I Saw The Sea

Another wave
Dies on the shore
But still they’ll come,
Forevermore.
Distant breezes
Grant them birth,
Far-flung shores
Then test their worth.

They live each moment,
Come what may,
Foaming, leaping,
Drenched in spray.
By tomorrow,
Undeterred,
Yesterday,
A foreign word.

At first glance,
They’re all the same,
No mother there
To grant them name.
Yet each unique
As each can be,
Still in communion
With the sea.

Stephen Tomkins
22 February 2020
Los Angeles

Serenity

Grooving along to the song of the bar fridge,

Humming the tune of the mower.

The truck out the front is inhaling the garbage,

The bloke down the back’s on the blower.

Over the road, she’s still trimming the hedges,

Concrete has conquered the weeds.

While down in the nets, they’re inventing new sledges,

‘Cause cricket’s the colour they bleed.

Serenity’s not quite the word I would use

But I feel right at home just the same.

My wife’s busy getting her fix of the news,

Somewhere, somebody’s calling my name.

I’m waiting for peace to descend from on high,

But, somehow, life just gets in the way.

So, it’s rain that falls out of the hole in the sky

And I just get on with my day.

Stephen Tomkins

26 September 2022

Sydney

Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)

Take some time now while you can,
As living woman, living man,
Because a life is all too brief,
And left unsaid, we, in our grief,
Cling on to things that were not meant
And said in haste before they went.

Rather, choose now, while you may,
To say all that you need, I pray.
Defer not till tomorrow since
(And though I fear I’ll make you wince)
For you, tomorrow may not come
But time to rue things left undone.

Stephen Tomkins
22 July 2016
Hong Kong

 

 

 

Winter Is Cool

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Cutting his losses, the Sun quits the fight
As his silvery glow soon gives way to black Night.
Mercury sinks to his bulb and hides there
And wintery Cold, now, her triumph declares.

Yet born of the harshness of this icy void,
Like debris from the death of some meteoroid,
The delicate crystals drift down from the Sky
Though she’s no longer seen by the sensitive eye.

The tentative Snowflakes send down a few scouts
Then an increasing flood as if pouring from spouts.
They all look the same but, on examination,
Are each one unique and a fine revelation.

Though we complain, we seem drawn to the Snow,
Maybe, deep down, it’s because we all know
That outward appearance is pleasant enough,
But oftentimes that can be merely a bluff.

Stephen Tomkins
4 June 2016
Singapore

 A strange place to be thinking about snow!

Photo credit:
http://www.travellerspoint.com

Adrift (On The Sea of Regret)

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My stomach is full though I’ve not eaten yet;
I’ve just launched myself on the Sea of Regret.
I’m sickened and saddened and sorry to boot:
There’s no one to blame for this dark attribute.
And though I’m not sure how I followed this path,
I’m floating alone on this flimsy old raft.
The sea is unfriendly, the night is pitch black,
I really don’t know if I’ll find my way back.

Yet off in the distance, I glimpse a dim light –
It’s just what I need in my desperate plight.
For just when I felt like I might pull the plug,
I find myself wrapped in a comforting hug.
I suddenly find myself back on the shore,
The sea disappears with one last mighty roar.
I’m so undeserving of someone like you
But if your love sustains me, I might just pull through.

Stephen Tomkins
17 February 2016
Sydney

Photo credit:
www.smh.com.au

Prison Bus

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Off to work once again, the pre-dawn steely grey.
Off to work once again, like the rest, need my pay.
We Prison Bus inmates, united, we sway
As, to God-in-the-screen, those awake seem to pray.

The colourful ladies and dull, greyish men,
Our routine repeating all over again.
Brothers-in-arms and our Sisters here too,
We still have no clue just who’s who in the zoo.

The gun-metal sky has now melted away
As delicate blues and pinks welcome the day.
No bars on the windows, unnumbered my shirt,
It’s only my outlook I need to convert.

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The scene that inspired the poem, taken on my iPhone.

Stephen Tomkins
2 March 2016
Sydney

Prison bus photo credit:
istockphoto.com

God Bless This Little Boat!

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Like ships, we’re launched into the world

Before we’re really ready.

The ground that we seek solace from

Is never truly steady.

And so we float as best we can

And try to make our way,

And even have a little fun

Before we’re drenched in spray.

Stephen Tomkins
19 January 2016
Sydney

Photo credit:
societbyofsponsorsofusn.org
http://www.photosearch.com

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!

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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

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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