Cold Comfort

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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

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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

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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

Me My Mother

My mother taught me how to love
my love

My mother taught me when to cry
my tenderness

My mother taught me what to feel
my teacher

My mother taught me how to lie
my lover

Me my mother knows the truth
show me how to feel

Me my mother feels her pain
that I may feel your love

Me my mother’s afraid to feel
in it’s entirety

Me my mother’s hard to heal
in it’s glory

My mother says ‘don’t cry, you look guilty’
in it’s hunger

My mother thinks I should be thankful for what I’ve got
and sadness

My mother shows it’s ungrateful to want happiness
that I may weep with you

My mother means ‘don’t rock the boat’
and laugh

Me my mother question right and wrong
with honest love

Me my mother try to get along
stir my heart

Me my mother doesn’t know what makes her happy
my softness there

Me my mother is seen as sassy
like your sweet caresses

My mothers life’s a duty
hold my head within your arms

My mothers heart is hard
and whisper your emotion

My mothers tongue is dirty
tenderness envelopes me

My mother is a farce
and I feel

I feel

I feel

I feel

warm with you

© Copyright 2007 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

In My Face (Relationship Series)

‘Gimme the money!’

he said
in my face
my face staring straight
long lashes pointing like cutty grass
sharpening a knife

‘Gimme the keys!’

she said
between two unfinished corners
footsteps sidestepping a rusty nail
tripping over indignity
as it crawled between the wall space
catacombs

‘Gimme the fucking money!’
‘Gimme the fucking keys!’

a grab, a push and a shove
takes the piss, misses the bowl by a mile
handbags with long straps are useless.
Max was only vinyl like a 45
with a great big hole in the middle
only good for one thing

my arm hurts my shoulder plug
ripped from its wall socket
my power bill standing on end
like the hairs on the back of my neck
I guess he got the money
I can’t figure out where I put the keys

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved