A World That’s Black and White

A World That’s Black & White

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Sometimes I yearn for a world that’s black and white

No shades of grey, of course no colours bright

There would be a right answer to anything you ask

One correct way to deal with every issue, every task

 

When asked a question we would not need to hesitate

A clear cut answer, no time required to prevaricate

Because all solutions would be either wrong or right

In that monochrome world of only black or white

 

But sadly life is rarely quite so simply organized

Its diversity and choices are not always harmonized

So only black or white will quickly disappear

And faced with such variety, sometimes we may fear

 

But we should cast aside our doubts and happily rejoice

Our world offers to each one of us a multiplicity of choice

With all the colours of the spectrum to delight our eyes

And infinite alternatives bringing sparkle to our lives

 

Ken Fisher

 

Any Difference?

Any Difference?

When the ‘good and the great’ depart from the scene
Will people remember who these leaders have been?
Do we fear for the future, how will we survive?
With these notable persons no longer alive

 

Their deeds hit the headlines, their words we recall
Their actions important no matter how small
The press paid them homage and their face was well-known
All that they did seemed to bring them renown

 

Apparently this is the way of the world
‘Celebrities’ matter, so they must be heard
Their pictures all over the newspaper pages
Note extravagant spending from excessive wages

 

But I ask this question, did it really matter?
All their crazy antics and quite inane chatter
What difference to us did their lives really make
What benefit came to us all in their wake?

 

So here is a thought for each and for all
Let us make a difference, be we oh so small
By our love for each other eschewing all fame
However humble our deeds, or obscure be our name

Ken Fisher

The Anarchic Grace of Christ

The Anarchic Grace of Christ

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It isn’t fair, we must all pay our dues
And each must play their part!
It’s not for us to pick or choose
From our obligations to depart

That’s the only way the world can work
Each one of us prepared to strive
No room for those who’d rather shirk
All together, that’s how we can survive

Of course there are always those who won’t conform
Like the younger son, they break away
Don’t tie him down, just let him roam
From hearth and home that lad would stray

In many days of feasting he did joyously revel
Kept his goodly share of the paternal inheritance
Courting with the pleasures of the flesh and the devil
Offering no apology, no excuse, and no defence

But in due time that decadent life began to pall
His funds diminished, his joy somewhat less intense
And then his former settled life he fondly did recall
Thoughts turned to home and comfort, it seemed to make such sense

And yet he knew he had no right forgiveness to expect
His father and his brother in duty still steadfast
He expected very little and him they should reject
Why wipe away the sinfulness of those wayward years now past?

But on arriving near his home to his very great surprise
The dissident young brother saw his father open-armed
To welcome back the younger son as if he’d won a prize!
But the elder son, resentful, was anything but charmed

We all know the story of the prodigal who once was lost in vice
And making sense of such free pardon is somewhat problematic
How to explain this forgiveness but for the ‘anarchic grace of Christ’
An unmerited gift so full, so free, and so dramatic

When in our resentment we ask whither ethics or the law?
Surely love alone too simple to salve our every woe?
Our inward eye might open, and discern not one without a flaw
By God’s good grace, forgiveness, He will on each bestow

Ken Fisher

A Wider Prospect

A Wider Prospect

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If we could own the power of flight

From lofty heights our greater sight

Would surely teach us to step back

And realise we little lack

 

‘Cause when we view from up on high

Soaring in the vaulted sky

We then, if we would only think

How mighty problems surely shrink

 

For every issue viewed up close

Fear in our heart is oft imposed

Reduced in scale, seen from afar

No longer will our peace be marred

 

Watching the birds soaring high

Let’s not simply give a sigh

But rather let our minds take wing

And thus our hearts will also sing

 

KEN FISHER

Love’s Labour Gained

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They don’t grow on trees!

The gardener’s indignant pronouncement

Well of course they do! – or at least on bushes

But I suppose you could say it’s a co-operative venture

 

We need the collective effort

Of plant and tree, of soil and sun

And gentle rain or watering can

And the loving care of those who tend the crop

 

Thus the gain from all this labour

Creation, but not just by accident!

At last a harvest to delight the eye

And to excite the palate

 

Ken Fisher

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Darkening days remind us that we have reached the day

When gentle Autumn sunshine to winter grey gives sway

In spring the clocks leaped forward, now they must fall back

Let’s hope some time will pass yet before the frosts attack

Of course we should be pleased we gain another hour

A little time is granted from Old Man Time’s own dower

But whether we will notice these extra minutes given

And if we simply sleep instead surely we’re forgiven

So on Sunday morn when that precious hour is granted

Fall back upon your pillow, don’t be disenchanted

Let gentle dreams and happy thoughts fill your sleepy head

And enjoy that extra hour in your warm and cosy bed!

Ken Fisher

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude

Why is it that we sometimes take perverse pleasure

On hearing of the misfortunes of someone or other?

Our expressions of sympathy really quite fake

And relief it’s not us whose heart has to ache

 

We make all the right noises, express our concern

Upbraiding the cause in a voice oh so stern

The victim we comfort being most sympathetic

But somehow these pleadings seem rather pathetic

 

‘Cause inside our mind we’re so glad we’ve escaped

The events which our friends’ lives have now reshaped

The future for them will be never the same

And our crocodile tears say – oh what a shame!

 

Why can’t we be honest and admit our relief

And tell them what should be our honest belief

That life is unfair, they are not to be blamed

And for what has occurred let them be unashamed

 

Of course we are glad that our life is untouched

By whatever our friends’ peace will now disrupt

Then get alongside to help lift their dark cloud

A much kinder response than mere schadenfreude

 

Ken Fisher

Early Winter Frost

Early Winter Frost

The clocks put back the week before
Already cars enwrapped in hoar
Window scrapers called to service
For the future we feel nervous

 

Does this herald the arrival
Of another challenge to survival?
Perhaps this fear precipitate
Too soon to settle winter’s fate

 

And with the cold comes brilliant sun
Both young and old partake in fun
The parks are full like a cried fair
Stale lungs are filled with frosty air

 

Autumn transformed to winter’s chill
Thus earth its treasures to distil
The trees bereft of fruit or leaf
Present a skeletal motif

 

And bustling crowds in shops and street
Anxiously at times compete
To finish all they have to do
Fore twilight heralds its curfew

 

But darkening days need not make fear
Life still provides much that can cheer
As we return to hearth and home
Content for now, no longer roam

 

Thus life adjusts to fit the season
Each changing month provides the reason
As daylight hours begin to shrink
Of warmth and home is what we think

 

But in due time as days roll on
We gradually discern that dawn
Creeps ever earlier though the pane
Renews our spirits once again

 

Ken Fisher

Understanding a Poem

 

A quotation:

“It was said of the poet that he tortured the English language but it was never forced to reveal its meaning”

 

Understanding a Poem

 

This may seem a rather philistine evaluation
But it sometimes seems to me that a poem’s prestige
Is in inverse proportion to its understandability
Why is it that some of the most impenetrable poetry

The most recondite versification
Is considered such “high art”?
This is not an attempt to undermine the legitimate
Musings of poets whose work illustrates

Some aspect of history, or art, or religion,
Of philosophy or the sciences or metaphysics
Each of these spheres of endeavour uses
Its own precise language and descriptive terminology

No, my objection is the excessive use of
Metaphor and simile, of tropes and figurative language
Thus the onus is on the reader is to unravel
This byzantine labyrinth of tortured prose

So that eventually understanding might be reached
Always assuming that is the object and the prize
And please don’t think I am simply pleading
That all poetry should be devoid of difficulty

Life itself is rarely ever crystal clear
As to its meaning and purpose
But in our writing let us endeavour
To shed more light on our thoughts

So let poets use all the arts and wiles
Of their craft – verse that rhymes
Or lines that are open or free or as they please
But let the language of their opus
Speak to the reader in terms both loud and clear
Leaving no doubt what is their message to the world

Ken Fisher

Autumn into Winter

Autumn into Winter

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Autumnal winds and darkening skies have already taken toll

The branches of once sheltering bowers stripped naked to the soul

No longer sunlight shafting through the leaves, trees stark against the sky

Fading memories of summer warmth, bring to our hearts a sigh

 

But all’s not lost, the Autumn tints can yet delight the eye

And oft far above our heads a lofty azure sky

Beneath our feet a multi-textured carpet cushions where we walk

And as twilight comes it’s home and hearth the object of our thought

 

But this season of transition is not all foreboding, filled with gloom

Of course the flowers of summer no longer radiate their bloom

But while horizons drop and outdoor prospects shrink

A closer focus affords more time to pause, a chance to think

 

So as we reflect on nature’s yearly pattern, and every changing phase

Our inner eye may contemplate the passage of our days

Let’s give to our Creator thanks for all that’s passed, yet what may remain

And lay again our trust in God who all our life sustains

 

Ken Fisher

The Middle Classes Under Siege

Middle Classes Under Siege

The backbone of our nation’s frame
Bending under excess strain
This vital prop helped states walk tall
No longer would prevent their fall

 

What is the cause of this malaise
What shadow darkens our sun’s rays?
Once confident, the middle classes
Reduced to equal working masses

 

The problem seems lack of regard
For gains achieved from working hard
Democracy downgrades respect
Advantage no longer is unchecked

 

Re-distribution might be fairer
But state largesse should still be sparer
Ignoring those who pay more tax
To keep the budget in the black

 

And with costs of living ever rising
Retirement recedes to far horizon
Offspring laden with early debt
Their student spending we regret

 

For them where is that bright career?
Basic wage for many a year
How can they ever own a house
Let alone afford a spouse

 

And adding to that angst and tension
Don’t forget they’ll need a pension
So middle class comfort just a dream
Forlorn hope their life’s new theme

 

Traditional values swept away
New changes we face every day
Lasting friendships seem to fritter
Replaced by chit chat via twitter

 

And marriage too has felt the strain
Broken bonds bring mighty pain
Families often re-invented
Lost happy days now much lamented

 

After decades of advance
The middle class looks round askance
For years they’ve given of their best
And now they feel the dispossessed

 

So what can they do when so perplexed?
There is no point remaining vexed
They must give thanks for all they’ve gained
And maintain their efforts unrestrained

 

Because without the middle class
The nation fails, we say alas
And duty ever was their strength
To run the course what e’er its length

 

The upper classes thrive the more
Accumulating wealth galore
The gap twixt them and all the rest
Reflects how they are surely blessed

 

The working class seems still to suffer
But benefits to some extent bring succour
The middle class gets scant reward
Life costs them more than they afford

 

So what’s the point of being the middle
Those above are on the fiddle
And those below with no ambition
Eye those above with deep suspicion

 

Is this the lot of our middle class
To be a buffer what e’er may pass?
Just keep calm and carry on
Into this legacy you were born!

 

Ken Fisher

On Retirement

On Retirement

There comes a time later in life
To say good-bye to working strife
At last the chance to take our ease
And do just what ourselves will please

In work our daily grind provides not a little tension
So nice it is at last to say, thank goodness for the pension!
And if the scheme will grant us an even bigger crumb
We’re really in the money thanks to that Lump Sum

Ahead of us the prospect of a life of idle leisure
Of days and weeks when we indulge whatever is our pleasure
In our mind’s eye how nice to see
The prospect of a life quite free

And yet perhaps we do glance back at all that we have done
At tasks achieved, at battles won, and worthwhile things begun
Life is a journey, new steps each day
There’s no going back to fix regrets, no matter what they say

But after all, it’s best for us simply to forward face
And trudge along the road ahead keeping a steady pace
Life has been good, despite the pain
And year on year we’ve seen the gain

So as we enter this new chapter of our living history
We go in trust for much remains still a deep mystery
But if we’re able to hold on to our living zest
There’s little doubt that come what may we surely will be blessed.

Ken Fisher