Sold

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Photographer Barbora Biňovcovà 

You sold me out, listening to thugs and bigots

I was the best thing since Findlay, only I ended up like Gaddafi with a knife in my back landing face down

What did I ever do to you?

I would have met, if it weren’t for the stench of deceit that smirks behind your false humour attempting to cast a shadow over my outlook

Gas lights your way ahead; a shimmer of truth in everything you say minus the facts, calculating my goodness to open up doors

You had it all Mr Black, and I gave it willingly till I saw past the facade – my asking questions was not the tell that gave you away

It was your penchant for believing I was like you, but I’m not

I am nothing like you!

I thought I saw a flicker of sadness on your face when I walked by, but I felt no penny’s fall

I blacked out your face in my periphery that protects an empty hole where you once lived, disconnected from everything about you

Just be thankful you couldn’t see the blue eyes that hide behind a white fluffy cloud, instead of staring

The future is up in the air

Let’s see if your hand/eye coordination is as good as you once thought, although my cards don’t rely on slight and my deck is not for sale

Are you happy now? You almost have what you want, but the yoke is still around your neck (mother)

I am where I’m meant to be, alone kicking up a storm in my grandmothers teacup, with my mouth wide open

Sold! To the highest bidder


© Copyright 2017, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved


Purple Rain

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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

Silence is White Noise

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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

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

Grey Matters

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She stepped down from the Northern Explorer, weary after the 12 hour sojourn from Auckland to Wellington.

All reasonable precautions had been taken to appear non-plussed but she was feeling more than a little ridiculous.  

Her fingers unfurled letting go, simultaneously dropping one shoulder, gravity to catch and release the taut strap of her laptop.  

All hit the platform with a collective thud!

To make matters worse, the baggage door rolled up, revealing more purple Sabini suitcases, added one by one to the mountain of dogs balls now assembling on the pavement. 

She picked past heads, shoulders and backs, furtive in her search of recognition, an extra pair of hands, a baggage cart.  

It had been 12 years since the last time he had crash landed on her doorstep, his purple XC Falcon panel van parked in the driveway.  

Jandles, jeans and a T-shirt, cap in hand.

He was at the Trax Bar, pint in hand, chatting up the female bouncer, blind.

His goat-skin duffel bag slung over the corner of a bar stool.  

His Yahoo Serious attitude to life rolled up into unkempt, sun-kissed natural dreadlocks that leapt out at all angles, confronting even the most liberal senses.  
He was in no hurry.  

What did she expect?  

It had been 20 years since they were an item that could only be described as an ‘eventful interlude at the crossroads of life’.

He traded in everything he’d accumulated (including me) and bought a ticket to nowhere in particular.  

I could hear his favourite mantra replaying like an unpublished Cure single on repeat – there is no such thing as Grey.

Life was black and white.

Grey was something she understood but for once there were no shades anywhere to be found.  

What on earth had possessed her to cross the Tasman with her most worldly possessions, an array of summer dresses and shoes?  

She could feel her stomach tighten, those butterflies rising like her awareness, threatening to expose her presumptive guilt.  

She walked away from her former life, pinning all her hopes and desires on another loose end she knew much better to mess with.  

Hope urged her on wondering if time had been kinder to him, an old flame may re-ignite…  

God knows she needed to feel something.  

Her mind and body had long since turned down any flicker of excitement, preferring to wallow in stoic self-pity; feigned permanent damage, rendering her frigid.

He had always been her potential escape.  

Her reason to live without seeming too dramatic.  

She would have gone anywhere with him, she reflected, knowing he would see straight through her faux par – her cheeks peak that most wanton shade of Crimson.  

Lowering her eyes, she made up her mind wrestling her way toward the lone baggage cart, daring anyone to make a beeline.  

Heading into the terminal, sweat running down the crevice of her back, she tapped out what she needed to say and waited, checking her mobile appearance in its reflection.

Her long tousled hair was a true expression of her frustration.  

Her large blue eyes smudged and blurred, once perfect Charcoal eyeliner betraying her yet again.  

Why did it have to be the hottest clear day of the most piss poor summer New Zealand had ever known?

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

© Copyright 2013, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Sea of Possibility

English: The Aurora Borealis or northern light...

Image via Wikipedia

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 Borealis
leading me
not into temptation
Crow 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

Catching That Butterfly

Ulysses butterfly (Papilio ulysses). This is t...

1.
myles away
collective unconsciousness
still see’s you

through the tree’s
memories & nightmares interspersed
taking us back
to when we were Autumnal
seeding
sowing little reels of tape
monologue’s
weaving their way in
& out of us;
my imprint carving
out your name
as if you might disappear
in search of that wood
you left behind

we are like the wind.
she blows this place
stripping away the leaves
shredding bark
to Birch
& vulnerable

you remind me of Gulliver.
I am like Gretel leaving
a trail of bread crumbs
in case you find hunger
in Wellington

I see you

catching that butterfly
in that dream of mine

2.
Tijuana in the sunset
or is it dawn?
when the dust settles
& spray booths
become a silver lining

my partner in crime
one step removed;
Black & White
grey matter
masking the rusty holes
I’m tempted to poke

up ahead in the distance
mirage & cacti
& stoic self-pity
more solitary
than the tequila sun rising
on a hangover.
responsibilities best served
on the bones of our arse
in no man’s land

I see you

your sombrero
your poncho
your penchant for desolation
filtered by my Rose
& Tonto on the horizon
larger than life
living where two penny’s
don’t have a hope in hell.
charm pulling the wool
over bloodshot eye’s

3.
flowers adorn my living room
contrasting green
& pink
& white Lily’s
I am not afraid of death
I fear the cold
shoulders & backs
stealing blankets –
the rise & fall of sleep

seventeen
& eighteen years abroad
I live vicariously through you
your every move
a meta
physical
paradox.

magical thinking
unchartered waters
a tide on every pier –
I can pretend
to co-exist;
another time & space
where drama needs no theatre

I see you

I could leave everything behind
& risk all I have ever known
of love

Edited by Michael Rudd

© Copyright 2012, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Creativity Creeps

Creativity creeps
under my skin
in an almost
random fashion
except for those
side steps
opening up doors
into nooks & crannies
filled with
Magenta &
Pthalo Blue

Gesso plastered
canvas tarps
fill in my gaps
so nothing that
isn’t meant to
be there
can infiltrate
or seep
or overflow
its boundaries

I determine
every brush
& stroke
& all deliberate acts
twist into
congealed
afterthoughts

It’s like watching
words escape
from silent mouths
in silent Black
& White movies:
each shade
of imaginary sound
is transformed
into translucent
Reds & Yellows

A diadem of jewels
to gush over
& revel in
its magnificence
with every
new idea

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Fey

An emotional midget lives inside my fettered mind. The sprite kind, green as the Irish, young like Danu’s children dancing, invisible to most save Fey. She is gullible, easy prey for those with nothing better to do – they say opposites attract: I am like rat bait.

She is not quite right in the head my sprite but don’t get me wrong, she might have a little hunch in her brain stem, walk around muttering under her breath, but she is conjuring up Narcissus in an attempt to fill up the holes in her white tunic.

How she came to be this way is a long story, suffice to say that public humiliation is akin to Oedipus Complex
with a tiny bit of Penis Envy on the side; there is nothing quite like having an orgasm at someone else’s expense.
If you are a man, well I guess you just grew a little taller, women, maybe just a little bit smarter.

My sprite has been known to feign a smile. Rather than cower in the corner, she has worn patches. I heard this one woman say she would never
have plastic surgery on her face, (in male company of course), then make an appointment to have her breasts enlarged, the bags under her eyes lifted.

I wear my heart on my sleeve most days melancholy. She plays while listening to The Pied Piper watching hoards of people leave single file.
Emotionally speaking, she is not known to accurately sift thoughts; binge eating her way into the Guinness Book of World Records, one defiant leap of blind faith at a time.

My wee lass likes to be alone, but craves the company of others so she doesn’t have to hide. Once upon a time there was no such thing as social isolation, the preferred title was Witch rather than loony toon. She thinks too much, trying in vain failing miserably; second sight may as well be as viable as the second coming.

In my mind, my confused emotional midget state of a mind, I am wondering where she has been and where I am going. Most days I re-live the past with distorted accuracy staring into the wide blue yonder sitting on my desktop. She looks out on to a Google landscape, straining. I can’t see the wood for the spam.

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Boudoir

A green duvet and me
blue
Eeyore pyjamas missing a button

a gaping hole my solar plexus

books scattered
carpeted
the bed and the floor
three phones waiting
a clock ticking
a red candelabra
standing tall
white scented candles
mirrors and paintings

reflected image incomplete

a red slip
pillows
a thick winter coat, disembodied
folded towels
soft toys and clothes, strewn

careless

tissues not too far away
the bedside table ready
slatted curtains not really curtains at all
shafts of light
penetrating
my wheat-bag purple and warm

comforting

Klimts Women is wide open
to ‘The Kiss’
at the foot of my bed

© Copyright 2007 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved