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.

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

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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

Update on the Current Situation

In light of the current situation,

I’m here to provide some information.

The rumour mill’s been running hot

But most of it’s not worth a jot!

 

Our bottom line will not be dented!

Our office space is newly rented!

We must uphold our company creed

So we can meet the customers’ need!

 

You’re worried and I understand,

But these tough times just were not planned.

We all must take our share of pain.

There’s really no one here to blame!

 

And so, you see, then, that is why

I’ve descended from on high.

You know that I would not be lying!

There’s little use in sitting, crying.

 

I hope, your doubts, I have allayed.

I’m sure, this week, you should get paid.

Thanks but I’ll be quite ok.

If things get bad, I’ll slip away.

 

So stand together, worthy band!

I knew that you would understand!

Together we can turn things round!

You know, I like the way I sound!

Stephen Tomkins
5 June 2014
Sydney

 

It’s Just a Book

“It’s just a book!” he spat at me,
Contempt dripped from his eyes.
Appalled I was as I looked back,
No words would come but sighs.
I wanted to explain to him
The pages and the binding
Are nothing but a neat disguise
For a universe in hiding.

Like a magic carpet, let the words
Convey you to a world
Unique to every reader
As its secrets are unfurled.

And at the end, if you
Should feel a tear or two descending,
Let no one else convince you
That your manhood here is ending.
If touched you’ve been or moved
Or felt some kind of revelation,
You’ll know your heart is still unharmed
By life’s great conflagration.

Stephen Tomkins
13 May 2017
Jakarta

 

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

 

 

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