His Soul and my Insignificance

Neglect

In my dream I was a dog.

Some sort of mangy matted thing tethered to a rope and stake. Fragments of cracked bone and coagulated mud puddles, stuck to my fur.

In my dream

I saw the man come— he brought his cold black eyes and set his sights on me, hurled another bucket of slop at my feet and I wept.

In my dream

I saw through the black hole in his soul and my insignificance outshone the brightest star, even then I wore my existence well, shut my mouth and kow-towed, I became nothing more than a flea.

In my dream

I wore a collar and bore love just to prove that point I once knew before I disappeared into a maelstrom of mourning. Nothing left to give.

I am reminded of the wife beater singlet and mullet crop of men way back then, the stench of decay followed by assault and I know it’s only a matter of time before I die.

Still, in my dreams

I am honoured to be graced by his presence but in reality, I am worthless.

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

The Slow Toll Bell

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Illaru at Night

I am dying.

My bones leach, ache

In my catatonic state and my mind

Drifts skew-whiff, a vagabond pilgrimage

Across the Never Never astral plain.

Final destination riding slipstreams and moon beams

To infinity beyond nightmares

Passing through spectre

Through astro fields

(wrought iron cages)

Through Aeon.

I am bed bound, Catholicism eyeing my orphan crib

Lined with soggy biscuits and cheap red wine

Remnants of a past life

Neglect, emaciated limbs distended malnutrition

Wormholes in my solar plexus

Infiltrating dessert.

I can see small babies kick—

Dung beetle’s all legs, flat on their back’s

Only half way there.

The slow toll bell calls my body, anchor

Illaru strained against the silver tide

Subsidence destined to reside

In Long Beach under night sky,

Piece meal.

Condor tempt me to stray

Death wish incubus prey,

I pray to an unknown Goddess in my final hour

She comes like Madonna,

Mary Magdalene leven Ishtar

And all I can do is wait

To be held in her warm arms.

I am dying.

My bones leach, ache

In my catatonic state

In my mind’s eternal damnation.

Eternal Damnation

© Copyright 2022, Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All rights reserved

Lady Lazarus & the Voice of Ratified Reason

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“If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment”. JD Butler

He’s using me, I’m using him – both of us working on a palatable means to several ends & everyone’s happy on the dance floor, except me / Lady Lazarus, fully loaded

machinations mimicking my madness & everything I have survived is temporarily erased from my memory / the neglect, the rapes, the con artists & the turning of blind eyes. The violence

of insanity, cleansing the last of my contemptible dirty pieces. A ruse in the end, designed to ratify my plea bargain, still set to drown in a sea of toxic shame, churning

out green bile – something the dogs love to salivate over.

/

It all sounds so depressing, except for the sun that continues to rise; refracted light beams infiltrating my cracks,

forcefully illuminating all remaining fragments of hope that haven’t yet marvelled at a setting sun. I am thankful.

If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment, you would all marvel at my unadulterated halo & drop to your knees, prostrate

but I am a mere mortal woman. No God could ever carry me across the sand or walk on water or set me down on the island of my choice,

without some sort of comeuppance; paying the ferryman requires nerves of steel / I lack the will to either live or die,

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

Imagination