Category Archives: I am what I am

Thoughs, questions and opinions.

Success Failure Publication

My blogging friend, Pooky, wrote a poem titled, Failure. This poem lit a fuse, made me think. Below is the link to Pooky’s poem followed by where my thoughts took me.

Who measures success and failure? So often it’s ourself, and we can be harsh taskmasters. So many high achievers are driven by fear of failure and sadly many fail to find joy in their everyday small successes.

I’ve had a few poems published but in reality my words do not go down well with the mainstream ‘poetry police’ – my little swipe at them. 🙂 I know I can do it their way, but I don’t want to. I write ‘Freefall’, a stream of consciousness form of writing taught by Barbara Turner-Vesselago, that takes me deeper and deeper into my place of truth. Freefall is meant to be a beginning but for me it’s the beginning, middle and end. I don’t edit, other than for spelling mistakes and I sometimes miss those. I write raw because that’s how I live.

I wrote the guts out of a poem of mine that my son was in the process of animating when he died. We wanted to turn it into a short film that my son would narrate by reading my poem. Ken had a beautiful speaking voice. He’d almost completed the story boards when he died. I rewrote the poem because I wanted it published, or at least a facsimile. I wanted a part of our dream of working together, to live on. And so a remnant of the original poem lives in the State Library of Victoria.

Incredibly, the book was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral, the last place we had been as a family. We went there to see the Cancer Council Arts Awards exhibition the day before, Ken, died. I’d been earlier in the week and had been talking to him about one of the paintings, a heart wrenching painting of a child’s empty jacket, and he wanted to see the painting. Sadly that day he was deeply depressed but still wanted to go to the exhibition.

I was one of only 10 poets, some quite well known, chosen to read my poem at the launch. The launch was just a couple of months after my husband’s death, and was one of the most moving moments of my life. Only my close family and a few friends knew of the loving synchronicity that day held for me.

The book itself is a thing of beauty. A combination of poetry, artwork and photography, all about my home town, Melbourne. I’ll try to include a photo of the books cover here and post the two poems separately.


The Spelling Meme

The Spelling Meme

There’s a meme with variations on the theme that’s been doing the rounds for a while – ‘It makes me sad when spelling mistakes ruin an awesome post.’

I feel sad when people value spelling over content. If not for spellcheck my words would be littered with errors. There’s a reason, and it’s not because I don’t care, nor because I lack intelligence. I’m grateful when people point out an error to me and I try to remember, but I’m not always successful.
I know people who are intelligent, wise, warm hearted and articulate, but they don’t write because, for various reasons, they struggle with spelling and things grammatical.

I admire people who write well, I have a deeper admiration for those who don’t allow mistakes to deter them, and I have respect and understanding for those who feel intimidated by the expectations of some.

My husband was my editor but I chose not to allow his absence to stop me from writing. If I decide to publish some of my work one day, I’ll pay an editor. I’ll never stop writing.

I even have the temerity to present writer’s workshops – not because I’m a great writer, but because I value writing and view it as an important tool for some, a means of dealing with life’s difficulties. I encourage people to forget about spelling and punctuation and just write. And sometimes from this writing can come something far more precious than a best seller. People can reach a place of understanding, acceptance and the possibility of peace.

I don’t believe a spelling mistake ruins anything, it simply proves we are all human and prone to making errors. It also proves we have the courage to keep trying.

Tricia 8/2013



‘I love what you say as it mirrors closely my exact sentiments.’ he wrote.
‘p s why does he look so miserable?’ she wrote.
Both these comments are staying with me
Stirring the pot of my subconscious

I don’t know the writer of the first comment
He writes a blog I occasionally follow
I disagreed with something he wrote
He responded politely
Questioning a couple of words I’d used
When I returned to the blog
He’d altered his response
Omitting any sense of question
His questioning helped me to understand
My words may have been better received
If I’d put more thought into them

His above comment
Part of a response to another
I sense is staying with me because
I feel the exact opposite
I ‘love what you say as it’
Challenges my preconceptions.

The second comment came from a friend
In response to a photo of one of my many bears
My friend and I discussed our reactions to
The bear with the very sad face
We found common ground
This bear is very special to me because
Sorrow is a normal part of life
Therefore there is a place
For sad faced Teddy Bears
They can be a valuable resource
To see our sorrow reflected
Can be comforting and validating

Source of

Tricia 7/2013


View With A Room


Daybreak from the window of my room at the Brighton Savoy. There was a strange colour in the sky this morning, before these magnificent pink and mauve hues appeared, that made the sand appear orange. It was breathtaking to watch.
I’m here for a week while they begin my bathroom conversion. I find the sea, hypnotic, as it gently caresses the sand, and am spending a large part of each day in reverie, just the sea and me, and, Simon Tedeschi, playing quietly in the background.

Something Different

I share the sorrowful moments because basically the purpose of this blog is to connect with those who grieve or struggle in some way, let them know they’re not alone. But sorrow and health issues are only a part of who I am. I’m lucky enough to have an aptitude for childlike joy, a susceptibility to silliness. The following is a glimpse into that area of my life. Also the new bed is ‘bloody marvellous’.

Guess Who Sleeps in My Bed?

I spoke to Big Ted about my new bed
“It’s paws up” he said then tilted his head
He smiled at me and I could tell
I was about to hear a Big Ted soft sell
“Don’t you think it would be fair
If the remote was shared with your favourite bear
We share the bed and lots of stuff
And bears get aches when times are tuff
It’s the massage button that appeals to me
I’d love to rumble and tumble ’till I go ‘squee’ ”
He twisted and turned as he made his request
His cuteness impression a personal best
I picked him up and held him tight
Said if he was good then I just might
Allow him his rumble tumble play
On special occasions not every day
He snuggled in and whispered to me
“I’ll be the best bear you ever did see”

Tricia 6/2013

The Pangaea Prize

The Pangaea Prize.

thepoet’sbillow is a wordpress site that some of you may be interested in. You have until May 2013 if you want to enter The Pangaea Prize. If you click on the blue highlited title of the competition you’ll find the details.

Work previously published on a blog, or any other medium is ineligible. I’m a bit sad about this because I would have liked to enter some of my health related poems. Guess I’ll just have to ‘push the boat out’ a bit further.

They actually ‘liked’ my latest poem Then and Now. For some reason I’m getting some new traffic stopping by my site. I’m not complaining, just intrigued.

As one of my mentors Bob Neimeyer says “Good words to you.”

Missing in action

This is a note for those who follow my blog, and whose blogs I follow. I’ve been absent from the blogosphere due to ill health. Spent some time in hospital and am now recouperating at home. As a result of low energy levels I have over 600 unopened emails in my inbox, many of which will be from my fellow bloggers. Because the number is so overwhelming I may not get to them. I hope you understand.

I have a couple more medical tests this coming week and then I hope to slowly return to the wonderful world of blogs. I’ve not written a word for weeks and feel I must make an effort to correct this for various reasons! The main one being that words are my best friends and I’m missing my friends. I’m also missing my fellow bloggers.

I hope you are all well, and Thomas I hope your treatment is going well.

Take care



As the title suggests I have been in blog hibernation for a couple of weeks. I have almost 200 unread emails in my inbox, and may not have time to read them all. I will return to the blogosphere next week. Every now and then I just have to take a time out. Hope you are all finding the words.

Bye for now. Tricia

Fat Woman Walking

Fat Woman Walking
my spirit pained and fractured
during a childhood
raised by broken parents
I learnt to walk on
my right foot
a roughened red rock
formed in the suicide of my son
with a cane I managed to walk on
embedded in my left foot
a salt worn sand encrusted stone
that pierced me
as my husband collapsed and died in my arms
my lungs labour with disease
life choices – loss
and the armour of obesity
I struggle to walk on
it’s the obesity people see
focus on
try to fix
‘she wouldn’t suffer if she wasn’t so fat’
the first 15 kilos crept quietly by
as I tried to fight the spiral
of my only child’s depression
drug addiction and suicide attempts
the next 30 came after his death
a combination of eating and anti-depressants
immobilized by pills
and the pain of loss
after the death of my husband
I refused the pills
couldn’t stomach the food
I tried to walk on
I stumble
they want to zap my brain
I struggle to breathe
they want to staple my stomach
I wonder what they would do
if I was thin
Tricia    2011

Discussions With Death

A poem and a prose piece conversing with, and reflecting on death. Because it is a compilation of poetry and prose I have placed it in the I am what I am category
Death your cycle confuses me
Is it random choice or plan
Do your allies pain and suffering
Lead you by the hand
I accept your inevitability
From the moment one is born
But your seemingly random harvest
I look upon with scorn
You took my brother at 11 months
My husband’s father at 49
What method do you use to determine
Each individual’s allotment of time
Some candles extinguish easily
Just one short puff of breath
Others keep flickering – reigniting
Pain filled drawn out death
My precious son was 26
When he called you to his side
He begged for you to claim him
Your refusal led to suicide
My darling husband was 63
When you stole the sparkle from his eyes
We’d just learnt to laugh again
It’s your timing I despise
There are those who say “God’s will”
But in that I cannot believe
Thanks to you I’m now an expert
On the many ways we grieve
I am ready for you to call
You no longer frighten me
I may yet beat you at your game
You’ll just have to wait and see
Tricia 2011
Death Waits
‘My death waits, like a witch at night’ so sang David Bowie.
Death waits for us all; sometimes so impatient he tires of the waiting and pounces. He is an intemperate bastard, with no thought for the effect his actions have on those whose lives he stumbles through; mumbling, roaring, staggering, strutting, full of himself and the power he wields. His perversity is mind blowing.
‘No I’ll not take that one, the one who is crying out for me to claim them; I’ll take the contented one, the one who is not expecting me, not yet ready, or maybe the wee babe sleeping peacefully in its cot, better yet the one still in the womb.’
There are some troubled souls who tire of the waiting game death plays; they take matters into their own hands, choosing to end lives that have become intolerable for whatever reason. I have heard it said that suicide it the coward’s way out, but I disagree, I think suicide is a courageous act. You see there are so many variables, and death is such a powerful shit. What if he refuses to claim us, if it amuses him to leave us in a vegetative state; drooling, unresponsive lumps no longer able to control our bodily functions, or worse, mentally alert but unable to communicate, stuck in some painful, powerless half life with no way out, waiting on death’s decision.
I got all excited the other day, was at the doctors when he noticed a mark on my neck, said it could be a basal cell carcinoma and I should have a biopsy.
‘OK’ I said ‘I’ll have the biopsy but if it is cancer I will happily let it take its course’. He looked at me with a gentle smile on his face, you see he knows me and my readiness for death.
‘This type of cancer rarely causes death’ he said ‘if left untreated it will eat at your flesh like an ulcer and cause you more pain than you already live with, your quality of life will deteriorate further’
‘Bugger’ said I smiling at him, ‘In that case I’ll think about the biopsy, because right now I’m not ready to have needles and scalpels poked into my neck’
‘Alright’ he replied ‘but don’t leave it too long because the larger it grows the more invasive it is to treat.’
‘Bet you don’t get too many patients who are disappointed when you tell them what they have is unlikely to kill them’ I said as I stood up to leave.
‘It’s not a common occurrence’ he replied, resting his hand on my shoulder for a moment.
So for now my death continues to wait. I refuse to plead with him to come for me, that satisfaction he will have to do without.
Tricia 2010