The Apple

The Apple




The Apple is an historic fruit
Clutched in the hand of Eve
Tempting Adam against his good
When that serpent did deceive

The Apples of our modern age
Unlike those of Eden
No longer arouse our God’s rage
When tempted to be eaten

But that we too may be beguiled
By this choice fruit, so sweet
Ripened by the sun’s warm smile
Consummation thus complete

Ken Fisher






What does one say about the Car-rot?
Perhaps right now just not a–lot!
In the past it made its mark
So bomber pilots saw in the dark
Coloured orange and with a shape that tapers
Ready to dance or some other capers
Sometimes linked with the proverbial stick
It’s meant to coax us to go quick
The stick instead being used to prod
Not something that we need applaud
The carrot is a root vegetable
The roots being eminently edible
The carrot is a biennial plant
It takes two long years its fruits to grant
But when it’s ready to eat or cook
It mixes well with meat or soup
But if you don’t fancy stewing steak
Carrots make a tasty cake
So although the carrot may not rise to fame
We should this humble veg acclaim
And if you want to stay alive
Count it in your daily five!
Ken Fisher

What We Think and What We Do

What We Think and What We do

[Belief and Action – are they a unity?]


I am sure there are many who would claim that
Your beliefs DO make you a better person
And many too who would caution us that some beliefs
Can be the motivation for behaviour which
Is ANYTHING BUT GOOD and will never make you better

However I think at the heart of this pithy aphorism
There is an assumption that there is something
We can agree is ‘Good Behaviour’
Although religion is not necessarily its inspiration
But that by demonstrating that behaviour
In our daily living experience
We are therefore a better person

One other point
How do we know what beliefs a person holds?
More often than not their beliefs are shown in what they
Say and what they Do.
But we note that sometimes the words of their lips
Don’t match up with the actions in their life

So what to do?
Should we say nothing and avoid being a hypocrite?
Should we do nothing so that our behaviour is unjudged?
Surely not! Let’s just get on with life
Trying to ensure our beliefs yield actions for the greater good
And who knows – we might yet be seen to be a better person

Ken Fisher

Caution – You Are Approaching the End of the Conveyor!

Caution – You Are Approaching the End of the Conveyor!



The other day in the supermarket I received that verbal caution
Approaching the top of the conveyor belt you have to slow down the motion
It made me think about life itself as it takes us forever forward
Day follows day no matter what as time pushes ever onward

Most of the time on life’s conveyor belt we are happy enough to comply
‘Cause more often that not to those passing events we are pleased to wave goodbye
And as the progression of time moves only one way, as the calendar ticks off each day
We learn to accept whatever good fortune or bad we meet upon the way

But as the years pass by from hopeful youth to old age increasingly feeble
We might notice a trend to dolefulness, our life somewhat less gleeful
So what we must do is to accept what life brings in its time-bound conveyor
And acquire the wisdom to slow down enough and thus every moment savour

Ken Fisher

A Row of Little Clothes Pegs

A Row of Little Clothes Pegs

[Let’s hope you don’t find this too risqué, perhaps it’s summer madness!]




A row of little clothes pegs hanging on the line
Firmly clinging to your pants and those boxer shorts of mine
It’s amazing how close these personal items get
As in the swirling wash they excitedly gyrate

A sure sign of our togetherness is readily displayed
As our smalls cling together when on the line they swayed
It’s just as well they’re all pegged on as otherwise they’d knot
As in frenzied abandon they surely would be caught

So the humble peg upon the line helps order to maintain
As the washing slowly dries, and our modesty regained
Thus our clean clothes again display a due regard of fashion
And some would say a bulwark against unbridled passion

Yes the pegs upon the washing line might be deemed symbolic
Of control restored again after some titillating frolic
But surely all these thoughts are really somewhat fanciful
And the purpose of the peg is not Freudian but practical!

Ken Fisher


The Enigmatic Smile

The Enigmatic Smile

[Apologies for a rather longer offering in this post]


The smile of the Mona Lisa is said to be ‘enigmatic’

In seeking meaning for our lives great thinkers of the ages past
Have sought to help us to reflect on our brief span while here on earth
That having travailed in this world, and as our days stretch to their last
We may in time proclaim our little life has had some worth

The Socratic message helped to show us how to be
Plato, to the notion of the ideal form, a yardstick and a perfect guide
Aristotle claimed that through ethics we can be free
Augustine, that by freewill, into evil we may slide

And so down the years one long great noble procession
Of heroic thinkers, ready to direct our thoughts and mind
Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche in succession
Earnest seekers, men of faith and doubts of every kind

Of course for years we searched for meaning through astronomy
How life began, how it might end, our earnest quest sustains
The universe the heart of all cosmology
Our unrelenting search for purpose still remains

Then followed on the rise of science and technology
A brave new world which questioned all belief
Measured all our deeds in terms of each new ‘ology’
In sociology, or psychology we’re sure to find relief

There can be little doubt that science’s great progression
Has brought for millions release from ills and deprivation
But oddly in the minds of many remains a feeling of depression
The benefits of knowledge yet to prove our sure salvation

Perhaps fears raised by anxious thoughts on world ecology
Have tempered hubris borne of all these gains
The warnings raised by experts in meteorology
Foreboding life that offers unremitting pain

However, notwithstanding all hidden cares and apprehension
A new nostrum to ensure our fears are kept at bay
From that great power house of new invention
Yes Uncle Sam – the mighty U S of A!

It seems odd that despite centuries of deep reflection
Mankind had not stumbled on this simple and reliable solution
But in the nineteen fifties, after some introspection
Of thinking habits, a great new revolution!

You’ve heard of it before – you know it must be good
Cast aside all doubts, no need for bingeing or for drinking
This new solution to depression and low mood
None other than the Power of Positive Thinking!

Earlier versions of this brand achieved great fame
I think especially of ‘New Thought’ – you know of it as ”Christian Science”
Mary Baker Eddy, the promoter of its name
Illness could be cured by thought and body in alliance

But the 20th Century variant met even more acclaim
Its great advocate Norman Vincent Peale, shared its enormous potential
That “positive thought” was not just a punchy name
Its message soon hugely influential

And so sidelining the wisdom of the philosophical ‘giants’
Economists, political theorists, theologians and purveyors of such complex notions
The new peddlers of “Happiness” were soon to regale their clients
With joy untold to counter each and every dark emotion

The positive psychology movement, was cast by some as simply magic
Though many claimed it’s weakness was a certain lack of rigour
And others said to trust its simplistic dictates could prove tragic
But despite all that its growth throughout the West has shown great vigour

The advocates of living life with an ever-ready smile
Not just on the face, but in the heart each hour and every day
Proclaim life will prove for us to be so much more worthwhile
In illness, or any kind of trial, our fears it will allay

In the affluent West a new industry has been born – the speaker motivational
Their task to encourage all the staff – especially those who’re disaffected
To meet each demand and need that’s organisational
And if they can’t then very soon they will be disconnected

In illness too, no matter that the diagnosis is quite dire
And the only future looks extremely bleak
Positive thought demanded thus to lift you from the mire
It’s your duty not to show that you are weak

Of course there are considerations other than just health
Who wouldn’t be positive about gaining much more cash?
It’s claimed that smiling is the thing to attract so much more wealth
Just visualise and it’s sure to come – there’s no need to be rash

But while we’re on the matter of our money and all that we hold dear
It has been claimed the credit crunch and everything to follow
Was caused by a smiling self-deception ‘gainst our inner fear
Which makes rictus acquiescence somewhat hollow

And so from my simple thesis you’ve had just a tiny glance
Of all that can be gained by positive emotion,
Protected ‘gainst the vagaries of risk and capricious chance
Your duty now to make quite sure your smiles will gain promotion

So what then is the final word – negative thought an equal danger?
Perhaps we need to monitor our thoughts to find the middle way
For when reality and truth become to us a stranger
Then surely false emotion only will hold sway



And now I am tempted to add a codicil to my earlier musings
As more recent concepts in this field have now arisen
I hope this will not lead to even more confusion
And ensure that our thinking will never us imprison

But rather bring  freedom through deep mediation
Guided by TM* or Mindfulness based concepts
We may readily accept our own living emotions
Threats to our peace we thus learn to contest

And thus through the means of such cognitive therapies
We might learn to cope in the maelstrom of our life
Finding a measure of calm and serenity
Heralding peace and negating all our strife

Ken Fisher

*TM Transcendental Meditation

[Reflections based on the book “Smile or Die” by Barbara Ehenreich]







Exam Results – Congratulations and Commiserations

Exam Results

Congratulations and Commiserations



In Scotland today comes the hour of great trepidation
As candidates await with some consternation
For the message to wing its way from on high
From those who your scripts have to classify

Nowadays you don’t have to wait for the post
Texts and emails reach the land coast to coast
But if you prefer the news by simple snail mail
I hope the results don’t make you turn pale

As in the past there will be those filled with joy
And others who think their hopes are destroyed
Quite a few will feel a great sense of relief
Yet others whose message seems beyond belief

So whatever the news that you receive on this day
For good or ill, or perhaps just some shade of grey
Take it calmly and look onwards to what to do next
There are so many choices, so don’t be perplexed

Ken Fisher

The Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran



Beauty and grandeur set in the silver sea
The Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde
The Brodick Ferry lands us safely on its shores
Opening the gate to this world of charms

From the lofty peak of Goat Fell’s rocky summit
Down steep sided slopes through its many glens
To the shoreline’s sandy beaches and buzzing towns
Or seek spiritual renewal at the Holy Island

The rural paths for walkers and for climbers
Testing terrain for energetic cyclists
Golf courses in excess and every other sport
Accommodated within this isle’s circumference

Brodick Castle showcases the life aristocratic
While seaside pubs and shops cater for us plebs
But none feel excluded in this land of infinite variety
Which for centuries has welcomed all who come

So thanks to the residents of Brodick, Lamlash and Whiting Bay
The ‘northerners’ at Lochranza and their other ferry
And the denizens of Pirnmill, Machrie and Blackwaterfoot
Who face across the Sound of Kilbrannan to distant Kintyre

To all the sights and sounds of this majestic isle
We beckon those who have not yet here ventured
Come and discover all that Arran offers to your soul
And let your heart be captivated in its spell

Ken Fisher

Chequer Board

A chequer board pattern to our life

P1060789 (1)

Life might sometimes be compared to a chequer board
Although this pattern seems to taper to the centre
Experiences classified in grey or black and sometimes blue
Perhaps this is altogether a motif far too rigid

And yet its regularity brings some reassurance
As we trace our way across the squares, we know
what’s coming next – nothing unpredictable
All uncertainty safely averted

But would we not soon be overwhelmed by boredom
If the progression of our days hardly ever varied?
But just trace a different course from the usual
Let your eye move towards the top of this display

The squares then seem to shrink, not just because of perspective
Perhaps as our years increase our vision too contracts
Our focus narrows, our outlook on the world begins to pucker
We return to childhood’s concentration on ourself

So let’s rejoice in regularity and order
But in our quest for stability in daily life
Still welcome those surprising moments
When serendipity comes to us unannounced

Ken Fisher