Monthly Archives: January 2014



For years she wore a mask,
like the Fosse character
in All That Jazz.
Pop a pill,
look in the mirror
There was a time when
she was the entertainer,
laughter followed
the Pied Piper of Partytown.
These days she finds the thought
of wearing her old mask
sadder than her sorrow.
doggedly defiant,
with neither the energy
nor the inclination
she refuses
to maintain the illusion.
She still laughs,
she cries a lot too,
and that’s ok
with her.
With a few she feels the weight
of expectation.
She’s learnt
if she doesn’t hide her pain
they’ll stay away,
and that’s ok
with her.

Tricia 11/2013


Ode To An iPad

Ode To An iPad

My iPad and me we’re such great mates
But her life it would appear
Is in the hands of fate
One by one each function disappears
I’m trying to remain calm
Please Ignore the steam from my ears
When 500 photos ‘went west’ I got shitty
Hissy fits, swearing,
A sever bout of self pity
The iPad help line thinks she can be saved
I’m not so sure
Although I’m trying to be brave
When I measure my life’s losses a dying iPad’s quite small
But she’s not just an iPad
She’s my link to you all
I can’t get around much yet I travel the globe
Sharing life, love and laughter
Plus the occasional ode
When my family have time we’ll visit Apple’s shop
Where hopefully they’ll retrieve
Photos, poetry, The Lot
Once bitten twice shy the old saying goes
As well as having her repaired
I’ll buy a new one coz who knows
It may sound extravagant but loss mangles trust
And yes it just an iPad
But I’ll do what I must
Because for me it’s more than a technological aid
It’s my link to the world
When I’m sad or afraid
Or when I’m happy and bubbling longing to share
Something special with someone
To show them I care
I’ll now catch up on comments in case WordPress dies too
If it does please understand
I did the best I could do
I have an iPhone but with cataracts it’s difficult to see
Words appear to be written
With the stinger quill of a bee
And yes I know this doesn’t fit the poetic criteria for an ode
But maybe if you squint and hold your mouth right
It’ll fit the irregular ode mode

Tricia 22/1/2014

Fickle Feelings

Fickle Feelings – For my dear friend, Christine, at

She’s surrounded by much
that is wonderful
and she is grateful –
most of the time.
Then there are the times
Frustration packs Gratitude’s bags,
chucks them on the front verandah
and tells Gratitude
to take herself off for awhile.
There are days
Frustration needs time
to just be,
without Gratitude telling her
how she should feel.
Gratitude enjoys her time away
free to frolic, meditate, contemplate.
Frustration too spends time
meditating, contemplating, but
Frustration’s not a frolicker
she’s more the kicking and screaming type,
and my how she loves to swear.
Eventually Frustration welcomes Gratitude home
and they move on with life
in their sometimes tenuous,
mostly amicable
marriage of convenience.

Tricia 1/2014

Telling Not Showing

Telling Not Showing

The above link is to an article on alcoholism written by Dick Cavett. I don’t agree with all Dick writes, e.g. Dick implies that he sees nothing wrong with some people taking a small drink as a means of coping with stage fright. In my opinion, using alcohol to self medicate for any reason is unhealthy. Addiction in all forms is a subject I have strong feelings about. Both stories in the link are compassionately written (there’s a link to a second story contained in the intro of this one, you just click on the word ‘here’.). They touched me deeply. My father was an alcoholic and I have battled various addictions during my life. Addiction and mental illness run like a winding river through my family.

I loved my dad and miss him very much. He had 10 years sober (bliss) when a chronic illness (not alcohol related) forced his early retirement from a job he loved, a job he’d held since he stopped drinking. He’d found his niche, took pride in his promotion to manager, I think he discovered his self respect in this job. Not long after his retirement he began drinking again, telling us (and himself) he could now be a social drinker. It only took a few months for my loving, gentle, delightful dad to once again become an alcohol obsessed, often morose stranger. He died just after his 67th birthday. We were all with him, and we all loved him.

My son adored his Poppa Thomas, and was devastated by his death. He wrote the poem, Thomas, after dad’s funeral. After years of battling depression then drug addiction, Ken , ‘followed’ his Thomas, 8 years after he wrote the poem. As many of you know, Ken died by his own hand.

I’m reposting Ken’s poem, Thomas, because I believe his words show far better than I can tell, what it’s like to love a person who suffers from any addiction. Ken’s words also show that it’s possible to see past the addiction to the heart of the person.

Tricia 1/2014


A picture is all I have
To remind me of your life
This emotion runs so deep
Oh why can’t I follow you

Your wisdom and your heart
Greater than your legacy
Of the ones you left behind
Oh why can’t I follow you

I long for the time
When your smile meet mine
Tucked gently inside a bottle
Oh why can’t I follow you

I weep at the reflection
In the eyes of your wife
For since you said goodbye…
O why can’t I follow you

A soul so weightless
The wind took you from me
I never got to show you
Just who you were to me

This lid is sealed so tight
On your final kiss
Tasting death on your lips
Please wait for me

Kenneth Bertram

The Visitor


I thought I’d posted this on the blog but went through twice today and can’t find it. If my failing eyesight has missed it, my apologies. 🙂

The Visitor

my old friend grief has come to stay once more
just when I think she has settled into sleep
she comes quietly up behind me
rests her hand on my shoulder

when I think I can’t bear her presence
for one more second
she takes me by the hand
leads me to the window
bids me stand in stillness

gradually black becomes pale grey
patches of cobalt
sapphire sheen fades with dawns light
I think it is over
but no

my friend wraps her arms around me
holds me to her
it is not finished

and then the colours come
robust red
indigo that bleeds into purple
orange spotlights blaze
as grey white clouds dance and weave
through passionate pigments

as the colour gradually fades
morning shines her bright light
blinding us
we close our eyes for a moment

then side by side
we leave the window
to begin our day together

Tricia 23/07/09

Love and Laphroaig

Love and Laphroaig

For the first time since his death
four and a half years ago,
she eased the cork
from the half full bottle of
Memories of peaty kisses
overwhelmed her.
The soft, smokey touch
of his lips on hers
took her back in time.

Barbecues in Brisbane, his dearest friend, Matt,
bagpipes celebrating the birth
of a precious baby girl
who crept into her heart
bringing her brother and sister with her.
The soulful christening composition,
Uncle Bill’s gift to the wee bairn,
played plaintively on the bagpipes.
For her, there was always a touch of sorrow,
a mournful cry, an ache in the midst of joy,
in the tale only the pipes could tell.

Scotland and Ireland entwined
for the St Paddy’s Day Celebrations
that warmed her non-theist heart.
Proudly watching
her precious leprechauns and dancers
leading their clan in the parade.
The closest she’ll ever come to grandchildren.
She couldn’t love them more
if they carried her blood in their young veins.

She poured a little of the single malt
into a crystal glass
took a sip
held the golden liquid in her mouth for a moment
then allowed it to wend its warm way
down her throat.
It had lost nothing
of home and the highlands
during its four plus years in the bottle.

As she sipped
she savoured her memories.
forty years of love,
their darling son,
shared suffering,
joy filled celebrations,
special friendships,
precious children,
his attempts to cure toothache
with the warm golden liquor.
With each sip she remembered
and experienced a sense of gratitude
for the gift of her loved and loving life.

Tricia 1/2014