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

 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.

Fully Sick, Bro!


“Cure your ills with these here pills,
As easy as can be.
With my prescription in your hand,
You’ll soon be fit as me!”
The Doctor, smiling, showed me out
And took me by the hand.
His Secretary, smiling too,
Then charged me seven grand!

I hastened to the Pharmacy,
They welcomed me right in.
And when they saw my list of pills,
They wore a hearty grin!
“These pills aren’t on the PBS,
So sad, you’ll have to pay!”
I grabbed my pills and paid the bill,
Still shaking with dismay.

I found my way to Medicare
And settled in a chair.
The crowd of people waiting there
Near drove me to despair.
When my turn came, they shook their heads
And said it’s just the rule:
The scheduled fee is very small,
The refund’s minuscule!

Thankfully, the pills did help,
I’m working overtime.
When I was sick, the bills I paid
Were really quite a crime!
So when someone you know’s taken ill
And turns a little green,
And says, “I can’t afford to be sick!”
You’ll know just what they mean!

Stephen Tomkins
15 November 2014