Track Your Parcel

Track Your Parcel

A mounting feeling of anticipation
Wondering when it will arrive
There is no need for desperation
Without it we have so far survived

In times past we simply waited
Till the postman rang our bell
Gazing at the pane frustrated
Arrival time we can’t foretell

The modern world is so high tech
Now we trace it on its way
Aware of delay or bottleneck
Beeps can trigger hope or dismay

But sometimes promises are broken
Dashing all our expectations
Bell rings and our door we open
Looking out full of impatience

But all we find is our Window Cleaner
Wanting paid and Christmas tip
Of parcel van he’s not the driver
Bearing our much hoped for gift

So when you order goods on-line
Remember hitches can arise
Predictions may be undermined
To remain uncertain my be wise

However, imagine how it made as marvel
When our neighbour at our door arrives
Bearing our illusive parcel
She had received to her surprise!

Ken Fisher




Mysterious alchemy
In its absence
All is darkness
Sight rendered impotent
Unless this radiation
Stimulates our eyes

Sunlight brings
Warmth and illumination
The nurturing of all life

Artificial light
Chases away the darkness
Defying its terrors
Allaying our fears

From guttering candle
To light gantries on stadia
Searchlights and dazzling TV studios

Spot lights, tube lights, headlights, side lights
Torch lights, lamp lights, street lights
Incandescent and fluorescent
Up-lighters, down-lighters
Fairy lights on Christmas trees
All conspire to dominate the gloom

Ancient light
A right to light
not to be obstructed

The speed of light
No matter can exceed


Both wave and particle
The photon a quantum of
The unknowable phenomenon

Ken Fisher

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday is about to dawn
Indeed it seems never to have gone
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 quest for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
We are assured that Friday 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



Artwork That Claims No Meaning!

Artwork That Claims No Meaning


Does an artwork always have to have a meaning?
Does a picture always need to make some sense?
Must every sculpture stimulate our feelings?
Must the artist conspire in this pretence?

Perhaps it is the observer who is conspiring
And is unwilling to admit no understanding
As he falsely claims the work is so inspiring
Fearful others regard it as outstanding

Of course the appreciation of art is quite subjective
What I admire, you simply may despise
It may depend on personal perspective
What you find distasteful I might highly prize

It was however quite refreshing to discover
That the creator of a public work of art
Did not leave the viewers full of wonder

Ken Fisher

[Note the painting above this poem is not the artwork to which I refer.
The artwork was a wall mural (in brick, stone and metal) at the Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Cafe]

Survey Monkey!

Survey Monkey


Get the facts! Count the numbers! With these you can’t go wrong!
And “facts are cheils that winna ding, and downa be disputed”*
So to prove the case with solid facts surely won’t take long
Our source of truth and accuracy cannot be refuted

But having taken time and effort the data all collected
Collated all the inputs, calculations duly performed
We find our conclusions in reality not reflected
As if our research still leaves us misinformed

Could this be because the questions make no sense?
Or our analysis contrived the real results to distort
We shouldn’t really need to offer pleas in our defence
As the numbers surely will our case support

Pollsters’ forecasts now result in consternation
Apparently unable to accurately predict
Despite all that deep interrogation
Somehow reality they fail to depict

So when to the results of surveys we appeal
We surely ought to exercise due caution
The answers given may not mirror how people feel
Rationality given way to emotive reaction?

Ken Fisher

*”Facts are chiels that winna ding “ = Facts are fellows that
will not be overturned. From A Dream – Robert Burns 1786

Cautionary Sign

Cautionary Sign


A sign that brings us little cheer
Just apprehension, I still fear
It is crumbling at the edges
Like some approaching life’s later stages!

But perhaps this is a message too depressing
Life in old age not all distressing
Hopefully we enjoy the wisdom of the years
And happy memories dispel our tears

Content with the contribution we have made
The roles in life that we have played
In support to family and our friends
Who o’er the years on us depend

We pray for grace to demonstrate
In all of life, however late
The joys that can be ours each day
As we progress along its way

And even as this sign might crumble
Cautioning us to remain humble
It’s not a signal of despair
‘Cause true  hope abounds everywhere

Ken Fisher

The Bible – A Guide to Life?

The Bible – A Guide to Life?

[A sonnet]


What is this tome revered from ancient days?
The story of mankind from Eden’s primal dawn
Law given to the tribes to guide them in their ways
God’s presence near at hand, at times withdrawn
Lives of Kings and patriots, prophets even slaves
Warfare, division and internecine strife
Trials by famine, pestilence and plague
Under God’s burning sun they lived out life
Tales of heroes, giant killers, suffering servants
We discover all that reflects humanity’s condition
Flawed leaders, faithful women, righteous peasants
God’s provision, eternal love, abiding protection
In testaments old and new His dealings are revealed
Breach between creator and created is thus healed

Ken Fisher


History – ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’

It was apparently Henry Ford who sagely declared
That “History was just one damned thing after another”
And I don’t think there is any way we can refute that
Because we think of history as moving with time

At school we were sometimes told that Geography is about Maps
And History was about Chaps
(Ignoring the enormous contribution of the female sex)
Anyway History is generally expressed as a reflexion of  peoples’ lives

Of course the timespan of human existence in terms of
The whole history of  the earth is limited to perhaps
About 200,000 years, and we don’t know much
Of the story of the very earliest chaps

But nonetheless it is a long time from 200,000 years ago
To our present day – a very large historical tome
would be needed to tell that story
And perhaps a little boring – let’s try it on Facebook!

But what did Henry Ford mean by just one damned thing?
It sounds as if he had a troublesome life
Well he was a brilliant engineering innovator
And his problems were more with the unions than engines

Anyway Ford, in using the epithet about History
Seems to me to have succinctly summed up
The nature of life and living down the centuries
Never easy for the human spirit, but triumphing through it all

But I wonder if we ourselves would put such a negative judgment
on our view of history. Some might prefer to say it was the constant
march of progress* down the years from the darkness of ignorance
and superstition to the light of knowledge and rationality

But this seems to overlook an endless succession of really damnable things!

Ken Fisher

  • Interestingly, I read that Marx took from Hegel the sense that
    progress is inevitable, and that history has a pattern and is 
    not just one thing after another.

Remembrance 2017

Remembrance 2017

A similar poem was posted at this time last year.
We hope that despite the restlessness among the nations
 we might still remain grateful for the past and
optimistic about the future

Today is 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


Taxation [And how some dodge it]


Taxation, a claim on their wealth, some want to avoid
The demand from the Revenue gets them really annoyed
But avoidance is achieved when legal loop-holes are taken
Whereas evasion, an act of defiance really quite brazen

The distinction between these two seems really quite subtle
For both indicate, of the demands of the state, a sort of rebuttal
Although avoidance involves the clever use of the law
Evasion is just deception, quite blatant and raw

It would appear that lots of citizens and large corporations
Have exploited the laws of far away nations
Based on islands amidst the sun, sand and sea
Where from heavy tax levies they permit us to flee

Some say that this is just a form of legitimized theft
To benefit the few, with no care for the rest
But others claim that the fruits of their hard-earned labour
Should belong to themselves and not to their neighbour

Perhaps the truth of the matter is not easy to detect
We are entitled to our rewards but others we must not neglect
So when it comes to taxation we should try to be fair
And devise a system through which all get a share

Many trying to reduce their tax are forced to explore
If they can achieve this by moving funds off-shore
And thus have grown up complex institutions
Helping their clients to reduce tax contributions

You may well have a view as to whether all this is moral
And there are no doubt principles  with which you may quarrel
But human beings are inclined to look after self first
Ensuring that their wealth is not too widely dispersed

Ken Fisher

Revolution [On the centennial of the Russian Revolution 1917]


Today marks the centennial of the end of the
Russian Revolution – November 7th 1917

 When we sit cosily at home with our tea and scone
It seems incredible that peace might be overthrown
And in a world where communication is so all pervasive
Where words rather than weapons might be persuasive

Revolution implies the forcible ousting of government
By those who demand a new empowerment
That the existing order of society be cast aside
Usurped by a sea-change taken at high tide

Countries great and small lived through revolution
Accompanied by bloodshed and much persecution
In France, America, Cuba, and nation states world wide
Sometimes united in the cause, often fraught by genocide

Even today the  modern world of nations remains fractious
Made unstable by nationalism and diverse political factions
While adherence to religion still exerts a powerful force
Sometimes engendering unity, at others internecine divorce

So while we recall historic events of those days long past
Our plea is that our own fragile peace might last
That somehow the peoples of our divided lands
Might reach out to one another with open hands

It should not be beyond our wit to achieve an abiding solution
Which avoids the last resort of bloody revolution
That justice and equity be achieved without upheaval
A fairer society where all are treated equal

Ken Fisher

As a Revolutionary, Guy Fawkes was Relatively Tame (2017 version)

As a Revolutionary Guy Fawkes Was Relatively Tame!



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 is bound to bring 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
By contemporary scandals we are not 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

It is odd to reflect that the prestige of Westminster
May be tarnished by the new sobriquet ‘sexminster’
Let’s hope MPs can revert to propriety
And I don’t simply mean maintaining sobriety!

Ken Fisher