A New You

“I think you’ve lost weight,”

Said Glitter to Gold,

Though she thought to herself,

“It’s just made you look old”.

“Why, thank you so much!”

Said the nugget to Glitter.

“I’ve been working out”.

She was clearly no quitter.

 

“Your sparkle is sparkling,

Now, brighter than ever”,

A quip that the Gold

Thought remarkably clever.

For Glitter had clearly

Been working out, too,

But Gold was too

Selfish to focus on you.

 

For even a cursory

Glance would have shown

That Glitter belonged now

On some crystal throne.

To Fairy Dust, Glitter

Had morphed while in bed

While Gold had transformed

Overnight into lead.

 

Stephen Tomkins
4 July 2017
Jakarta

 

 

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The International Date Line

For many years now, people have been led to believe that the International Date Line is a geographical construct designed to differentiate between two calendar days. It sits, by international agreement, at 180° longitude but deviates around various nations to accommodate their desired time zone.

Therefore, depending on your direction of travel, it is possible to leave on one day, travel thousands of miles and arrive before you left, thus effectively having two of the same day. Or, in reverse, you can skip an entire day altogether. This can be very useful if you’re prone to forget your wife’s birthday or want to avoid a family celebration.

“Sorry, darling, I didn’t forget. I crossed the International Date Line on my way home and missed your birthday!”

“The family reunion was yesterday? How did that happen?”

Useful, confusing or annoying, depending on your point of view, the International Date Line is a fallacy, an international conspiracy of epic proportions. The reality is that the International Date Line is exactly that – a date line. The following is a transcript of a recent call. (Not mine, of course.)

“Good morning. You’ve reached the International Date Line. You’re speaking with Sven. How may I help?

“Good morning Sven. I’m travelling to Uzbekistan on holiday soon and I wanted to arrange a date.”

“Of course. That’s no problem. I’ll just take a few details and run through the various plans on offer. Then we’ll check availability. Will this be a one-off trip or part of a global excursion?”

“Hmm. I don’t know. I haven’t really thought that far ahead.”

“The Global package is our best value. We can arrange dates for you in 74 countries. Though not on the same day of course. Ha ha ha.”

I thought my jokes were bad.

“Can you describe yourself briefly?”

“Male. Average height. Average weight. Average intelligence. Financially and emotionally insecure. Is that brief enough?”

“Perfect. Now, what sort of date are you looking for?”

“I was thinking of something like the 20th of April. I’ve always liked that date.”

Move over Tinder, eHarmony, Match.com etc.

Stephen Tomkins
12 June 2017
Bangkok

The Gift of Lift

 

Lift is a gift sent from Heaven above
To draw aircraft homeward with Heavenly love.
You’d like to float upward? Well, that just won’t work;
That lurk is for Angels – it’s kind of a perk.
So, bolt on your rotors or wings, if you will
And ready yourself for an unearthly thrill.
Bolt them on tightly for in them you must
Place all your hopes and your dreams and your trust.
Add some propulsion and balance the weight,
Four forces slow-dancing while out on a date.
Flirt with the clouds and then harness the breeze,
You’ll soon find yourself over rivers and seas.
And when you return to the earth with a bump,
You’ll never again be considered a grump.

Stephen Tomkins
20 October 2017
Sydney

So Gourmet

Glutinous globules of glippity Glop

Slipped from the spoon with a slippity slop.

Sad-eyed and sorry, I sat there and looked

As I tried to decide if the Glop had been cooked.

 

Now, I’m not the type who is wont to complain,

Though I started to wonder if I’d gone insane.

The Glop on the plate simply sat there and stared

And asked to be eaten if I could be dared.

 

Revulsion and Hunger began to debate

The outcome of eating the Glop on the plate,

Which seemed to enjoy the whole querulous question,

In anticipation of my indigestion!

 

Finally, my hunger I just had to sate,

So, I started to pick at the Glop on the plate.

Now I must confess that it wasn’t so bad

Though I doubt it will ever become the next fad.

 

All through the night and right up to the dawn,

The Glop I had eaten fought hard to be reborn!

Somehow, my dinner I managed to keep down

But I swore that I’d never return to that town!

 

Stephen Tomkins

1 April 2017

Sydney (not where I ate the Glop!)

 

Trumpet

In the house that’s built upon a hill,

There lives a

Man for whom the truth’s a bitter pill.

And so he

Blurts out every thought within his mind

And hopes that

All of us will be deaf, dumb and blind.

 

He wants to claim our very heart and soul,

That makes the

Mind so very easy to control.

He doesn’t

Care much for an objective truth

And hungers

Night and day for his eternal youth.

 

If the language doesn’t suit his needs,

He’ll simply

Switch across and use the Twitter feeds,

And if his

Spin should ever be confused with lies,

Then watch him

Hint the doubters may be foreign spies.

 

If you don’t like what he wants to do,

Then maybe

Next election vote for someone true.

Of course that’s

If such a person really wants to run

Or else we’re

Stuck with fools whose brains are underdone.

 

Stephen Tomkins
1 November 2017
Perth

I’m Hearing Voices

stop-noise

They tell me that I am alive.
They tell me that I’m fit to drive,
That maybe I should send a text,
That in the phone queue I’ll be next.

They say that this is good for me,
That I should go and hug a tree,
That I should watch this TV show,
That, really, I should up and go.

This special will not last for long,
That I should buy this brand new song,
That nothing’s right and nothing’s wrong.
Ignore the weak and laud the strong.

They tell me all I ought to do:
‘But to your own self remain true.’
So who’d have thought I’d come to dread
The voices raging in my head?

For God’s sake turn the volume down
Lest the voices bid me drown!
So for myself, perhaps, I’ll think
And drag myself back from the brink.

Stephen Tomkins
20 October 2016
Sydney

Happy

happy-face-adobestock_65597478-2017.jpg;w=630

“People make you happy” said the Wise Man once to me.
“Things create more problems, always was and thus shall be.”
Profound, prophetic words spoke he – at least that’s what I thought,
But as my life progressed, I found that wisdom came to nought.

Things are neither good nor bad, it’s what we use them for:
They can be used to kill or to relieve a tiresome chore.
People, on the other hand, are often good and bad
And very often people are the ones who make you sad.

Things will either work or not and sometimes seem capricious
And, though sometimes they’ll drive us mad, they never are malicious.
People kill and people steal and people lie and cheat,
And peoples sometimes treat you like you’re just a slab of meat.

Yet people are the ones who can give life its greatest meaning;
So confused am I that I’m not sure which way I’m leaning.
But if you have been blessed and found good people in your life,
Then look for nothing more, my friend, you’ll only find more strife.

Stephen Tomkins
6 March 2017
Perth

Photo credit: happy face AdobeStock_65597478 2017

The Purple Hour

In the brief Purple Hour,
The Sun’s still down there,
Brushing his teeth
And now combing his hair.
The Moon, all the while,
Is yet in quite a tizzy,
Sipping away
At her nightcap, still fizzy.

And while this one night,
Bravely, faces its death,
It seems all creation
Is holding its breath.
Bathed in the softest
Of Royal purple hues,
Sound, too, is hushed
As the Sun seeks his cue.

The air of expectancy
Finally breaks
As a bright, red-faced Sun
The whole landscape remakes.
Embarrassed, he seems,
As if turning up late
At the door of the house
Of his heart’s longed-for date.

Bashfulness fades
And reveals Sun’s full glory,
Closing the book
On the Moon’s bedtime story.
Day after day,
The same story is read,
While most of us
Lie, fast asleep, in our bed.

Stephen Tomkins
16 June 2017
Perth

The Gift

winnerGraphic

A lottery ticket’s of no use to me
Though a million or two would be nice.
For were I to win, it just wouldn’t be fair
Since luck would have favoured me twice.

What had I done to deserve my first win?
Nothing I know of, it’s true.
Taken for granted for so many years,
My prize I’ll now point out to you.

Born in Australia, to parents sincere,
They clothed, fed and raised me in peace.
How could I perceive my good fortune so young
When granted by chance or caprice?

If born somewhere else, of a different race,
Perhaps I would not have survived.
Instead, though I whine, take for granted my time,
Grateful, I should be, I thrived.

And though I’m still wary of those diff’rent to me,
To prejudge them, I have no right.
For I could so easily be where they are
And day would be unending night.

Stephen Tomkins
8 June 2017
Melbourne

Photo credit: nhlottery.com

 

The Power of the Shower

shower-vworif

When darkness falls
Although the sun shines brightly,
When troubles come
And weigh my spirit down,
Then I recall
You wait there in the silence.
I turn the tap
And watch relief rain down.

Your steaming jets
Will wash away my anger,
Your clouds of steam
Revive my weary dreams.
I linger long
Despite the drought impending
And my wife’s
Shrill icy shower screams.

I once was strong
But now am pleasant-smelling,
My hair was lank
And shines now like the sun.
If we could dwell
Forever in your torrents,
I guess our work
Would never be begun.

Your gentle rain
Lifts away my burdens,
Your soothing splash
Erases all my fears.
I need no more
To drink away my sorrows,
The water flows
Although I’m in arrears.

Stephen Tomkins
19 May 2017
Singapore

 If desired, can also be sung to the tune of “You Raise Me Up”, sung by Josh Groban et al.

Photo credit: baychoicebariatrics.com