Soap

Soap

 

Soap
Without it how could we keep clean?
Attend to bodily hygiene
These days its reputation rises
As the doctor now advises

Wash your hands with diligence
Against the virus build defence
Scrub the palms and ‘tween the fingers
Ensure no danger can there linger

This product ‘ere so commonplace
Yields spotless hands and shining face
And limbs and torso don’t exclude
Unless you feel a downright prude!

Soap’s not for your body alone
Lots of uses round the home
It often comes in liquid form
Multi-functions to perform

Whatever be our cleaning wishes
Grubby floors or daily dishes
Clothes fall victim to the dirt
Smart fashion wear to cheap t-shirts

In the machine’s rotating drum
Clothes and soap together turn
And when the purging is complete
We’re summoned by that welcome ‘beep’

Whether in wash-hand basin or the sink
Just take a little time to think
Without the work of common soap
Of cleanliness we lose all hope!

Ken Fisher

Clocks Go Back 2020

Clocks Go Back 2020

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in
In no time at all we will arrive at Halloween
Darkness is descending, as we struggle through the gloom
But perhaps this year no guisers draped in their costume

‘Ere we reach that ‘hallowed’ eve the clocks must be turned back
Between Saturday and Sunday an hour they give us back
For last Spring those same clocks were moved an hour forward
To rectify that change now the movement will be rearward

It seems to me this time of year might make you feel depressed
And sometimes negative feelings can be manifest
Some people think this clock change is the harbinger of doom
And thoughts of hibernation fill their hearts with gloom

But most of us will soon accept the changing of the light
Brighter in the morning, then earlier dark at night
Nothing’s really changed, it’s ourselves who’ve played a trick
Tinkering with the clock hands but letting it still tick

So with the changing of the hour we revert to Greenwich Mean
British Summer Time left behind till Spring’s green shoots are seen
But at least we know now where we are, the timing quite official
No fiddling with the hours of day or night, no changes artificial

Of late there has been even greater pressure
Which amidst Brexit could cause great displeasure
Demands that we align with Europe using single and double BST
Unpopular notion for those who from continental shackles would us free

And this year, if politicians don’t soon somehow fix it
We are all confronted with close impending Brexit!
And if that’s not sufficient to put you in a panic
What about the menace of this engulfing pandemic?

But perhaps it isn’t right to conclude on such a sour note
The human spirit is still surely full of hope
Let optimism prevail whatever lies ahead
Starting on Sunday with an extra hour in bed!

Ken Fisher

Coiled Spring

Coiled Spring

I must not live life like a coiled spring
Ready to react to the slightest thing
Instant response to a fly that flits by
Or sight of your hair that offends my eye!

Ever ready to meet whatever confronts
No hesitation my reaction e’r blunts
To your mildest rebuke I take great offence
An instant retort seems my only defence

A doorbell that rings, an unexpected noise
Can play havoc with any semblance of  poise
Loud TV adverts which shatter the peace
Ensure that my tension will quickly increase

Why don’t I just attempt to keep calm?
A little relaxation can do me no harm
Please try to hang loose is what you suggest
‘Cause you’re truly convinced it is all for the best

Coiled springs have their uses in lots of devices
Even humans might need them when facing a crisis
But most of the time an approach more serene
Is bound to improve my mental hygiene

Ken Fisher

 

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

“Getting and spending we lay waste our powers”
Perhaps bending and stretching will renew them!
Splashing the cash is pointless while locked down
Physical jerks might herald rejuvenation
However it seems this pandemic has prompted
Both spending (on-line) and bending (in home aerobics)

So what are we to do with life?
Spending might bring us some consolation
As we tuck into juicy steaks and tasty treats
Then perhaps we might work some of that off
With stretching sessions with Joe Wicks or
Some other modish health guru

What’s the point of “getting”?  you may ask
In lock-down we have rummaged through
Our wardrobes only to lose ourselves
Among the countless hanging garments
Perhaps thus flailing about we might find
That this too requires stretching and bending

Mind you, for the many who now fear the threat of
Unemployment – with regular income vaporising
Getting and spending likely to grind to a halt
Thus the elasticity of their cache of savings
Subjected to unbridled stretching and bending
The burgeoning overdraft a contorting of economic powers

Ken Fisher

First line: The world is too much with us (Wordsworth)

Please Keep Your Distance!

Please Keep Your Distance!

[This poem written in the light of latest tight
restrictions on freedom thanks to the pandemic]

The message for today shouts loud and clear
Intended to warn, it can induce fear
This strong injunction brooks no resistance
Demanding quite clearly – Please keep your distance!

Two metres would seem to be the optimum space
Between each other when we come face to face
And if nearer to that I see you advance
I must pirouette past in an intricate dance

The rules about distancing are highly developed
In lists and notices these commands are enveloped
Great powers on the authorities have been bestowed
Check them now on your phone with a QR Code

Outside the buildings the rules are less strict
A little more freedom from demands that restrict
But inside we must obey the floor plan
Follow the arrows as close as you can

In bars, restaurants and cafes, tables are spaced far apart
Cosy dinners for two with your dear sweetheart
When you hoped your liaison might well advance
Find two metres distance can stymie romance

Then there are also practical points to consider
And here I’d be grateful if you wouldn’t snigger
A gent requiring the toilet due to an excess of beer
Saw half the “stalls” labelled – Please don’t pee here!

So in conclusion I will not criticise
The imposition of distance rules is truly quite wise
But I plead that to each other we show toleration
Throughout this lockdown of whatever duration

Ken Fisher

Trees

Trees

[A humorous glance at]

Trees.   There they are
But we don’t often think much about them
Not unless there is a mighty gale blowing
And we think one is going to fall on us
Or in a thunderstorm – don’t stand under
One or you might become a lightning conductor!

Trees are woody perennial plants
That have an elongated stem – the trunk
Below the trunk there are roots
Then branches and leaves
Reaching upwards [unless a weeping willow]
Ambitious creatures!

There are myriad different trees
Boy scouts used to learn their names
Then burn bits of them in the campfire
Coniferous – with cones – for Christmas
Deciduous – with leaves that fall
OK for logging and carpentry

When a tree is cut down
You can check its age by the rings!
Similar to an old man’s scrawny neck
[but don’t cut him down]
But mostly we just let trees get
On with life – they do no harm

Children of wealthy families
Can have a tree house
Where they can view their neighbours
From their lofty position
Not just physically
But socially

Trees evidently help the world to breathe
Which right now is especially kind of them
The technical term is photosynthesis
But let’s not worry about that
Simply stop destroying trees
And get planting – they take years to grow!

Apparently trees have lots of other uses
They stabilise the soil
They prevent water run off
They can cool our homes and streets
And if any tree is giving you a headache
Don’t forget aspirin is extracted from trees!

Ken Fisher

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

Autumn’s gone, the fallen leaves a trampled carpet on the ground
Emblems of a life’s cycle now complete, colours faded, no longer vibrant
The naked branches of the trees look down on their abandoned offspring
In dormancy they hibernate awaiting Spring’s promise of new buds

As the years pass, so too with our lives, the fruit of our days
Eventually fades, a forlorn legacy of all our endeavours
The outcome of our activity remains only a withered memory
The effluxion of time makes history of all our deeds

But we cannot deny this natural process, the eternal round
Of birth and life and ageing and death, eventually oblivion
All we can hope for is that, just as the leaves festooned the trees
So too our labours may have yielded fruit in our own time

Enough therefore that we accept the inevitability of decline
Not losing compassion amidst the passing of the years
And in due time face ageing with a gracious heart
And like fallen leaves accept that in our ‘ending is our beginning’

Ken Fisher

Zilch

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Zilch is nothing and nothing is zilch
That’s what it means I’m told
The absence of anything, that’s what it is
Nothing that you can behold

What did you do today I ask?
Zilch was your prompt reply
Hours spent in tedious idleness
And assuredly time did not fly

Did you earn any money this past month
From your days of quiet contemplation?
Indolence rarely yields any cash
Paid zilch for your cogitation

On a strict diet zilch is all you can eat
Liquid supplements will have to suffice
These insipid drinks are all that’s allowed
Zilch tasty food seems the price

How many replies to your job applications
Have you received as you wait on the post
Zilch you admit, with eyes downcast
As your prospects are turned to toast

And so it goes on Zilch is rarely good news
In whatever context it arises
Except if zilch is your doctor’s reply
Saying your tests have shown no nasty surprises!

Ken Fisher

In Praise of Poetry – Poetry for the Pandemic

In Praise of Poetry – or Poetry for the Pandemic?

[Prompted by the celebration of National Poetry Day 1 October 2020]

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From bard of old to modern scribe
Folks from their clan or ancient tribe
Set down their thoughts on love and life
Of peaceful days or times of strife

Primitive symbols on cave walls
Or ancient tomes kept in great halls
Retold their tales of days of yore
Of battles, feuds, and much spilled gore

Throughout the history of their land
In metropolis or island strand
In each succeeding generation
Poets speak out for every nation

As they recount in verse and rhyme
Acts heroic in their time
Myths and sagas thus survive
And old traditions kept alive

Poetry upholds a nation’s pride
Expresses feelings deep and wide
That tell of our own situation
Our joys, our hopes, and life’s frustrations

And in their lines of rhyme and prose
The poet seeks to thus compose
A tale that touches deep the heart
Reflecting life like every art

But in that special written form
A poetic voice can thus transform
Emoted by some word or phrase
We shed a tear or shout in praise

And in this year subjected to the world pandemic
The search for solace more frenetic
Let poetry spread its special balm
Troubled minds restored to calm

Ken Fisher