Hurry

I passed you on the street today –

You hurried on your worried way.

And though our eyes did never meet,

Hastened on by frantic feet,

I felt a kinship just the same –

It seems we play a common game.

 

We hurry here, we hasten there,

And speed ourselves toward despair.

The flowers here that bloom today

Will tomorrow fade away.

And today, with all its cares,

With all its likes and all its shares,

 

Will be repeated evermore,

As all our efforts bleed us poor.

So, take a breath, extend a smile,

Inhale the sunshine for a while.

Upon this earth, we linger not:

Pray, make the most of what you’ve got.

 

Stephen Tomkins
31 October 2019
Sydney

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Modern Bird

Oh A380, mighty bird,

That you get airborne – quite absurd!

A thing of your enormous size

Should never from the ground arise.

 

Yet, from the ground, arise you do –

No problem for a bird like you.

Transporting us from here to there,

A block of units in the air.

 

Far greater than an albatross,

You stretch your mighty wings across

A football field or two or three,

As far as one can likely see.

 

Awash with fuel your wings may be

So you can soar across the sea,

But those inside would never know

Just what it is that makes you go.

 

No feathers, beak nor awkward feet,

You’ve wheels for when your flight’s complete.

Ungainly while you’re on the ground,

Once in the air, you’re quite profound.

 

Stephen Tomkins
21 June 2019
Sydney

Just a Moment

A moment of grace

Descend on you now

And, lifting your burden,

I pray you unbow.

 

A moment of joy

Brings mist to the eyes.

May it bring you solace,

No need for disguise.

 

A moment of peace,

True peace may you feel.

May it never cease

And may your heart heal.

 

A moment of sorrow

For things that have passed.

Now let them all go

For little does last.

 

A moment of grief

For those we have lost.

Accept their departure

In spite of the cost.

 

 

This is the moment,

Now is the time.

A day for atonement

A moment sublime.

 

Stephen Tomkins
22 April 2019
Perth

 

 

I’ll Be Quiet Now

Darlin’, you’re one in a million.

But statistics were never my scene –

Since the world’s pushin’ two hundred billion,

I’m sure that’s not what I mean!

‘Cause of you there’d be two hundred thousand

And that just cannot be right:

For no matter where I’d be a’browsin’,

There’d be several of you in my sight!

 

Perhaps you’re one in a billion –

There’d still be two hundred of you!

Or maybe just one per gazillion –

Statistics! I’ve had it with you!

Darlin’, I don’t seek another!

How could there be another you?

I’ll stop now and try to recover

From drownin’ in my well-meant stew!

 

Stephen Tomkins
16 May 2019
Somewhere between Sydney and Perth
(I was a passenger, ok?)

 

In Paper We Trust

A book has a cover

And pages between,

Though now for a cover,

The pages, a screen.

The words will not change

Nor the screen fade away.

The words rearrange

But the meaning won’t stray.

How does this transpire?

Some magic perhaps.

To me paper’s higher –

For books and for maps.

 

Stephen Tomkins
18 April 2019
Singapore

Hong Kong Style

Skyscrapers eagerly reach for the cloud,

Each new one trying to puncture the shroud –

Precariously perched on the side of a hill,

A balancing act of spectacular skill.

 

Inside the glittering towers of glass,

They labour in hope that their dreams come to pass.

Lower on down in the shimmering shops,

Luxury brands flaunt their exclusive chops.

 

Ubiquitous red and gold, gaudy to some,

Signals to all that the new year has come.

Clearly a festival bigger than big –

This year announcing the Year of the Pig.

 

Everyone seeking their own pot of gold

They hope comes their way before they’re too old.

Unique to Hong Kong? I see you now smile.

The answer is “no”, but they have their own style!

 

Stephen Tomkins
1 February 2019
Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

A Heart

How easily the head can drown out a heart

And, certainly, life likes to play its own part.

Bills to be paid and things to be done –

No time to play nor walk in the sun.

 

Weeks can dissolve and months fade away

While, down in the trenches, we battle with days.

New Year, then Easter, then Christmas arrive,

While all we can do is fight to survive.

 

The heart is forgotten, but still it beats on

And, sometimes, we wonder just where we went wrong.

But this is all part of the fabric of life –

A heart’s done its job when you know you’re alive.

 

Stephen Tomkins
10 February 2019
Osaka

 

 

Too Soon

Trees still as statues

On carpets of grass.

Air barely moving

And flowers like glass.

 

A world scarcely breathing,

A moment serene.

In the silence, a healing,

An unceasing dream.

 

Then out of the aching

Blue dome up above,

The city descends

Like the slap of a glove,

 

Shoving the statues

And breaking the glass

And, far too soon,

This Eden must pass.

 

Stephen Tomkins
19/2/19
Perth

 

 

Music on the Radio

Highway traffic, moving slow.

No way round it, don’tcha know?

Music on the radio,

Won’t you make the traffic go?

 

Interrupting urgent ads,

Saving me from useless fads,

Music on the radio,

Can’t you make the traffic flow?

 

Fervent preaching sermonising,

Commentators patronising.

Music on the radio –

I know, I know, I know.

 

In the mornings, afternoons,

Endless talk by paid buffoons.

Music on the radio,

Please just make the workday go.

 

Stephen Tomkins
15 March 2019
Singapore

Uploaded

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