All Is Not Lost

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Photographer: Jodine Majewski

I have no ill feelings

surprisingly

God knows I have plenty of reason to feel

angry or resentful, hurt

but it’s not in my nature

I feel proud actually,

that I helped a  family to have a future

I really worked hard for her, for him

I am satisfied here in my garden

now, pottering

I’ve found peace here

finally, after losing it all

on a gamble

I should have known much better too

but love is truly blind,

even though my eyes were wide open

I can’t take money with me

so I’ll let it go

they need it more than I

I can hold my head up and feel proud

I don’t have to hurt anyone

to get what I want, tenderness

I can give to myself 

*

when you love someone,

you don’t do anything to hurt them

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Bottle

Dancing with the Faeries

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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

Warnings & Good Tidings

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She said I could get sick
very ill, if I don’t check my self
warning me about someones
place with drugs & a room
with lights
I hope they are flashing
for I want nothing to do with it!

Despite that, I have good luck
all around me
I would happily pack my bags
to go to family, content
my wish coming true
somewhere to look forward to
happy feelings so often elude me
but not this time

Maybe more study
maybe, but I can’t see it
12 years or so was enough
unless it’s something different
working with children; children
more rewarding spiritually

There is money coming, lots
in the hand, I am shaking
an agreement; good feelings
it always turns up when least expected
I don’t have to worry
it’s all around me in abundance

She said I would help
a young man or small boy, maybe
a teenager an in-between
I can only think of one, Whisky
it would be my absolute pleasure
I’ve always wanted a boy
to love two/too

I’m invited to a wedding
either twice, or plus another
it would be a challenge, all those people
I sometimes get overwhelmed
in crowds, I am still
surprisingly happy

I am aware of security,
prowlers & thieves
several attempts fail to break
my safety zone, honed
creating our home like a fortress
I’d like to see them try
it’s under constant surveillance

My life is changing
& it’s all new, exciting
all good things come to those who wait
I feel great, finally I see
trust & calm
light is all around me
I am optimistically optimistic

I’m going to visit a girlfriend soon
somewhere beside the sea
a glass of wine, she tells me
more good news, I am truly blessed
thank Goodness

I’m not really a drinker
having learned from watching
others & my self
besides, drink driving
I’m not prepared to take the risk
the stakes are too high for everyone

Our home is beautiful
it feels lucky, a seven even
we want to go away
just the two of us, inland
no where in particular
as long as there is water near by
I think I can arrange that

It all looks good
whatever I wish for –
for once in my life, I have
everything I need
good tidings are coming
into Christmas
I am ecstatically happy
listening to the ‘Ring of Fire’
my ‘Hurt’ knowing

My man is like living
with two sides of the same coin
he makes me very happy
his kindness seeing into me
his goodwill radiating in
& out of all of us, his children

He is a wonder to behold
his capacity to love & to watch
him self & his boy, with Whisky
this Christmas will be magical
Summer barbecues & sunshine
ALL my family around me

Our littlest princess is surrounded
by love & happiness too
I’m surprised about that
under the circumstances
that’s not for lack of wanting; my wish
for she is eternal
love knows know bounds
blood not necessarily blood

Daddy will be OK too, different
but OK because he is also loved
joy takes on many forms
it might not be what we expect
in laughter, safety & trust
either way we are lucky; money
doesn’t buy happiness

It will all be done by Christmas
my grandchildren, both my daughters
good news a plenty
the four of us together with family
you all make my life complete
I could not be as happy without you

I have to watch my health
I am under far too much stress
I worry, too much worry in my little finger
I will have a stroke one of these days
another warning
I don’t want to be alone with no one
left to care for me properly
my ambulance, my casket

I want a good, long happy life
to live till I’m 92 or more
good health, a great marriage
in love, light & laughter
I don’t think I’m being selfish
to want what everyone wants

I want to be around water
waves; breathing in & out
no squalls nearby, just calm
there is a rhythm here on earth
if we listen, if I listen
& let the silence speak

I am made of water
but my fire boils
I need to be dampened
just enough, so that I am tempered
fire needs water, water needs fire
to let off steam
my existence is dependent upon it

~

I can handle that
that reminds me
I need to drink more
water

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

For My Children

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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