want to bury my face in your chest

when you tell me you love me

I feel like I’m yours

when you say and do all of the above

you show me how much you really care.

Now that isn’t so hard

is it?

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

Create

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

My Dublin Leprechaun 

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Photos by me, Jodine Derena Butler, 2017


I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple Bar

I found me seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

My leprechaun he raised his eyebrows, looked at me and sang a smile

He strummed his guitar, tapped his feet and I was left my heart on fire

For I had lost my Ireland, Dublin calling me back home

I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple bar

I found my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

A pint or three? he said to me, I laughed and clapped and danced a jig

He sang to me in Gaelic land and I held my Johnny’s strumming hand

And so it was, the cider flowed, and we were left beside us

I landed in old Dublin town not far from Temple Bar

I found my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

We made our way to Clontarf castle, almost tripping over feet

Now it could be said, of what he did, that roseyed my cold cheeks in bed…

My Dublin Leprechaun beside me, crying in his arms he held me

He found me in old Dublin town, not far from Temple Bar

On my seat beside the barman, drinking apple cider

My Dublin leprechaun he found me, and to this day he will remind me

I came home that Temple Bar, he sang to me and stole my heart…

The Temple Bar Pub


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

Brassy

Version 2
I crossed the sea by winged plane

I landed in old Dublin town

I found my way to Temple Bar

Wth ruined roads a shambles
My Leprechaun was singing pretty
He sung to me of Dublin city

Fair lad and lass, love and loss

I felt my heart was heavy
I landed in old Dublin town

I found my way to Temple Bar

My ancestry lost long ago

Stories told me not remembered
My irish Leprechaun he told me

Some fair things are best forgotten

So I danced a jig to my long lost relies

And raised my glass of cider
 I found myself in dublin city no Guinness factory

I raised my glass in Temple Bar

My Irish Leprechaun reminds me

Down at Temple Bar

I found myself in dublin town

Down at Temple Bar

My Leprechaun was a playin

I danced a jig for my long lost relies

I raised my glass of cider

And that was me, you see

I found myself in dublin city

Temple bar a clappin
One two three four times

I danced a jig for my long lost relies 

Raised a jug to cider happy

Oh to be in Irish land

My irish Leprechaun held my hand

Oh my bonny lass

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

Scent

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Photographer Veronika Marx – V’s Anchor Studio

The scent of a woman

made from floral Oriental arrangements

imbued sandlewood, tall poppies and heady ambient aura’s

is enough to make me linger – longer than wiser men swoon

tripping over their good fortune, as I sway through the market overflowing with trinkets

glittery things; replacing driftwood, pinecones, seeds and pods

cinnamon sticks and stones

eau de parfum of musk, nascent wafts of earth and wild rain
stay hidden from your touch, designed to draw you in
and leave you wanting

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

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


I Choose 

I choose to remember, you

At your best

Full of smiles, laughter and honest love

Way back when, when I fell head over feet for you

On my balcony

Still remembering how we made love

Anywhere and everywhere

I think about those times, more often than not

Saddened by the depths of despair

That tore us apart

Fighting for our princess and all our hopes and dreams for her, for us

I miss you, your touch, your wanton ways that had me yearning for you, hourly

Do you remember?

Or choose to see me, like all the rest

Another woman whose done you wrong, although I never did

I loved you and we would have had it all, save the trauma and distress

Looking forward to a wonderful life

Even now, I choose to remember you as I knew you then

Plied up to the eyeballs on codeine and Restavits, just so you could sleep

Me, telling you there was a better way, and you cut that big pharma shit – lest Heath had a lend of your good humour

You were running thin and away

I thought you found what you were looking for and I nearly died

Saving myself from you

I long to see your face and look into your beautiful eyes, still

For a brief moment I found love

I hope to think that it wasn’t all for nothing

I wish only the best, despite it all

I forgive you.

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

Revelation

Invitation

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Vintras, depicted here celebrating an unorthodox Mass called ‘the Provictimal Sacrifice of Mary’

I don’t need no invitation

I don’t need no gang control

No dark frustration in the clubhouse

Preacher leave those thugs alone

(Bridge)

Hey Preacher!

Leave those thugs alone!

(Chorus)

All in all you’re just a – nother prick in the pall

All in all you’re just a – nother prick in the pall

From the 1920’s Swedish Film ‘Witches’ (Häxan)

Invitation

Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall

First published on Far North Fiction
© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved