Vernal Equinox 2018

Vernal Equinox

[Tuesday 20 March 2018]


Equinoxes occur twice a year
When the plane of the Earth’s equator
Passes through the centre of the Sun
On this day the Sun shines directly on the equator
And day and night are approximately equal

Today is the Spring Equinox
And our minds look forward to warmer days
And backwards, with gratitude for the receding of winter
We are filled with hope for the months ahead

An Equinox is perhaps an appropriate time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for its many blessings
For health and shelter and for companionship

As the buds form on the trees and plants sprout
Carpeting the land which has lain barren for long
We look forward in anticipation to burgeoning life
In field and tree, in gardens and on hillside

And these days of longer daylight hours
When we say a belated farewell to the snowy carpet
Affording us the chance to escape from our winter burrows
And breathe the more expansive air of the world outside
As our horizons are lifted to a wider vision and a brighter prospect

Ken Fisher





That delicate membrane between ourself and the world
This outer coating formed in our Mother’s womb
Smooth when a baby, in old age quite gnarled
Its has to serve us well from cradle to tomb

Skin is the subject of much speculation
Its colour from others can rarely be hidden
A primary indicator of our race or nation
So often prompting some pointless division

And yet under our skin we are all kith and kin
Our bones, muscles, organs, those obscure glands
Our blood vessels, tendons, and all else within
The same brain controlling our limbs and hands

Perhaps our most visible skin is the face we display
Here the world notices our outward expression
It’s what others encounter of us each new day
Registering moods ranging from joy to depression

Of course the skin sometimes has the power to excite
Especially when we decide to give greater exposure
On a shimmering beach or by soft candle light
Between consenting adults who lose their composure!

Adults are often concerned about their complexion
And spend collective millions to enhance their appearance
Others resort to surgery or weird cosmetic injections
For major reconstruction or minor ‘slum clearance’

Of course we all must remain sensibly vigilant
On the well-known dangers of the sun’s pervasive rays
Avoiding the temptation of the tanning lamp
Being unashamed of pale skin on our holidays

An aspect of skin treatment is the modern tattoo
Of which many men and even women seem proud
Words of endearment and designs like voodoo
A personal statement shouted out loud

Of course the cosmetic industry relies on our vanity
A business which seeks to enhance the world’s face
Some even claim it promotes health and sanity
Perhaps the skin we might all wish to embrace

Ken Fisher




Sleep Sonnet

Sleep Sonnet

[for World Sleep Day 16 March 2018]

World Sleep Day seems to have the wrong title
‘Cause is not most sleep enjoyed in the night?
But whatever the time surely sleeping is vital
Whether in the dark hours or snoozed in the light
Doctors advise that sleep is essential for health
To renew our bodies, restore our frazzled minds
Some even claim sleep can bring us more wealth
Preparing us for challenges of whatever kind
But the word sleep may not mean we are under the covers
Because it sometimes implies other affairs
As youngsters (of all ages) often engage in sleep-overs!
Happy together in all that they share
So let sleep be to you a boon and a blessing
As in his arms you find the god Morpheus caressing

Ken Fisher

Thinking too much is doing my head in

Thinking too much is doing my head in


Thinking too much is doing my head in
A cerebral battle that I cannot win
A head filled with thoughts and endless ideas
And strong emotions that can bring me to tears

My mind is awash with conflicting beliefs
No clear guidance comes to give me relief
I try to make sense of all these strange notions
But hours of reflection yield no solutions

During the day I at times ruminate
Floating on dreams, I almost levitate
While my nights are filled with disturbing nightmares
Of frightening scenarios that lead to despair

At other times my brain wrestles with puzzles
Their complexity can often leave me befuddled
Crosswords, anagrams, Sudoku, or mahjong
No matter what, it seems to go wrong

Then there are the deep thoughts of philosophy
Whose concepts claim to be filled with profundity
But such thinking can often lead to confusion
Or deceive the mind with some sophist’s delusion

In order to free us from such potential tyranny
While avoiding the need for a shrink’s pricey therapy
We might need to give our head a thorough spring clean
And put our brain into temporary quarantine

So what might be the solution that will for us work best?
The fashion these days is surely Mindfulness
By this clever technique you learn to live in the moment
Thus putting a stop to the brain’s constant ferment

If you can achieve this new calm mental state
You will no longer find thoughts agitate
Accepting your feelings and body sensations
And neutralize all those brainwave fluctuations

Of course those who this cure would advocate
Will from your brain all these thoughts extirpate
Can offer no guarantee this internal battle to win
Ensuring your head won’t still feel done in!

Ken Fisher




An algorithm is a concept of which we should take heed
A kind of diagram which shows us how to proceed
To solve a problem by breaking it down to small steps
Making decisions unambiguous is the main object

Primarily used to solve conundrums mathematical
It can be employed to cope with tasks quite practical
By considering the flow of information in a process
And the choices at each stage throughout its progress

Algorithms are the heart of most computer programs
Compiled as binary choices shown as in a diagram
A question is asked for which the answer is yes or no
And the response determines just how to go

Algorithms can be defined as a set of rules
Within a sequence of operations they form the tools
Whereby a computer can make ‘decisions’
According to a defined set of conditions

Thus by the use of algorithms joined together
Decisions are made on ‘greater or lesser’
Or the scale of a value or magnitude
And the measures such as latitude

The whole approach assumes that there is nothing
That cannot be defined as zero or one thing
Thus the binary system employed in its glory
The very heart of every algorithmic story

All these processes are performed at the speed of light
On huge chunks of data held by the megabyte
And computers do their work with such composure
The inner workings never revealed to external exposure

There is no doubt that the algorithm deserves our praise
As the performance of machines it continues to raise
But prophets of doom fear for our future employment
As robots will doubtless enforce our replacement

Because algorithms bring artificial intelligence
Clever machines designed with great elegance
To take over from humans the work that we do
An advance that in time we may well  rue

We can only hope that the mighty algorithm
Will nonetheless improve the human condition
And perhaps at some glorious future date
From drudgery it might all of us liberate

Ken Fisher

Tired and Emotional

Tired and Emotional

“Tired and Emotional” is a well-worn euphemism
Used by the press to highlight the effects of alcoholism
Demonstrated in some of our erstwhile politicians
When subjected to their Star Chamber style inquisitions

But it seems to me that to be tired and emotional
Can affect us all, even those most stoical
Fatigue is found endemic in busy modern life
With emotional turmoil as we face daily strife

So many spend their days constantly being driven
Slaves to a work regime, quite often unforgiving
Heightened emotion a feature of our interaction
Prompting passion instead of calm reaction

So is it any wonder that all this is so draining?
A challenge to ensure our composure still remaining
Being tired and emotional becomes our default disposition
And our earnest wish is to change this dire condition

So is there any cure for this grim state of affairs
Any nostrum, magic formula to rid us of our cares?
Perhaps that other aphorism “Keep Calm and Carry On”
Might yet prove useful for us to ruminate upon?

Ken Fisher

Confinement (by Snow)

Confinement (by Snow)

Exit Blocked! – thick snow on our front steps

I wonder if right now you feel like a prisoner
The snowdrifts are proving to be a life limiter
We are not accustomed to such undue restriction
As if our limbs were bound in tight constriction

We yearn to break free and romp in the snow
Like children, pent up and ready to go
But at our tender age we have to take care
And be mindful of our future welfare

It’s amazing how deep snow seems so inviting
And the thicker it gets, even more exciting
Not just for sledging and building snowmen
And snowball fights with fingers so frozen

When wallowing in this magical white precipitation
We might just discard all our inhibition
And for the brief time the snow blanket lasts
Be transported back to our childhood past

Ken Fisher