The Joker

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The Joker
plays his cards then prays
for forgiveness
to a middle eastern Christian God
before hurling abuse
to those who aren’t white
professing to love women
secretly harbouring unfathomable hate
suppressed rage
staring Red indifference in the face
of reason, his reason
an excuse for payback; vindictive
retribution designed to maximize
powerfully charged emotional punches.

I have loved more than once
choosing my heart over head
batting eyelids deflecting
eggs scrambling to make sense
of the impossible scenario
time after time questioning
my self refusing to settle for anything
less than truth
watching loved ones turn
roll over, pulling the wool
over already unseeing orbs
holding on to contempt for love
lost

Death has defined me
grief ripping me apart
till I am stripped bare and
‘The Joker’ plays me for a fool
his denial hardly concealed now
his truth defining him in the end
hidden underneath a facade
charm dangerously like a predators
false sense of security
when his hands are tied
his dirty hands
he tries to launder abrasive
repeatedly.

Money
the root of all evil
threatens to ignite the paper trails
that have us entwined
enmeshed together by banks
loans and fine print
our future only leased
the balance drains the half full cup
sentiment caught never to be released
that Holy Grail
proving to be forever out of reach
what chance did we have?
the die has been cast.

My love
my darling
you were my everything
my beautiful sweet illusion
my heart aches for remembering you
how you were before you changed colour
I fell head over feet for you and yours
grazing my knee in the process
I succumbed, numbing my defenses
getting back up being pushed back down
losing another fragment of hope
each time threatening don’t
now, the joke is on you.

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

Illusion

Indigo Girl

Left alone, thoughts ring and bells toll

Clanging inside my brain; memories running down

Corridors, splitting off at the junction. Persephone – dead,

That wilted little wretch with amazing airs and graces,

Grating on the pickle of pain. Demeter with her blind eye,

Hades and his Jekyll juice Pomegranate wine

Infiltrating an indigo child holding her breath

Mauve dug in, embedding her chariot rose

Heart to a stranger. Charon, larger than life

Roaming the dark halls, death casting shadows

Wherever he went, survival weaving invisible

Threads; a silver road to nowhere, her woven makeshift

Sanctuary cocoon. It was Persephone alone in the darkness,

Warm amongst catacombs and the river Styx

Charons lantern waving in the distance side to side

taking an age to dawn here in the crawlspace of time, refuge

Settled in like mothballs and cobwebs
swung between the skull and

Crossbones; A subterranean
Mosaic of Dante’s Inferno

Where prayer echoed off the walls
falling, on deaf ears and forgiveness

Became a hopeless lost cause.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

11 Typical Unintentional Behaviors of Emotionally Hurt People

She Sells Sanctuary

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Photographer/stylist: Ra Kai

It’s quiet outside

her ears adjust, vicariously
searching out cracks/
a radar mind

finding edges where paths
begin & end
& life circles

inside her four walls
escape & sigh breath
carbon dated memory

each time reflected upon
once/ a crudely stirred
softly shaken sonic echo

a lawnmower cuts
more than
the grass/

in between two or more spaces
she chooses
to wipe away the years

sealed red letters/
sifted thoughts more like
ocean liners

her past full
of Pomegranate blossom
seed

she sells her sanctuary
in blocks/
cubed quarters

organised delivery
ensures a safe return
of a very sure thing?

but not now
there is nothing left to steal.
she sells her sanctuary

from her living room
& chooses life
letting go

/

his miniature shoulders
resemble an old man
Led Zeppelin

his sticks are bundled/
all he can see
is the highway

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Craving

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I’m craving you, today.

All those beautiful things about you
that glittered like gold; your face,
a ray of fucking sunshine
portending our future
happiness, growing old together.

I crave to see your smile, fall
about the place laughing.

I look back through photographs,
those ones on the balcony
encapsulating you against a green backdrop
when we were ecstatic, tripping
over our good fortune pleasured to meet,
makes me weep now.

I loved you so much it’s unbearable
witnessing our demise.

I chastise my foolishness,
choosing to believe in love – you,
I would do anything to turn back time,
start over knowing what we know now,
hold on to that part of us
that was true, before

reality ripped me a new one
and I belly flopped into despair.

My eyes search for you everywhere,
in my rearview
to steal a glance, catch a glimpse
to see if you remember me, re-ignite
one final psychic spark
awakening those butterflies.

I don’t want the dawn to sing to me.
I long to dream rainbows and fairy floss

instead of axe handles / switch blades
cutting off my head,
dismembering my brain stem
from my heartbeat for you.
Some days I look for ways I can feel,
my fingers frantic

without prying ears interfering
and I ride you into rhythm; doublets

triplets and fours
before I stare transfixed
into the silent night – did you feel anything?
I don’t like this, nastiness unbecoming
it’s not how I want to remember you
but it’s all you’ve ever known.

It’s not too late to salvage respect
putting it all down to folly, our hurt

doesn’t need to scar, on par
with adolescent angst.
I love all those who have gone before
each finding that special place
lodged in the spaces between
the good, the bad and the ugly.

Forgive me, for I will in time; make
it all worthwhile.

I want you to be happy,
successful and content.
Please don’t fall back into line,
choosing thugs for pittance —
you’re worth more than pseudo security
it’s all bullshit, that old way.

You are made for enlightenment
not eternal darkness.

I still love you the way I remember you,
I just don’t believe in the Devil.

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

Blossom

Malady Peg

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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 keep-safe
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
unsuspecting 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 is 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 the sound
of sand crunching between my toes

and decide to live.

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

Farce

Sea of Possibility

Aurora Australis

Wrap me in a padded cell
so I may kick
& flail
eke out my existence
purge my maelstrom,
those configured fires
left to smoulder
in relative calm

bound by containment.
I strain every sinew
to breaking point
every muscle to burn
my cognisance; fragmented
Freudian slips
of recognition
rubbed raw.

I will break free.
Stretch the threads
of my fabric,
my very being
so that I may ignite
the Phoenix
to take on life
& soar.

My thoughts are like charred embers;
reminiscent remains
of a Godless era,
mountains of mole hills
set in the West
cast shadows
my gauntlet
rearing its ugly head.

What will become of her?
My desolation, left
to wander this Papa
where great lakes
threaten to burst
their asides
remind us
we are at Her mercy

but to fail is not an option.
Deliverance stands
turning on my heel
to where the sunrise
promises more
than just to warm
my bones
hope, skipping pebbles —

perhaps to sail?
Riding the salt & pepper coast,
my salvation avoiding
complex low pressure systems
preferring to watch the Seagulls
negotiate on my behalf
squalls rolling
in my wake.

Mollymawks
crash land burly trails
full of anticipation
my Mull
living on a prayer
an easy meal
but not without compromise
black, white & grey.

Pre-determined destinations
finding solace
at the end of the Earth,
Aurora Australis
leading me
not into temptation
for Albatross are always on the lookout
searching the sea.

*

Sandal-less feet
pale skin tinged olive,
doves on a distant spire
cooing a lull; my cradle,
rocks
a fishing line
tied to my big toe
where everything is as it should be.

© Copyright 2012, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Too Big for my Shoebox

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Photographer: Nicolas Sènègas

This head fuck
of name calling
of twisted tattle tales
designed to enlighten
denial, woefully inadequate
thoughtless mistakes.

Repeat

Repeating

Sorry, like an episode
for Days of Our Lives
sitcom reruns running
us around everyday
almost all day
serially on a brim
full of bullshit
on a 45.

Repeated

Bullshit,
as much as toward myself
as arrogance is arrogant —
my head is a
spinning vortex gaining
cyclonic ferocity; something
akin to time travel
on fast forward.

Repetition

Repeats

Repeating

The same old same old
he said she said
you said I said
till one said too many flew
over the fucking cuckoo
to nest – resting
between my ears
stuffing my fingers.

Repeatedly

Measuring spoons
gauging the airs
and graces; my presence
testing the water
temperature finding
temperament doused
in acidic
misogyny.

Just fucking stop it!
Fucking stop it!
Stop it!
STOP!

You’re too big
for my shoebox.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’. All Rights Reserved.

Savage

Set Fire

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I’ve been living in a war zone.

So it seems, three and a half years
of Hell with nothing left
to show for it,
except heartache
and pain
watching love leach
from my soul; phosphorescent,
sparks like spheres float up, up
and away to fizzle out
in to nothingness.

Since when did I become
the enemy?

Clumped into the annuls of misogyny
tarred / scarred
for being a woman empowered
because I threaten the old ways
where women were barefoot
and pregnant,
swathed in floral aprons
with floured hands kneading
wholesome Madonna complexes
designed to subdue.

I love

depth and passion
moving my heart to where I am
mesmerized in awe; my fragile smile
let loose like an arrow
straight and true into you
and I, jubilant
where I am left wondering
where you have been
all my life – that I would
do anything for you.

I love my self more,

and I am not broken completely.
I can take those looks of contempt
along with those cutting words
and stand my ground against interrogation/subjugation
I lead myself in cycles, navigating
my way out of ear shot for a while
till I can stand it no more,
when I hide away inside
and stuff my fingers.

All is not lost,

despite my sense of guilt at not being
strong enough in your eyes,
unlike grandma whom you adored,
admiring resilience
I am merely a shade by comparison
if I subscribed to your anger and hurt
if I took her on and became
a better person, wife, mother for you
if only I chose to keep my mouth shut
like she learned in the war.

I don’t believe

staying silent will keep us alive
these days. Life requires I fight
for truth, freedom, rights and for love
so you may find your self, lifted from those ashes – Dachau, and understand that women need
tenderness, a kindness that takes away
the hurt of injustices, finding safety
your arms filling me with hope
that I am not alone.

It is with great sadness

that I must choose love,
letting go the innocence of youth
and embrace my own mortality
if I am to be a survivor.
I cannot condone atrocities
of any kind and turn a blind eye
without losing that part of myself
that wanted to die, finding respect
in being true to myself
Lest We Forget.

I am mourning

a life of trials and tribulations
that had me in tears for the most part.
My heart is broken, I no longer believe
in you, us – I am setting fire to the 3rd mar
closing my eyelids on my dreams
facing those feelings
I have been too afraid to feel
reaching in to pull them out
into the open and lay myself bare
so I can finally heal.

Goodbye my love,

we will all be OK.

Puncture

Snow Patrol

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

The Mariners Tale

Home7

“Land Ahoy!”

His First Mate
not more than two feet away, still doesn’t see Hinemoana coming.

“Bring her about hard & fast
& shut your bloody mouth boy!”
after the full force
hits the stern with a swift kick
aimed right up the Jacksie!

She giggles.

It’s an entertaining Port
full of surprises, guffaws
& sudden gusts of wind;
her Devil’s Tongue
quick as lightning
her Siren Song
slipping in & under.

He lays it on thick.

He would feed me grapes
if it weren’t for the Oyster’s, Swordfish, Tuna, Salmon & Lumpfish, a good bottle of Veuve serving up a concoction of frivolity with a sharp spank on the arse for good measure.

No sea legs required here.

Our naked flamboyance
barely creates a ripple,
our island paradise
looking out over the sea
from a safe distance —
your bridge.

I can see the stars up there
& planets
my world seems bigger
brighter
I stare transfixed into space
but I am not lost
I feel strangely nestled.

Green Tree Frogs
& the hope of a Vine snake or two
keep my curiosity peaked.

Michael rows
his boat ashore.

I am not unlike an island.

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

REBLOGGED on Dream Big Dream Often

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

Working through Cobwebs

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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 a moment.

He scans the horizon
left to right that sinking
feeling farther, closer
than he expected denial; a river
too far away to row a thunder clap
into eternity
Isis turning a blind eye
Triton drags him
under, spinning
a vortex only Terra
firma can translate.

Taking the bull
by the horns he finds
solid ground wrestling
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 the 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

Interstellar Medium

Orion Constellation

1.

Orion takes my breath away!

His belt & scabbard first
then shoulders
& I wrap myself around himI am at peace
looking out over the ocean
& a sky full of stars

You are not unlike Orion
guiding distant ships on the horizon
I am like Klingon
(Klingon usually mate for life)

but not this tide
we are an interstellar medium:
the space between
Euryale & Poseidon

2.

We are of the Sea

reef, rocks & shoals
perilous waters
where foghorns & Siren songs sound familiar
where fishy tales flush pink
& my Veuve overflows

It doesn’t take me long to remember
expectation is one, two, threefold
we navigate in the dark sometimes
moonlit mirrors reflect only one part of the whole
our universe is bigger than most.

3.

I draw a line in the sand

for both our sakes
there can be only one
I feel the waves crash on the shore
we are all arms & legs
slipping & sliding

in & out of the water.
I look to the stars & my faith
for one brief moment there is no existential crisis
Orion’s heavy breathing & sigh of relief

bring us both back to reality
under the surface
Death is not an unknown entity:
one last roll of the die
& our fate could be sealed.

4.

Thank you

Orion will always be near
Jupiter will always be the biggest planet
the full moon will always shine on me.

I could never go past King Island
without thinking of you
candlelight, frogs & our best mate
Captain’s call still falling on deaf ears

but nevermind
I’m still as blind as a bat
& you’re as old as the hills.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

REBLOGGED on Ink & Quill

Demeter & Persephone

Demeter’s world is falling apart
she enters the tomb
leaving behind every last bit
of skin and bone

her heart in jagged little pieces
tears condensed salted earth,
her spirit as dark as Hades, ashen
her womb, a barren undergrowth of loss, her voice, a howling banshee
sevenfold

Persephone revisited in dreams
her escape futile, Hades whispers
she runs, never holding on nor looking back

dismembered dissociation awaits
those who fail
while cadaverous limbs are discarded
fertile appendages flail
her pieces crumble to dust

Demeter withdraws her love
only to find a serpent tongue
suckling at her breast

Demeter descends, Persephone awaits
her chamber the great unclean
unashamedly devouring our lost souls

Demeter falls to her knees in despair
death is just a figment and life
here is just a memory

she breathes in the rancid air,
the smell of a distant pyre
she kisses the hand that feeds her

there are only fools here in paradise.

Copyright © 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. 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 and I’ll show you how it’s done properly!

*

I’m from New Zealand and 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 and it still makes no sense; forbidden cliché sneaks up like a sniper in a sonnet.

What matters, is that poetry is devoid of faux pars and 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 and dying stereocilia hairs. Ears, to those who need further clarification, while my advanced alien brain sits within a universe only 2% of the world’s population can grasp.

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

/

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

We, are merely stepping stones to someone else’s grandiose glory. Poverty and 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 and love with his proverbial nose shoved up both of their arse’s.

Who gives a fuck anyway? This makes no sense to anyone at all 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 and that makes me an evil genius.

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

Conversant

There is Nothing Special about Mary

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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 painted 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 outback.
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, send signals like sparks; endorphins
take up the slack, usher in sweet
sensation & nipples peek.

There’s nothing special about Mary
knowing a thing or two,
making money serving more than a handful 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 unbeholden. Love
knows no rules of engagement.

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

Impression

Red Flags & All

Archangel Michael

He wasn’t my usual punter. There was something in the way he greeted me at the door that piqued my interest. A smile, a quick flash of his eyes, a bowed head and the way he made a surprised Mmmm sound as he came inside.

His name was Michael and I was intrigued. We exchange pleasantries, he a wad of cash, reading each other in between the transaction. I go into routine-mode, show him the shower and wait for him in the bedroom.

I almost always start with sensual oral, kisses and licks but he had other designs. I wasn’t sure I was agreeing to this then and I was tense but he was gentle and reassuring so I let him touch my skin.

He cradled me in his left arm while his right hand caressed my body and mound. He whispered gently and I feel my legs begin to relax and spread. He rubbed my vulva in rhythmic circles over and under before slipping his fingers inside me.

I had a moment of uncertainty and my legs began to shut. I am not sure that I’m ready for this, intrude my thoughts, but he said I would be ok and I allowed myself to relax under his control as he penetrated me further.

He used a technique I hadn’t experienced before. I rarely let my clients touch me intimately, a boundary that protected my psyche and separated love from lust. His two middle fingers curved up in behind my clitoris, his two outer fingers down toward my anus, his thumb acting as a brace hold.

He moved me up and down, his internal fingers sliding purposely back and forth. I felt an intense sensation that made me spread my legs wide, completely open. He sped up and then I freaked out again. I thought I was going to pee — this strange delightful sensation created such confusion that I shut down and closed my legs in a moment of fear.

This is not how my typical clients behaved. I was not the one in control and it was a little unnerving. He murmured reassurance and gave me permission to let go. He was so experienced and strangely loving with his care and skill, that I had no choice but to relax into his hand and bury myself into his armpit breathing in his masculine musk.

I felt raw, open and exposed, my vulva swollen, wet and warm. I let him move me with his fingers and allowed myself to moan, surrendering unabashed. My vagina responded like she’s never responded before. I had no choice but to bear down and let out a long, high crescendoing Arrrrrrrgh as I ejaculated for the first time, soaking his hand, his arm, my bed, spraying cum everywhere.

I burst into hysterical laughter. A mixture of embarrassment and shame, enlightenment and release but he wasn’t finished with me yet. He kept going. Slower, faster until he had milked me spontaneously multiple times and I was completely drained of all my juices.

He moved to missionary and looked me in the eyes, held my limp legs and sensually slid his thick penis inside me. He took his time and I watched him bring himself to a long, slow erotic orgasm.

I couldn’t stop giggling when we were both sated. I think during the throes of ecstasy, I even bit him on the arm. We lay there beside each other in silence, me cocooned in warmth and basking in what felt like divinity. He, beaming prowess. I think we both felt blessed.

We went out onto my balcony and talked for hours. The professional in me, negotiated another transaction, although I refused another advance near the end of our encounter. I was still processing and because it was such an unusual night, I felt a little uncomfortable with performance anxiety. The tables had well and truly turned, I knew I was smitten and that was a huge red flag in my book.

Two years later and together, for all intents and purposes and nothing about Michael and I is normal. It’s as-if he comes from another world and my world has been tipped upside down and ripped a new arsehole (not that I’m complaining) I chuckle, but Oh how we have both grown!

We still struggle with our presence at times, and our sex life is a hit and miss affair. The love building up slower than our trust in itself. One thing is for certain though, we are on a different plane and the spiritual depth between us is deep enough to continue to endure and evolve. As exhilarating as it is exhausting, it is well worth the risk, red flags and all.

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

Call the Shots

Archangel Michael

I know where I stand

You know what I want

I have what you need

Value me and my worth

Nothing comes for free

Trust and betrayal

Go both ways

I am an older woman

My desires are different

I don’t have my whole life ahead of me

I have my best years yet to come

It’s all up to you

It’s called love

It’s called commitment

You’re not fucking over another woman!

I mean it with every fibre of my being

Don’t fuck with my head and heart

Love is not a fucking game

Calling the shots.

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

How long is a piece of government red tape?

How long is a piece of government red tape?

As long as the Centrelink line down the street. Peasants line up hoping a millionaire hands out $100 bills.

As long as the ATO or MyGov queue — hours spent on the phone with nothing to do, except go insane.

As long as the musical loop designed to hypnotize prepares us to jump through some pretty big hoops.

As long as essential services exclude small businesses whose livelihood depends on everyday life for the poor.

As long as poverty remains below the imaginary line and we consume all the food after the due date.

As long as our bank balances stay in the black, we won’t be charged exorbitant fees for money we can’t make — a pseudo handshake pushing the mortgage back.

As long as we are compliant, stay at home and watch TV and become brainwashed into depression and anxiety.

As long as we stay in touch with the masses of faux friends on social media, breaking community standards in a double blind experiment.

As long as our health needs are met by big pharma and our garden grows GE/GM food designed to fail.

As long as we keep posting photos, videos and shit shows with dildos online, to paint a picture of relief.

In short, go off-grid and make your very existence an act of rebellion for as long as your divinity refuses to be manipulated.

The Big Boss Chair

Atlas Justice in the Big Boss Chair

Atlas Justice was sitting in his Dad’s boss chair. His Dad was the boss and things would get done or he’d say ‘FUGAZI!’ and hang up the phone!

Atlas watched his Dad doing his work, sorting things out, making things work. He knew when the Bat Phone started to ring, that Dad would have to deal with some other things.

Atlas ‘The Little Don’ loved Dad’s chair, he would chair dance with Mama J when he wasn’t there. They’d swivel and twirl, backwards and forth, round in circles and Dulcie Doh!

(Atlas was in a world of his own)

When Dad was away he liked to just sit, in the big boss chair while he twisted it. One day Mama J moved dinner to the desk, she sat down beside him, like she did with his Dad.

The Little Don respected the big boss chair and made no extra mess anywhere. He knew it was important to be respectful, he was not going to get into any trouble.

‘One day’ he thought, ‘I’ll be a big man!’ He wanted to be just like his Dad. Atlas was grinning from ear to ear, he knew that one day he would get there.

He wanted to say ‘FUGAZI’ too, to all those twats who doubted him. ‘I’ll carve my own way in my head and show Dad how hard he had worked’.

The Little Don Atlas loved his Dad, he knew he was a decent man, made of old school honour and grit, he wanted to make Dad proud of him.

He’d learn to speak and become a man too and show his Dad how much he loved him. He’d sit in the Boss chair and he’d say, ‘I love you Da. I always have’.

© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022