Poems: a selection

ĒOde to MarsĒ won Second Place in the Baltimore Science Fiction Societyís Annual Poetry Contest, 2014

Ode to Mars

She waits.

Through lonely nights
she watched that distant planet
grow green while she decayed,
observed, with resignation, the ice melt,
luscious green grass grow -
cells divide, multiply, sprout
and crawl from sea through mud to solid earth,
far flung seedlings bursting to life.

But beneath her icy surface,
under red rocks fused
her motherís breast pulsed,
and her dreams drifted across empty blue-black spaces
to hover above the green planet.

But the longed-for day arrives!
Feet tap, hesitant, her dusty bosom,
the Martian dust lifts, trembling, joyful -
Her children, at last, are coming home.

"Body Talk", "White Fire" and "Discombobulated" are from UPHEAVAL, Red Ochre Press, 2012

Body Talk

A summer night, the sky a river
deep with silence
the hours slowing, flowing to larger rhythms.

I stand by a window and moon gaze
the mournful O of it I imagine
glazing a distant window that shadows you.

I see a sliver of moon
light cutting through glass
to pencil your body

a thin luminous curve
over thighs and crumpled sheets,
damp with the sweet odors of sweat and you.

Insomniacs of desire
our feverish tongue-tied pauses
long for the Braille of body-talk

fingers that taste hidden places
bodies slow dancing
to the music of a creaking bed.

The Big River Poetry Review, 2012
Hot Summer Nights, anthology by Inner Child Publishing, 2012

According to Jewish tradition, black fire is the written word, white fire is the unsaid, what we read between the lines.

White Fire

Out bodies dance to a private song
a language of gesture and glance
inflamed by white fire.

They obey hidden laws of counterpoint,
compositions choreographed by fate
a murmur beneath the stolid notes of plainsong.


Lure me with your bait sunk deep
in dark waters. Tease me
and sabotage my wariness,
tempt me with gentle discombobulations
as it floats through layered currents,
let me angle around temptation with slow eyes
feigning capture as I open wide
to taste. Reel me in slowly, heart-hooked,
pulled through salty waters to land shuddering
at your feet.

Constellations, Fall, 2012
The Chaffey Review Vol 9 2012
Red Ochre Lit, Summer, 2012

Eve's Daughter
from "Searching for Eden", Finishing Line Press, 2012

I am Eveís daughter and feel
the pull of spirit languishing
in front of locked gates.

I find myself distracted
by horizons, distant spaces,
feel their taut lure

yet earth calls with it soft perfumes
its Aprils, Mays, Junes sun-soaked,
smelling of life

flesh sprouting in pale pink buds
that bloom to lust desire
and heated nights.

I am Eveís daughter and feel
the weight of things earthborn
mud mixed root deep.

A daughter of the flesh, conceived
in bushes beyond the gates
where I wait

suckled by earth, shaped by winds
tormented by what lies, just there
where sun sets.

Miller's Pond
Spring, 2009

Christmas Cheer

I lurk in shadows, dark tints
deepened by bright lights
and watch as tinseled pleasures climb
the tree-top heights
crowned by a hollow star
that marks a bleak and empty night.

Seekers they all are,
ravishing perimeters
of here and now,
oblivious to howls
behind the glitz of spangled glitter
fading lights
where all is calm, all is bright,
and shrieks rebound
the deep, the empty winter night.

Cerulean Rain, Spring 2008
Poetís Ink, Dec 2008


a thread of longing
across dark waters
to fall, perhaps, in fragments
on rocky shores
on the barren cliffs
of an indifferent heart
that cares no more

Rattlesnake Review
Dec, 2008

Blue Winds

The secret influence of blue winds
scents the snowy whiteness of ice
poised to crack, obeisant to spring that waits
the melting of winterís pale shark fins.

The secret influence of blue winds
brushes sprouts of softest shades, bends
blades that ripple, undulations of silk
shimmering as winter thins.

The secret influence of blue winds
rushes through soft days tender nights
of June, happiness waiting there, beyond
that rim where summer begins.

Literary Mary
January, 2009

Contour Drawing

A grey path curves and angles
the creamy white of a rough grained surface
adding a subtle interest
to the purity of evolving form;
the paperís bumps and gouges deviate
that hairline perfection
with a touch
of much desired

The pencil glides and grooves
the yielding surface,
excavations of thought
searching dots that float,
imaginary buoys
decoys that hold design
within the limits
shaped by line.

Rose and Thorn
Spring, 2008

All poetry copyright ©2014 by Janet Butler

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