Chris Butler

Light on Dark



The Poet

I regard myself as a poetic storyteller strongly influenced by the darker elements of truth. I strive for strong unique imagery that exposes hidden truths beneath the surface of the ordinary. I do not tend to fuss over form and structure, as long as the final version has a satisfactory conclusion. A poem should close with legitimate finality. My word-play, multiple meanings, irony and bruised wit are consistently guided by a slightly worn moral compass.

Maintaining clarity in my writing is often a challenge. In trying to layer possible interpretations of my imagery, I like to weave with connections that stray from the expected. I also enjoy giving personality to background objects. The shopping cart, the ceiling fan, the parking meter, the abandoned tire, all have had strange experiences. One of my objectives is to imagine their diverse experiences and give the reader insights they havenít encountered before. I find it very rewarding to reveal the shadowed, unexplored corners in the repetitious spaces that surround us.

I am living in an era that has allowed children to have remarkable influence over their parents, and where adults are neglecting to pass the baton of moral responsibility to their children. Media controlled consumerism is the undermining plague in this North American lifestyle. The thick denial of this, and of many other modern dilemmas, has led me to believe that a good deal of my writing is sanity maintenance. I often play upon the fact that man and nature can both be cruel and unpredictable, and that it is the beauty in the smaller details that continues to encourage humanity.

Chris Butler at his desk

A dozen wonderful years of Tower membership has contributed vastly to my poetic identity. Just as the rock singer within me has an ego, so too the poet. Watching for awe to sweep across the face of an audience, and feeling that awe arrive is what creativity is all about. I truly enjoy the intimacy of sharing my inner world. It substantiates the hours spent pestering my muse for the perfect word.

Chris Butler
September 2008

Biography of Chris Butler            




Pale full moon bobs on midnight clouds
silvered swirls of mercurial moisture.
Storm rides the nightís turbulent current.
Seen through shimmering curtain,
seductive moonlight waltzes.

Lunar kaleidoscope
beckons savage teeth
to tear its taunt from shattering sky
before storm obliterates
and drowns sweet ivory beams.

My loverís tongue rides the river on my cheek,
a velvet boat tossed upon hot tears.
When I am bewitched by the moon,
when I churn with viscous tides in the sky,
she slips her moorings to embrace me,
her face a glaze of concern.

She embarks with Cleopatraís confidence,
soothes as she conquers.
A kiss is placed in the delta
where river joins my mouth,
where hunger waits for tip of tongue.

Waters deepen.
Her vessel overturns.
We thrash within warm salty foam.
Through strands of rising bubbles
we watch the surface shrink,
then stretch to fill with stars
that dance with lonely moons.



You look through me
as if I were a mirage
because you have
peeked at swollen mysteries
I keep locked
in secret drawers

My tears shift like sand
behind hourglass eyes
but the salts of time
mean very little
to a blind voyeur

There was much
more to see
but you missed
the other drawers
in your haste
to keep your bones

Espana, Salvador Dali


Let me
press, fill, stretch
the net
with which you catch
this butterfly soul,
etched to captivate

Let me
soar, strain, fall
through the hoop
whose beck and call
is soft second chance whisper
I must investigate

Let me
sway, rest, hover
for Iíve discovered
another warm cocoon
that lays my heart bare

Let me
take to the air
so that you
may re-ensnare,
this soul forever fragile,
at peace, alive, aware.



Expanding ice
elbows Erieís sandy shore
Far as one can see
Natureís open freezer door
has solidified waves
into strips of see-through floor
One can hear silence
in bubbles of trapped air
pleading for release
to mercury unfair

skyscraper glass
stupendously amassed
as if atomic blast
tossed away a perfect city
A million frozen panes
artistically arranged
to melt and disappear
with winterís pity

Cryptic curves
sculpted scripture
words of jagged water
speak of glacierís
wish to kiss
this lake carved
long before
White swollen
lip of shore
quivers against
concrete pier
sticking out its tongue



Night grows fatter at sunís expense
Daylight gobbled like Halloween treats

Orchestrated colours blare from sleepy woodwinds
Drumbeat of a million falling leaves

Variegated landscape sheds like a dog
Down to chihuahua bare branches

Entente cordiale appears over
Mother nature burns her brassiere

Mentholated breeze hardens nipples
Inspires Jill Frost to paint mom

Birch tree has dream of swift canoe ride
Certain this winter will be his last

Execution by centigrade guillotine
Jack Frost tosses sister her hood

Riddles and rivers soon will freeze over
Answers of Spring, hermetically sealed



The Fablecloth unfolds
the fabric of distraction
Stories will be told
of embroidered satisfaction

Soul-searing spills
of overwrought emotion
tinge threads of history
with fanatical devotion

Third world napkins
folded thick and ready
stretch charming lacey faces
into smiles for rich gravy
Ladle overflows
with clumps of greed
a Norman Rockwell brown
straining to be savoured

Cutlery falls to Swiffered floor
shiny as a newborn truth
Dogs arrive for fablescraps
wearing new Armani suits
lick at ankles
jab with snouts
annoy with wagging labels
steal silver spoons
from dining rooms
as chairs slide up to fable

* * *

When cloth of lore must be refreshed
we cleanse with machines of war,
extract our bleach from victimsí bones,
who dye for the stains we ignore

Each religion forms an unsturdy leg
each leg supports our fable
There is a wobble we have yet to face
common ground remains unstable



Between the heartbeats, in that space before lungs inflate,
the athlete finds the zone where flesh and spirit mesh.

Beneath adrenalineís pulse, and its sweet epinephrine tone
the fading echo of a coachís tireless voice.

Focus bubbles in the blood, a champagne of concentration,
fizzing as it pumps through dedicated heart.

Starterís pistol thunders, clock and muscles meld.
They tick...............in titanic microseconds.

Sweat beads fervent brow, pinpoints of preparation
for this monumental moment when dreams discover gold.

As finish line is crossed, crowd surges to its feet.
World record shatters, the return of sound is deafening.



Rest just a minute
close your cultured eyes
A dustmote ballet
lazily spins across eyelid stage
Turn your face to the sun
and with microscopic focus
spotlight the tireless dancers

You become choreographer
show anxious prima donnas
how nimbly one may dart
how all can pirouette
Lost in the moment
you become aware
of a Supreme presence

A dustmote performance
opens, closes, then re-opens
in a single blink of the eye
In each moment of prayer
you reflect upon Heaven,
gaze at lid of sky
closing slowly on the sun

God watches you float
like dust
awaiting microscopic focus
Will you delight when He blinks?
Or do assumptions
of insignificance
place you on the periphery?


Two suns came together
Emotions hit the light.
Recharged one another
Tore through the bonds of night.
The planets all around us
Feel the heat we generate.
They stare because they know itís rare
Two suns choose to mate.

Generous sun, where are you from?
Was your universe as cold as mine?
Were you waiting for me an eternity
Consumed by dreams unkind?

Oh brilliant sun, letís show a few worlds
What passionate hearts can do.
When we pass, the force of our love
Shall change their point of view.
Our intensity, our gravity
Sweet celestial spin
We balance below with whatís above:
Two suns burn within.

Did you scan the stars
For this mate of flame?
Am I all you were wishing for?
Did you know your light
Would travel to me,
To become the sol I adore?

Two suns came together
Two suns flame together
Tear through the bonds of night
Banish cruel, cruel night.
Our intensity, our gravity
Our density is solidarity.
We balance below with whatís above
Endless heat fueled by love
Two suns burn within.


Chris Butler

Chris began writing songs and lyrics in his late teens and thoroughly enjoyed his seven years as an undiscovered rock star. Artrock by groups like Pink Floyd and Genesis and Rush influenced his open-souled descriptions of a politically minded citizen. Once the dry ice settled, Chris found he still had a desire to write tales with a musical spirit.

After studying Book Editing at Centennial College, Chris switched directions and became a restaurant manager, which aligned none too well with his rock and roll pursuits. His love of movies and video games led to opening his own store in Mississauga, which enjoyed success for several years in the 90ís.

Chris presently resides on the shore of Lake Erie, in Port Stanley, happily removed from the urban sprawl of the GTA that invigorated his first 30 years. His second wife, Irene, has been the focus of his love and infatuation for 15 years. Chris insists his poetry would be pale and lifeless without her magical karma. He remains happily self-employed in the London area.

His online poetry chapbook can be freely read at his website:

Chris Butler with muse & Charlie Chaplin
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