Don’t Take Me For Granted

table

An old wooden table surrounded by chairs,
Fruit of the forest though now no one cares,
Hewn by a craftsman, unknown and unseen,
A tribute to skills now replaced by machine.

Left by the roadside, alone and forlorn,
The table is stained and the chairs are all torn.
A once-prized possession, it took pride of place
Near new, shiny kitchen with refurbished grace.

Convenor of gath’rings and meals to be shared,
Bearer of countless teacups and éclairs,
Witness to laughter and shedding of tears,
Minder of birthday cakes, nibblies and beers.

Silent observer of aging and games,
Patient companion of tapestry frames,
Insatiable voyeur of gossip and jokes,
Of lunch with the ladies and beer with the blokes.

A family member and once well-regarded,
Is no longer needed and so is discarded.
We’re just like that table, I’m sorry to say:
Once no longer useful, we’re left to decay.

But life doesn’t have to end on such a note,
I’m sure you’ll agree this is no time to gloat:
Old age is a lucrative business for some,
So please take the time to go visit your Mum!

Stephen Tomkins
27 September 2015

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Derided Nations

topics_unitednations_395

Not that long ago, in the great scheme of things,
A group of Prime Ministers, Presidents, Kings,
Concluded the world could be far safer place
If they frequently met and discussed face to face
The problems and issues that each of them felt
Could only by unified measures be dealt.

And so, they created a wondrous place
Where each could speak freely, without losing face.
They haggle and barter and argue and then,
Reach an agreement, start over again:
One of the Big Shots disrupts with a veto,
Sinking all Progress, just like a torpedo!

Despite all our talk and our self-exaltation,
We’re only attuned to the wants of our nation.
And so, they continue to meet in New York,
With pomp and with grandeur and barrels of pork!
Hope for the future? It seems, not a lot.
For better or worse, they’re the best that we’ve got!

Stephen Tomkins
21 September 2015

Singapore

So You Think You Can Dance?

Ballroom-Dancers-Couple-600x475

Please take a chance and together we’ll dance,
The Bandmaster is playing our song.
Let us float to the beat on our fleet, nimble feet
And pretend, once again, nothing’s wrong.

Round and around the issue we’ll dance,
A Quickstep Denial we’ll choose.
We’ll smile and we’ll swirl and we’ll spin and we’ll whirl;
Other thoughts we will always refuse.

Now and then, we will bump ‘gainst a tail or a trunk
And we’re suddenly singing the blues.
It’s so pleasant to dance when one has half a chance.
In the ‘now’ it’s so good to infuse.

At last, we must rest, our fatigue manifest,
And revive on some ice-cold TV.
But we can’t linger long or we’ll sense what’s been wrong,
So we munch Prozac muffins with glee,

‘Cos we’d rather avoid what’s made life so devoid
Of all pleasure as friendships recede.
So we’ll dance once again and be stoic, strong men,
If that elephant doesn’t stampede.

Stephen Tomkins
2 September 2015

School Days

Where are they now? Those Golden Few
Who, ‘spite their flaws, no wrong could do.

Where are they now? Those blazing sons
Whose daring deeds would leave us stunned.

Where are they now? Those unafraid
Whose innate strength was oft displayed.

Where are they now? Those oh so cool,
O’er whom so many seemed to drool.

Where are they now? The insecure
Who, crushing us, sought their own cure.

Where are they now? They’ve disappeared.
On leaving school, my vision cleared.

Where are they now? Well, I’m still here –
I’m so much better than I’d feared.

Stephen Tomkins
20 October 2014