The Party Conference

The Party Conference

Have you noticed how the political party conferences
Have all the hallmarks of an old fashioned religious rally?

Speakers are primed to maximise the hype
And minimize the problems of every party policy
Prospects of a new utopia are revealed
To an expectant audience, eagerly receptive

Like seasoned preachers playing with the emotions
Slogans substitute for well-loved Bible texts
The committed are encouraged to have implicit faith
In the party apparatchiks, like disciples of old

The conferences are rallying points for the likeminded
But that is not to say there is never dissent
For sometimes festering internal disputes
Can be aired and wounds inflicted in internecine strife

And of course the press and media tribe run riot
Picking fights with politicians and holes in every pledge
Demonstrating virility in unbridled antagonism
All in the name of greater awareness and public accountability

But the dominant theme of the party conference
Is unity of aspiration, solidarity in action,
Determination to defeat the opposition
And ultimate triumph of the common purpose

After all is said and done, the aim is
To ensure that the delegates go forth
Single-minded, convinced of the virtue of their cause
And determined to manifest their version of a better world

Ken Fisher


Freedom (for National Poetry Day 2017)

Freedom (for National Poetry Day 2017)

On this the national poetry day, Freedom is the theme
For many this is our reality, for others just a dream
Although no-one lives without limit or constraint
Our bonds and strictures bring no real ground for complaint

Freedom is a high ideal, a noble aspiration
Of democracy it is judged to be the very firm foundation
As with egality and fraternity, three virtues fundamental
In pursuit of good governance these are elemental

But not only in lofty ideals and concepts philosophical
Freedom matters to us in things mundane and practical
The liberty to go where and when we please
To choose to work and how to take our ease

Freedom of speech, to declare the truth, express our own opinion
Whether the highest authority or a simple humble minion
Freedom to worship, to assemble together, to move about the land
All forms of slavery or coercion we always should withstand

But in pursuit of this worthy paradigm we must remain alert
In defending our freedom, the rights of others we ne’er should subvert
Because true liberty demands mutual love and respect
Only thus can we aspire our fragile freedom to protect

Ken Fisher


The ‘Flu Jab [2017 Version]

The ‘Flu Jab [2017 Version]



Don’t you just love it – this time of year?
That NHS reminder that can fill you with fear
It’s time once again to do as directed
And make sure from ‘flu you are fully protected

Not everyone receives this summons from high
But it applies to me – I admit with a sigh
The vaccine comes to us completely free
So take it manfully and don’t try to flee

If you are over the age of sixty-five
They will have checked your name in their archive
Unless you’re a pregnant lady, or overweight
It’s most unlikely that you can escape

It would appear that this year I can get extra protection
From ‘flu and from shingles, a nasty inflammation
So like the supermarket, the surgery is giving BOGOF*
That from these dual hazards I might well get off

If your immune system is somewhat suspect
They will be even keener your arm to inject
And if around the waist there is too much flab
They might puncture it all with the bold ‘flu jab!

Of course we should not complain of this annual ritual
Intended to ensure that we remain fitter
And withstand the dangers of those nasty bugs
That seem to behave like micro-sized thugs

So when the message arrives to make the appointment
Make sure the nurse receives no disappointment
Get along to the surgery and bare your best arm
It will do you much good and surely no harm

Ken Fisher

  • BOGOF = Buy one get one free [except that both of these are free!]

Autumn Fruits

Autumn Fruits

[Newly harvested from our garden]


Caressed by raindrops
Chilled by winter frosts
Kissed by sunbeams
Cooled by gentle breezes
Coaxed to maturity

Month by month
From bud to fruit
Bramleys burgeon
Until they can no longer
Defy gravity

And their goodness
Cascades down on us
To titillate the palate
In tasty tarts and
And crunchy apple crumble

Such joy!

Ken Fisher



Unfettered Catastrophizing

Unfettered Catastrophizing
[One man’s description of our press and media]

No such thing as Good Tidings of Great Joy
News only news if it conveys catastrophe
That’s the creed that editors live by
News only news if it trumpets calamity

A world serene, characterized by peace
Not news unless interrupted by disaster
A diet of accident, fire, bloodshed and disease
Such graphic scenes described by the newscaster

Of course we know we cannot deny life’s tragedy
The press does have a moral duty to report
To sanitize news bulletins would of course be calumny
But is it not surprising how little good news they exhort?

Must our media ever resort to catastrophizing?
Every incident, every misdemeanor, every commotion
Showcased into something quite tantalizing
Designed to evoke the strongest of emotion

Shock, horror, the watchwords of our press
Perhaps this is the dying cry of a threatened tribe
The slant of their news reveals their own distress
In a world which increasingly ignores the scribe.

Ken Fisher

Plus ca Change, Plus c’est la Meme Chose

Plus ca Change, Plus c’est la Meme Chose

‘the more it changes, the more it remains the same’

Nothing new under the sun, we sometimes declare
Because what appears to be new is already there
And when confronted with what we’re told is new
We suddenly experience a flash of déjà vu’

Doubtless we are surrounded by never ending change
Without it life would indeed be rather strange
But frequently we have inwardly reflected
Newness is just the old, believed to be perfected

And sometimes that perfection is not quite achieved
Leaving us feeling somewhat cheated, even deceived
Eventually it dawns upon us that what is claimed as change
Is simply a revival and much remains the same

Perhaps we should be just a little hesitant
Of novelty hailed as completely without precedent
On closer examination we may find that sometime in the past
This latest idea or gizmo had been claimed unsurpassed

But if something from former times had been so highly prized
Its reappearance in another form should no-one surprise
Thus ‘plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ should still be acclaimed
Proving the worth of continuity in a world of change

Ken Fisher


Hic et Nunc

Hic et Nunc

[Here and Now]

Here and now that’s all there is
Past and future don’t exist
As past is gone so let it be
Future we can not yet see

Let not shadows from the past
Cause our mind to be downcast
Nor foreboding for what’s ahead
Keep us wakeful while abed

Here and now is all that’s real
At its altar let us kneel
For hic et nunc we bring our praise
And seek to live in all our days

Ken Fisher


Repeat Prescription

Repeat Prescription


Those of us of a certain age are by now quite familiar
With receiving from the doctor, nurse, or someone similar
A repeat prescription for all those many pills and potions
We take to aid our health and locomotion

But I wonder if we ever stop to think how much our daily living
Might be described as a repeat prescription, a routine unforgiving
The pattern of each day or week prescribed so regularly
That month-by-month and year-by-year it really does not vary

Of course stated thus it all seems boring and confining
A straightjacket of a life, imprisoned and constraining
But is there any virtue in our regular routines?
Although we are all human, not merely dull machines

So the life prescribed by a regimen of work and play
Such that we find satisfaction in the passing of each day
Carpe Diem – seize the day might be the best watchword
The aim and motivation by which our life is spurred

Thus rather than feeling enslaved by the repeat prescription
We should rejoice that life is truly not conscription
But freedom to choose how each day and hour be filled
In no way determined by our daily dose of pills

Ken Fisher

The Brink

The Brink

The world seems to go on its merry way largely undisturbed
Yet in the background we are aware of standing on the brink
Is this not quite unreal, should not our minds be more perturbed?
Can deep passions not be set aside thus giving time to think

Most of the world’s inhabitants go about their daily round
The rich amassing wealth, the poor struggling to survive
And millions in-between caught up in life’s merry-go-round
But what e’er their lot they rightly expect to remain alive

But as powerful national leaders confront each other eye to eye
Realisation begins to dawn how fragile is the way ahead
The challenging rhetoric will only magnify
Menacing words are flaunted as warheads

But this is no computer war game, this is for real
Let’s put away all illusion and face stark facts
The world stands on the brink, to humanity we appeal
Together we must quickly find the way to step back

This will not be easy, when threats and counter threats abound
National pride and need for compromise play equal part
But each side must learn how to give ground
To wrestle these protagonists apart

We pray that heightened passions might soon subside
That the world could breathe easy once again
And the hostility that great nations so divides
Common sense, if not love, might constrain

Ken Fisher

WDTM? [What does that mean?]

[What Does That Mean?]

WDTM is shorthand for What Does That Mean?
When we are trying to make sense of something we’ve seen
Or heard someone say, or maybe we’ve read
Which leaves us confused and quite often misled

A chapter in a text book that is required reading
Such obscure words, comprehension impeding
Or a professor whose lectures don’t throw any light
And preachers who vaguely hint at your impending plight!

Legal jargon is frequently quite impenetrable
Insurance renewals equally unintelligible
The instructions for assembly of any flat-pack
We must be smart if their secrets we’d crack

Guidance to fix a puncture on a modern car
Our mechanical awareness is really stretched far
Even setting a post code address on the new sat nav
Requires more savvy than most of us have

Have we ever tried a digital radio to programme?
It demands more awareness than an old wireless ham
Equally I  find the handbook for an alarm clock
Can give the uninitiated quite a nasty shock

What about the manual for the flat screen TV set?
It can easily bring us out in quite a cold sweat
All its options for timers and downloads galore
And too many choices that we mostly deplore

In completing Tax Returns for the HMRC
We must always be as honest as we can be
But our attempts at the truth can easily be thwarted
As the language of their questions is so very turgid

At any time have you tried to make sense
Of those paragraphs that are ever so intense
In contract conditions expounding the law
Or warnings from banks if you dare overdraw

Which reminds me of messages sent out from the bank
I know they will claim they are just being frank
How many paragraphs does it need to explain
If you cash in early that ISA there will be no gain

The same problems arise if you feel bold enough
To enter the realm of social media and all that guff
Setting yourself up on  Twitter, Facebook or Google plus
Is rarely achieved without a great deal of fuss

In all these situations we are increasingly confused
Words spoken or written simply leave us bemused
The recurring question is What Does That Mean?
To receive an answer to this we are really keen

Perhaps the problem is that we are awash with information
So many words thrown at us just leads to frustration
We need time to make sense of all that we are told
There is little doubt we’re at the information threshold

So when we receive any message, we should readily enquire
What does it say, what facts need we acquire?
And if we can make little sense of the communication
We should take early steps for its extirpation

W D T M ? should be our clarion call
Clarity from the message should be the demand from us all
Make them say what they mean, and truly mean what they say
Thus a clear message to us all they might surely convey

Ken Fisher

September Moon

September Moon

September moon shines brightly in the sky
Heralding that Autumn time is nigh
Harbinger of harvest’s bounteous yield
From farmers’ labours in extensive fields

Moonlight illuminates the ripened crops
Nurtured by sun’s rays and soft raindrops
Then daybreak signals time to gather in
The just reward that their sore efforts win

Ken Fisher