About The Pondering Poet Pilot

My name is Stephen Tomkins, an A330 Captain for an Australia-based airline. I am married with kids. Interests: music, guitars, poetry, reading, psychology, and learning. I suspect all of this makes me an atypical pilot. For many years, I had been creating silly rhymes and songs for my children. As they grew up, and found my creations embarrassing (ah teenagers!), I felt drawn to write poetry of a different kind - some humourous, some less so, on whatever topic grabs my attention. It's strange how the mind works at times! All posts are my own original work. If you would like to share them, you are most welcome to do so provided that you attribute authorship to me. Thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy my creations.

Take a Chance

I’ve got your back, you’ve got mine –

Lived that way, life would be fine.

But sadly, that’s not how it works

Though that could be one of life’s sweet perks.

 

We view each other with grim suspicion,

Relying on some weird intuition.

Instead of giving each other a chance,

We engage in some kind of deadly dance.

 

You know, we might just be surprised,

Our neighbourly opinion might be revised.

We might find ourselves a brand-new friend –

One on whom we can depend.

 

And isn’t that what we truly seek,

As from behind our wall we peek?

Lower the drawbridge, the portcullis raise.

Watch the sun break through the haze.

 

Stephen Tomkins
26 July 2018
Sydney

 

 

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Payday

empty-pockets-2-390x285

Aghast I was that there should be

No pay this week ‘spite guarantee.

To see the Boss with cap in hand,

My speech rehearsed, my answers planned,

“Good morning, Sir”, said I and bowed.

I made my speech (I felt quite proud).

He looked me up, he looked me down,

And said, “What’s this, you silly clown?

You think I care when you get paid?

Just go away!” I felt betrayed!

I’d dearly love to punch his face

But that would simply bring disgrace.

And, since I’ve mouths that must be fed,

I turned around, my face bright red.

I humbly walked back through the door

To join the other working poor.

Stephen Tomkins
8 March 2018
Perth

Photo credit: TheJournal.ie

You’ve Got A Friend

When you’re down and feeling low,
When life deals you a savage blow,
You know you can depend on me –
My services are all for free.
Just call my name and I’ll be there.
So, you’ll never need despair.

But please don’t call when I’m at work –
My boss would simply go berserk!
And once I get the kids to bed,
(Their baths all done, their stories read)
As long as you live in my town,
You can be sure I’ll be around!

I’m sorry I can’t linger long.
For though your sorrow may be strong,
Tomorrow I’ve an early start –
Let’s quickly mend your broken heart.
And though I seem a part-time friend,
At least my selfie can attend.

Stephen Tomkins
2 April 2018
Perth

New Year

On New Year’s Eve

We celebrate,

Our vocal cords

We lubricate.

On New Year’s Day

We hibernate

And, when we rise,

We medicate.

 

And so begins

A brand-new year,

Awash with wine

And kegs of beer.

It’s like we want

To purge the stain

Of every previous

New Year’s pain.

 

Fireworks

There may well be,

Though if we

Could truly see,

We’d understand

A year’s not new

Unless there’s change

In me and you.

Stephen Tomkins
12 February 2018
Shanghai

 

 

Here In This Moment

Here in this moment,

Your eyes fixed on mine,

All my defences

Have swiftly declined.

You breathe in my heart

And my soul with such ease

That I simply sit there

As all my limbs freeze.

I long to say something

But can’t find the words

To tell you I love you

Lest I sound absurd.

 

Here in this moment,

Your eyes fixed on mine,

You simply decode me,

As I sit, resigned.

Then you smile and laugh

And once more I can breathe,

No longer afraid

That you’d get up and leave.

I know I’m unworthy

Of a love such as yours,

So I’ll do all I can

To see it endures.

 

Stephen Tomkins

27 February 2018

Singapore

Unexpected

I walked past Fortress Hill station
In a dull, grey Hong Kong today
And found the ghost of my father
Had been following all the way.
And when I turned to face him
He vanished in the crowd,
While I just stood there gasping,
Fighting my way free of his shroud.

But he’d opened a door to the past
That wasn’t so easy to close,
And I was left with a yearning
His presence had once more imposed.
He’d never been easy to talk to,
Though I’d dearly love to have tried,
So I was faced with no option
But to find somewhere private and cry.

Stephen Tomkins
6 March 2018
Hong Kong

Normal

I must be normal

‘Cause I’m me –

I’m not so sure about you.

I’m nearly normal as can be

No matter what I do.

 

In my defence,

It’s common sense,

(If there’s still such a thing)

Normal changes day by day,

Though to it, still, we cling.

 

What is normal?

What is not?

What does the word now mean?

Who decides

And, satisfied,

Proclaims it on our screens?

 

Stephen Tomkins

6 December 2017

Perth

Words

English is my talky choice.

For that I use my talky voice.

For those whose English not so good,

I hope I can be understood.

My English good I think it is.

You see, I am a language whiz.

 

Laugh you can at my mistakes!

You should maybe give me breaks.

I speak the language six or seven.

I try to learn some more, eleven.

How many speak you? Two or three?

Just the one? That was once me.

 

Stephen Tomkins
2 November 2017
Perth

It’s Not Too Late

O God, forgive us for the pain we cause,
For self-indulgence and unjust laws,
For seeking vengeance and Holy Wars,
For theft and crimes without recourse.

O God, forgive us for the lies we tell,
The self-deception and lives we sell
That give us here a glimpse of Hell,
As trees of Truth we blithely fell.

O God, forgive us for losing sight
Of all that’s good and true and right,
For thinking we can rule with might,
Condemning each to endless night.

For who but ourselves do we deceive
And, those we claim to love, bereave?
Yet, though the damage may be done,
The road to healing’s just begun.

Stephen Tomkins
11 April 2017
Sydney

Everyone Else Can See It!

Whether you’re here or near or far,

Wherever you go, then there you are.

Around the corner or ‘cross the sea,

From yourself you cannot flee,

And though you try all kinds of things –

People, places and gaudy rings –

You might as well just save your wealth

Instead please fix your mental health.

 

Stephen Tomkins
29 October 2016
Singapore