Below are the all-time best Thomas Simunsen poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
I come in from the blustery wind turning to shut the door behind me as
a gust launches into the café, sending a quick chill amongst those already seated.
I pause and take a quick look around the room. I smile as it’s not full yet but there are enough here to make the place cosy.
I notice a smattering of pictures on the wall but that isn’t why you come here. No, you come to the PoetrySoup café for the poetry and prose.
Being new to the neighbourhood I wander first towards the closest wall to catch a quick glimpse of those who have been honoured here.
I smile as I recognise a few names.
Loosening my jacket (there must be a chill in the air as I seldom wear a jacket!) I head over to the serving area to place my order. A hot chocolate to start with and a nice piece of black forest cake.
As I wait to the side I turn back into the room , taking in all the surroundings. There is an air of hominess about the place.
The worn black and white squared tiles on the floor, show scuffs and cracks.
The chunky square wooden tables and chairs with neat condiment holders to the side.
As I take my order I stop for a moment as I search for a spare table.
Amongst the conversations and laughter a phrase stands out and I turn to the table where it came from “Hvorfor Takk” (why thank you – Norwegian) I smile as that can only be Anne Lise. I recognise her Norwegian although mine is very basic and very rusty.
I make my way over to greet her and say hello.
I notice 2 other women sitting with Anne Lise and recognise PD – Linda in a flash as well as Andrea. “Hei I am Thomas and you must be Anne Lise.” I say as I arrive at the table and have caught the attention of those sitting there.
A huge grin lights the faces of those seated with my introduction.
“May I?” I ask standing before the only empty seat at the table.
“Please do.” They answer together then laugh.
Before I can all three stand and
Anne Lise introduces firstly PD Linda, we exchange a hug and our hello’s.
I recognise the next woman and jump in before Anne Lise can introduce Andrea. We hug and all sit, chatting away like school children waiting for the teacher to arrive in class.
They all turn around in their seats excitedly and start pointing to other members who are busily in conversations at their own tables.
“Over there is Kelly D, sitting with Gail and Mystic Rose” says Linda.
“…and Yvette Kelley with Bindu,” interrupts Andrea.
“Connie Moore is over there past Skat-Aux and Lucilla,’ points Linda.
I smile as heads turn at times to stare in our direction.
Standing I excuse myself for a moment as I head across to various tables to say hello to all those that have made me feel so welcome.
I share hugs with Kelly and Bindu, we share a laugh for a moment as I move onwards.
On my way around I meet Beverley Crespo and stop to share a quick conversation before completing my circle.
There are so many others in here as the place is filling up now.
Outside a change of season blows cold through a bleak neighbourhood, but inside there is a warmth in the air that comes with friendships and love.
I look around before sitting again and smile.
Spying my forest cake Andrea stands and heads to the counter.
Bringing some chocolate cake back we all laugh.
Anne Lise asks me about my Norwegian heritage and tries teaching me a few more words. I try but just can’t quite get them yet which makes her laugh. Linda asks about my writing and in turn Andrea and I smile at the bond we already have with our friendship.
Before the night is out I have shared moments with all of my wonderful friends. Kelly, Gail and Mystic as well as a laugh with Bindu who has the warmest smile. Then I got to chat with Skat and Lucilla, Connie, Yvette and Beverley with whom I shared some heartfelt words.
It’s getting late so we shuffle around and say our goodbyes.
Before heading in our own directions. Some left in pairs. Others in groups.
Some left alone but with a warmth inside that will burn brightly until next time.
Come over and drop in anytime. The PoetrySoup café is always open until late and they serve the best friendships going around.
Although I yearn,
when I hear my land named.
I hear of the troubles
that go on each day.
My heart often aches
when I hear of the strife.
I've built on my dreams,
in this land is my life.
This land that I live in
is home to me now.
I've a wife and a family
a new freedom I have found.
Although sometimes I yearn
when I hear my land named.
I could never return
and leave what I have made
Beneath dusted moonlight she twirls
Her hennaed fingers mesmerising
Upon the wind her name is carried as a sigh
Dancing almond eyes cast a spell
Her rhythmic movements enchant the stars
Bare feet weave delicately
Eyes closed she sways to the beat of the mridangam
A rich tapestry in motion
Enlightened before Sarasvati
Sensual in existence
She is one with the moon
Her tantric dance eternal
Alone a young boy waits
Alone a single heart beats
Alone he yearns, for her.
mridangam - Indian hand held drum
Sarasvati - Indian Goddess of sensual love, music, art, poetry and learning
Your need to be free pulls at your soul.
To feel the wind in your hair
lifts your spirit high above.
Walking barefoot across the earth,
feeling more than the soil beneath your feet.
Sensing all that has gone before.
You are the current in a river,
each swirling wave a sense of your own being.
A scent in the breeze.
The warmth of life drenched by the Sun.
I sit in a world of four walls.
Staring through a pane of glass.
At a sky alive with stars.
I wonder which one you're beneath tonight.
A Gypsy lost in time
or a Rebel searching for life.
As a boy I remember fondly
days with my Grandad.
So warm, loving and tender
to me a giant of a man.
He always has a smile
and a joke to make us laugh.
The tricks he always shows us
I never grow tired of.
As the Summers pass so quickly
I love him with all my heart.
Though my fondest memory of him,
is of a photo on the mantel, hidden
behind the ones he loves.
It's of Grandad in a uniform
of khaki, brown and starch,
With a smile I'd never seen before
it wasn't one of love.
It was taken on the day
he returned home from the war.
His eyes they look so weary,
he was only 24.
As the days and years flew past us
I was turning into a man
we were both out one day walking.
I asked a question I never had.
"Tell me about the photo,
up on the mantel pop.
The one that lies there hidden
behind the ones of us."
We stopped at that very moment
and my Grandad turned to me.
His eyes they looked so distant,
it was me..... he didn't see.
we sat on the neighbors’ brick fence
with the memories of what he saw
"There isn't much to tell you, 'cept I
made it home here from the war."
I looked at him with love
that burst out from inside.
That look he had upon him,
it nearly made me cry.
We sat there for ages
we never said a word.
His eyes just looked right through me
as he glanced up heavenward.
Then he got down on both his knees
which took me by suprise.
He smiled before he spoke
while he looked me in the eyes.
He then took my hand in his hand and
this story is what he told.
"I fought in world war 2 in places
you'd never know.
With mates not much older,
than you are now my son.
many didn't make it or only broken
Of people I was so proud of,
when I was just........ a kid.
I left home one morning not long after 21
wasn't barely shaving.
I was off to have some fun."
He looked at me through his tears
A croak now in his voice.
A way I'd never seen him,
in this I had no choice.
"The bullets came and bombs did rain,
I saw blood in flow, it wasn't like the TV,
it's a darker red.......I know"
"I heard grown men screaming, saw wounds I
I had to kill some other men, just to stay alive.
it's something I'd never wish upon my darkest
I pray to God every night, your eyes will never
see what mine have seen."
With that he got up slowly and
then he walked away.
I stood a second watching and then joined him
on his way,
The Sun was setting now, upon the day and on
The warmth I felt inside me
the Sun could not provide.
I started as a boy that day
and became a man inside.
A Love for my Grandfather, as well as a sense of
I stand humbled amid my own servitude
A ghost reflected
My shadow bowed of my rectitude
To my souls accord
Afore my growth not withstanding
As one of a Saint
I am not accused.
To those who see me as I am
Unobtrusive in a simple world.
For a competition by 'Just an Archaic Poet'
(The poem of his - The Patron Saint of Worthless Causes)
In this age of rapid communication
The world has become much smaller.
We can now dance across wires
Share our thoughts across an
intricate invisible web.
Our words across a cyber - page
Can build friendships across nations
And carry over the oceans
In an instant.
As a world - wide community
We now have the power to change
We also have the power to
Love our world
And grow with the people in it.
There came a time
Now so long ago
when great ships did appear
with white sails on show
A white man came ashore
and hoisted His flag
we still did not know
that he had Proclaimed this land
We did not understand
what proclaimed meant to us
I think it means take
and of that they did much
They took what they wanted
although they were few
we did not mind
Until, they began killing us too.
Before long we were 'tamed'
In the Whiteman’s many ways
We naught have a choice
almost still to this day
Now if we raise up our voice
about land rites and claims
People say we're ungrateful
and to stay out of the way
We don't want to cause trouble
or cause a big fight
Yes we Will share
as long as you acknowledge our rights
Understanding we want
recognition as well
So please tell the world
about what is Ours
Over years I was your shoulder
At times I wiped your tears
My arms provided safety
To shield you from your fears
My love for you grew deeper
With every smile on your face
The sparkle in your eyes
Made my heartbeat race
I mostly kept it hidden
Something private held inside
I couldn’t let you know
What I had in mind
I had dreams I longed for
A simple picket fence
With the two of us behind it
As a family not as friends
I wanted you to see me
As the person that I am
I needed you to know me
As a loving caring man
Now I see you’ve found someone
To be there in my place
To tell you that it hurts me
Is something I can’t face
To me the years it seems
Have been cast aside
The moments that we had
Inside of me have died
Every day for me’s a struggle
With heavy boots I take my strides
Each morning I wake lonely
I have no sense of pride
To think of all the dreams
I wish that could’ve been
My family that loved you
And I know that yours did me.
I hope you will remember me
With a smile on your face
The sun is setting now on my life
As slowly I walk away.
I enter the dimly lit room, ribbons of smoke waft towards the ceiling.
Finding a nice quiet corner table I slide into it.
Swirling my neat bourbon, I watch as the swirling ice noisily clunks the edge of my glass.
I then quickly bring it up to my mouth for a sip
I look through the hazy surrounds and spy a sprinkling of people, not many which brings a frown to my unshaven face.
A touch of disappointment as I have heard so much about this rock den and even more about tonight’s band.
I hear murmurs of conversation but nothing loud enough to decipher. A woman’s laugh turns my head in the direction of the bar. Too dim to really make anybody out so I turn my gaze to the small stage area. I make out a drum kit and guitars leaning against speakers. Not much else.
I look soulfully into my glass and think of my day.
A spotlight comes on; the band is now assembling on stage.
The drummer starts with a rhythmic tap of the hi hat, soft and brassy.
The rest of the band crowds around each other as instruments are slung over shoulders. The deep strum of bass is next keeping time with the steady drumming.
The bass player steps forward, looking down at the gathering of people through his dark glasses. Fingers working the strings.
The rhythm guitarist follows forming the melody of the tune. The trio blending beautifully before the lead guitarist starts his riffs.
Then the lead guitarist steps up to the microphone, his gruff voice carries around the room.
Beads of sweat form across his forehead as the stage lights bite, as he sings to the swelling crowd.
I look around and smile, this is more like what the band deserves.
The guitarist swings away from the microphone taking the lead break. His face contorts with concentration. Fingers forming along frets as the other hand picks quickly at the metal strings.
The drummer moving in quick time with the solo guitarist, drumsticks a blur.
You barely notice the bass and rhythm holding tune in the background.
The crowd moves and sways in time with the music. A trio of young girls looking barely eighteen dance around the front of the stage. Drinks being held out front of many without a sip being taken, all in awe of the performance.
My head nodding in time along with the rest.
The lead guitarist builds his performance, fingers pushing at strings as he uses the guitars tremolo.
The drummer swings along the pieces of his drum kit rapidly, smashing and crashing all in time.
The band cascading into a crescendo. The solo seems to last an eternity as the crowd is totally enthralled by this musical feast.
I sit caught up in the brilliance; I needed to see firsthand what everybody has been talking about.
A band that deserves to be beyond the small walls surrounding them now. I reach for my wallet and pull out a business card pushing it into my top pocket.
When the performance ends we will shake hands and chat over a drink about bigger stages and a louder future. For now I sit back and enjoy the show.