This Crazy World

Down the road where the Buffalo grow and the grasses roam the field,

I know a place to hide my face and keep my heart concealed.

‘Tis there I meet my wandering feet and once more feel I’m whole;

I eat my fill of daffodil and rest my aching soul.

Once more I leave, my plans conceive, and venture through the world

And in the street, though people meet, too swiftly, lives are whirled.

From time to time, above the grime, inflated egos fly

Unchecked by thought, and though unsought, opinions pierce the sky.

Fact and tact make no impact as feelings are lampooned

And beating hearts can play no part and, deftly, are harpooned.

But through it all, I hear the call of the grasses’ joyful glee,

With Buffalo herds, though quite absurd, all growing straight and free.

Once I get there, abandon care, and knit my holey heart,

Then once I’m joined, I’ll gird my loins and make another start.

 

Stephen Tomkins

22 July 2016

Hong Kong

 

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Ocean Voyage

Buoyant and beautiful, fragile and fraught,

A life floats on by, it’s yours to be caught.

Focus we can on disasters in store

And stay tied up tight still secure on the shore.

Or venture instead on the unyielding sea

And batten the hatches, but just as needs be

Lest on bright sunny days when there’s nary a swell,

We, in our imaginings, live still in hell.

Storms we’ll encounter, we know that for sure,

But wipe off the salt and then come back for more.

The storms are essential: they help us to see

The days in between for the joy they can be.

 

Stephen Tomkins
24 August 2016
Melbourne

Mosquito Est Morte! (An Opera in the Making!)

Once my life was so tranquilo
With my hundred sweet bambinos,
Now I’m cryin’ all the time
Because there’s only ninety-nine!
The hand of God (or so it seemed)
Smacked my son and now he’s creamed!

How I tried that hand to veto!
Oh! That heartless huge bandito!
Pay, he will, for murderous deeds:
It’s he I’ll see for my next feed!
But to him I’m incognito
So I’ll leave one huge graffito!

Then he’ll rue his evil crime –
Justice truly is quite blind!
Though my heart will not be healed,
This criminal won’t be concealed!
My banner on his arm unfurled:
“One Less Mosquito in the World!”

Stephen Tomkins
9 August 2016
Manila