29th February

29th February


The bonus day
Helps to keep the calendar
in tune with the earth’s rotation
round our star – the sun
Otherwise the clocks would get out of kilter
Sometimes also known as a leap day
In a leap year
those who were born on this day
can at least celebrate on the right date
Apparently the chances of having a Leap
Birthday are one in 1,461
About 4.1 million people
around the world were born on 29th February
and they are sometimes called leaplings

So here is a little rhyme for
those born on 29th February

When February contains full 29 Days
Those born on this date join together in praise
‘Cause only on years that are said to be leap
Can they know it’s their day as the wake up from sleep

We would not want to deprive them of joy on their day
Because of whatever the calendar may say
So if February contains a mere 28
I hope that their pleasure it will not frustrate

And for all of us whose birthdays are clear
Who enjoy the right date no matter the year
Spare a thought for the others who seem to miss out
Unless it’s a leap year when there is no doubt

Ken Fisher


Candid Camera

Candid Camera




They say the camera never lies
More true than even human eyes
It only records what hits the lens
Our face, or those of our friends

The button makes the shutter blink
Keep your eyes open – do not wink
And inside this strange black device
It makes an image most precise

I’m told it’s actually upside down
But that won’t make us smile or frown
Whatever hits the open shutter
Captured even if our eyes did flutter

Of course you will have realized
The camera shown has now evolved
From the basic model shown above
For many, a toy that we all loved

No matter how new models have advanced
Digital imaging much enhanced
Nevertheless it remains still true
That candid snap is truly you

But in this modern age there’s a handy prop
It comes in the guise of ‘photo shop’
So if we find our images show too much candour
We can magic them all with a touch of splendour!

Ken Fisher

Silent Collusion



[The Sea of Faith – as in Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”
Regret expressed that belief in a supernatural
World is slipping away]

On professing their faith some are clearly convicted
They harbour no doubts, their trust unrestricted
Others of quite the opposing opinion
Find nothing real in belief’s wide dominion

But perhaps many more remain much less certain
Between them and trust there remains a thick curtain
Yet for them that may not mean that faith is illusion
Or their present stance is mere silent collusion

For unlike the zealot whose faith is rock sure
Or the atheist whose denial is just as secure
The honest seeker my not wish to declare
Of his present neutrality he is well aware

But why should the agnostic not maintain his silence
Is he not entitled to attend his own conscience?
Does his mute response amount to collusion
As he wrestles with faith be it truth or illusion?

I assert that in matters of creed and conviction
It may be too simple to make such prediction
The journey towards belief or departing therefrom
May best be served by remaining quite dumb

Silence, surely an honourable stance
Allowing thought and reason time to advance
Quietness does not mean one has no conviction
And it often can grant us its own benediction

Ken Fisher


In or Out? Musings on the EU Referendum

In or Out?


It will soon be decision time again

This routine is quite a bane

Once more we really must decide

Set aside our national pride


I was hoping for the settled life

A break from political strife

After a surfeit of elections

A time just for quiet reflection


We’ve endured the Scottish Referendum

The UK-wide General election

Soon we decide on our SNP’s

Will the EU poll bring us to our knees?


Perhaps the only ones who will be pleased

Are the school-kids thus from class released

No doubt the pollsters will be filled with joy

As their crystal balls they each employ


Anyway we should not complain

As protagonists join their campaign

Perhaps we should be sympathetic

And enjoy our life so democratic


Ken Fisher

The Life Re-Cycled

The Life Recycled



I don’t really mean to be irreverent

But just the other day as I was putting out our bins

I noted how important the concept of re-cycling had become

We can no longer just chuck all our disposable material

Into one multi-function receptacle – and shout good riddance to it


No doubt most of you will have, as a minimum,

A bin for garden waste, a bin of paper waste,

A bin for glass, a bin for food waste

And a general purpose bin for all the rest

And woe-betide if you use the wrong one!


Of course the earnest intention of all of this

Is that as much of our unloved detritus

Will form the basis of some kind of new creation

Having been subjected to a non-religious process of ‘reincarnation’

The essence of the old contained in the new!


This train of thought led on to my consideration

Of the rather more serious issue of the re-cycling of life

Perhaps, you care to give little thought to this

Just as most of us do not agonise over the bin routine

Perhaps this one life is more than enough anyway



But throughout history many major world faiths and ideologies

Have stressed the centrality of the concept of reincarnation

Not least the Hindu religion and the Buddhist belief in rebirth

And don’t forget the importance of karma

Which may decide the progression of rebirth


Anyway, not to be too profound or philosophical

The 21st century homo sapiens

Is not dismissive of the notion of recycling

Within this one present life we can be sure of

Can we self-upgrade to a better model?


Indeed it seems to me that the whole self-improvement industry

Is predicated on the idea that we can start with what we’ve got

And by a process of development and enhancement

We can recycle into a much improved model

A shiny new mind in a shiny new body!



Of course the difference here from the dust-bin model

Is that we don’t throw anything away

We transform it by effort and determination

A century ago ‘Pelmanism’ showed the way ahead

Today we are awash with new nostrums


So from the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Tai Chi

To modern Pilates and Zumba

And not just strictly ballroom!

Psychological cognitive therapies and Mindfulness

The gym recycled as the temple for worship


So here we are – don’t forget the bins

[Perhaps they are the most important source of health!]

But don’t forget yourself

You must not simply vegetate – you owe it to yourself

Let that new life begin today – without delay!




Ken Fisher


Hi Tech Walking

Hi Tech Walking [A comment following the recent celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the West End Christian Walking Club]



In simpler times, in days of yore,

when West End walkers closed their door,

and headed out into the bright

they generally travelled light


They took their bag, and woolly hat,

waterproof and this and that;

perhaps a scarf to warm their neck

but nothing of today’s high tech


The limits of their fancy gear,

comprised a hood to warm their ear;

no need for extra special kit,

except a trusty walking stick


But with the steady march of time,

to assist them in their trek or climb;

ensuring health in every foot,

more cash was spent to buy our boot.


Of course they didn’t simply buy one only,

they bought a pair, no foot went lonely;

no mountain was too hard to scale

as off they strode through hill and dale


As numbers grew to quite a size,

their Leader felt it would be wise,

when spread far out and looking gawkie,

they keep in touch by walkie-talkie


As years went by, a smarter phone,

arrived to help them as they roam;

near to home or even global,

help was at hand thanks to the mobile


So much for sound communication,

defining their exact location;

In this field the top “must have”

Is Glenda’s personal sat-nav





But walkers know my greatest mission,

to capture them in colour vision;

from Kodak film, to video tape,

No single walker could escape


Early photos weren’t so bad,

some when received made people glad,

but digital seems all pervasive,

no place to hide or be elusive


No matter their prevailing mood,

the camera has to intrude,

their “fancy had to have a tickle”,

when assaulted by the mega-pixel


When back at home, and at their screen,

to check e-mail on their machine,

ping goes the bell, “you have got mail”,

not from Ken Fisher, I hear them wail!


But there they are, each image clear

wanted or not, they have to bear,

recorded in sufficient clarity,

to be retained for all posterity


But in the end it is my plea,

that one and all will clearly see,

walks which have gone electronic,

might nonetheless be quite a tonic


And if they yearn for days of yore,

when things high-tech they could ignore,

they’d surely miss the image graphic,

which comes to them through data traffic.





Ken Fisher





We Are Short of a Sucker

We Are Short of a Sucker


For quite a while now we have felt lack of suction
‘Cause our old vacuum cleaner would no longer function
It would often blow out when it was meant to suck in
Which would suggest some deep conflict within

We stripped it down as best we could
And fiddled with bits that no lay person should
Screws were removed and dirt extricated
Just in case its internals were found constipated

But no matter how deeply its guts we did prod
It became ever clear that something was flawed
So today we agreed that despite all our stewardship
The machine’s only future was ‘off to the tip!’

So this afternoon we had to take an excursion
And purchased this lovely shiny new version
Initial trials of this modern domestic appliance
Confirm this is how one should apply science

Therefore let us hope all our dust problems are solved
As the Hoover Hurricane’s blades fastly revolve
And all dirt and grime will meet its due fate
This machine was designed to facilitate

Ken Fisher

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday




This is the day when we should confess all our sins

And thus duly shriven a new chapter begins

We must be open and honest in making confession

Pay our due penance and receive absolution


I fear that only those who are faithful and devout

Are willing and eager on their vices to speak out

After all, in our modern world, the sins of past days

Would hardly an eyebrow nowadays raise!


But that does not mean that a little reflection

Would make it clear we have not reached perfection

And taking the time to resolve to be better

Will not result in our pleasures being totally fettered


While on self-improvement we should contemplate

A little sweetener for all, we might advocate

And as Shrove Tuesday stands at the gate of Lent

We might find some feasting quite convenient


So let’s have a party with pancakes galore

Bring out all the goodies we have in our store

Put deadly sins behind – except perhaps gluttony

And cover those pancakes with sweet oceans of honey



Ken Fisher




Stop the Treadmill I want to Get Off


It has often been said, with a deal of regret

That life is a treadmill we must never forget

Great is the effort we expend every day

Hours of hard work and so little play


And yet we are told that’s how the world works

We must all do our share, no-one should shirk

On this collective effort the economy depends

Long working days and quite short weekends


Productivity must increase more every year

Falling short of the target is something to fear

More goods and services has become our new God

If a good standard of living we are to afford


This is all very well I hear you accede

But why must serving that treadmill become our new creed?

Surely our aim is not to live just to labour

But to enjoy all the pleasures a good life should savour


So let us remember to give the treadmill its place

But find enough time the ‘good life’ to embrace

And if this balance we then can achieve

Our lost contentment we might soon retrieve

Ken Fisher

While the Tempest Rages

While the Tempest Rages



Travellers gaze upwards with anxious glances

While branches come crashing to the ground

Double glazed windows assaulted by the gales

A test of strength for the garden shed and glasshouse

Birds circling as in a whirlpool below a lowering sky

Pedestrians angled acutely forward against the blast

Umbrellas outside-in, their twisted spokes fractured

Mothers grip their toddlers ever tighter

Children fail to circumnavigate the puddles

The lollipop man battles with his wayward sign

Motorists give wide berth to high-sided lorries

The A signs outside shops cartwheel across the pavement

Nervous passengers suspended in the terminal

Perhaps happy not yet to be whirling aloft

Ships at sea scurry for safe havens

Novice cruise passengers fail to find sea legs

Office workers plea for an early release

Lest they be marooned twixt work and home

College students simply lie abed – why bother?

Weather forecasters issue ominous warnings

More strident as they move from the Yellow

Through the Amber to the Red – Take Action!


But what action can we take?

As the Americans say

Let’s hunker down!

Calm is sure to return

Sadly, not yet!

Ken Fisher