Yorkshire

Yorkshire

A visit to Yorkshire will do you much good
Like a slice of roast beef with Yorkshire pud
Long walks in the dales might give you blisters
As you pursue the tales of those Bronte sisters

The largest county in the whole of England
From Leeds cityscape to Scarborough sand
Ancient abbeys, fortresses and castles to see
The home of Emmerdale on your TV

Building societies for the financially wise
Percy Shaw who gave roads Cats Eyes
Cricketing legends and Sheffield steel
Harrogate health spas to improve how you feel

In earlier years even the Yorkie bar
Sent from the county to lands afar
Wensleydale cheese, another favourite
And Parkin a cake for your great delight

I think you can see Yorkshire gets my vote
If a little time you care to devote
It’s not too far if you care to travel
And strong Yorkshire Tea is not their only marvel!

 

Ken Fisher

Andante

Andante

 

 

Andante – a moderately slow tempo
An easy walking pace
Relaxed, unhurried
You’re not in a race

We live life in a rush
Startled by the starter’s gun
Forward, ever onward
Always on the run

Why can’t we learn
It’s not a competition?
There is no prize
No quest for recognition

As in the fabulous tale
The Hare and the Tortoise
Hare defeated in the race
Opponent held his poise

So let us learn to keep
That even balanced tread
In all our daily doings
Its steady rhythm embed

Andante – like ticking of the clock
Slow but sure progress
Meet each daily challenge
While serenity possess

Ken Fisher

Demystify

Demystify

While contemplating my Anti-Fog Lens Cloth
[Which has been extremely effective in the pandemic]
Thoughts arose as to what else might need demystifying
How might I achieve a clearer vision and sharper focus?

Here are just a few Big Ideas which need demystifying for us
The lay public realise we should understand these concepts
But often don’t, and even more often
Are untroubled by our ignorance!

Can you lift the veil on these mysteries?

General Relativity, Particle Physics, DNA
In Cosmology what part does Dark Energy play?
In Theology what do they mean by mankind’s Salvation
Or can you describe what Darwin meant by Evolution

Who can explain about Quantum Mechanics?
Whose recondite concepts put us in a panic
Angular Momentum, Magnetic Moment and Spin
Of this abstruse science Uncertainty is a lynchpin

Chemistry is rich in quite obscure mystery
Although it can even be foggy in Medieval History
Who knows the detail of what’s Organic or Analytical
Or were plagues in the Dark Ages equally critical?

For almost all of us the realm of Mathematics
Is a challenge for even those who are quite pragmatic
With simple Arithmetic or Geometry we might even cope
But with Trigonometry and Algebra we quickly lose hope

In philosophy things can really blow your mind
Agonising over Ethics and Metaphysics, ideas of that kind
What did Kant mean by the Categorical Imperative
Or Paul Feyerabend who mused on ideas that are Relative?

Then there’s Art and Dance and classical Sculpture
Orchestral Music, Opera, all part of our culture
Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Realism
Conceptual, Figurative, and even Abstractionism

And so we could go on across the whole realm of knowledge
Subjects and specialisms we would have to acknowledge
Thank goodness for Wiki who comes to our aid
And despite any defects earns our accolade

Ken Fisher

 

Subject to Availability

Subject to Availability

Some things are no longer readily available
And no matter how coveted or desirable
The pandemic introduced restriction
And we must curb unrestrained addiction

‘Subject to availability’ flashes on the screen
As we browse the on-line market scene
No longer be granted instant satisfaction
Disappointment and frustration our reaction

We are obsessed by anticipation
Like Pavlovian dogs yielding salivation
Lured by market sirens so seductive
Any inhibition appears obstructive

For far too long we have come to expect
Our requests no purveyor would reject
So unavailability seems a tame excuse
Our loyal patronage to refuse

But we must learn we have no divine right
To demand that what e’er looms into sight
Might immediately become our manifest possession
No excuse for futile reactive depression

Thus if the object of desire is pro tem unavailable
Or perhaps our aims be totally unachievable
Help us to accept the fact with equanimity
Restore our agitated mind to calm tranquillity

Ken Fisher

 

See also this Poem

T & C’s apply

 

Hands-On Philosophy

Hands-On Philosophy

Is there such a thing as
Hands-on Philosophy
Or is it all too airy fairy
Pie in the sky?

Who can make sense
Of the study of the
Fundamental nature of
Knowledge, reality, and existence?

Well that seems to be
The agenda for the
Aspiring philosopher
Mind blowing!

From deep thinkers of the ancient world
Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Every one had got the bottle!

To search for truth and understanding
Make sense of life
And all there is
St Anselm and God thoughts

And on it goes
The panoply of lofty thinkers
Through the Age of Reason
To modern times

In every decade
Philosophers exercised their minds
In wrestling with logic, free will
Happiness and conflict

But was any of this Hands-on?
No doubt it was brain engaging
But just as faith without works
Is said to be dead

So then philosophy
Without application and action
Is mere abstraction
Comfortable navel-gazing

So what, you might say
Can a thing, an idea, an object
Not simply exist for itself?
Surely that’s philosophy

Hands off!

 

Ken Fisher

 

The Reading of the 5,000

The Reading of the 5,000

The Reading of the 5000

[Written on the day when I reached 5,000 unique
Visitors to my web site – with 20,700 visits]

With a nod to the Biblical Miracle
When 5000 were wondrously fed
The Bard’s ever faithful followers
His verses have willingly read

The fact that so many people
Have adopted a kind attitude
To this faltering novice scribe
Commands eternal gratitude

He is pleased you have taken the time
To explore his poetic expression
Of thoughts about life and living
From boredom perhaps a digression

The topics of poems are quite widespread
And hopefully will speak to your heart
Within the range you surely will find
Some wisdom it yet might impart

And so my friend thank you once more
For being prepared to indulge
As one of those brave 5,000 souls
To whom my poetic thoughts I divulge

Ken Fisher
The Bard of Kelvindale

Photo Album

Photo Album

 

Old photo albums
We miss them in the digital age
Those bulky dossiers
Dark coloured pages
Festooned with corner fixings
Holding our life history
And Large files of plastic folders
Stuffed with printed photos
Sometimes tidy
Often chaotic

And yet it’s all there
Baby Joan’s first tottering step
Tom and Ian cavorting in the paddling pool
“Our home” in the 1950’s
Looking ramshackle
But why did we ever leave?
Grandpa’s birthday
In his chair, a little tipsy
Time for a snooze
Caught him unaware

But times move on
Snapping no longer limited to
A Kodak or Ilford spool
Of 24 or 36
And then the glories of colour!
Almost dazzling
But you still had to wait
Until your creations
Returned from the processor
Unless you had your own darkroom

Now all this restriction and mystery is gone
Infinite snapping, instant results
Cameras now high-powered computers
Phones not just for your ears but for your eyes
Abundant selfies for the self-obsessed
But where are the photo albums of today?
Not in the book but in the cloud
More images than ever for the world to see
No paper corners to hold our prints
Our images released to all the world

Ken Fisher

Knight Errant

Knight Errant

[Knight Errant – a medieval knight wandering
In search of chivalrous adventures]

Glaswegians will quickly recognise
This knight acting oh so wise
Head festooned with traffic cone
With face mask, he’s not now alone

Hope he might be quick to scare away
The major threat of this our day
Get coronavirus on the run
This looming threat is no real fun

To the rescue comes our knight
Push this beastie out of sight
You can conquer in such style
That once again Glasgow can smile

Ken Fisher

[with gratitude to the designer of
the additions to the statue of
the Duke of Wellington]

Obscurity Masquerading as Profundity

Obscurity Masquerading as Profundity

At the risk of appearing to be a philistine,
A man ignorant of the difference between
High culture and tasteless vulgarity
I venture to suggest that sometimes
The advocates of refinement in the arts
Might seek to present their case
Enshrined in obscurity masquerading as profundity

Have you ever sat through a classical concert?
Where the cacophony of sound
Became an assault to your ears?
But you nodded enthusiastic agreement
When asked to acknowledge your appreciation
Or, in attending a new exhibition of sculpture
Muffle your laughter at the ludicrous display

Similarly the ballet, although demonstrating
Physical virtuosity, and artistic finesse
Might tax our imagination as to what
We are meant to decipher from the
Intricacies of movement
And nuances of shape and form
Presented for our delectation?

And so I could go on
Paintings selling at million dollar
Price tags. Wrestled over by the mega rich?
Such works would be a credit to any playgroup!
And finally, what about some arcane poetry?
Utterly impenetrable, fundamentally meaningless
But here you are bound to say – what does he know?

Don’t  his verses also come from the nursery?

Ken Fisher

Poetic Opacity (National Poetry Day 2019)

Poetic Opacity

A second airing of this poem for National Poetry Day 2019
The theme of National Poetry Day 2019 is TRUTH
I hope the sentiments in this poem reflect TRUTH
however opaque that might be!

 

Quote:

‘Opacity is an intrinsic characteristic of some poetry.
It simultaneously enables and complicates reception’
‘As much as we might have enjoyed reading (and writing) poetry when we were children, in school we are taught that poetry is inherently “difficult,” and that by its very nature it somehow makes meaning by hiding meaning.’    Matthew Zapruder (2017)

I wonder if a poem can only be a poem if it’s meaning is opaque?
Anything which is more straightforward is something of a fake
I don’t wish this comment to appear anti-intellectual
Perhaps my simple verses are really somewhat ineffectual

The use of English language, plain,  uncomplicated
Where each word and line of every verse is quite clearly stated
With a minimal use of tropes, metaphor or simile
Helps to convey the meaning with very little difficulty

But lack of figurative language, leaving all things quite literal
Ignores deep emotions, which ‘true’ poetry renders visceral
Thus the absence of oxymoron, hyperbole and allusion
For which bland literalism is no good substitution

But some might claim this is simply all far too transparent
Demands nothing of the reader to plumb its depths inherent
A true poem should stretch the questing mind
To open the eyes which otherwise stay blind

So poems where at first the meaning seems opaque
Where we must wrestle hard thus the hidden code to break
When we are challenged by obscure ideas and expressions
In the end the aesthetic reward is seemingly more precious

I suppose I do not wish to argue the validity of the case
In favour of poetic opacity, which doggerel might debase
But simple words conveying ideas quite transparent
I am still convinced might your close attention warrant

Ken Fisher

 

See also: In Praise of Poetry    Anatomy of Poetry

If Typists Were Poets

Bathroom Fittings

Bathroom Fittings

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The world of bathrooms and toilets has been truly transformed
The endless array of fittings would boggle your mind
From the old outside ‘privy’ completely reformed
To a shiny new palace of the ablutionary kind

When you enter the showroom you are quickly confronted
By gleaming examples of baths of all shapes and sizes
Toilet pans and bidets of any design you wanted
With slow-closing lids avoiding noisy surprises

The modern shower units encased in bright glass
With their temperature control and powerful jets
Incorporate features not seen in the past
A hydraulic solution to wash away stress

Then of course the showroom displays all sorts of taps
And wall heaters and mirrors in which you reflect
While luxuriating in steam you will surely relax
As if you are being subjected to the greenhouse effect

Without being too philosophical I have always believed
The yardstick of civilization is the gurgling water closet
If in hygienic surroundings you can be duly relieved
And even better still if you can find two shiny faucets

The Romans showed how this may be achieved
The bathhouse not just for cleanliness but for contemplation
Thus the rigours of life they could there relieve
The basilica the pride of that noble nation

So the message is this, buy some new bathroom fittings
The smallest room in the house deserves some attention
So don’t delay any longer, just make the decision
And now flush away all prevarication

Ken Fisher

 

Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Some people collect stamps or quaint comic books
For others it’s coins or treasured old spoons
All sorts of odd objects and strange paraphernalia
For me, I prefer Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Collection is too big for the fridge door to hold
So I simply had to take some action quite bold
On the bathroom tiles these icons stuck firm
Testimony to worldwide visits these can confirm

European cities are well represented
Almost enough to get us disoriented
But each little icon brings into focus
The time when that place had been our locus

Some of our tribe went to far destinations
Across the wide oceans, exotic nations
Returning to base with memories filled
With stories which left the home birds quite thrilled

It’s amazing how a fridge magnet vignette
Of towering mountains or a beach at sunset
Can transport us in our mind’s inward eye
A gift that fond memories can thus supply

So this collection of magnets held on tiles with blu-tac
Provides every day a welcome feed back
The pictures and symbols and miniature maps
Keep images fresh when much time has elapsed

Ken Fisher