I Thought It Was Only The Birds that Twitter

I Thought It Was Only the Birds that Twitter




In days gone by the ‘dawn chorus’ would stir us from our sleep
But nowadays it’s not just the birds but other things that tweet
Our mobile phones and tablets too disturb our gentle reverie
Their attention-seeking messages, a modern kind of slavery

So relentless beeps emit from these devices electronic
And frantically hit the airwaves at speeds quite ultrasonic
Our message to our followers defying all resistance
No barrier to its progress, no matter what the distance

Social networking has re-defined the meaning of ‘society’
In the past, it was people, in all their wide variety
But Twitter has now garnered beneath its brooding wings
All that each myriad tweeter to this network brings

Our avian friends who filled the air with dulcet whistling sounds
Have been usurped by tweeters who now the world surround
Endless short messages replace those tunes melodious
Making the ‘mood music’ somewhat less harmonious

But I suppose there is no way of turning back from progress
From the World Wide Web there is no likely chance of regress
So enjoy our feathered friends and their morning serenade
And the electronic tweeters who daily us cascade

Ken Fisher



Making Sense of Society

Making Sense of Society

Or what on earth is it all about?

[Perhaps an even more pertinent question following the EU Referendum result]


Each one of us, a soul alone
Yet life is no a solo performance
Born into a family – even if only ‘nuclear’
[perhaps nowadays dysfunctional]
Socialised through nursery and primary
Dragooned through the schooling process
Finished off in higher education
Launched out into “society”
Like debutantes of old seeking a good marriage

How can we understand this complicated world?
From infant’s baby chatter to literature’s lofty tomes
From simple fairy tales to the treasure chest
Of history, philosophy, all the humanities
And that pragmatic realm of science
Describing all from single atom to the universe at large
Then technology the mighty progeny of science
And all of these given order by the ideology of politics

How then do we make sense of all of this?
Is this not too much for our tiny mind
Perhaps the point is that we cannot
On our own make sense of society
Rather, the very existence of society
makes sense of us and of our place in it
And only as we play our part as citizens
Can society be to our mutual benefit

And so let us rather praise that we live
Not as hermits on some island paradise
But as valued members of some collective realm
Each contributing to the greater whole
Which is the blessing of civil society
Combining our efforts and our gains
And accepting some loss of identity
Within the larger whole and for the greater good

Ken Fisher

But what about Mrs Thatcher’s much quoted utterance:
“There is no such thing as society”

So why try to make sense of it anyway?

NOTE: IN THE 1980’S THE OPEN UNIVERSITY’S Social Science Foundation Course
had the title : Making Sense of Society

Decision Day [23 June 2016]

Decision Day [23 June 2016]


Although every day of our human span matters
Some days are more momentous
Perhaps not as significant as our birth day
Or our last day – for that matter
Nonetheless today – REFERENDUM DAY
Will be epoch-making

After all the arguments have been rehearsed
Ad nauseam, all the killer points thrust like arrows
From the politicians’ quiver.
All the heat generated from debate and argument
Rising into the clouds of confusion and bewilderment
We are left alone to make that choice – Remain or Leave?
Would the throw of a dice be just as cogent?

Some have a clear perception of how they should vote
Others may have been swayed by the rhetoric
To change earlier allegiances
Some, even at this late date, still undecided
But let’s hope they all turn up to cast their vote
It is their civic duty and hard won privilege

Well, wherever we make our X on that ballot paper
We will do it in hope
Hope that whatever be the final national verdict
That bruises inflicted in the fierce campaign
May be quickly healed, and calm restored
Hope that in the aftermath we might all come to terms
With whatever new reality confronts us each and all

Ken Fisher


Click to see my earlier poem on IN or OUT

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice


A glimpse of sunshine warms our heart
Flowers and leaves reflect the light
The gentle rays caress our brow
Our lips widen with a smile

For now the daytime stretches out
Filling each hour with gentle light
Dark days of winter long forgot
We rejoice in life outside

From this ‘crows nest’ of the year
We scan the horizon fore and aft
Behind long hours of winter gloom
Then spring pregnant with promise

Ahead the prospect of summer warmth
And autumn’s gold and russet tints
But winter’s spectre lurks beyond
Vaguely threatening summer’s peace

Ken Fisher


Barbecue Time!

Barbecue Time!

[In anticipation of the annual TRG BBQ]




Once again it’s time for our annual barbecue
Cheer up, it’s no day to be feeling blue
Let’s hope the sun will shine this year
And bring to all some needed cheer

If all goes well it should be great
Make sure you don’t arrive too late
Tempt your tum with tasty food
The chatter helps you to feel good

This year the weather may be kind
Helping each of us unwind
No heavy agenda to discuss
No leader to create a fuss

So, as we now anticipate
The sizzling burgers on our plate
Meat or veggie, make your choice
Don’t be shy, let’s hear your voice

We’ll try to ensure you’re satisfied
At least you’ll realise we tried
To bring to you a feast that’s hearty
Amidst a joyous festive party

Ken Fisher

The Scottish Borders Abbeys

The Scottish Borders Abbeys

The West End Christian Walking Club recently re-visited the Borders Abbeys Way and while we meandered in this beautiful countryside we were reminded of the ancient history of these venerable sites. This poem I had written after an earlier visit to the area


Melrose Abbey


The Scottish Borders Abbeys


The River Tweed meanders past these ancient piles
Whose history recalls their triumphs and their trials
Stretching back almost one thousand years
These now ruined structures testify to hopes and fears

Melrose Abbey, Scotland’s most famous ancient ruin
Built in 1136 this monastery a blessing and a boon
Founded by monks of the Cistercian order
Mighty King Robert’s heart it still doth harbour

In 1150 beside the flowing waters of the Tweed
Dryburgh Abbey was founded, God’s faithful there to feed
Premonstratensian canons-regular from Alnwick came
To build this great gothic structure to proclaim His name

Kelso Abbey’s ruins still stand proud
900 years of history thus endowed
Since 1128 when its founding monks first raised their prayer
Its now tranquil ruins witness to a life of love and care

Each of these rustic structures reminds us of the power
And steadfast faith which was their loving dower
To all who found within their halls
The sanctuary and peace of their protective walls



Ken Fisher





Have you ever stopped for a moment to think
about all the Materials that we use in the modern world
Nowadays there is a lot of interest in the wonders
of the Natural World and the environment
and the preservation thereof

And sometimes the production and extraction
of materials is seen as the enemy of nature
But unless we all wish to revert to a primitive
lifestyle, with no manufactured artifacts
the use and development of materials is vital

I suppose our awareness of materials began
when humankind developed the use of tools
to till the soil, and build shelters to live in
The discovery of the wheel must have been
a major breakthrough in development of mobility

And so we began to look around at Materials that
might prove useful in what we now call rather grandly
The Built Environment!

So here is a reminder of a few of the Materials – the list could be almost endless


Thank goodness for timber not just for the fire
So many creations wood can inspire
From beams for our roofs and planks for our floors
And carvings to decorate ancient church doors

Thank goodness for steel which shows such great strength
Upholding our structures, making ships for defence
Thanks goodness for plastic so strong and so light
Framing our specs and making them bright!

Thank goodness for textiles to wrap us up warm
For carpets and curtains our rooms to transform
For shiny ceramics making plates that are durable
And, of course, the convenience of the public urinal!

Thank goodness for glass that lets in the light
And in our lenses to improve weakening sight
And then there is rubber abundant in tyres
And now glass-fibre in broadband’s sleek wires

Then there’s brick and stone and perennial slate
Essential to builders, despite their great weight
And for our roads, little use without coatings of tar
On bumpy highways we would never get far

Of course paper has been vital to our modern existence
Decorating walls, for letters, its uses persistent
And dare I mention its use in personal hygiene
The greatest invention there ever has been!

And all those other metals like copper and zinc
And aluminium in the shape of our kitchen sink
Iron and nickel and lead for our pipes
Even silver and gold used by much richer types

There are those modern materials invented by science
Acrylics, PVC, polystyrene – to pack each appliance
By chemical wizardry new substances  grown
Using methods which previously were quite unknown

No doubt in the future we’ll use matter from space
Undiscovered products will become commonplace
So let’s give thanks for materials of infinite range
Whose application has brought to us such a great gain

Ken Fisher




A new word has appeared to describe the fact
That every young person must always react
With their mobile screens of whatever design
They worship as idols housed in a shrine

The new word is ‘screenagers’ but applies to all ages
And devotion to screens seems to infect at all stages
From tiny tots playing CBeebies games downloaded
To schools kids and students where Mindcraft has exploded

But grown men use screens throughout their busy lives
Keeping in touch with their kids and their wives
Mobile devices help us to deal with the homework
Knowledge unlimited on tap on the network

So phones have evolved and are ever so smart
Kindles and tablets play a significant part
Lap-tops and desktops are still much alive
Without PS4, Xbox and Nintendo we’d never survive

We have all become ‘screenagers’ in this age of the screen
They are part of our life, as much as caffeine
It makes one wonder how we lived life before
Without the screens – was life such a bore?

Well here we now are on Facebook and Twitter
New ways to keep our minds active and brains even fitter
So let us hope all these hours using computing devices
Will be a great  boon that’s hiding no vices

Ken Fisher