Generational Civil War

Generational Civil War

A side effect of our current predicament
While the virus is still running amok
Is the increasing resentment the young might rightfully feel
Against us oldies shielded from shock

Saved from job loss ‘cause we’re now in retirement
Redundancy can’t bring us great tension
Better off than erstwhile, a few bob in the bank
Thanks to our defined benefit pensions

No need to worry about a roof over your head
Enriched by our house value’s inflation
We steadily climbed the property ladder
Ensuring our wealth’s escalation

In our safe fortress young folk espy
Us oldies quite smug and secure
And they ask is it right
The youth of today might yet stay forever poor?

To save us oldies from the menacing virus
The young are now paying the price
Cast on to the dole, locked up in their digs
It is  the youth who are made sacrifice

We know that the hope is to limit the spread
Of this virulent menacing plague
But need so many young people be hostage
To a threat which still remains vague?

Let’s hope we can avoid a civil war
Between each of our generations
Resolve to be fair to both young and old
Concerned for the whole population

So if the old are to ensure the balance restored
They need to be somewhat more generous
Accepting they must help to redistribute their wealth
To the young in a manner magnanimous

Ken Fisher

Pivot Point

Pivot Point

The powers-that-be loudly declare
We’ve reached a pivot point
Now is the time for change they say
We must not disappoint

Covid-19 has brought this on
It never was our choice
But act we must without delay
Hear no dissenting voice

But what does pivot mean we ask?
Embrace a new direction
Abandon all that went before
Follow a new projection

A turning point in how we live
New job, new skills, new attitude
Seems the spirit of the age
The nostrum and the platitude

Is that the cure for our malaise?
Radical transformation
A whole ‘new you’ is what we need
Assuring our salvation

So as you begin to contemplate
Your metamorphosis complete
Try to retain the essence of your self
However bittersweet!

Ken Fisher

Equinox – Autumn 2020

Equinox  –  Autumn 2020

This astronomical event occurs 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 Autumnal Equinox
And our minds look back to warm summer days
And forward, with some foreboding, to approaching winter
And we are happy to say, for now, not yet!

An Equinox is perhaps a good time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for many blessings
For holidays, and travel, and time for relaxation

As the tint of the leaves turns and they begin
To flutter down to form an ochre carpet
Like the lowering of a flag at the end of a parade
We realise that gradual change must come

But shortening days and lengthening nights
Need not bring somber thoughts
Or fears of nocturnal terrors
‘Cause winter brings its own special charms

Family gatherings round the ‘hearth’
Bonfires and fireworks displays
Trudging home through deepening snow
To celebrate Christmas with those we love

And so we acknowledge the endless
Progression of the calendar
Through equinox to solstice
And solstice to equinox,
And again
An unending gyration

But this year things seem quite different
Covid -19 has cast its shadow over all that seemed ‘normal’
When these previous verses were written
And yet we would remain hopeful
Just as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the Sun
As each season brings its own mood and tenor
Let hope remain, the best is yet to come

Ken Fisher

 

 

You Will Need to Un-Mute!

You Will Need to Un-Mute!

In the world of social media there has been a great boom
Not least if we consider the mushrooming of Zoom
It has been the front runner in the digital race
Since it’s no longer easy to meet face to face

Covid-19 has spawned new ways of meeting
For serious talk or just everyday greeting
We can’t get near to each other and have a hug
Accept social distance with a nod and a shrug

But getting linked up has been no easy task
Like trying to speak clearly behind a face mask
First of all we need to download the apps
A procedure fraught with technical traps

Then once we’ve completed necessary boxes
Designed to protect us from scams or from hoaxes
We need to ensure we can make the connection
And the system will not simply offer rejection

At last we will find that Zoom is up and running
Seeing all the faces of contacts can be quite stunning
To achieve this array we hoped that you knew
You have to click straight on to Gallery View

Now it may depend on who is the host
That is the person whose power is the most
But if we hope that we will be able to speak
We will need to master some simple techniques

The most common problem that seems to arise
To seasoned Zoomers this is not a surprise
Peoples’ lips are moving, they look rather cute
But no sound is broadcast because they need to unmute!

So don’t forget when in on-line meetings you are asked to take part
To check the micro-phone icon first is really smart
Thus when on your message you wish to expound
Un-mute yourself first or we can’t hear any sound!

Ken Fisher

Enough

Enough

 

Enough is enough, I hear you say
But what does Enough imply?
Perhaps we mean sufficiency
Or even over supply

But often we don’t have Enough
Of time or money or friends
We long for the gaps to be filled in
To our yearning bring an end

At other times we’ve had more than Enough
Of noisy neighbours, or other folks’ pets
Of people with strong political views
Or those who’ve not given up cigarettes

On a more serious note there are the poor of this earth
Who get nowhere near Enough food
In camps they live out their wretched lives
Hoping someone might do them some good

On the other hand there are those who have far more than Enough
Who despite all their excess of possessions
Don’t feel any need to divest themselves
Their own comfort their only obsession

Sometimes Enough is about how we behave
As when others we would dominate
Enough! you cry out, just tone it down
Won’t you please get out of my face?

So Enough is an interesting concept to define
At times a shortage, at others an over excess
It depends on what we consider Enough ought to be
And how much we already possess

Ken Fisher

Is Christmas Cancelled?

Is Christmas Cancelled?

As Autumn days come closer I’m trying to be brave
Ignore ominous warnings of a looming second wave
But this virus is persistent, this fact you must believe
It hangs on tenaciously determined not to leave

Recently we had hoped it might be getting bored
Of menacing all humankind, its options all explored
But regretfully this little beastie refuses to depart
So far all our strategies it can easily outsmart

As week follows week and still the battle rages
Statistics keep confirming just how readily contagious
Covid 19 is a threat to all of life’s enjoyment
To say nothing of the risk to income and employment

Now we are beginning to give thought to Christmastide
Normally a season of goodwill shown nationwide
But are all our festivities to be dampened down this year
As we hide in our bubbles paralysed by fear?

So let’s declare to all the world Christmas won’t be cancelled
The tinsel and decorations are not that easily dismantled
Even if hugs are out we can still show our resistance
By partying, and roistering while maintaining social distance!

Ken Fisher

Mythology and Reality

Mythology & Reality

Throughout history mankind has tried to make some sense
To tell the truth devoid of all pretence
Of how it all began from times primordial
In terms poetic or proverbial

Creation myths common and widespread
Arose from stirrings in the head
As humans exercised their mind
From whence came life and humankind?

How did it all begin they mused?
By divers notions thoughts confused
Who or what was the prime mover?
Their earnest hope this might discover

Each ancient civilisation in its time
Sought for some guide, some paradigm
By which they could make sense of their existence
And found in folk tales great persistence

Thus venerable beings the status of Gods attained
Over kingdoms and empires they did reign
Powers without end held in their hand
All lesser mortals subject to their command

Throughout the world creation myths evolved
The Greeks, Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Norse all involved
Chinese, Indian, African, indeed throughout the globe
These existential issues thinkers probed

Within the Judaeo-Christian tradition the Genesis story is foundational
In these hallowed verses on creation so inspirational
We are told of the uniqueness of God in creation
And the depth of man’s fall and need for salvation

These early Bible chapters allegorical
Whose language, revered and rhetorical
Mythical but for some quite literal
Formed the basis of their faith canonical

But how might myth and reality be reconciled?
Perhaps the modern mind by science beguiled
Need science and myth always stand in opposition?
Must one view dominate, the other concede submission

I think perhaps best not be too dogmatic
Neither sphere regarded epigrammatic
Let myth provide the nuanced view of history
Science bring reality to mystery

Ken Fisher

A Rock and A Hard Place

A Rock and a Hard Place

‘In Greek mythology, Homer’s Odyssey tells of Odysseus being
trapped between a treacherous whirlpool and cliff dwelling
man-eating monster’

I wonder if you feel you are trapped
By life’s forces been kidnapped
No clear road out, which way to turn?
Resolution you cannot discern

Prisoners all of this lock-down
Little wonder we wear a frown
Horizons mightily reduced
By isolation thus seduced

Would that we could break free
And from these bonds could flee
Casting aside all that would restrain
And liberty regain

But rocks are unforgiving
Hard places confine living
Acceptance we must learn
Our burdens must be borne

But time’s progress will bring change
Freedom for the cell exchange
Chastened by our plight
Emerge into brightening light

Ken Fisher

Algorithm

Algorithm

An algorithm as our route map to life?
As if every situation we meet
Is as simple as a T junction
Left or right – no in between

You might use
A robust algorithm for furniture selection
For buying a replacement light bulb
To choose a new insurance provider
For checking if it’s your turn to put out the bins!

As long as you can reduce every decision
To a straightforward binary choice
Yes or No, greater than or less than
If only one option of two leads on to another
You are directed down that route

Thus quite complicated situations
Are reduced to a series of logical steps
Ideal when performing calculations
Automated reasoning, data processing
Problems tackled in short coherent stages

But algorithms are now in the political arena
Blamed for the recent exam results debacle
What happens when the algorithm
For all its logic, doesn’t give the desired out-come?
Of course we scrap it

And resort to human sophistry
To bring us the result
That is expedient
That’s the realpolitik
Of modern life

Perhaps unsurprising in the midst of a pandemic

Ken Fisher

Post Truth Society

Post Truth Society

It has been claimed
That truth has gone
The victim of modern living
It no longer matters
What we say
The world will be forgiving

But not just in words
In actions too
In every task that we should do
With ease, who cares
We simply bluff
Our way right through

When truth takes flight
And fiction rules
No-one knows what to believe
No longer sure
Of falsity or verity
Duplicity designed to deceive

If truth is only relative
Dependent on the context
How then define propriety?
Fake news, white lies
Flights of fancy, the currency of
Our post truth society

Ken Fisher

Out of Hibernation and Into School

Out of Hibernation and Into School

 

As we approach the opening of the new school year
Let us cast aside all doubts and fear
Which in our anxious minds may have arisen
As by Covid into hiding kids were driven

For several months pupils of our nation
Were subjected to forced hibernation
And despite their natural resistance
Had to maintain some social distance

A major aspect of this lockdown
Which to parents’ faces brought a frown
The closing of all schools and other institutions
To which educators had to find solutions

Thus home schooling became the norm
Mums and Dads were sometimes forlorn
They quickly had to learn new tricks
To the teaching problem find a fix

Not only that, parents also tried to work at home
As from the household few could roam
So new uses found for domestic premises
Overloading became the family nemesis

But thank goodness time will bring release
And hopefully a return to peace
When children once again head off for school
And order o’er our homes will rule

Let’s hope kids will be happy to return
When from this hiatus they adjourn
Ending these months of stifling frustration
Embraced by the blandishments of ‘real’ education

Ken Fisher

Funny Summer

Funny Summer

Funny summer we have had this year
I don’t mean ‘funny’ in the amusing sense
Often these days brought little cheer
To lockdown we offered no defence

Since Spring, a new pattern to our daily living
Past freedoms steadily withdrawn
The rules were rather unrelenting
Prospects left us quite forlorn

Why let this ‘new normal’ dictate our mood?
For much in life we should be grateful
Adversity can still yield good
If to kindness we keep faithful

So throughout these long summer days
When daylight our paths illuminate
We give thanks for God’s abiding grace
Our hearts his spirit might still permeate

So as funny summer slips quietly away
As Autumn beckons have no despair
Confident address each coming day
With hope its challenges forbear

Ken Fisher