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A life over before it's begun! - Keith Trestrail's Blog

About Keith Trestrail
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I am an International Man of Mystery - born in Trinidad, raised in New Zealand, and living in Australia. My earliest influences lyrically were those of the Calypsonians of the 1960s, the greatest being old Birdie himself the Mighty Sparrow as well as the joyful songs of The Merrymen. Later in my teens I was struck by the power of words and language from the mercurial pen of Bob Dylan. The first poem I ever wrote was in 1975 at the age of 14 for a class assignment. I copied the lyrics from the Pink Floyd song "Money" and got a great mark from my teacher, Mrs Laird. She congratulated me on my effort and creativity (something I possessed very little of in school) and so I eventually came clean and had to re-write it. She did commend me on my honesty and choice of lyric though and did what good teachers do...engage and encourage. It could have been worse - I nearly chose a Frank Zappa song that would have been highly inappropriate! My poetry is very much like me - a work in progress! I often revisit and revise my catalogue as I grow as a writer and am grateful for any constructive advice. The real writer and talent in my family is my wife who is more an author than a poet, but she is far too sensible to bare her soul to the world. I, however, am not! I love my golf, my cricket and my Rugby League (that's a similar sport to Rugby for all my non-European/Australasian readers) and support Russell Crowe's team, the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs and the North Queensland Cowboys in the Australian NRL (National Rugby League). Go the Bunnies and go the Cowboys!

A life over before it's begun!

Blog Posted:9/9/2016 9:28:00 PM

Dear Soupers

If you are having a bad day or the neighbours dogs are barking too loud or the pizza guy forgot to put anchoves on your order or your football team lost or a call centre in Madras calls during your favourite TV show then just spare a thought for Faith Gajadhar.

Faith posted two poems earlier this week - one called "Rope or Hope" and the other "Image". Three days later she was dead. Faith hung herself - she was just fifteen!

There's a lesson in Faith's death for all of us with teenage children - me included. Don't wait till it's too late to ask your children if they are okay. Don't just shrug off moody or withdrawn behaviour as normal teenage puberty blues. You need to not only raise your child but love them and know them and be there for them! Go give them a big hug and talk to them.


To read more on Faith's death google  Trinidad & Tobago Newsday - Teen's Death Puzzles Las Alturas.




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Date: 9/13/2016 7:51:00 AM
Thank you all for your thoughts on this terrible turn of events. This is an all too common occurence among young people today. I didn't know Faith, and I don't know what led her down the path she chose but sometimes all it takes is a kind word and a hug - even a cyber hug. Sometimes those strange fingers on the other side of the world pounding their keyboard in the middle of the night is the hand of God!
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Date: 9/12/2016 3:34:00 PM
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A   Avatar
Poet Destroyer A
Date: 9/12/2016 3:59:00 PM
Date: 9/12/2016 3:34:00 PM
I just read more about Faith on facebook. RIP... She was born November 4th. My youngest was also born November 4th. :( cy.... I will share the link in hopes many of you stop by and leave a message. This is her page, She's very beautiful.....
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Date: 9/12/2016 3:30:00 PM
I would suggest that every single souper from 15 to 121 read this article. All of it. Then, we can talk.
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Date: 9/12/2016 3:06:00 PM
Okay, I've worked with kids in different facets. As a teacher, as a volunteer, as a leader. And we had protocol in place for revelations of abuse, suicidal thoughts, signs of neglect... Poetrysoup is a community that allows adults and teens to mingle and yet no protocol on this is in place. We see the art of their poetry, and we are dazzled by their talent. BUT we also need to focus on the content. Regardless of age, we can at least offer a "that sounds like you are going through hell. You can survive this. Is there anyone you can talk to about this? "
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Date: 9/12/2016 2:47:00 PM
Keith, you are right, I see a lesson in Faith's death. I have 2 teens and one soon to be. However, suicide comes from every age. Today, I will hug my son even more and give him a kiss as I did yesterday. I will remind him, how hard it was without him for almost 8 years. To my son PHIL, I love him, more than life and I can not image my life again without him. I always tell him he's my number one. I have forgiven him and accepted him for all his flaws, for they are my flaws too. Thank you so much, Keith, I truly mean that. THANK YOU. Everybody else have yourselves a wonderful day. God is Good............. LINDA
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Date: 9/12/2016 2:33:00 PM
I wish she would have told me more. I would have given her my comfort and support, I would have given her more than, my welcome comment and my phone number. I have dealt with young poets and I did comfort more than a handful, Plus adults. I feel so bad, I did not hear from her after the hellos. In which she was happy to ask about my poetic name. :(
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 9/12/2016 2:57:00 PM
It was a suicide pledge between two girls... the article IS confusing. Could Samantha be the name of the other girl?
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 9/12/2016 2:56:00 PM
It was a suicide pledge between two girls... the article IS confusing. Could Samantha be the name of the other girl?
Arnone Avatar
Tom Arnone
Date: 9/12/2016 2:39:00 PM
Someone should fix the reply coding on the website. The messages jump to the most unexpected positions.
A   Avatar
Poet Destroyer A
Date: 9/12/2016 2:38:00 PM
Catie, I did not find anything suicidal about her poem. It was depressing, however, we did our good hellos. It is very sad, I remember coming to poetry soup 6 years ago and read poems from a 16-year-old, I became her friend after she told me she was troubled .. I wrote a poem for her, she called me mama bird. now she's 22 and still posting poems. We smile at one another all the time.
Date: 9/12/2016 9:28:00 AM
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Date: 9/12/2016 9:28:00 AM
Two more?
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Date: 9/12/2016 9:28:00 AM
Ignore me.
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Date: 9/12/2016 9:27:00 AM
Keith, soupied you. And Soupers need to read this pronto. I'm going to make you go hot... this needs immediate attention.
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Tom Arnone
Date: 9/12/2016 10:30:00 AM
Keith souped whom? Not I -- not yet.
Date: 9/12/2016 6:14:00 AM
Maybe because my mother suicided, I take ANY plea for help, any sign that someone is considering taking their own lives, very seriously. As someone who has lost someone very close in this manner, I also know that there is nothing anyone can do to prevent someone from suiciding. However, I have noticed poems being put up on Soup with indicate true depression, speak of self-harm and a want to die and these poems receive copy/paste comments that are truly disturbing. "I play Russian roulette today. The gun tasted sweet." The comment that follows ? Welcome to soup or great poem. Can't wait to read more. Folks, Soupers, I have run into this before and have often worried a poet would suicide. Not BECAUSE of the comment. (the pain and despair is already there. The thought already in place. Still, with teens... one comment can push them over the edge, be the last straw) Make sure the comment suits the poem. This should be in Soup's 'rule book.' In fact, considering Poetrysoup is SUPPOSED to be both a safe spot for children and teens, too, then the very top of that rule list should be that if any poem shows some form of harm or self-harm to a child, notify TPS immediately. In a way, each adult souper is a volunteer mentor who works with teens on this site. There NEEDS TO BE something in the "terms and conditions" that at the very least reminds those adults that we are sharing this space with the vulnerable and young and to think before posting comments which may be read as indifferent. I'm going to send a note to TPS, later... Keith, thanks for sharing this... I am beyond sad, today, for her and her family. I did not know her. But she was a poet and in that regard, we are ALL her family... let's do something that shows we HEARD her and do our best to handle poetry of this nature in a more sensitive and AWARE manner. I will pray for all her loved ones, who I know first hand, will never recover from this loss...
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Poet Destroyer A
Date: 9/12/2016 3:53:00 PM
yet, you pass them and never leave a word unless it's convenient for you... Oops my comment jumped.
A   Avatar
Poet Destroyer A
Date: 9/12/2016 2:05:00 PM
I don't know if you know this, but you are good with hurting those you don't even know all the time.
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 9/12/2016 9:32:00 AM
Well, but swamped. I'm writing children's books. Faith was an amazing poet ... what could she have accomplished? The article spoke of her being a grade A student, loving, soft-spoken... we need to help make that life COUNT by making simple changes here on Soup.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 9/12/2016 7:18:00 AM
Well said, Cyndi. Hope you are well.
Arnone Avatar
Tom Arnone
Date: 9/12/2016 7:07:00 AM
Thanks for this informative and important post, Cyndi.
Date: 9/10/2016 8:07:00 AM
Keith this is extremely depressing news. It sorta ties in with my blog earlier this week, don't you think. If we were more diversified in our reading, someone may have read her pleas for help and who knows, might have given her just enough support to stick around for awhile. It is very distressing! We may not be social workers but we do understand poetry. (Some of us) Now I'll be bummed out all day!
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Date: 9/10/2016 4:34:00 AM
Keith, I just read the two poems by Faith and they were screams for help, especially Rope or Hope considering that she hung herself. Very, very sad. It does make any little complaint I have seem meaningless.
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Date: 9/10/2016 4:21:00 AM
Keith, this is so sad, it happens too often all over the world, here in Canada too, even with the Kids Help Line, children and teens just fall through the cracks. I have read poems obviously written by a young person on here that are pleas for help. Thanks for sharing this sad story with us.
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Date: 9/10/2016 3:47:00 AM
So very sad , and so young would make a good poem of the day or week as act of remembrance. stephen
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Date: 9/9/2016 10:52:00 PM
I read the poem and My heart ache to have read her poem. Some times the signs are not out there in view of their parents and they are more able to say it to total strangers.
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Date: 9/9/2016 10:18:00 PM
Wow, I didn't expect that news at the start of your blog. Very sad. Is her poetry still up? I'll have to check.... :-(
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My Past Blog Posts

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