Fiat Lux

Fiat Lux

[This poem is not about a small top-of-the-range
Italian mini car!]

Let There Be Light

Let there be light was God’s command
Ordained by His almighty hand
In those primordial days He spoke
Within creation’s masterstroke

And ever since the need for light
To bless humanity with sight
Was recognised by all mankind
Illuminating heart and mind

Light to shed on darkest mystery
Understanding gained through history
Of whom we are, how to survive
Sustaining life that we might thrive

From simple crafts and artifacts
Technology embracing facts
Enlightenment shed on our way
Progress the watchword of the day

In modern times let there be light
Penetrating all that would blight
Abounding threats to our welfare
Preventing freedom everywhere

Thus Fiat Lux become our plea
From tyranny that we be free
World poverty, widespread disease
Compassion’s light might bring release

Let light illumine every soul
Rational thought our minds control
The commonweal our deeds promote
Our attitude inspiring hope

Ken Fisher

Next Slide Please!

Next Slide Please!

I am sure we all view this man with affection
His cautious messages for our protection
Graphs and diagrams to keep us informed
Of threatening trends he ensures we are warned

He sometimes spars with the bold PM
Who this health hazard would roundly condemn
But Prof Whitty says we need play the long game
If this menacing beastie we hope to contain

This boffin is a statistician’s dream
Explaining what the baffling numbers mean
With line graphs and pie charts one thing’s for sure
The nation’s predicament is no longer obscure

With PowerPoint he has ably displayed
Hard facts that sometimes make us dismayed
But we would be wise to simply think twice
Before we ignore his prudent advice

As he progresses through his presentation
On nasty viruses’ latest mutation
He reminds us the battle’s not yet won
And the need for vigilance not quite done

The rate of vaccination should bring hope
Assuring us all that we are going to cope
The double jab is our route to salvation
From this pandemic still engulfing the nation

So let’s pray that in the course of time
The next slide might point to conditions sublime
When the graphs show the bugs almost disappear
And Professor Whitty proclaims we need no longer fear!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

E.S.G.

 

E.S.G. = Environmental, Social, Governance

E.S.G – may not mean much to you
But for companies quite significant
Important issues to consider
Of which they must be vigilant

In this modern woke world
When public much more aware
Of how firms are cherishing
This world for which we care

In the past, profit was the only aim
Must please rapacious shareholders
But what about the hard-pressed workers?
And other worthy stakeholders

For far too long Executive pay unbridled
They claimed huge bonuses, believed they were entitled
Now stakeholders shout ‘Out of Order’
When they create such world disorder

Directors must now consider
The company’s impact on nature
And all in the wider society
Expecting  governance more mature

So rich CEO’s and executives
Can no longer just ignore
The effect of their business activities
On this wide world’s poor

Climate change, pollution, corrupt practices
Have recently been pushed to centre stage
Good governance applied in all their ventures
From discrimination to the living wage

And in order to monitor progress on these measures
Companies coerced to report on these benchmarks
Scrutiny applied by Government and many other parties
Thus E S G become the acclaimed hallmarks

Culture in any organisation
Set by those at the top
But if the moral tone is right
That’s not where it stops

Ken Fisher

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality
Sounds rather ominous
That strange name for a strange phenomenon
The shadow cast by the moon
As it shuts out the sun’s light
From striking the earth

This is a Solar Eclipse
And it happens today – 10 June 2021
It actually happens quite often
But total ones apparently only every 400 years!
Then darkness is cast over All the earth

But the idea of Path of Totality
Might be filled with foreboding
Some all-consuming threat
Dark menace encroaching

Totality excludes all else
Brooks no opposition
No rivals admitted
Defies competition

Totality’s path
A solitary track
A one-way route
No turning back

So what else in life
Might Totality imply?
From this exclusive sphere
Would our spirit fly?

Ken Fisher

Influencer

Influencer

Over the past few years
You may have become aware
Of a new social phenomenon
That is the ‘Influencer’

These influencers mainly
Exercise their sway
Through Social Media
Computerised evangelists!

Their power rests in their ability
To condition our thoughts and actions
Primarily our purchasing decisions
But their influence can affect
Every aspect of life
From before the cradle
To after the grave!

But is this really a new idea
And is it benign or deleterious?

Here are some long-standing influencers:

Teachers and Preachers
And marketing men
Mothers and Fathers
And friends who know them

Instructors and Coaches
Who help us improve
Parking attendants
Who tell us to move

Lecturers and Readers
And lofty Professors
Even Priests who for the pious
Might be their confessor

Doctors and nurses
Concerned for our health
Financial Advisers
Who look after our wealth

Driving Instructors
To get us on the road
With due regard
To the Highway Code

YouTube performers
Who show us how
To solve any problem
We might have right now

Spin doctors and lobbyists
Cannot be ignored
Despite expressing feelings
That some might deplore

Aunties and Uncles
Who know it all
Tell us to take care
Lest from grace we may fall

From cradle to grave influencers opine
Ante natal clinics tell us if the baby is fine
Long before we get old we must set up a pension
And a funeral plan can avert future tension

Face Book, TikTok , Instagram and the rest
For the persuaders these are the tools of their trade
From these modern platforms their message goes forth
Their power to beguile us out on parade

And so it would seem the list just goes on
The range of influencers is ever so long
Perhaps we should pause, and briefly think twice
Why not just simply take our own advice?

Ken Fisher

Ticking Time Bomb

Ticking Time Bomb

Ticking time bomb, ominous expression
Laden with foreboding
Signalling some impending disaster
Primed with inexorable doom

Who set the clock ticking?
Trigger to delayed destruction
How long the time delay?
Before the inevitable calamity

Too easily we assign ‘time bomb’
To some future assault to health or fortune
As if our actions or omissions
Must lead to inevitable tragedy

Thus politicians and power brokers
Have laid up the powder
For the ineluctable explosion
Heralding the slaughter of the innocents

All this seems a little over-hyped
Threat of ticking time bomb
Used to highlight our folly
Ignoring the supressed peril

So what should be done?
Stride boldly into the minefield
Sever the fuse, eliminate the menace
Or tiptoe through hoping to remain unscathed

Perhaps we might discover
The ticking time bomb
Is a mere chimera
A threat without substance

Ken Fisher

 

WOW!

WOW!

 

WOW, that expression of huge surprise
Signified by widening eyes
The unexpected news event
Shock reaction we can’t prevent

Somehow we did not anticipate
Arrival so precipitate
Of good fortune landing in our lap
Much more likely some mishap

WOW signifies astonishment
At unforeseen accomplishment
Who would have known? We must exclaim
The loser joins the hall of fame!

WOW expressed in admiration
At some achievement, new creation
Amazed we stand with mouth agape
As novel artifact takes shape

Cynics sometimes express WOW
Can’t believe the why and how
Their WOW has such a hollow ring
Of your praises they won’t sing

But mostly WOW means genuine praise
As the flag they keenly wave
Well done, plaudits much deserved
Congratulations unreserved

Ken Fisher

 

Silence is Golden?

Silence is Golden?

‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent’ – Ludwig Wittgenstein

How often have we declared
“I simply had to say something”
But would it not have been better
If we had just said nothing?

Can silence actually say something?
When we remain tight lipped
In the face of some blatant calumny
An outrageous slander

But what is being said by the silence?
Approval, disapproval, support or opposition
Or it might simply be indifference
Who cares anyway?

You’ve met the silent participant I’m sure
The mute committee member at meetings
The deaf ear when asked for their view
The parent pretending not to hear offspring’s pleadings

The toddler who has discovered language
Her favourite word is Why?
Amusing at first, but eventually Dad wearying
Of this unending inquisition, resorts to silence

‘Speak now or forever hold your peace!’
The pronouncement on the brink of matrimony
Time to stifle the dark misgivings of the bride’s father
Who has refrained from expression of his inner forebodings

Then there’s the sullen teenager
Silent amidst internal angst
The morose husband
Long ago mislaid his power of speech

On a wider canvas, we refer to the Silent Majority
What is the meaning of this reticence?
If you are not for me – are you against me?
Such taciturnity – explain please!

But silence ought not always be indicted
In moments of ignorance, or awe, or tragedy
Whereof one cannot speak,
Thereof one must be silent

Ken Fisher

Browser

Browser

Your Gateway to the World

 

Before the digital age what was a browser?
A bookworm ensconced in the library shelves
Earnest students somewhat absorbed in themselves
But now a browser is seen as an essential tool
To plumb the depths of a bottomless pool

Of all the ‘bells and whistles’
Your computer may offer
No matter what other charms it may proffer
The browser is the greatest of all these gizmos
Every fact from ocean’s depths to infinite cosmos

Between our enquiry however recondite
In simplest terms the browser aids navigation
As through millions of web pages we seek direction
In microseconds to our obscure questions
A medley of equally arcane suggestions

Browsers have opened the gate to internet usage
And nowadays this space is filled with world-famous names
Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and others make claims
To circle the globe with limitless archives
Without which the tech world could hardly survive

Into the Web Browser the URL you insert
The HTTP sets up the communication to the server
Such codes are a vital necessary precursor
Click and the search engine obeys your command
The world of knowledge accessed, what’er you demand

Ken Fisher

 

En Plein Air

En Plein Air

En plein air describes outdoor painting
Famous French artists adopted this style
But not only art has moved into the open
Al fresco dining would all us beguile

The pandemic has taught us how to endure
Elemental forces while our hunger we sate
No rain or shine, icy blast or heat wave
Thwart gratification we eagerly crave

We have learned how to huddle tightly
Together at tables in any courtyard
Social distance breached despite the risk
Quite cavalier of this simple safeguard

All this in expectation of steady progress
When en plein air is no longer commanded
From threatening skies once more protected
Such pretence of comfort swiftly abandoned

Ken Fisher

Y O L O – You Only Live Once

YOLO  – You Only Live Once

Unless you believe in reincarnation
Perhaps even in resurrection
‘Life in not a rehearsal’ is what they say
So make the best of each new day

But that sounds fine until we reflect
How much of our life we are free to direct
For most  of our time is already prescribed
The pattern of years quite circumscribed

Society constrains the way we behave
Family duties and work readily enslave
Although these commitments may bring us much joy
The concept of freedom they surely destroy

But if Y O L O is true, and even if not
The notion should certainly prompt the thought
How best can we live out this tenure of years
Yielding contentment rather than tears?

Y O L O seems to exclude any afterlife
Perhaps therefore promote love rather than strife
So why not stick with the Golden Rule
Do to others as you would have them do to you

Ken Fisher

 

Ode to the Banks

Ode to the Banks

A lot of money to the banks is owed
Huge sums from those who have borrowed
So this little ode is such a tribute
To acknowledge what the banks contribute

The banks take money from deposits
Holding it within their closet
Then much of it straight out they send
As we request that they might lend

Of course lending does not come free
Interest charged to you and me
The borrowing rate is somewhat more
The deposit rate is near the floor

In this way a profit’s made
And dividends can thus be paid
But bankers can not be sure
Those borrowers won’t turn poor

If this happens they might default
The transaction grinding to a halt
So before bankers hand us any cash
Must ascertain we won’t be rash

In days of yore the Manager you would meet
Nowadays only computers will you greet
An algorithm on you adjudicates
Digitisation of your fate

The banks do other things than lend
Our monthy payments they will send
And happily receive our pay
Holding it from day to day

Direct Debits, Standing orders kept up to date
Ensuring utility payments avoid being late
Contact cards and others we can swipe
Thanks to that magic magnetic stripe

Credit cards keep us afloat
As good as any old bank note
But this money does not come cheap
Costly spending for our upkeep

Cash machines are still a vital service
When we might need cash for any purpose
And others like to go inside, served at the counter
Where even now the bank staff we encounter

The strategic role of the banks is vital to the nation
With the Bank of England money kept in circulation
With guidance from the Treasury above
All banks work with them hand in glove

Mind you sometimes things go wrong
In the banking crisis some collapsed headlong
It’s then that Joe Public was asked to foot the bill
For all of us a bitter pill

But overall the banks have served us well
For them we shall not yet toll the knell
So for all we owe to the banks, this ode I dedicate
Their worth we ought not underestimate

Ken Fisher