The Power of the Shower

shower-vworif

When darkness falls
Although the sun shines brightly,
When troubles come
And weigh my spirit down,
Then I recall
You wait there in the silence.
I turn the tap
And watch relief rain down.

Your steaming jets
Will wash away my anger,
Your clouds of steam
Revive my weary dreams.
I linger long
Despite the drought impending
And my wife’s
Shrill icy shower screams.

I once was strong
But now am pleasant-smelling,
My hair was lank
And shines now like the sun.
If we could dwell
Forever in your torrents,
I guess our work
Would never be begun.

Your gentle rain
Lifts away my burdens,
Your soothing splash
Erases all my fears.
I need no more
To drink away my sorrows,
The water flows
Although I’m in arrears.

Stephen Tomkins
19 May 2017
Singapore

 If desired, can also be sung to the tune of “You Raise Me Up”, sung by Josh Groban et al.

Photo credit: baychoicebariatrics.com

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Hammer Drill

Unearthly drills, and hammers too,
Roam the world just like I do.
At the same hotels, they stay
And follow when I move away.

No matter when I choose to rest,
That’s the time they think it best
To hammer, drill and grind away,
And so, awake I have to stay.

At last, I reach that special place
Where, off my skull, now slides my face.
Bombs may burst beside my head
But I’ll sleep on just like the dead.

Stephen Tomkins
14 March 2017
Hong Kong

Don’t Give Up

No matter the storms that you’re facing,
Nor the westerly gales.
No matter whose hand on the tiller,
Nor the wind in your sails.
Keep your eyes fixed on the North Star,
And remember the tales
Of those who sailed here before you
And, though their memory pales,
The demons they faced then no stranger
Than the ones you face now.
So breathe deep, set your face and
Take your place at the bow.

Stephen Tomkins
1 September 2016
Singapore

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

 

Resistance Is Futile

sleep-deprived-workers

Slumber wakes inside her room,
Her soothing Siren song seducing,
Drawing me into the gloom,
The sweetest nothingness inducing.

Down into the void I fall,
Weightless in the inky dark.
It doesn’t frighten me at all –
Waiting for a dream to spark.

Once aflame, it rages on,
Sweeping me just where it will.
Abruptly, the inferno’s gone,
And, once again, the world is still.

Just how can sleep be so seductive,
Even when I do resist?
Succumb, I must, lest she’s destructive,
Ruling me with silken fist.

Stephen Tomkins
16 January 2016
Sydney

Photo credit:
lucien.uchicago.edu
sharperiron.org

I’ve Had A Heart Full!

20150129150308235

There once was a heart, a very fine heart
With ventricles, valves and vessels,
Suspended in air and securely held there
By membranes, magic and muscles.

Open to all, at their sweet beck and call,
Its loving dimensions immense.
Defenceless, unmoving, its beating so soothing,
Without the least shred if pretence.

The wolves were soon out, in their cruelty devout,
With gnashing and slashing at whim.
Bloodied and bruised, the heart feeling quite used,
With its luminous insight now dim.

It just goes to show, as the days come and go,
Why a good heart is so hard to find.
In spite of it all, and when you hit the wall,
Just remember it’s all in the mind.

Stephen Tomkins
9 January 2016
Singapore

Photo credit:
http://www.cmoney.tw

 

With a View To Breakfast

sunday-brunch1

Motionless ships set on sparkling jewels,
Brilliant-cut diamonds in deep azure pools.
Closer to shore, the worshippers bathe
As the Sun-God ascends over white sand and wave.
And framing it all, as if by design,
A towering pair of lush Norfolk Pines,
Their branches and finger-like leaves reach above,
Beseeching the Sun-God for life-giving love.
Removed from it all, by a clear glassy wall,
Sit I, like a scientist, cold yet in thrall
Of a view unexpected and perfect, serene,
Hypnotic reliever of stress, evergreen.

Stephen Tomkins
21 January 2016
Wollongong

Photo credits:
retaillawadvisor.com.au
secrets magazine.com.au

 

Sorry For Being Born

The-Overly-Excited

Arrive at airport, cap in hand.
My bags are packed, my travel planned.
“Oh! The glamour!” you may think
But I’ll be treated like I stink!

As airline staff on cheap staff travel,
All careful plans will now unravel.
So I approach the hallowed desk
Where staff may check-in at their risk.

Like an insect, I am viewed
And told to wait in voices rude.
In holding pen, we congregate
And hopefully await our fate.

In muted tones, we quiz each other
And try obliquely to discover
Just where we fit into the list –
My category must be higher than this!

At last they start to call some names,
And so begin the churlish games.
Those lucky few will get on board,
The rest of us will sit here, bored.

Like music to my weary ears,
I hear my name as chaos clears.
They take my bag, give me a pass,
And tell me, “Move your bloody arse!”

I sprint now to the Customs queue.
Amidst the throng, I wrestle through.
On my watch, I check the time –
My God! How long’s this frappin’ line!

Finally, I get on board,
Wedged between two giants! Lord!
So strong the scent of garlic is,
There’ll be no vampires here for years!

I’ll need no seatbelt come what may:
Restrained by blubber, I will stay.
Come meal-time, there’ll be nothing left.
Cheap travel is a wondrous gift!

JHJ

Stephen Tomkins
7 January 2016
Sydney

Photo credits:

http://www.businessworldtravel.com
theegyptiantraveler.blogspot.com
acollectionofmusings.wordpress.com

A Whole New Hive

Black_Friday

The bees are buzzing once again,
But not with pollen do they fly –
Bearing coloured bags and then
They struggle airborne through the sky.
A strange new hive they occupy
And, just as busy as the last,
Seek new bargains on the sly.
With success, word travels fast.
Antennae touching once or twice,
Communication never stops.
Phones a-buzzing, very nice,
Though even that can’t top the shops!

The drones are, elsewhere, busy bees
While Queens are massing by the door.
The numbers build by twos and threes
Until it seems there can’t be more.
The doors are opened – hear the cheer!
Thus, the frenzy can begin!
Stand aside or feel the fear!
There’s bloodshed by the Bargain Bin!
A hornet’s nest has been disturbed:
“I saw that from across the store!!”
The staff look on quite unperturbed:
From whence they came there’s plenty more!

Stephen Tomkins
18 December 2015
Sydney

Picture credits:
www.thesun.co.uk
planmysite.com

Depression is a Word (But not a Sentence)

You look into my haunted eyes

Which represent my failed disguise,

And, though you try to see inside,

I can’t let go my childish pride.

 

You sit and hold me for a while

As, desperately, I feign a smile.

But I’m a man! I don’t need you!

Even though I know that’s so untrue.

 

And so, each day I will resist

The help I need as I persist

To fabricate my mask anew –

The one I know that you see through.

 

At last I can’t hold back the tide,

As down my face the torrents slide.

And now I have to make a choice:

Succumb or give my fears a voice.

 

In seeking help, I gained relief

And learned there’s life beyond my grief.

But though the rain will sometimes fall,

It’s ceased to be a prison wall.

 

Stephen Tomkins

Perth

29 October 2015