At a Loss

The fragile petals now will fall.
The leaves, of course, fell first of all.
And through it all she sits there still,
Living yet, against her will.

Her husband bravely does his best,
Including now a feeble jest.
She cried and cried, her tears now dried,
Since the day her baby died.

If only this, if I’d done that,
The self-destructive mental chat
Continues on inside her head
And fills her husband with such dread.

He prays she simply needs more time
To learn to deal with such a crime.
For now, he mourns not one but two:
The baby’s one, his wife now too.

Stephen Tomkins
14 January 2017

A Whole New Hive


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

Picture credits:



There was a girl I used to know,
She, past my desk, would to and fro,
Delivering mail and other things,
A whiff of perfume, I’d have wings!

Infatuation ruled my life
And soon I found myself in strife.
Distracted from my work was I
As back and forth she’d catch my eye.

One day I took my chances, and
With racing heart and trembling hand,
Caught her attention as she passed
And asked her out: she smiled and laughed.

That night I picked her up at eight
On what, I hoped, was our first date.
She said she couldn’t stay too long:
There was a sale on!

I should have seen the warning signs:
Her interests lay in shoe designs!
She loved her pumps, I now can see,
And leather boots much more than me.

Aghast, I finally understood:
I’d lost her heart to clogs of wood!
So happy did she seem that I
Could only smile and say goodbye.

Stephen Tomkins
2 April 2015

PS. Before I left unnoticed, I left her a note that said:

“I wish you and your shoes many happy years together”.