Wednesday 31 May 2023

One Poem by Philip Butera


The Reflection from a Million Mirrors Shattering




Long past and far away, I came for me.

I had this fever with unimaginable imaginings of me, of every me.

For I am but the reflection from a million mirrors shattering, fortunate, and cursed.

Incompatible with nuance, confused by misunderstanding, I cannot find my way.

I realize what is and is not, and with sadness, I fear I cannot be.

In dreams of displeasure, falling Angels unfamiliar to themselves call to me.

I simmer in the distance awaiting the things to come.




Eclipsed by inconsistency, where do I flee?

Prometheus, his biceps bulging, calls me, “She will see you now.”

Then with a sorrowful grin, he adds, “I wish you luck.”

I never move.

Nevertheless, I am fumbling through existence, and everything reappears before it appears.

I stumble from a claustrophobic fury and find myself on a peaceful shore,

warm with satisfying waves.

I shout to the sun to stay above me, bathe me in nourishment,

but my voice is corralled before vocalization.

The sun becomes the moon, the shoreline a flowering valley between high peaks.

The wind brings on a chill.

Nothing has meaning, just insistence, a persistent heart beats without remorse.

Wrapped into circles, circling, I plod through awareness.

Daffodils, buttercups, and marigolds cushion my fall.

I always wanted to be where I was going, beyond thought, beyond thinking,

beyond where essence and madness dissolve.




False images charm as metaphors slither, but a cavalier vibrancy sweeps them away

from a cascading sky.

Hera spies on herself, uncovering all pretence.

I am getting nearer to where there is only stillness.

Above me, on a cloud made of soft, soothing textures, Gods enjoy

what they had forgotten they desired.

They cannot see me; I must be known to myself before I can be known to them.

I am an impression of myself, a clue about to be revealed.

Something sculptured from marble, painted on canvas, or words on paper.

A cacophony of misty bewilderment swirls and thunder sounds,

yet the bright blue sky remains silent.

Nothing has a voice, and what can be understood is unremarkable.

That astuteness needed, that delicate, varied, and dimensional aliveness

only fate can deliver, is still evolving.




Charon, the ferryman across the river Styx, asks me to board.

His emotions are alive on another’s face.

He looks past what is to what must be.

With large muscular arms on his oar, he says, “Justice is a human creation.”

He hands me a two-headed black and yellow lizard,

he quips, “I use her to navigate the unfolding of hypocrisy. Trust her when Poseidon interferes on your journey into doubt.”




Thetis, the future mother of Achilles,

tells me as she has defended Zeus, she will guide me into the domain

I most covet to be.

Her breasts are heavy, and I begin to drink.

She is all the women I have known and desired.

When I have consumed my fill, she wipes my mouth,

swallows the lizard, and spreads her long legs.

All mythology is a concept I am creating.

Thetis’ vaginal lips bring me inside her, and the warm moistness blesses me.

There is no absence within her womb, and benevolent sleep

lasts before time and after existence.

My journey has begun.




DaVinci is lying back, his hands behind his head.

He envisions Camus writing, “L’Etranger.”

He gazes at me, then sits up, asking, “Are you the one who knows why?”

I am mystified at the sprinkling of actual thought permeating his presence.

Naked and alive without encumbrance, I ask, “Am I here?”

His laughter is so loud, long, and innocent small birds gather within

and make nests.

They chirp without fear of being,

and their song develops into a theme Mozart would capture

in a time absent at the moment.

Finally, after several stars become languid moments of belief,

he responds, “No, Plato’s forms are yet to have boundaries.”

Torches appear, and poetic words determine my direction.

Venus, on a swing, glides past above me.

I try to reach for her, but I lose my narrative.

She melts into the skyline, an illusory dreaminess tinged with impending storms.




In me, not that me, but this me defined by a perfectionistic ideology for being

fills my curious persona.

“It is time,” laments DaVinci.

Prometheus puts the dice in my mind and into my hand.

All love affairs come to mind, all triumphs come to mind, and risk comes to mind.

Expressionless faces stare, mythological figures, fictional characters, and Gods in their finery,

relentless in their depth, view landscapes of the soul I may be given.

There is nothing, not even gloom, yet I remain unbroken.




No sounds are heard, though sad music plays, a dirge full of suspense.

Sjöfn, the Nordic goddess of love, nude and seductive, demands I kneel.

She wraps her legs tightly around my neck and places her sword on my lips.

Irrational within a paradox, a dispute about myself escapes from a tragedy

into an inquisitional quandary.

The crowd does not appear in an arena that does not exist,

yet the roar gains momentum, “Roll the dice.”

The eyes of Prometheus become flames.

The lizard hisses, she knows the problem is tenderness, not fear.




The dice tumble, tumble, and turn.

They bounce.

Dots are lines, dots are blurs, and dots are deciders.

Hera leads the procession, and Aphrodite follows.

One die twirls, the other winds around, the shouting is frenzied.

Sjofn, so blonde, so fair, so perfect, so icy, just giggles,

a tinkling, devilish snicker, as nightfall overtakes darkness,

and nightmares overtake dreams.

The dice roll, they roll.

I confess I am nameless.

Rainbows of words cloud my view.

That is when I realize I will forever be wandering within a storm,

this two-fisted tempest and the next, and the next.




Athena, understanding complexity is a pleasure,

never a burden, immediately removes the numbers from the dice.

A herd of magnificent multicoloured mares gallops past.

They blend into abstraction- a painting, a symphony, and a poem.

Everything past is a memory of the future.




Charon’s ferry slowly leaves the cold waters for the negative after-image of eternity.

When my lizard crawls from the soft womb of Thetis, it has another head, red and crimson.

This head devours the others, and the lizard is furious about its demise.

It digs its claws into my thoughts.

And I, uncertain about my self-awareness

but knowing imagination is reason courting fantasy,


Philip Butera received his Masters's Degree in Psychology from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He has published four books of poetry, Mirror Images and Shards of Glass, Dark Images at Sea, I Never Finished Loving You, and Falls from Grace, Favor, and High Places. His fifth, Forever Was Never On My Mind, will be out Summer of 2023. Two novels, Caught Between (Which is also a 24 episodes Radio Drama Podcast Art and Mystery: The Missing Poe Manuscript. His next novel, an erotic thriller, Far From Here, will be out Fall of 2023. One play, The Apparition. His current project is collaborating with a British photographer, a French artist, and an American graphic artist to produce a coffee table book in praise of Women. Philip also has a column in the quarterly magazine Per Niente. He enjoys all things artistic.


  1. Man… that is some intellectual poetry…

    1. Thank-you. Hopefully, Lothlorien, will publish more of my poetry

  2. brillian i can relate to that like its some sub conscious imagery

    1. I love blending the abstract and literal.


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