Don’t Take Me For Granted


An old wooden table surrounded by chairs,
Fruit of the forest though now no one cares,
Hewn by a craftsman, unknown and unseen,
A tribute to skills now replaced by machine.

Left by the roadside, alone and forlorn,
The table is stained and the chairs are all torn.
A once-prized possession, it took pride of place
Near new, shiny kitchen with refurbished grace.

Convenor of gath’rings and meals to be shared,
Bearer of countless teacups and éclairs,
Witness to laughter and shedding of tears,
Minder of birthday cakes, nibblies and beers.

Silent observer of aging and games,
Patient companion of tapestry frames,
Insatiable voyeur of gossip and jokes,
Of lunch with the ladies and beer with the blokes.

A family member and once well-regarded,
Is no longer needed and so is discarded.
We’re just like that table, I’m sorry to say:
Once no longer useful, we’re left to decay.

But life doesn’t have to end on such a note,
I’m sure you’ll agree this is no time to gloat:
Old age is a lucrative business for some,
So please take the time to go visit your Mum!

Stephen Tomkins
27 September 2015

Face It


I look into the mirror and what is it that I see?
My own familiar face stares intently back at me.
He never has a word or two original to say;
He smiles at me, I smile back – perhaps the other way?

My only true companion from the cradle to the grave,
His subtle metamorphosis unnoticed day by day.
Precisely how I’m feeling, he always seems to know,
In wordless ways revealing what perhaps I wouldn’t show.

Though my voice is an assistance, it’s my face that people know.
Without my face, a faceless man, I’d freely come and go.
An image of my face is in my memory perceived
But as it’s ever-changing, could my memory be deceived?

Go beyond the superficial and it’s clear there’s something more:
Of my fifty years of history, my face is now the store.
I see recorded years of smiles, of laughter and of tears.
The bags beneath my drooping eyes speak volumes of my fears.

Unseen, a gentle artist of unparalleled skill
Etches in slowly life’s sorrow and thrill.
A constantly evolving, living masterpiece of grace
Taken for granted, right there on your face.

Stephen Tomkins
28 June 2014

Tick Tock


Time is such a greedy guy,
Giving little, flying by.
When having fun, he rushes through
And hangs around when feeling blue.

Time is like a distant relative –
The kind who’s mostly uncooperative.
He hates to feel he’s been controlled
And pays us back as we grow old.

Time’s made of rubber, don’t you see?
When young, he’s stretched as he can be,
And slowly shrinks back into place.
The passing years soon gather pace.

The camera, Time of all things hates
Because a piece of him it takes:
Forever captured, free of time –
A timely refugee sublime.

Stephen Tomkins
12 September 2014