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

Eulogy – For my Grandparents

image

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved