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A torrent of memories

Falls from my mind,

Like a forest of leaves

By late-autumn defined.

They flash on the screen

Of my mind’s inner eye,

Evoking emotion,

A tear or a sigh.

 

Just why they appear

At this moment in time,

I cannot explain –

There’s no reason nor rhyme.

All I can say is:

I wish you were here.

This never occurs

When I know you are near.

 

Stephen Tomkins
26 January 2019
Auckland

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People Services

Thank you for your call today

(Oh, won’t you please just go away?)

Your colleagues, we are serving now

(So please applaud while we all bow!)

Important your call really is

(Or some such other silly fizz!)

Just go ahead and join the queue

(We’ve more exciting things to do).

 

You may think there are people here

(But that is a mistake, I fear)

Our name implies there’s service too

(Perhaps there is, but not for you!)

So please complete our online form

(Well, hasn’t that become the norm?)

To speed your query straight on through

(The options will be wrong for you!)

 

Surely you must know we care?

(As long as quickly you despair)

We’ll contact who you really need

(Our task is really to impede)

So just sit back and do relax

(Make contact by email or fax)

You could be waiting quite a while

(Efficiency is not our style!)

 

Stephen Tomkins
19 January 2019
Sydney

 

Guns

Check your egos at the door,

Leave your guns and, furthermore,

Make your way onto the floor –

There’s always room for just one more.

 

The gangsters and the rappers too

Will likely have more bling than you

But that won’t stop the funky beat

From whipping up a tasty treat.

 

‘Cause, in the end, who really cares

Just who submits to stupid dares?

We’re all here to have some fun –

For that, you will not need a gun.

 

Stephen Tomkins
18 January 2019
Sydney

Unkind

He wakes in the morning and opens the blinds,

Hoping for answers that he never finds.

Yet, deep down, he knows that it’s all in his mind,

In spite of the pain to which he’s resigned.

 

If he could but count the well-meaning advice

That unfailingly makes him feel worse in a trice,

He’d have run out of numbers a long time ago,

So, he smiles and continues to fight on alone.

 

He knows he has much to feel grateful about –

A black hole of nothingness sucks it all out.

To feel like a human, he desperately tries,

But all he can summon is deep, heartfelt sighs.

 

Still, life motors on and he knows this will pass –

Tears and pain and wounded feelings won’t last.

If, somehow, he can only bear these few hours,

He’ll rise from the mud and emerge from the showers.

 

Stephen Tomkins
1 January 2019
Osaka

I Wonder

A quorum of quarrelsome clouds has convened,

Disrupting a day that had dawned quite serene.

Sparking an argument, rumbling away,

It’s clear that they all will have plenty to say.

 

For those of us earthlings stuck here on the ground,

It’s time to seek shelter, if some can be found.

For while the big boys are all roaring their rage,

One never can find a free Faraday cage.

 

Lit up with rage and all venting their spleens,

Like indulged children, they conquer the scene.

And, in the end, when they go on their way,

I’ll still be here wondering what they tried to say.

 

Stephen Tomkins

26 November 2018

Sydney

Three Hundred and Six

Three hundred and six souls aboard tonight.

And so, begins the homeward flight.

An Asian departure, most often at night,

Means we arrive in the bright morning light.

 

So, while you’re asleep through the inky black night,

I’ll be up front with my screens and dimmed lights.

I’ve done this before – I’ve lost track of the times –

The time zones are etched on my face as fine lines.

 

So, sleep on at peace – I’ll be awake.

Thanks to the jetstream, we’ll land before eight.

The moon and the stars will sign on as crew,

Along with the people I work with for you.

 

Stephen Tomkins
30 October 2018
Brisbane

Sleep On

streets2_led

Streetlamp vultures, seeking their prey,

Gaze on impassively right through the day.

When night falls, they shed their unnatural light

As the traffic rolls on in its hesitant flight.

 

But in the small hours, when the traffic has gone,

And the vultures might nap now their strange light has shone,

‘Tween moonset and sunrise, the street signs convene,

Reviewing the traffic lights’ usage of green.

 

As, once more, the Sun’s rays may threaten intrusion,

The street signs retreat in a hasty conclusion

And replant themselves like well cared-for plants,

As the traffic resumes like a column of ants.

 

Stephen Tomkins
21 August 2018
Sydney

So Different

For all of our difference,

So different we’re not.

Like gold in a furnace,

We melt in a pot:

As life burns away

The peripheral and trite,

Leaving behind

What’s important and right.

 

For when we’re boiled down,

We’re all nearly the same –

For where you were born,

You’re not really to blame.

The things we all hope for,

The solace we seek,

Are the due of all people,

The bold and the meek.

Stephen Tomkins
28 August 2018
Sydney

Safe Now

Hush, my friend, you’re safe now,

And though the tears may fall,

Let it out – I will not judge,

You’ve gone beyond the call.

 

For while you may not understand,

You need to let it go.

Just one more breath is all you need,

One more and you will grow.

 

I’ve known your pain for so long now,

I’ve longed to ease your soul.

I’ve heard your cries deep in the night

And still you reached your goal.

 

Your sacrifice, unknown to most,

I know has cost you dear.

So, take my hand and let it go,

You’re always safe right here.

 

Stephen Tomkins
18 October 18
Sydney

Here Comes The Sun

This morning, the Sun is a little bit shy –

I know he’s not normally that kind of guy.

A thin veil of cloud is disguising his face,

Though it’s clear that he’s there in his usual place.

 

Regaining his mojo as morning moves on,

He’s now as defiant as a Mafia Don –

Glaring unblinkingly right in my face,

The sensible choice is retire with grace.

 

He knows his usurper will rise and, that soon,

His place will be taken by silvery Moon.

So, in what remains of this glorious day,

The Sun will ensure that his face will hold sway.

 

Stephen Tomkins
29 October 18
Singapore