Oh Amsterdam! 

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Anne Frank was here living in squalid conditions, only to be ratted out by patriots in 1944, Gestapo herding her and hers out like cattle transported far, far away from this place

Just like the world today, history repeating in Chechnya where gays are sent into concentrated camps, denying their existence as the world watches with a limp dick or wet fish and everyone has an arsehole about Syria

Patriots still hide behind fascism, racism, Islamo-xenophobic’s beating their sunken chests to within an inch of their white male privileged lives, with nothing better that vitriol!

Passive narratives join in the furore, patting collective backs up against invisible walls dividing more than the usual apartheid regimes of monopoly – needing a change? Freedom comes in sanctioned collateral damage, onlookers merely pawns in the battle for world domination and white suited supremacy, lead by Uncle Sam of course!

My world is tainted, leftist humanity tipping the balance in favour of compassion and tolerance, set to split my heart in two where atrocities are rendered into political manipulations; illuminated lies and propaganda 

Religion sets the scene by revisiting inquisitions and crusaders choose selection over perception again, and again failing to unlearn the inevitable apathy and indignation that comes from slavery

Amsterdam was once a safe haven till in her final hour she succumbed to insanity, and I remember Anne resisting adolescent outbursts in her diary – not unlike our Facebook counterparts where truth is confused with censorship and fake news by design

I am here in Amsterdam with the weight of the world at war against my back, looking for salvation in the past, lessons to consolidate so that I can pilfer some sort of peace of mind from the rabble

Mushroom soup set to lift the lid off my self imposed restraint. If only I could find a way forward that doesn’t leave me looking over my shoulder, and cannabis prohibition just makes no sense at all!

Longing for that balance to tip where I am appreciated for my self while belonging to no one, safe in my tulip tea party knowing I have a place to call home to go back to, is no consolation for rejected refugees 

My heart has an ancestry here in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and France with an Australian convict deportment threatening the sin of a potato famine, back to New Zealand where it all began

If I’m not careful, I will be made to do penance against my Will and I don’t believe in god! No gods ever made sense to my rationale or their behaviour, and those postulating as priests are nothing but wolves! 

Religion is best served cold, where it belongs tossed into a neocon salad with all the trimmings of Kali on the side just to rub it in to both christian and muslim radicals

I prefer to chow down with the artists and define my existance as heresy and colour my world with its shadows and stalwart resistance, always resisting and history will be on my side eventually, when the smoke clears and everyone is looking for a scapegoat

Amsterdam is set to blow!
Putin Backs Inquiry
Fake News Purveyors Busted

White Innocence Denial

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

For my Sister

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I remember when you were born
in 1977 mum had a fall, sprawled
out on the lawn
I had to dial dad in the cowshed
on one of those antiquated wind up
Long Short Short – telephones
I was 9

You had a stripy bouncy, I still have
that photo of you I need to find & post
I changed your nappies; whoa
what an eye opener that was!
I dressed you, fed you your bottle
I loved playing mum, babysitting

You didn’t have a dummy, preferring
an old cloth nappy that you wore down
bit by stringy bit, till all that was left
was the bias edge – you still have
shoved right up your nose
we all wondered what that stench was
when the doctor pull it out
green & gooey, everybody cleared out
gagging

When you grew older, I would sing
Roy Orbison ‘Crying’, I used to
make you cry but you wanted me to
you were my cute little blonde blister
we all loved you, you could do no wrong
that’s how it should be of course

When you had Stanlee, you were still a baby at 18
but so proud of your achievement
then you had Tayla, another blonde terrorist
lucky you
one of each to drive you round the bend
for the next 15 years or so

You always had a thing for cars
panelbeating, time out
in your woman-cave, your room/womb
you are now driving yourself
round the bend
your lead foot finally putting the boot in

Dad loved cars too, least you
haven’t lost a wheel yet – his wheel
won the race that day at Pukekohe
midget number 33
they used to race blind back in the 70’s
him & Barry Butterworth & Ted Tracey

Years went by & you met Ross
it all fell into place – finally
you make a great pair
‘Team Vulcanator’, team Campbell
my little sister all growed up
showing them all up
your happiness becomes you

I am proud of you, knowing you
have played your cards to suit
piggie-in-the-middle
tempered frustration behind the scenes
you tried for me, us and them
to see reason broaching the topic
with that fun sense of humour
laughing absurdity in the face

Thank you for being my big little sister
despite all the family bullshit
too young to understand
you can thank me for showing them
how to love you
they were too wrapped up
in themselves to notice me, such is life
children don’t come with a handbook
unfortunately

Anyhoo…I love you
I will always be here for you
no matter what they might say
I have money now (I hear you laughing)
I stole mine apparently (I’m laughing)
I don’t deserve anything
least of all happiness
but then I’ve only got to look at mum
trying to convince her self she is
her denial, anxiety & depression
past being passed down

Keep smiling & having fun
everything gets better with time
nothing else matters
but you’ve already worked that out
maybe there is hope for me yet?
but I hate everyone I don’t trust
having had the rug pulled out
from under me too many times
losing innocence & love
lost parts of my self I will never find
but as long as you are happy
I’m happy

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Eulogy – For my Grandparents

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When I think about my Grandparents, I am instantly drawn back to my childhood.

So many memories.  Drum kits under the bed, electric helicopters, the piano, so many green bottles on the wall! The boat they named after me – Jodine. The new Kent fire. Those two Retro chairs.  The Army hut in the back yard where I got up to mischief.  The original Hibiscus Coast Taxi – a beautiful white Chevrolet that was to become the symbol of family pride. Poisonous berries on the way to the front door…I thought about eating them sometimes just to see what would happen.

So many memories.  Being with my Grandparents saved my life.  I spent every chance I had with them and their energy.  My home away from home.  I played dress-ups, created pottery, made string kaleidoscopes, learned how to draw, listened to Johnny Cash and Demis Roussous and learned how to sing.  I learned how to be independent… and how to access the Red paint from under the house!

So many memories of driving up North to the Bach at Omamari Beach in the Great White Chev, always looking for the road markers along the way: Three Furlongs Tavern at Kaiwaka on the way to the Brynderwyns.  Playing Eye Spy and  “Are we there yet” all the way, completely winding them both up till we spied the Toka Toka hill (thinking it was some sort of magic mountain pacifier) . I remember learning to drive the Chev too but I preferred the yellow Beach buggy, taking it out every chance I got to speed along the beach by myself – bliss.

So many memories of wild west coast surf, Tussock grass, sunburn, cliffs, caves, rock pools, the Kai Iwi Lakes, Contiki’s, Kahawai, Toheroa’s, Tua Tua fritters and heading up to Bluff for fresh Green-lipped Mussels off the rocks. My world was full of good old-fashioned love.  My Grandparents taught me how to believe in myself too.  I now know what it means to follow my dreams and remain true to myself no matter what other people might say, think, speculate or fabricate.  To this day I still remain free-spirited.  I live a very full, open, creative, exotic and vibrant life.  I will not be told to shut up.  I will not be put in my ‘so-called’ place.  My voice will no longer be silenced.

My Grandparents were my whole world back then and now that Nana is with Grandpop, I can once again see them sitting side by side, their bones warmed by the fire, looking out onto the world they helped create – for me, for us.  My Grandparents will always be my happy place.  I even have a fond memory of Nana’s tea that was more like soup with cheese and pickled onion sandwiches.  My Grandparents were my first love.  Nothing or no one can take these memories away from me.  I was there for it all and I thank them both for loving me.

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Grey Matters

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She stepped down from the Northern Explorer, weary after the 12 hour sojourn from Auckland to Wellington.

All reasonable precautions had been taken to appear non-plussed but she was feeling more than a little ridiculous.  

Her fingers unfurled letting go, simultaneously dropping one shoulder, gravity to catch and release the taut strap of her laptop.  

All hit the platform with a collective thud!

To make matters worse, the baggage door rolled up, revealing more purple Sabini suitcases, added one by one to the mountain of dogs balls now assembling on the pavement. 

She picked past heads, shoulders and backs, furtive in her search of recognition, an extra pair of hands, a baggage cart.  

It had been 12 years since the last time he had crash landed on her doorstep, his purple XC Falcon panel van parked in the driveway.  

Jandles, jeans and a T-shirt, cap in hand.

He was at the Trax Bar, pint in hand, chatting up the female bouncer, blind.

His goat-skin duffel bag slung over the corner of a bar stool.  

His Yahoo Serious attitude to life rolled up into unkempt, sun-kissed natural dreadlocks that leapt out at all angles, confronting even the most liberal senses.  
He was in no hurry.  

What did she expect?  

It had been 20 years since they were an item that could only be described as an ‘eventful interlude at the crossroads of life’.

He traded in everything he’d accumulated (including me) and bought a ticket to nowhere in particular.  

I could hear his favourite mantra replaying like an unpublished Cure single on repeat – there is no such thing as Grey.

Life was black and white.

Grey was something she understood but for once there were no shades anywhere to be found.  

What on earth had possessed her to cross the Tasman with her most worldly possessions, an array of summer dresses and shoes?  

She could feel her stomach tighten, those butterflies rising like her awareness, threatening to expose her presumptive guilt.  

She walked away from her former life, pinning all her hopes and desires on another loose end she knew much better to mess with.  

Hope urged her on wondering if time had been kinder to him, an old flame may re-ignite…  

God knows she needed to feel something.  

Her mind and body had long since turned down any flicker of excitement, preferring to wallow in stoic self-pity; feigned permanent damage, rendering her frigid.

He had always been her potential escape.  

Her reason to live without seeming too dramatic.  

She would have gone anywhere with him, she reflected, knowing he would see straight through her faux par – her cheeks peak that most wanton shade of Crimson.  

Lowering her eyes, she made up her mind wrestling her way toward the lone baggage cart, daring anyone to make a beeline.  

Heading into the terminal, sweat running down the crevice of her back, she tapped out what she needed to say and waited, checking her mobile appearance in its reflection.

Her long tousled hair was a true expression of her frustration.  

Her large blue eyes smudged and blurred, once perfect Charcoal eyeliner betraying her yet again.  

Why did it have to be the hottest clear day of the most piss poor summer New Zealand had ever known?

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Family

Christmas with family at lunch.  loved
ones in spirit present. noticeable
some of us not our usual selves. all of us
a couple of weeks and months ago
father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin
brother, sister, husband, wife, lovers.

love is in the air with a sombre undertone
changing and evolving.  stronger
softer holding on
our spirit’s enquiring gently.  hearts
like cedar louvres
blissfully breathing
lots of hugs and kisses
lots of smiles.

bull mastiffs lap attention unknowingly
giving of themselves.  more
a small child asks for help to go wee’s
as children do.  nona
chuckling as she leads her by the hand.

teenagers frolicking in the pool.  glorious
unfettered minds and bodies celebrating
organic feijoa wine freshly squeezed it seemed.  ripe
the sun in all of us.

pockets of people mingling.  glasses
raised and table laden.  giving thanks
quietly un-quiet mouths, eyes ,ears, skin
and something else.  savouring
sustaining the living and life.  gone
but not forgotten.

© 2008 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved