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

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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

 

A Day in the Life….

The sun half-heartedly crawls out of bed
And very reluctantly slides overhead.
A veil of ice crystals is covering his face –
One more loathful witness to what will take place.

The Doctor now cheerfully strides down the line
Then gives me a wink to say all will be fine.
Through snow, slush and filth, still the railroad tracks gleam,
The train then appears, as if shrouded in steam.

The chill in the air has invaded my bones
And through the barbed wire, the icy wind moans.
When I ask my Sergeant what all of this means,
“Do your damn duty!” he angrily screams.

The train has arrived and the doors are forced open;
Out fall the people, exhausted and frozen.
With shouting and wailing, selection begins –
The Doctor continues to seek out the twins.

Oh! How did I come to be part of all this,
Since studying music was my source of bliss?
These people did nothing but sadly be born.
The fit and the healthy are stripped and then shorn.

There’s no way, it seems, to escape from this place
Without bringing me and my unit disgrace.
The air here is fetid and really does stink,
And I, when off duty, rely on the drink.

Stephen Tomkins
5 November 2015
Canberra

 Author’s note:
I would like to clarify that this poem is not an attempt to justify the actions of those who inflicted the Holocaust upon the world. They cannot be justified. Rather the poem is an attempt to find humanity where little, if any, existed.

So You Think You Can Dance?

Ballroom-Dancers-Couple-600x475

Please take a chance and together we’ll dance,
The Bandmaster is playing our song.
Let us float to the beat on our fleet, nimble feet
And pretend, once again, nothing’s wrong.

Round and around the issue we’ll dance,
A Quickstep Denial we’ll choose.
We’ll smile and we’ll swirl and we’ll spin and we’ll whirl;
Other thoughts we will always refuse.

Now and then, we will bump ‘gainst a tail or a trunk
And we’re suddenly singing the blues.
It’s so pleasant to dance when one has half a chance.
In the ‘now’ it’s so good to infuse.

At last, we must rest, our fatigue manifest,
And revive on some ice-cold TV.
But we can’t linger long or we’ll sense what’s been wrong,
So we munch Prozac muffins with glee,

‘Cos we’d rather avoid what’s made life so devoid
Of all pleasure as friendships recede.
So we’ll dance once again and be stoic, strong men,
If that elephant doesn’t stampede.

Stephen Tomkins
2 September 2015

Let’s Be Friends

rich

I say one thing and mean another,
Treat you like my long-lost brother.
And all the while, within my mind,
I hope, in you, that I will find
Someone to use for my own ends.
Or what’s the use of being friends?

I play the game so very well
That all the while you’d never tell;
Though one fine day you might just twig
And see that I’m a selfish pig.
Around the world, the people using,
With my tactics quite bemusing.

Gaining wealth by lies and stealth,
I fail to see I’ve sold my self.
Now in luxury’s lap I’m sitting
While a life I’m counterfeiting.
Alone I am and unfulfilled.
For company, by hour I’m billed.

Stephen Tomkins
2 March 2015

Eventually

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Eventually the sun will rise
And I will don my slick disguise.
Eventually I’ll have to prise
Myself from bed, my act reprise.
Eventually I’ll see the sun
And realise life’s just begun.
Eventually I’ll find some fun
That pierces my desire to shun.
Eventually my heart will heal
And I’ll allow myself to feel.
Eventually I will unseal
My soul and my true self reveal.
Eventually I’ll understand
That pain will end, not reprimand.
Eventually I will disband
Excuse, pretence and live firsthand.
Eventually I’ll win the fight
If only I can survive this interminable night….

Stephen Tomkins
3 February 2015