Toxic Positivity

Toxic Positivity

Do you ever feel the challenge to be Positive,
To look on the Bright Side
To Smile through it all,
Sounds like a prescription gone Toxic?

Echoes of the careworn nostrum
“the Power of Positive Thinking”
A bad case of bloody-minded joy
Replace sadness with gladness

What’s wrong with low mood?
Feel guilty admitting it
Pretend everything is hunky-dory
When it is nothing of the kind

How about a little honesty?
We are all human
Not robots with no emotions
Zombies devoid of feelings

Mind you there might be
A Toxic Negativity
Unable to delight in anything
Denizens of a dystopian world

So how do we strike the balance?
Sanity perched between spurious positivity
And synthetic euphoria
A precarious equilibrium

Perhaps that’s just the human condition
We must learn to ride the crest of the wave
And swim back up from the trough
Like emoticons for smiles and tears

😀   😢

Ken Fisher

See similar sentiments in this poem: The Tyranny of Positivity

The Poetry Geek

The Poetry Geek

On the words of my verses I sometimes reflect
Thoughts enter my mind completely unchecked
When agonising over my writing technique
I think I’m becoming a poetry geek!

Geeks are defined as being somewhat inept
Whose social skills are far from perfect
Of the normal world they lack understanding
Coping with life they find quite demanding

But I would argue in my defence
That through poetry I simply try to make sense
Of the world that surrounds us each new dawning day
That all of us face in both work and at play

Poets try to expound on a novel idea
Or what’er may arise from our hopes or our fear
Sometimes they wrestle with unanswerable questions
But at least from their broodings they may offer suggestions

Some would say, do something more practical
Than juggling with words in a manner didactical
Yet perhaps by these musings I may avoid strife
I might even discover the meaning of life!

So geeks have their place of that there’s no doubt
If only we could discover what they’re about
And poetic geeks should be permitted a voice
If you listen or not is a matter of choice

Ken Fisher

 

 

Bedtime Story

Bedtime Story

Childhood memories, tucked up in bed
Before gently drifting off to sleep
A bedtime story from Mum or Dad
No need for counting sheep

Favourite classic childrens’ books
Feeding our imagination
From nursery rhymes and fairy tales
To titles beloved by the nation

The Gruffalo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Tales of friendly cats and dogs
Or how to plant a tree

Dragons and Dinasaurs
All showing smiley faces
Eco friendly garden tales
Hippotamus’ embraces

Harry Potter, Kipper the Dog
The Enormous Crocodile
Asterix, the Jungle Book
Stories make you cry or smile

Printed books or books online
Held-in-hand or view a Kindle version
Authors clamouring to catch our eye
Proffering diversion

So when bedtime beckons our little ones
To climb the stairs to bed
A soothing tale is all they need
To induce a nodding head

Ken Fisher

 

Mickey Mouse Degree

Mickey Mouse Degree

 

The Government is now showing concern
That taking certain degrees won’t help you to earn
Mickey Mouse is the label they give to these courses
And they may decide to cut their resources

In expanding their range some Unis were rash
Concocting degrees that for them brought in cash
But for their students this proved a rather poor bet
Leaving them up to their eyeballs in debt

The problem for students is they need take out loans
For something much less worthy than buying a home
And when it comes to repayment from the little they earn
They discover any job yields too low a return

But this doesn’t hurt the student right then
They don’t start to repay until as and when
They are earning enough to refund the State
Who find the debt burden an increasing weight

Mickey Mouse degrees are often in music or arts and design
Although social sciences rarely yield a goldmine
But that’s not to say these degrees should be trashed
Many persevere with them quite unabashed

Of course student debt grows greater each year
And to pay it off you need a career
To do this you want a good qualification
Accounting, law or computing helps you even more than the nation

Medicine, science and engineering might yield a return
Creative arts and media studies perhaps one should spurn
But if the best choice is to do something vocational
Take college training linked to trades occupational

And what of degrees in subjects traditional?
Your acceptance of these might be provisional
Geography, history, economics, even theology
As much Mickey Mouse as a course in astrology!

The problem suggesting it’s a trivial degree
Is to imply it’s of little use to you or to me
But many such degrees are quite life-enhancing
And their value is more than just their financing

So let’s not of Mickey Mouse be too pejorative
Such courses of study might start as explorative
But for the diligent student they can open the door
To lifelong learning promising so very much more

Ken Fisher

 

 

Time to Move On

Time to Move On

When Governments and people are knee-deep in trouble
And somehow they hope to escape but still struggle
They pretend the matter is now all but gone
And insist that this is the time to move on

But of course that is really just camouflage
The real facts they are simply trying to massage
They hope our outrage to quickly avert
And by some other issue our eyes to divert

Our concentration they would not want to prolong
Insisting as always that they’ve done nothing wrong
They try to point out something else that’s distracting
And they declare we are just over-reacting

In this present hour the powers that be
Want us to ignore that they’ve been on a spree
Partying and revelling in jollification
At times out of tune with the rest of the nation

It seems this time they have misjudged the mood
Their inappropriate antics did them no good
They really must now show some genuine contrition
If for their sins they might seek remission

Time to move on may be all well and good
No doubt they’d hope that they really could
But in the meantime they must try to show more respect
To restore a reputation they so wilfully wrecked

Ken Fisher

 

 

Tweakment

Tweakment

You’ve already found it’s hard to keep
Your New Year resolutions
Too radical by far you think
What’s the alternative solution?

You could abandon all you’ve pledged
No need for it to happen
Who cares about a little drink?
Just jump down off the wagon

But a coward you don’t want to be
Lacking in backbone
So what’s the choice, let’s not delay
Take action, don’t postpone

You’ve promised to make changes
Bad habits to remove
A better self, a nicer me
Would all the world approve

Perhaps a lot less painful
A less severe critique
A wee minor adjustment
What we all call a tweak!

For these we don’t need a therapist
On the couch our souls unburden
To fill our minds with cleansing thoughts
The latest psycho jargon

So whatever in your life that ails
Just tickle or fine tune
Without doubt this simple act
Will be a blessing and a boon

Cheap at the price, it does the trick
Involves no complex treatment
Decide what in your life to change
And get on with the tweakment!

Ken Fisher

Posh

Posh

‘Posh’ describes some lofty people
Perhaps they have all our heart’s desire
That superior quality of living
At once we envy and admire

But why should this make us jealous
What do they have that we might crave?
Is it how they dress or speak
Or in the manner they behave?

Perhaps the words they use
The diversity of  language?
The rich vocabulary, superior accent
In us inducing anguish

A kitchen rack full of spices
The Aga oven, log burner in the hearth?
Fancy sports car, skis stored in the garage
Trinkets witness to  their wealth

Perhaps the extent of their possessions
Of this world’s goods they have it all
But I suspect you may be posh
With hardly anything at all

You don’t need limitless belongings
Houses, gardens, clothes, or toys
The hallmark of the truly posh?
Calm superiority and poise!

Ken Fisher

 

 

Balcony Blizzard

Balcony Blizzard

We open curtains this winter morn
A white carpet does our view adorn
A blizzard overnight arrived
We really ought not be surprised

Snowflakes gently drifting down
Slowing traffic into town
Pavements carpeted by snow
Pensioners, mind how you go!

How will the kids get to the school?
Perhaps they think it’s really cool
Early escape they will expect
Teachers too may well defect

The workers to their jobs will struggle
Waiting for the bus they huddle
Remembering to keep safe distance
Scarfs and masks for their resistance

On the balcony we conserve
From our safe perch we observe
Through swirling blizzard, drifting snow
The working world battling below

But life goes on however fraught
Pandemic months have surely taught
So best foot forward into snow
Let joy on all our hearts bestow

Ken Fisher

Epiphany 2022

Epiphany 2022

Today is Epiphany – in Biblical terms
The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles
The Magi, guided by the star seek the Christ Child
But what is our epiphany?

To-day we often call it an ‘aha’ moment
A sudden revelation or insight
A new discernment, greater awareness
A flash of comprehension

Perhaps within the midst of the
Fogging of our thoughts,
The tedium and ennui of these dark days
We too might be galvanised by inspiration

Shake off the dolour and melancholy
Raise our vision to an emerging horizon
Enliven our perception, press on to
The sunnier uplands of 2022

Ken Fisher

An APP for the Day

An APP for the Day

Moderns seeking motivation
From words that challenge or inspire
Often turn to social media
For goals to which they would aspire

And apple a day keeps the doctor away
Was once the best prescription
The modern version of this advice
Let an APP feed your addiction!

The range of apps is now extensive
By which friends communicate
But not only news or juicy gossip
Ideas too, they circulate

But some suggest it’s gone too far
The speed of growth impressive
From hero worship to hate mail
Their influence excessive

Many are the diverse platforms
Employed their message to proclaim
Words to lift our flagging temper
Our languid spirits to inflame

Carpe diem – seize the day
Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud
Make each day your masterpiece
Let inner joy shout out loud

New thoughts to guide our living
Pithy aphorisms retailed on Facebook
LinkedIn, What’s App, and Snap Chat
Ideas made visible on YouTube

TikTok, Twitter vie to catch your eye or ear
Instagram and Flikr seek to grab attention
Each purveying instant wisdom
Boost our happiness, shrink our tension

But all this has made me wonder
Can brief messages be life changing?
Well-chosen words can have impact
But life is complex, its paths wide ranging

Unlike Bible texts or rulings Ex Cathedra
Demanding all the world’s respect
Can social media’s daily diktats
Ever have equal effect?

I suppose they can despite being mere opinion
Hoping that we all may heed
Inducing us to spend, adopt a view
But why should we concede?

Keep social media under tight rein
No doubt it can give inspiration
Stretch your mind, expand horizons
Words and images firing your imagination

But let no-one else control your fate
No weasel words should e’er dictate
You were born free, chose your own path
Deny influencers their right to dominate

 

Ken Fisher

 

At the Threshold of the Year 2022

At  the Threshold of the Year 2022

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
Its 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 was that in those dark fading days of late December
As we approached 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?
You have 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 this year we enter on with trepidation
As 2021 brought challenges unprecedented
In 2022 our hopes again rest in effective vaccination
Thus greater certainty may make us more contented

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