At the Threshold of the Year 2018

At the Threshold of the Year 2018

[A variation on a poem posted last year]

Time is sometimes called the Fourth Dimension
Length, breadth and height the other three
But time can fill our hearts with apprehension
No wonder that it’s often said to flee

‘Tempus fugit ‘ we plead as ready-made excuse
When everyday concerns and never-ending cares
A sense of guilt and failure does induce
Our quest for peace and freedom thus impaired

But time cannot be stalled; its steady progress will not falter
It’s march like Roman legions moving ever onward
Along straight roads, their fixed direction does not alter
The army moves in steps that take them ever forward

And so it is that in these dark fading days of late December
As we approach the threshold of yet another year
Thoughts filled with joy and sorrow as we remember
Hopefulness for days ahead but not without our hidden fear

What lies just beyond the gate of this New Year?
We’ve been warned: ‘the past no guide to future performance’
Would life be simpler if the way ahead was clear?
Why do we ever have to seek for reassurance

And so as we peer into the void beyond this New Year’s Day
We simply must accept that unlike length or breadth or height
The realm of time brings with it ‘come what may’
Our prayer remains that faith and hope will bring us light

And so my friend step onward with a steady pace
Give thanks for many blessings in the past
Let love for life and all mankind your heart embrace
And to God’s providence our trust remain steadfast

Ken Fisher

 

See also : https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2018/01/01/new-beginnings-2/

 

Winter Transformation

Winter Transformation

[Statue of a stag at Dunkeld House Hotel]

 The winter drabness of field and forest
Carpeted by snowflakes within an hour
Outstretched branches given a two-tone finish
Craggy slopes coated like newly iced buns

The river undisturbed in steady progress
Swallows up the chilled precipitation
Its banks, by contrast, rendered glistening white
The fish benignly ignorant of the change

Wild animals observe this monochrome world
With calm composure, their peace undisturbed
Many wisely hibernating in their chosen bower
The larger beasts left to face the icy blast

And we humans, young and old, find
Pleasure and pain in this winter wonder land
The youthful and active gamboling on shiny slopes
The old gratify their worship of hearth and home

Ken Fisher

What Does It Matter?

What Does it Matter?

 

What does it matter if you failed to win prizes
And never achieved even modest success
If your daily life produced no surprises
And few are the assets that you now possess

What does it matter if you gained no promotion
While others soared up to the giddy heights
You’re never aspired to swim the wide ocean
Or with the astronauts take a space flight

What does it matter if your artistic talent
Rarely succeeded the audience to thrill
No masterpiece came from your colour palette
No musical charms from your keyboard skills

What does it matter if you had no literary flair
Writing and poetry not your natural gift
Turgid plots, obscure verses simply made you despair
And to operatic arias you gave short shrift

What does it matter if you struggled with maths
History and geography left you equally cold
Failed to conquer science’s complex paths
And foreign grammar left you appalled

What does it matter if you never were famous
You didn’t progress to a dazzling career
People might claim you were rather aimless
A somewhat boring existence from year to year

Well this litany seems a little depressing
Life does matter, and we all must strive
To make the most of our gifts and our blessings
Above all the gift of this wonderful life

And we should not offer this lame excuse
That nothing matters in life when surely it must
Because we know in our heart that this is the truth
And to defect from that fact is a breach of our trust

Yes, it does matter, as we value each day
The moment provides us the opportunity
In small acts of love, and kind words we say
Together to build true community

Ken Fisher

Small But Beautifully Formed

Small But Beautifully Formed
[Chipolata Sausages]

 

One of the delights of Christmas fare
To me, a treat beyond compare
A diminutive meat dish you must savour
Small but brimming with so much flavour

The chipolata sausage is this treat I treasure
In various forms it can bring pleasure
Pigs in Blankets is one choice variation
Pork wrapped in bacon, a great combination

Some say the chipolata is a ‘finger food’
To describe it thus is no mere platitude
It has an important role we should recognize
Joined with other ingredients to tantalise

For when we refer to turkey with ‘all the trimmings’
We must ensure that nothing significant is missing
Expect carrots, roast potatoes, bread sauce, sprouts and stuffing
But without chipolatas all your efforts yield nothing

When, of the size of the chipolatas, you hear a complaint
Advise the plaintiff  to speak with due restraint
Because with one bite it will their taste buds transform
Full of flavour in a small body that is so beautifully formed!

Ken Fisher

Christmas Morning 2017

 

Christmas Morning 2017

The excitement of anticipation,
Children tip-toeing downstairs
In search of Santa’s bounty
The tearing open of those wrappings
The shrieks of pleasure as the long-awaited
Gifts are exposed

Mum and Dad come to find out if burglars
Have arrived to upset the household
The children squeal with joy as they
Show what Santa has delivered
Parents gasp conspiratorially
Admiring his awareness of all
That had been hoped for

Then the stockings are pillaged
Revealing their cache of treats and sweets
No longer just the time honoured fruit
The current Apple is probably a Mac!

After the intial excitement
Then parents too check to see
What Santa has done for them
In the hope that it might be more than
Socks or hankies – perhaps a spa break
Or a hamper full of goodies!

Then breakfast – don’t eat much
Leave space for the Christmas feast
The full works accompanied by the crackers
With their crafty little jokes – who thinks them up?
Indeed who needs philosophers?
The whole thing kept afloat by your favourite tipple
Remember to drink sensibly – especially the drivers

Traditional TV programmes will compete for those
Whose eyes will be glued to their new iPads and smart phones
The Queen’s inspirational message muffled
By those ears stopped with headphones
Lambasted by the latest gaming wizardry
The traditional phone call to relatives
Superseded by a thousand Tweets, Skypes, Face Time
Or whatever instant messages assail your privacy

Anyway that’s the modern Christmas
And of course not all will celebrate in happy families
Some choosing to be alone, others filled with memories
And yearning for the companions now gone from their life

And somewhere in the distant background is that stable
At Bethlehem, with the baby in the manger,
Still radiating the message of love
To every human soul in this angst-torn world

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts (2017)

Christmas Gifts (2017)

The Three Wise Men – is it them we should blame?
For starting this craze which can drive us insane
Each Christmas demands that we spend so much cash
As in our giving we are ever more rash

We know that it’s time that we all took a stance
And tried to control this needless expense
But somehow it seems we cannot reduce
As the desire to give still seems to seduce

We feel that it’s good to be kind to our friends
So to one and all our largesse extends
But we know that deep down their love can’t be bought
And much reckless spending is really for nought

And now it is easier than ever to spend
As some claim on-line shopping is such a godsend
But the real gift of God was his only Son
Who come down to our world, a gift to each one

So why don’t we reflect as did those Wise Men
Who sought out the Infant in far Bethlehem?
That gifts are mere symbols of their adoration
As to that Baby they bent in prostration

Now, as long ago, we need only one gift
As we too our faces to Jesus uplift
Just hearts filled with love for God and for man
Reflecting that glory whenever we can

Ken Fisher

 

Winter Solstice 2017

Winter Solstice 2017

The shortest day the longest night
Benighted souls seeking the light
The sun in deepest declination
Darkness shrouds the northern nations

The solstice marks a time of change
From the light we’ve been estranged
For longer days our hearts do yearn
Sunlight surely must return

For in due time by steady progress
The sun’s climb will this dark suppress
And soon its penetrating rays
Bring the lengthening of each day

As the solstice now we mark
Entombed in gloom and shadows dark
Let’s look to brightening days ahead
As light again becomes widespread

Ken Fisher

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

[A new version of a poem posted at Christmas time in the last two years]

[Sing this to the tune of ‘Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown’]

We left God alone with his throne and his crown
For we had little time to spare
We were too busy spending our hard earned cash
Buying gifts and grooming our hair
For it’s party time and let’s just be rash
As we’re all heading off to town

But then someone reminds us of that stable bare
With the Holy Child in the manger
And the ox and ass and wise men three
Then we thought of those living in danger
The sick and the poor and the refugee
And all those deserving our care

So that Baby of old and the twinkling star
Tells of God’s great love which came
Into the world to save souls in their need
By kindling that tender flame
So come dear Lord wipe out all our greed
With the warmth from that stable afar

God never says no when we celebrate
He is happy to rejoice with us all
So give thanks to God who loves each of us
He too will come to the ball
So come dear Lord, we won’t make a fuss
As again you with us incarnate

Ken Fisher

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

The shops are crammed with goodies
And it’s impossible to choose

So many difficult decisions,
Might drive you to the booze

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift still unwrapped I fear

The problem is you are so very generous
Every year I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
And my thank-youz for them are really little lies

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, even appalled

And how about a onesie for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
Shops’ catalogues put temptation on every shiny page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

Ken Fisher

Personal Brand

Personal Brand

It is no longer good enough to be one face in the crowd
You need something distinctive to shout out really loud
In these modern days where qualifications proliferate
Extra impetus is needed to give your CV more weight

It is also true that individuality is the cult of the day
‘Look who I am’ is the message to convey
So our unique selling points we have to grandstand
And this can be achieved with a personal brand

The use of social media helps in self-promotion
Face Book and Twitter set the wheels in motion
This takes some time and can be quite a slog
Or you can gather a following with a topical blog

Some find that YouTube can spark lots of interest
It’s visual cameos often seem to work best
But branding is not only about loud media hype
It is more than just creating a new stereotype

Your personal brand should convey to all others
That you are different from many competitive runners
In the race for that treasured new job or profession
Claim that those talents they seek are in your possession

When there are so many fish swarming the sea
From that pool of bidders why should they pick me?
The answer would seem is to make them aware
Of the power of your brand when they start to compare

And so whatever in life is your earnest endeavour
Success in employment, marriage, or whatsoever
My advice would be to polish your brand
Thus being ready for whatever life might demand

This worldly advice is not meant to seem selfish
To ‘big you up” or half-truths to embellish
But rather to encourage your own self-belief
In your personal brand which will ensure you succeed

You may have observed that the brands we all love
Have not been handed down to us from someone above
They took years to build up to a good reputation
So it’s bound to take time to gain acclamation

Ken Fisher

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Here’s a thing you did not know
And I assure you that it’s so
Legless turkey is being served
A phenomenon I have observed

As you see from this tasty plate
Who needs legs you might debate?
When stuffing’s there and so’s the meat
With sprouts and roasties, quite complete

It’s just that somehow one does wonder
Has the chef just made a blunder
Or have those legs now gone astray?
Their absence may cause some dismay

However, I really have to claim
Legless turkey tastes the same
And with the trimmings on display
Such a meal will make your day

One final thought about this dish
As we munch together I would wish
Despite not being the real McCoy
This legless bird might still bring joy

Ken Fisher

Ts & Cs Apply

Ts & Cs Apply
[Terms and Conditions]

Just sign here please, Sir/Madam
And in no time at all it will happen
You get possession of these shiny goods
Or a sumptuous hamper of tasty foods

With modern methods of instant payment
The banks acting as our willing agent
We meet our contractual obligations
Paying up without hesitation

But in the realm of rapid settlement
There may be issues to our detriment
We’ve overlooked while doing the deal
Which in the end prove not ideal

Whenever we wish to place an order
From household goods to bricks and mortar
We cannot avoid the obligations
Of which these terms are its foundation

Unfair terms may be hidden in small print
The seller giving not a hint
Thus you, the public overlook
And thereby you misunderstood

It may be false to claim it was deception
Perhaps just a different perception
But sometimes the unwitting consumer
Is at variance with the retailer

So the message for us all who would contract
To avoid the need that we redact
To satisfy our doubts or suspicions
Before you sign check Terms and Conditions

So in future don’t be swept away
By the greatest offer of that day
Ts & Cs could surely change your mind
So read them well before you sign!

Ken Fisher