Betrayal

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I leave the room for one second

and I come back to see your cock slamming into her.

You definitely weren’t thinking about me. Selfish, greedy pig!

To make things worse.

You defended her feeble excuses, tried to twist it around and make it my fault, then you left – with her.

Somehow I’m a user. A psychopath with no friends? Go figure.

You were such a disappointment. Still are.

I see your cock inside her, thrusting hard and I can’t bare to touch you or trust.

Betrayal was never a part of us or what we had. ‘I hope you’re happy now’, was another thing you said.

It’s a waiting game from here on in, till we say goodbye and start again.

It was over before it began really. I knew deep down already, you were just too good to be true. Part of me kept hoping but it’s too late for me now.

I’ll do all my grieving before we say goodbye, so I dont have to think about you then. It won’t be pleasant either, but I’ll take what I can get.

I’ll still wish you the best but I’ll never go there again.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

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Most Days

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“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

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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

Sylvia Prefers Madness over Insanity

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It’s going to hurt digging in, under my skin.

\

Trust. Pain.

Death before dishonour – the Cold War sits in Sylvia’s parlour,

pretending patience is a virtue. We all watch,

a slow burn, already warming the tips

of her lasciviously long

fingers,

licking at her lips.

/

She would rather shake you all off, than let loose another tirade,

another stone, another reason to beg

forgiveness.

Sabotage sinking to a new low.

\

Silvia’s far too unreasonable, although

she prefers irrational; madness defining her in the end. Hands

& feet securely strapped,

her mouth,

stuffed shut with gauze & gaffer tape.

No sign of life – metal bars

& padded cells

resembling reason.

/

Floral oriental lilies.

\

Shes always known how to let go.

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

Astral Dissociation & the Unattainable Cryogenic Pathway to the Stars

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“Who gives a fuck anyway? This makes no sense at all to anyone with amnesia” JD Butler

Give me a .50 calibre assault weapon & I’ll show you how it’s done properly!

*

I’m from New Zealand & I can still marvel at the Milky Way, navigate my eyes toward the Southern Cross & find South in a flash.

Orion has a huge belt and scabbard & it still makes no sense; forbidden clichès sneaking up like a sniper in a sonnet.

What matters, is that poetry is devoid of faux pars & bright stars or anything obviously too subliminal for the masses that may require a deeper space continuum to ponder, an intellect that uses advanced thought to communicate,

falling on deaf & dying stereocilia hairs. Ears, to those who need further clarification, while my advanced alien brain sits within a universe only the top 2% of the world’s population can grasp.

The bourgeoisie cream themselves over it, while they play with their pencil & sharpener.

/

Poetry is only for those with a university education – an English degree, followed by a Diploma in Counselling & a Master of Creative Writing (an advanced degree with Honours). A PhD means power has been attained & is now ready to weild.

We, are merely stepping stones to someone else’s grandiose glory. Poverty & distress are relegated to the past, hidden in a black hole; inertia becoming the internalised abuser. Orion was once the great cosmic overlord,

looking down his nose.

/

Better not piss off the editor either, she’s next in line followed closely by someone we all know & love with his proverbial nose shoved up both of their arses.

Who gives a fuck anyway? This makes no sense at all to anyone with amnesia, but it is my way of creatively dying; poetic suicidal justice, is in a league all of it’s own.

*

Now, you’ll all have fodder for your next project fail & that makes me

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

Conversant

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

All Those Times

All those times you wanted a home for the family and when I bought one, you didn’t like it and I felt disappointed

All those times you stalked me around the house and picked the locks, and I was afraid

All those times you cornered me, hurling foul put downs, till I stuffed my fingers in my ears to protect myself

All those times you told me I was loopy, a slut, a whore – a loopy slut whore and I was hurt

All those times you kicked open the door to pin me to the bed in a fit of rage, and I was struck dumb

All those times you pressured me to buy an investment property instead of renovating the house because you were plotting way back then and I felt betrayed

All those times you moved out, damaging property as you went. It hurt your youngest more than me, when you painted over her beautiful mural and I felt sad

All those times you misled me, hiding behind your Samsung, and your daughter for cover, conjuring plans to deceive and I was manipulated

All those times you spoke ill of me in front of others, your son and my friends – your friends and family and I felt ashamed

All those times you hid your cash, pleading poverty and gutted the

business and I trusted you

All those times you forbade me to enter our shop, and denied you wanted it for yourself and your daughter and I was controlled

All those times you refused to finish my tattoo’s, claiming you were too busy but not too busy for your daughters’ and I was left with rubbish

All those times you said you would draw me a portrait (like yours) and have it tattooed, but you didn’t have enough money even though I gave it to you

All those times you wanted me to go back to work, promising me you could handle it, but you couldn’t and it was my fault

All those times you withdrew your sex, claiming you could go without and I felt unwanted

All those times you accused me of fucking the neighbour, tradies, my boss, anyone and got upset because I sat too close to my ex and I withdrew

All those times you threatened to expose my client, and pounded on the apartment door and I was embarrassed

All those times you judged my friends, for no apparent reason and said they were damaged and I felt damaged

All those times I warned you not to stop taking your medication suddenly, but you did and became abusive and you told your daughter but I was deceived

All those times you resented my money, but took it anyway promising to pay it all back but you had other plans

All those times you said you would do anything for me, then complain you were my slave and I felt trapped

All those times you maligned your ex, your ex wife, your family and those who had crossed you, detailing your revenge and I felt scared

All those times you lied, gas lighting me to my face and Police, to make me doubt myself and instill madness and I became anxious

All those times you said you adored me, meaning as long as I shut my mouth and did as you expected and I went quiet

All those times you said you could never hurt me like your ex’s, because you loved me, giving me a false sense of security and I became depressed

All those times you stole our customers and redirected them to your personal email, yet I was silly for imagining it and I felt set up

All those times you put your personal email on our business pages, but it must have been me and I felt confused

All those times you damaged my property and denied it and allowed your daughter to do it too and I felt ganged up on

All those times you instructed your daughter to remove texts, business files and photographs from my phone and laptop, stating you knew nothing about it, and I felt tricked

All those times you refused to allow me to give a gift voucher to my friends and family, but you said family is always free and I felt nothing

All those times you withdrew your youngest daughter from me, assigning the mother role to your teenage daughter, leaving me outcast

All those times you washed your car, thrice, but wouldn’t wash mine and I felt insignificant

All those times you expected me to cook, but said you loved cooking your special diet anyway but I felt guilty

All those times you failed to communicate in texts for fear of litigation, so we agreed to delete them frequently so they couldn’t be used, but you secretly kept them and I was blind

All those times you said you wanted nothing to do with bikies, their associates or the security crew but you were in cahoots with them the whole time and I feel threatened

All those times you told me it only cost $5000 to get rid of someone and I asked you to stop talking like that, but you didn’t and I felt intimidated

All those times and more, happened but you have your own reasons for behaving this way, after all

You were angry

Transcript
© Copyright 2016, 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

Pan

Image

I could never look
at you the same way
I adored you, once
your true colours have me
in sensory overload
clutching my heaving chest
in shock, disbelief winded

reeling from the blows
taking such pride

inflicting pain, deliberately
fueling retribution over lack
of supply, shows me I never knew
you – you who would do anything
for me, except love me
finding unjustified reasons
to hurt me

because I don’t abide
I could never trust

the man that revels in pain
his empowerment borne
plotting, scheming manipulations
splitting love in two
my aorta left to bleed
out, powerless –
it makes him feel

like a man
you’re not my man

I was your meal ticket
your way to escape
demons; Dachau passing down
suffering, such a way of life
completely misunderstood
cruel Nazi mentality, heartless
your Mockingbird,

your SS badge of dishonour
worse, using children

an apparatus for torture
where love nurtured trust,
spiritual guidance squandered
on self-serving childhood needs,
your own metered out
shortcomings
love is not yours to ridicule away

denying its abundant existance
I will never trust my heart,

expose her soft underbelly
or offer her up
in sacrafice; like a lamb,
your God is a manmade
fallacy designed to subjugate
misogyny, displaced whores
rendering Madonna complexes

in perpetual conflict
I am disappointed in you

you had it all, proffered up on a silver platter
wanted for nothing, except coveted jealousy
lusting after sinful greed
you let breed and wreck havoc
Mr Black is a predator, a perpetrator
you let run roughshod over me
I am not the only one, women

your past is predictable by nature
I hope with what’s left,

you learn your lesson well
I wanted a man – a man,
not a spoiled little boy
throwing tantrums to up
the Antichrist in pursuit
of misspent youth,
ungrateful to the core

matters let go out of hand
I am in Hell

sent there to rot in your abandon
but you didn’t bargain on meeting Demeter,
who will hunt you down
to save herself, mourning winter
the long days and sleepless nights,
haunting your nightmares

she, who see’s right through you
will dance on your grave.

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Pan

Meddle

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

Purple Rain

Image

image

My father, Malcolm Roy Ball, Vietnam 1967-1970

War Torn

our world is being torn apart
I threaten conflicted outbursts
in remembrance of him
and them

*

My great grandfather’s fought in WWI
My grandfather’s in WWII
My father in Vietnam

He protests in his own way
no purple reign on his parade
or Prince
to overshadow
dvd’s re running over blue
and red clashes – violent flashes
of memory
in black and white snapshots
of the fallen
and homeward bound comrades
of Malaya and Singapora

They were shafted
in one way or another
left to ponder life
and death
still

images Napoleon could not reconcile
nor the English continue to suppress

I don’t think he will ever forget.

‘See that guy there?
He had his arm blown off
and that one hung himself
a couple of years ago’

His way of keeping it real
as much as for him
as for us, who are held captive
in his momentum

They were drenched in Orange, Red
and Yellow agents
descendants of a Purple rain
then left to fend for themselves
amidst a wrath and fury
one can only call ignorance
blinded by a politically correct
notion of compassion

They were only nineteen
and nothing compares to youthful
enthusiasm; to be not unlike
their forefathers

Teenagers today
get their psychedelic fix
whining and dining on a scourge
that has become a pandemic –
a demonic frenzy
of self indulgent arrogance!

Mary-Jane makes
a Nightingale of pain

Today is ANZAC Day
I am both proud and sad

I have a legacy to uphold
and if it weren’t for those men
and women who experienced trauma
I would not have known complex PTSD
or to let my mind take me
to a battlefield of my own design

In remembrance of them
and parts of my self
lost forever,
I like the eulogy of
walking in the purple rain

Lest We Forget

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

Prince, Street Art Eulogy

Uniform

There is Nothing Special about Mary

Image

image

Photographer: Judith Bender-Jura

1.

Mary, the one without
a Halo – a married whore,
found unconditional love
hiding in the soles of His feet.

After the fact – that
pseudo relationships
took precedence for a while,
she washed Him clean

for no other reason
than to show respect, reverence
for one that would give
His soul for her.

2.

My feet are bare, scarred
by broken beer bottles and red
blood paint – tips to toes,
manicured to perfection once

upon a time. his feet
are cold; numbness held in a vice –
like grip, as she works her way up
past calves & quads seeking

warmth in the apex, comfort
sucking a thumb – print. embedded
ecstasy applying pressure
where it hurts, to ease the pain.

3.

She thinks the sun shines out –
back, cradling his head, healing hands
mindful of circular breathing; muscles
& tendons ache for release.

Mary doesn’t mind manipulating
bones, fingering the spaces
in – between, redirecting blood flow
to all the right places, kneading

stretches & burns ping – back,
sending signals like sparks, endorphins
take up the slack, ushering in sweet
sensation & nipples peek. there’s

nothing special about Mary, knowing
a thing or two, making money serving
more than a hand – full of life’s little pleasures. making hay while the sun

shines requires little effort on her part,
preferring to let it slide, up past
the point of no return. those days,
over now before they really took hold.

4.

Mary looks at him spent, kinesthetic
energy on standby as he reconsiders
where he stands. the party’s over,
someone has to clean up, Mary

learning to love the hand
that feeds her, wishing sometimes
for independence and silence, in –
between phone calls. those days

are over, up for tender for the next
wave of youthful antagonists who seek
an existence un – beholden. love
knows no rules of engagement.

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

Impression

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

Malady Peg

Image

image

Artist: Unknown

You build a picture of me
outside the elongated square –
peg shaped box
I find myself circling

each single step
widens following
two side steps lengthening
nearly five decades deep

before I’m back in the shit
standing in front of the same scale
stained window or solid Oak door
or Samsung S4

my self imposed barricade
chain and key close
to my heart safe, keep
trusting no one

except a chain gang
of miscreants and misfits
mulling over life just right
subliminal messages

only those in the know can
decipher wisdom in code, words
biting off more than we can chew
at times, like these

you help build a picture of me
outside the elongated square –
peg shaped box
I find myself picking apart

with my fingernails, prying
into cracks like an un
suspecting little upstart
who has everything and nothing

we are social creatures
by nature, nurture featuring ways
to stray outside our four walls
where I space out

dependent distance, my avoidance
keeps my heart still beating
any attempt to heal, an affront
my demons wreck havoc

threaten to cut me off at the knee’s
if I don’t conform or dance
to the Pipers tune. my malady
freaks the Hell out of everyone

torture held captive

you are a picture of my self
outside my elongated square –
peg shape box, my reason
to die respectfully

circumnavigating
ways through and around,
bashing my head up
against invisible walls

that thwart my existence
here, questions unanswered
philosophical paradoxical paradigm s;
the meaning of life and death

I want to go home,
listen to the ebb and flow
of waves, seagulls and sand
crunching between my toes

and decide if I want to live.

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

Farce

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

Dancing with the Faeries

image

Photographer: Jason Majewski

Photo used with permission

I watch my littlest princess
dancing away with the faeries
expressing pain so magnificently

her voice, exploding anger
her mind, opposing self
her heart, barely beating

my mind-splitting headache pounds
containing my own maelstrom
that subterranean refuge

where I once found comfort
where there was none
where my soul learned to fly

holding on, innocence
letting go & spirituality guiding
me back home

I hold her now, meet her gaze
no words cling to each other
we plant flowers in the earth

tending our garden, nurturing our selves
her pain temporarily reconciled
my own thunderous affront subdued

I don’t let her see my pain,
I protect her, I love her like I love
my self, mirrored back in her eyes

I watch her from afar
she knows I’m there on the outskirts
her nice stepmother, soothsayer

I can watch & bear, witness
one step removed my fire
unseared, tempered in her presence

I am not a fool, knowing transference
like God, is everywhere & no
where at once, I remain steadfast

she heals me, my littlest princess
igniting my candelabra
rays of warmth piercing the dark

she will be ok with love, gentle
strokes; my cradle rocking a rhythm
peace descending around her to nest

I can watch although I didn’t then
but I can see clearly now, the rain
I trust my self to know the difference

dissociation & dissociative
here in the now my mindfulness
my present is my gift to her

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Descend

For My Children

image

1.
I miss you both
It saddens me, that you hold on
with such contempt
that I must wait for you
to grow, make peace with yourselves
in order to find forgiveness
in others, in me

2.
I was not a perfect mother
I don’t know anyone who is
except in our minds,
which compare; an apropos
of nothing really

One thing you can both be sure of
is that I do my very best
with the ancient tools I was given
with dedication & commitment
to myself, to raise you both better
better than I had ever known
or been shown of love
& I love you both deeply

3.
The women in our family carry a curse
I believe, still being passed down
Great Grandmother to Grandmother,
Grandmother to Granddaughter,
Mother to Daughter – witnessed
eyes knowing cruel contempt
for women

Somehow the trauma each of us
experienced, experiences
real, imagined or embellished harm
passed down through our DNA
our nature
through our environments
our nurture
trying to show us the wisdom
to know the difference

It is a blessing
your tenacity, persistence
& determination
fight to right those wrongs
letting go the past moving on
steadfast in search of that love
you desire

Our cells remember
the past lives of our ancestors
those crossed paths imprinted
on our mind, body & soul
power & passion
did not escape unscathed; scarred
permanently
our heart skipped many beats

We observe each other
observed by our men (& women),
surviving their own stories,
our selves attract to ourselves
psyche healing vicariously
most of the time, everyone
learning to find peace, love
happiness taking its time –
but don’t be fooled by pride
awareness is awry, warning

I do my best to break this cycle
not expose you to harm
triggered reactions lead us astray
our nautical compass
navigates storms, skewiff
I cling to my internal lifesaver
lest I drown at sea

My own mother is a farce
painfully denied & despised
tea leaves attempt to predict failure
our grandmothers are responsible
for nothing but vindication
like her mothers mother’s mother

I am your mother
you came from my body
you are of my blood
I love you,
my mother could never say that
once, in past tense
once, in goodbye

4.
I refused to drink
drunkenness hurt me more than ever
in the past, I was scared

I refused to drug
& I was spiked for my efforts, in vain
I learned his true psychedelic colours

I refused to parade men; a room
full of strangers, who could
watch & wait for those opportune moments…

I must have failed
I feel like a failure, ashamed of myself
ashamed of you both at times too
but only because I see how it could end

I warn you about danger
from yourself from others
predators in the world prey
dark & destroyed souls
seek nothing but instant gratification
self-righteous justification
anger is violence
no excuse is proffered up
& we are all culpable to some degree

5.
I am a strong woman
I feel very deeply the injustices
of others, of yours, of mine
I only have myself to chastise
& you, that part of me I protect
in my mind

I am harder on myself
my self is much harder to bear
I expect much more than vengeance
to ease our hurt awakening anger
we need love & kindness
I only want the best for you, for me

I am also very proud of you both
I see two beautiful, independent
headstrong women, myself
on a good day
I want you to be happy, exude warmth
I need you to love me, back
the way I loved you, back then
when we would all laugh & play
when we all had our innocence & joy
I want you both to come home

6.
I feel pain of the most heinous kind
happiness eludes me most days
searching, my self finds traces
of her, that little girl that became
lost in the ethereal space between
what was & what could have been
she separated parts of her self
doted & despised, both
in continual conflict

I have memories, denied versions of truth
I struggle to reconcile – I feel violated
I despise lies & deceit, power & control
I wrestle with such terrifying demons
who tempt me to trust & I am often
mistaken – I no longer believe it exists
on a bad day

7.
My fear became terror
when they both laughed
& came for me in my corner
I was held down while the soap stick
ripped through me
turning me inside & out
as I floated away
I was 4

My cat could have been shot
in front of me
he held up the gun, she held
the cat steady
“do you think the bullet will go
straight through?”
I was 5 or 6

My life could have been over
when I choked
but he said “she’s not my kid”
I pulled the sinewy gristle out
by myself spewing onto my plate
I was 6

He told me I was ugly
unwanted, unloved
I should never have been born
but I had a guardian
He told me “it’s meant to be this way,
it won’t be like this forever”
I was 6 or 7

My body knew pleasure before
it knew pain, before he touched me
& my spirit carried me
away to safety
I was 8

I watched him
his violence incarcerating those cows
chained, their backbones
smashed with a galvanized pipe
they had no where to go
I remember blood pouring from sores
like an avalanche
I was 8 or 9

My eyes saw the Sheep’s throat cut
with a blunt knife
he held our heads together
forcing us to watch, laughing
I was 10

I might have felt loved
if I wasn’t told it was the worst day
of my mother’s life when I was born
on my birthday
I was 13

His brother was a sneak
he came into my bedroom
he tried, I failed in his eyes
his brother’s too
though he was blind
I was 16

I trusted him
the Blue Mountains forever etched
into my brain
it was midnight
“if you don’t…I will leave you here
& they will find your body”
there was a cyclone in 1984
I was 16 then too

Death, like Charon is ever present
He resides beside & inside us
He will happily take us one way or another
if we let Him
I refuse to pay although I am tempted
He doesn’t give a shit at the end of the day
so don’t waste time entertaining him
or sway your hips to his tune

8.
My heart only ever loved one man
My Grandfather
I never knew my Father, not
until I was 17
& now I don’t want to know
because violence is not OK for you two
but I must have deserved it

I might be his daughter
but he only raised boys
he doesn’t know how much
daughters need their Fathers
you both need your Father
I needed my Father

I knew this, then & now
I never withheld them from you
I fought for them as much as for you
so that they understood
how to love, the girls who would become women
so you can recognise a gift
when you see it
& trust

9.

We all watch the slow erosion of her innocence, see her wrestle in defiance

like I saw you, like I saw myself
she is my light & she heals me
her gentle softness radiating like a Halo
I heal her, my nurture having been
honed because of you, thank you

11.
I love you both with all my heart

It is no coincidence Karma
your boys will teach you everything
else you need to know
perhaps the curse is broken?
It was always meant for you
to become
the beautiful mother that you are
please understand, your boys
need me as much as I need them

Leisa, whether you like it or not
you are an extension of my self
I feel very proud of you & of myself
pain is like fire, it burns
I prefer to view my fire as a controlled burn
as part of nature’s regeneration
it makes way for new growth,
stronger roots & solid ground
I need you
as much as you need me

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Cold Comfort

image

I’m going slightly insane
Oh, to be deaf, dumb, blind & mute!
turning that blind eye, having nothing
more to do with it – all

No shoes on her feet
her hair a mess
the first thing she says is,
“Are you a mean stepmother or a nice stepmother?”
cuddling me, she tells me I’m nice before I can answer, awed
saddened & proud
all at once

I’m so afraid for our little girl
afraid to bear witness; joy, pain, confusion, innocence
I do my best, continuing to be consistent,
loving, nurturing & hiding
my own pain to shelter her

I need time out
not from our littlest princess, never
from that bright spark that lights up my world, my own fear worse for wear
knowing truth; being called a liar
cruelty appears nonchalant & we all know
ignorance breeds ignorance

I rise
above this time & detach
from that confined space lodging
deep in my brain & heart, threatening
to expose my GI Jane

She thrashes inside her prison cell,
the bars of my prison bend
but do not break, I give thanks
to God & Godesses & the Furies,
my Crone; for temperance
my aenima inanimate for the moment

,●

I hear her laugh,
that contagious giggle
putting a smile on my face
all I need is patience; I can wait
Karma has not yet spoken, giving
cold comfort will come at a cost – all
I can do is love

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Halfway House

image

I have a beautiful husband. Loving beyond anything I could ever ask for. His children are gems, the littlest one is an Angel I swear! I miss my man even when he yells at me and says the worst things imaginable in his pain. The man I once knew has eroded away before my eyes. He doesn’t remember how he loved, except his children and rightly so – they are himself and they were stolen. I understand that, I do. I only wish the love I feel for mine is returned in my lifetime. Mine are gone. It seems everyone I love disappears.  I take the blame. It must be my fault, some days I don’t want to be here. Some days I want to fade to black, let that white noise sing me a lullaby and take me home. I lived in many houses once, and my worst nightmare continued. Maybe I relive that moment when I was stolen, against my will. It took me years to find solace in that place till the time came for me to leave. I was homeless, loveless and inconsolable. I did my best with what I knew, made decisions I thought were the best for me and mine. I still feel their eyes upon me, watching me fail and imagine them raising a toast to my demise. Such is life. Whatever I try to do, whomever I try to love, it seems like none of it returns. Sometimes I feel like a desolate child,  still. I’m nearly 50 and I have nothing left least of all to give myself. I exist from day-to-day listening to a monologue of misgivings and self doubts that continue to remind me I’ve never truly belonged anywhere. When I’m gone, I’m still nothing more, nothing less. Of course there are those that profess to love me but that’s only so they can make penance for their own sins – you know, make themselves feel better. That sounded so jaded – I don’t really mean it. I made the most selfish half-hearted attempt at finality. I was chastised for buying my beautiful step-daughter therapeutic books to help her heal.  She’s only four.  I was reminded how I failed to buy books for my beautiful happy grandson.  He turned one recently. I wasn’t thinking straight, obviously. “Your new family can have you!”, she doesn’t want to be a part of that mess. By God I cried. I cried like a little baby. It doesn’t matter what I do its never going to be good enough for her. I may as well resign myself to a life of condemnation, contempt and misery. My man loved me once a long time ago. His daughter is here to keep me company, while we wait for our littlest princess to return. My home may as well be a halfway house. Where is the love? I’m too hurt to see anything beyond what’s yelling at me, leveling me, sucking everything left from inside of me. I sit. I wait. What will happen next? Your guess is as good as mine. My machine parts are too rusted; too many salted tears have cut through all the bullshit. It’s just me and always will be.

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