Advent-ure

Adventure [To mark the moving, on the first Sunday in Advent,  of Hillhead Baptist Church, Glasgow to temporary accommodation in a West End Hotel]

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This is the tale of our church that is now on the move
From the building which for years was the home that we loved
But time has come to embark on a venture
Which perhaps for many will prove an adventure

For long we have waited the signal to go
And with anticipation our hearts were aglow
At last it would seem the conditions are right
The congregation together will join in the flight

But we are not flying far, thank goodness for that
Just a few hundred yards to the Welcome mat
Of a local hotel with doors open wide
Happy to let us gather inside

On this first Sunday in the Advent Season
I think we will find there is every good reason
To look forward in joyful anticipation
Like the Shepherds of old, full of expectation

So let’s join the Adventure with no hesitation
No doubts in our hearts or prevarication
No matter the changes we’re sure we will cope
For trusting in God we truly have hope

As we depart from the Tryst and take to the road
To the place we have chosen as our temporary abode
This adventure is sure to bring us success
As by faith’s road we onward progress

Ken Fisher

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Black Friday

Black Friday

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Black Friday has arrived,
Indeed it seems to have been here all week
This mad scramble for bargains
Gives birth to rugby scrums in shopping malls
And melt-down on computer networks
As search engines and eager bargain-hunters
Hit the town centres and the web browsers

I wonder if this whole exercise has some cathartic purpose
Pent-up emotions being released in some orgasmic frenzy
But who stirred up the desire in the first place?
Did we harbour some deep repressed longing to buy, buy, buy
Or was it the wiles and blandishments of the advertisers
On behalf of the retailers in their constant need for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
We are assured that today will produce record-breaking turnover
Shops may be crammed with customers
And the on-line trade will ensure the white-van army
Of delivery agents will shift the goods from anonymous
Warehouses up and down the land, to your door and mine
And we will jump for joy at the ring on our door bell!

Happy shopping!

Ken Fisher

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping

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You may not know that the useful art of keeping the books
Is more important that it might at first look
For business records play a most vital part
In ensuring the company can still remain smart

The origin of bookkeeping is lost in antiquity
But down the centuries it provided security
The Babylonians’ records were written on slabs
Much later the Italians, on papyrus kept tabs

Early systems of bookkeeping could let things go astray
But perfection was reached with double-entry
For every debit entry there must be a credit
A method that proved to have endless merit

Thus evolved the set of ‘books’ containing the facts
The Day Books and Journals which were used to keep track
Of items that then to the Ledger were posted
An important manual in which all data was hosted

From the books we derived all the Account Balances
Quite comprehensive, even showing the absences
Thus the Trial Balance revealed the state of the firm
Its accurate records we thus might confirm

From the Trial Balance we construct the Final Accounts
Trading, and Profit & Loss aggregate all the amounts
And thus the Balance Sheet will show how we’ve performed
And of success or failure we are clearly informed

For many years all this recording work was done by hand
But the march of progress bookkeeping could not withstand
And in due time the records were swallowed by clever machines
At first mechanical devices, then shiny computerised screens

But no matter what systems developed to keep business books
However sophisticated the new reports looked
The fundamentals have not really much changed
Although the presentation may have been rearranged

There is of course a hierarchy of bookkeeping staff
The humble clerk, whose job may seem quite naff
Probably now re-named as data entry clerk
Still a valuable element of bookkeeping work

But we must not confuse the efforts of lower grade staff
With Accountants who interpret the data with graphs
As they will claim their work is highly professional
Keeping their reputation has become somewhat obsessional

The Accountants’ relationship with the bookkeeping system
Is to apply all their knowledge and accumulated wisdom
To decipher the data and offer advice
All of which is provided at considerable price!

Accountants come in a variety of hues
Cost and Management specialists we should not confuse
With those Chartered Accountants who clearly would claim
They have reached the peak of the Accountancy game

This poem is a tribute to all those who keep books
That our financial property is still as real as it looks
And that entries in records held by millions of firms
Still the genuine facts for us truly confirm

Ken Fisher

 

 

New Every Morning

New Every Morning

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When I stir from fretful sleep, thoughts churning at the opening day
How quickly does my mind recall the worries, fears along the way
Which pained my heart the night before and readily did steal my peace
And from this turmoil of the mind no easy flight or cheap release

And yet as I wake and come again to consciousness
I realize that this new day is given by God who richly promises
That every thought and deed may His good gifts reflect
He grants us life and health and all our ways affects

And as the hymn enjoins us to recall, the trivial round, the common task
Hallowed by His love is all we ask
The opportunity to show forth by our deeds
Our love for others, gracious care for each one’s needs

So each new day let’s make it our resolve that every care
Each task, each duty prompt our earnest prayer
That thus our lifetime’s daily story
May reflect on our Lord and bring Him glory

For life is lived in steps of one brief day
Thus we progress along our chosen way
So as each day provides a chance anew
Lets walk with God who can make all things new

Ken Fisher

Remembrance

Remembrance

This poem was posted at the same time last year.
We hope that this year we might still remain
optimistic about the future
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Today’s a time for remembering
Thinking back to those dark days of war
When life was uncertain for all
And for some, death was an imminent prospect

But few living today have much memory
Of the years of conflict when hostilities raged
And although warfare still encircles the world
Our experience of it is mediated by TV images

And yet we have an uncomfortable feeling
That despite efforts to unite the nations
There is a persistent climate of arm-wrestling
Between the great powers who eyeball each other

The Cold War brought with it the four-minute-warning
Not long to compose our minds for oblivion!
But presently, although we hope our future might stretch for decades,
We cannot quite eliminate the nagging uncertainty for our destiny

However, for today, we give thanks
For all those who bought our freedom
And pledge to strive to maintain
Such fragile peace as we possess

Ken Fisher

Get Over It!

Get Over It!

[Written on the day when the Presidential Election Result came through]

 

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For some it will be welcome news
For others a bad attack of blues
For many it brings satisfaction
For others, a severe adverse reaction

But however now you may be feeling
A great result, or unappealing
With dear Donald we must cope
So don’t despair, don’t give up hope

Let’s pray that time will moderate
And reflection mitigate
Extreme threats made of drastic action
May be subject to redaction

Democracy has chosen its way
The nation’s voters had their say
So in the end we can’t complain
Of what will follow in its train

Trump will soon be President
A fact that some no doubt resent
But he has pledged greatness again
Which by his deeds he will sustain

So if we regard this as bad news
With all our liberal-minded views
Please don’t simply throw a fit
Just grit your teeth, Get Over It!

Ken Fisher

God Bless America

God Bless America 

(Written on polling day 8 Nov 2016)

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Let’s hope that whatever

The outcome of today’s Presidential

Election brings

 

That when all the

Verbal skirmishing is over

All the scaremongering

And predictions of doom

Have died away

 

That this great nation

May find a renewed calm

A restored poise

A relaxed confidence

 

That it might once again

Take its place

As the supreme paradigm

Of democratic rule

 

 

 

 

Ken Fisher

 

As a Revolutionary Guy Fawkes Was Relatively Tame!

As a Revolutionary Guy Fawkes Was Relatively Tame!

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Who can doubt the treachery of Guy Fawkes in days of yore
As audacious as any revolt that had come before
To kill King James and those then sitting in Parliament
Was the purpose on which these bold plotters were bent

But the plotters were ‘foxed’ when the cellars were checked
And their malicious intentions did not go unchecked
Thus failed the plan to divert history’s direction
With the death of those who foment disaffection

Fast forward from those events of 1605
The desire for reform is still much alive
Perhaps gunpowder no longer the agent of change
Other forces at play can  our lives rearrange

Politics, the modern weapon whereby changes are wrought
Citizens express their desires through the ballot box
So elections now ignite the volatile spark
Resulting in changes that may be quite stark

The referenda can trigger demands quite explosive
As feelings are stirred making tempers emotive
Demands for freedom from the yoke of the oppressor
Those perceived of our rights to have been the transgressor

And so on the  European Question there was little doubt
Deeply divided opinion on whether IN or OUT
Brexit may result in such far-reaching change
Who yet knows if these will be losses or gains?

While at this time of year Guy Fawkes may be fondly recalled
We’re not so sure with Nigel Farage we are quite so enthralled!
But one thing is sure, changes will come, and we’ll have to cope
So keep your powder dry and don’t give up hope

Ken Fisher

Soft Focus

Soft Focus

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Why do we want everything to be in sharp focus?
Always clear-cut, no ambivalence, no equivocation
When our lives are more characterized by light and shade
As if we are peering through a pervasive mist

Of course there are situations where clarity is essential
How much do I have to pay? What time do I check in?
On what dates can I take my holiday?
When will I be entitled to the Sate Pension?

But much of life is less precise or predictable
What course should I study? What career to pursue?
Where might I live in the future? What can I afford?
Will I find a life partner? Do I want to!

And so perhaps it is as well to accept that a soft focus
On future events is the best we can expect
This is not just some simple fatalism
But an acceptance we have no crystal ball

And sometimes I think that a soft focus
Is useful when advocating one opinion or another
On so many topics which divide the world
Dare I mention Religion and Politics – two prime candidates

But others would say this camera aberration on vital matters
Is a cop-out. Tighten up the focus – tweak the lens
There are right opinions and wrong ones – make no mistake
It only requires clarity of thought to get us off the fence

And in yet another aspect of living perhaps the soft focus
Would serve us best. In the matter of criticism of others
Their failures, their inadequacies, their incompetence
And to crown it all – they don’t seem to care a whit!

Well perhaps some of these observations are valid
But how do we handle it? Decrying all in its stark reality
Or taking a more reasonable stance, softening the focus
And realizing our judgments too quick, our verdict too harsh

So this is my plea for the soft focus approach
Let us accept that we cannot ever know the whole truth
And even where we feel we have right on our side
Let blurred vision engender tolerance

Ken Fisher