How Was Your Journey?

How Was Your Journey?

How was your journey? The poster asks
As we peep over those tiresome masks
The bus company bosses want to know
Were we happy as we come and go?

In the modern world customer satisfaction
Relates to passenger reaction
So we’re asked to tell them how we feel
Little joy or a splendid deal?

To let them know takes no time at all
Get on-line or give them a call
Did all go well as they expected?
Or little gripes have been detected

One wonders if they pay attention
Listening with apprehension
Do they consider our reply
With joyful cheer or hostile sigh?

Perhaps that’s why so few respond
No energy to correspond
We accept the deal that is presented
Conditioned just to be contented

Ken Fisher

 

Anything to Declare?

Anything to Declare?

At Customs Desks there’s no evading
The essential interrogation
No bribery or glib persuasion
Averts our making declaration

Anything you need declare?
Uncompromising stark demand
Accompanied by a piercing stare
Authority’s dogged command

Not only when we’re on the move
Must we readily declare
All covertness remove
Honest intention thus laid bare

Need our life be so transparent
Others have no cause for doubt?
That our motives be apparent
Virtue evident throughout

Our words, our deeds, our whole demeanour
To the world a statement makes
Perceiving from our normal  manner
Judging whether true or fake

When we act as politician, evangelist
Or salesman trying to persuade
For that cause protagonist
Attempts your mistrust to evade

But sometimes there is contradiction
Between the image thus presented
The smiling face portrays a fiction
Concealment of the truth intended

What does your very life declare?
What is the essence that is you?
Perhaps the question’s quite unfair
You’re not a primate in the zoo!

Ken Fisher

Ideas

Ideas

Ideas curated in the library of the mind
Thoughts form the basis of ideas
Ideas expressed in ideologies
About politics, beliefs and moralities

Ideas sometimes formulated into theories
Theories rooted in these notions
Signposting the quest to
Make sense of the world and our life in it

Ideas the platform of the imagination
The launching pad for great endeavours
Ideas the seed bed for ambition
Germinating the genesis of achievement

But ideas are not always benign
Ideas may foster the plot for evil intent
Ideas the planning forum for war or terrorism
Obsessive ideas multiplying, unbridled

Ideas heralding serenity
Ideas provoking despair
Ideas rarely ever neutral
Ideas sometimes best ignored

Yet without ideas there is no vision
Ideas, not merely flights of fancy
Without ideas there is little hope or aspiration
Let action fly on ideas’ wings

Ken Fisher

Wheesht!

Wheesht!

Wheesht! A Scottish injunction urging silence
Wheesht! Sometimes colloquially expressed
As Haud yer Wheesht or hold your tongue!
It’s a verb, a noun, an interjection

How often have we wished that somebody
Would Wheest for a while?
The irritable baby
The whingeing toddler
The hectoring politician
The ranting preacher
The boring lecturer
The nagging wife
The bombastic father
The orgasmic cries of the sports commentator
The loud expressiveness of the over zealous actor

And it’s not only voices we wish would Wheesht
What about?
The thunderous traffic on a main highway
The cacophony of an orchestra wrestling with modern music
The defiant shriek of the flute bands of the Orange Walk
The throbbing of motor bikes at a veteran’s rally
The alarming siren sound of the ambulances and fire engines

But perhaps sometimes we would prefer the opposite
It’s not Wheesht we want it’s welcome sound of any kind
Like
The first words of an infant
The response of a person awakening from a coma
The “I do” at the altar on the Wedding Day
The let me help you – of a loving friend
The good news from a consultant after you MRI scan
The phone call to say – You’ve got the job!

Wheesht when you should but not for ever

Ken Fisher

Does God Mess Up?

Does God Mess Up?

Some would say it’s sacrilege
Others claim poetic privilege
When a songwriter’s lyrics give us a heads up
By asking if even God can mess up?

But if God’s in control of all that happens
In this universe with all its billions of atoms
Then if things have gone wrong who takes the blame
I wonder whose head should hang down in shame?

Is it unfair to blame the Lord of creation
For every ill besetting the nations?
We were taught He is both God and Man
Perhaps like us humans, does the best that He can

But when we cast our wide eyes around
So many situations that do confound
Warfare, disease, disaster unchecked
Surely the mind of God is perplexed

Yet we are told, in Him put your trust
Unflinching belief is really a Must
There is little room for prevarication
True faith demands unswerving conviction

Wouldn’t it be great if the world was just perfect?
All sweetness and light with never a defect
But since the Garden of Eden when things went awry
Perhaps our good God looks on with a sigh

So where are we now, if it’s not too late?
For God and mankind to co-operate
Neither side messing up in this joint endeavour
Human and divine travailling together

Ken Fisher

Bubbles of Certainty

Bubbles of Certainty

 

Doubts assail the troubled mind
Yearns for peace, but cannot find
Longing for a calm safe place
Sheltered from life’s breakneck pace

Uncertainty at every turn
Disquietude we would spurn
Wrapped in our tight cocoon
Unperturbed in our lagoon

Bubbles help us be sure
Held within their round contours
What suddenly confronts our eyes
Heralds no menacing surprise

Bubbles exclude the unfamiliar
Challenges, threats or risks quite similar
Trapped amidst the commonplace
Enveloped in our own safe space

But could bubbles e’er be too restrictive?
Timorous living too prescriptive
Pierce the bubble’s protective skin
A life of freedom might begin

A I B U

 

A I B U?

Am I being Unreasonable?

Am I being unreasonable
When I ask what’s for tea
As I’ve had a large lunch
And a snack will do me

Am I being unreasonable
When I expect you to pay
I coughed up all week
And it’s your turn today

Am I being unreasonable
When I say put on a clean shirt
For the job interview
Surely that’s not going to hurt

Am I being unreasonable
When I say you’re getting fat
It looks to me you’re becoming
A bloated plutocrat!

Am I being unreasonable
When I say it’s my turn to choose
Which TV channel to watch
Without giving excuse

Am I being unreasonable
When I say your hair’s turning grey
We ‘re all getting older
That’s all I say

Am I being unreasonable
In whatever I say
Perhaps I should pipe down
And call it a day!

Ken Fisher

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

What can we say to all those doom-mongers
Who keep warning us of impending disaster?

Every significant issue has become an Existential Threat

Let’s list a few:

[many of these seem more menacing than the
4 minute warning which hung over us at
the height of the Cold War in the ‘60s]

A mounting sense of global panic
Of threats which now seem catastrophic
Without doubt Covid’s still out there
And cyber scams seem so unfair
These arise as if by stealth
Draining us of hard earned wealth

What will we do when mineral resources are exhausted?
Our underground banks will then be busted
As water levels rise we’re inundated
Islanders’ future so ill-fated
Greenhouse gases perpetual warning
Of planet earth’s continuing warming

Some even suggest that Artificial Intelligence
Demands that mankind exert due diligence
Digital devices might soon out-smart us all
From supremacy we would fall
Machines henceforth would take control
For human power the bell will toll

From cosmic risks from outer space
Political turmoil between each race
Financial melt-down, hyper inflation
Discontent fomenting angst within a nation
Bioterrorism brings mass destruction
Disorder halting food production

How does this relate to the Titanic chairs?
Such tinkering amidst awesome affairs
What’s the point of mortal action
Yielding such futile reaction
But shifting chairs may signal hope
The human spirit may yet cope

Ken Fisher

 

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

You don’t need to be asleep to get a wake up call
Early in the morning, right through to dark nightfall
It’s a metaphor for a message that promptly galvanizes
The significance of which our mind sharply recognises

Like the canary in the coalmine or the flash before the thunder
Wake up calls are warnings that can smash our peace asunder
Just when we thought our lives were quite neatly sorted
Our happiness baby is peremptorily aborted

Wake up calls can come to us in various disguises
And almost every one harbours some surprises
A message from the bank about your account being overdrawn
Informing us their financial support has now been withdrawn

The failure to land a job we thought was in the bag
Our promotion prospects thwarted by this pesky red flag
A routine check at the doctor’s casting doubt upon our health
An unexpected setback which confronts as if by stealth

When you attempt to sell your house at a much inflated price
Lack of interest from buyers could cause much sacrifice
You will then wake up to harsh market fluctuations
Which may put paid to your lofty aspirations

Worse than all of the above is the threat of climate change
For this there is no solution we can easily arrange
From this scary wake up call none can simply hide away
And retreat into the shadows as on glorious Groundhog Day

Ken Fisher

Blue Sky Thinking

Blue Sky Thinking

What on earth is Blue Sky Thinking?
Well, perhaps it’s not on earth at all
Rather it is more above the earth, than on it
High up in the clear blue yonder

Apparently it is a kind of creative brainstorming
The clash of minds sparking off each other
In some glorified group-think session
The hoped-for outcome a scintillating novelty

From the blue sky thinking, innovative visions
Inspirational ideas, novel solutions, ingenious products
Will scatter down in thought showers
To engulf the minds, and stimulate action

I am afraid that to me all this seems like
Management Speak spouted on  the scale of a
Modern day Pentecost –
Tongues wagging uncontrollably

However, all might not be lost
Sometimes we need to lift our eyes
To the blue sky, to penetrate the dull clouds of tedium
And motivate ourselves for daily living

Perhaps as we (hopefully) emerge
from the constraints of the pandemic
The shimmering blue sky will bring
New hope, new life, new beginnings

Ken Fisher

Whatabout?

Whatabout?

Have you noticed how the unconvinced
Always have to ask – “what about”?
Their scepticism pervades all their thinking
They simply must find some flaw, some snag
Some doubt to cast on the validity
Of any proposal or plan or strategy

Perhaps they think they are being clever
In highlighting some omission or error
Which renders your suggestion untenable
What about the cost? The inconvenience?
The deconstruction of the existing situation?
Have you not considered the stumbling blocks?

Perhaps these naysayers might claim
They are only being prudent
That caution should precede action
That hesitation might be wiser than precipitation
They might even ask the complete showstopper
Whatabout doing nothing instead?

Enterprise is based on taking risks
Agreed that potential dangers should not be overlooked
But if whatabout is worth anything
We should reckon whatabout the failure to act?
Whatabout the missed opportunity?
Should we change the question from whatabout to howabout?

Then we might start living!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

The Tyranny of Positivity

The Tyranny of Positivity

When you feel down, your spirits low
Friends say forget that negativity
A smiling face you need to show
The way of positivity

It matters not what be the cause
Of your deep dark emotion
Dolefulness gains no applause
Forget that wrongful notion

They rarely think what be the hurt
That prompts the heart’s malaise
The issues that so disconcert
Our peace of mind can faze

The world expects a smiling face
Keep calm and carry on!
Positivity you must embrace
No matter what’s foregone

Even when our heart is sinking
Midst angst and endless fear
That power in positive thinking
Will wipe away your tears

So positivity exerts its force tyrannical
The fragile soul yet insensible
Of such strictures puritanical
All weakness reprehensible

Let’s all learn a little toleration
Of those thus stigmatised
That for lack of affirmation
They no longer be chastised

Ken Fisher