Singapore Storm

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The heavens blackened, down it came!
It never slackened, just the same
The lightning flashed, the thunder roared,
And all the while, the torrents poured.

My ears protested, all in vain
As I ingested airborne rain.
Umbrella useless, shelter nil.
The air took on a nasty chill.

The sun admits defeat and sets;
The moon remains in bed and frets.
Sloshing home, knee-deep in water,
Lightning bolt now poised for slaughter.

Unscathed, I somehow make it back
Without a jump-start heart attack!
In steaming tub, I’m thawing out,
There’s zero chance there’ll be a drought.

Stephen Tomkins
14 March 2015

Guess where?

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Lanterns

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Paper lanterns,
Swaying gently in the breeze,
Light my way
As icy night replaces
Grey and friendless day.

Nebulous clouds above,
Inconsolable,
Quietly vent their sorrow
On the indifferent figure hurrying below
As, one day done, they contemplate
The morrow.

One frame from a life now snatched,
Clinical and detached,
I observe the scene:
Hastening and serene,
Rushing from, yet rushing to,
Is one day ever really through?

Stephen Tomkins
7 March 2015

Narita, Japan

Eventually

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Eventually the sun will rise
And I will don my slick disguise.
Eventually I’ll have to prise
Myself from bed, my act reprise.
Eventually I’ll see the sun
And realise life’s just begun.
Eventually I’ll find some fun
That pierces my desire to shun.
Eventually my heart will heal
And I’ll allow myself to feel.
Eventually I will unseal
My soul and my true self reveal.
Eventually I’ll understand
That pain will end, not reprimand.
Eventually I will disband
Excuse, pretence and live firsthand.
Eventually I’ll win the fight
If only I can survive this interminable night….

Stephen Tomkins
3 February 2015

Dinner For One

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The restaurant was quiet but not for very long.
The volume still was building and now it’s loud and strong.
A flock of eighteen women claimed the tables next to mine,
A-clipping and a-clopping and a-looking very fine.

A gentle wave of perfume softly found its way to me,
A pleasant fresh aroma, an aperitif for free.
The laughter and the chatting, like an endless flood of sound,
Gossiping and joking and occasionally profound.

It seemed to me as though all at the same time they were talking,
Gesticulating, nodding and occasionally some squawking.
They must have paused for breath but just when is not so clear.
It’s very entertaining – a cabaret of cheer!

Stephen Tomkins
12 September 2014

Keys

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Through the window, sun is peeping
On the people gently sleeping.
Alarm clocks, phones and other means
Abruptly shatter crazy dreams.
Rising from their comfy beds,
They wipe their eyes and shake their heads.
Inserting keys into their backs,
They wind them up with clicks and clacks.

Doing this first thing every morning
Seems to help stop all their yawning.
Winding til they reach the stop
And off to school or work they hop.
Some fail to wind up all the way
And have to struggle through the day.
Others wind them way too tight:
Fly through the day and half the night.

Fewer still have broken keys:
That is what we call disease.
A sorry few, their keys have lost
As they will find out to their cost.
They scarcely make it out of bed,
Their hearts now filled with fear and dread.
Makers of these keys are few,
So please guard yours with the care that’s due!

Stephen Tomkins
10 February 2015

What’s For Tea?

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I simply asked what I should eat;
Advice rained from the sky like sleet:
Eat more of this and less of that.
Avoid all foods containing fat.
Eat less sugar. Eat less salt.
Cook your food by lightning bolt.

Leafy greens and oily fish
Must adorn most every dish.
Eat less red meat, leaner cuts.
Stay alive by eating nuts.
Omega 3 and red krill oil.
Remove the skin and cook in foil.

Right! I think I understand!
At last I have my diet planned.
Wait! The experts changed their mind!
And what did this new research find?
Eat less of this and more of that.
Eat more foods containing fat.

Try more red meat. Add some wine.
Eat what you like! You’re doing fine!
You need more sunlight. Exercise.
Add to your diet more meat pies.
Just wait a while and you’ll agree
It’s very hard to plan your tea!

At least you still can drink my shake
And eat my guilt-free Muffin Bake!
Infomercials? Good advice!
You should try my Wonder Rice!
I like to play upon your guilt,
And thanks to you, my mansion’s built!

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Stephen Tomkins
19 November 2014

A Love Story

He yearns for his beloved through the day and then the night.
Though he does his best to care for her, he hopes she’ll be alright.
His soul cries out in pain each time she disappears from sight,
But the thought of seeing her again, keeps the flame alight.

At last, he has the chance to hold her gently in his arms.
Clearly, he’s affected by her plentiful charms –
Her golden skin, her shapely curves, her long and slender neck.
But when, wide-mouthed, she starts to sing, he nearly hits the deck!

An angel choir greets his ears!
His eyes begin to fill with tears!
To Heaven now he quickly nears,
Blotting out his hopes and fears!

Intuition tells him that, with time, she’ll just get better.
Despite his lack of finances, he knows he has to get her.
Whipping out his credit card, he just can seal the deal!
Homeward bound with new guitar, he knows she was a steal!

Stephen Tomkins
23 July 2014

NOTE: While it is true that the author both plays and owns several guitars,
any resemblance between the character in the poem and any person (living or dead) is purely coincidental.

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Magnificent Isolation

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Temple of unearthly white,
Shining beacon in the night,
Moth-like, drawing towards the light,
Seeking icons, black or white.

High Priests robed in royal blue,
Welcome neophytes in too.
Throngs of faithful join the queue,
Latest offerings on debut.

A gentle chant can soon be heard,
Mouthed by fervent convert nerd.
Refrain then joined by zealous herd,
Unrelenting, undeterred:

“iPhone, iPhone, Glorious iPhone!
How I long to make you my phone!
Without you, I’ll be trapped on my own!
Deign, in me, to make your new home!”

The Trinity greets my awe-struck faze,
On entering this most Holy maze,
As iPhone, iPad, iMacs blaze.
A young Priest meets my earnest gaze:

Wearing glasses, oh so Hipster,
And designer jeans by Ripster,
(“Borrowed” from her older sister),
Words pour forth at speeds that blister!

Fleeing from her siren call,
I promptly hit the glassy wall,
And barely manage not to fall,
Running, bleeding, through the mall.

Members of this brazen sect
Are very easy to detect.
“Friends”, by thousands, they confect
With lives that barely intersect.

Educated by Wikipedia,
YouTube and by social media,
Oblivious to the world exterior,
Desperate lest they feel inferior.

Pallid faces float by, serene,
Music fuelling the machine.
Eyes glued to the heavenly screen,
Every message must be seen.

The sun is shining bright today,
Flowers blooming, birds at play.
On their minds, it fails to weigh,
But that, to them, is quite okay!

Stephen Tomkins
27 May 2014

CONFESSION:
The author owns an iPhone, iPhone, Glorious iPhone……

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