Why Feel the Need to Put It Right?

Why feel the need to put it right?

“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
   That ever I was born to set it right”
Hamlet – William Shakespeare

 

The world is all at odds and nothing’s right
From poverty to climate change we get it wrong
But why must I alone campaign with all my might
Why can’t I simply learn to play along?

Lambasted day and night by media strident
Eyes and ears assaulted by their calls to arms
With such extreme demands made more defiant
I yearn to dissipate their bogus charms

The time may be out of joint but what of me?
Has time’s passing left me out of touch with life
The modern world’s virtues I refuse to see
All novelty thus fosters angst and  strife

To right all wrongs is that my great ambition?
Are not countless others seeking the common weal
Must I be sole crusader on this conceited mission
No wonder this lost cause lacks all appeal

Ken Fisher

S W O T

S W O T

 

No doubt you will have heard of this type of analysis
Intended to ensure no business is caught in paralysis
Strengths and Weaknesses we need to assess
Opportunities and Threats we have to address

But all this sounds like turgid ‘management speak’
Pointless obscure words concealed in mystique
To what does it amount? I hear you ask
Why waste any effort on this pointless task?

Well let’s leave the business world to its own devices
Might the SWOT analysis be for each of us decisive
Measuring our own strengths by a little introspection
Confessing our weaknesses in earnest reflection

Strengths come in a variety of guises
To realise this might provide surprises
Dormant skills and knowledge can be drawn into service
To compensate for weaknesses doing us disservice

Opportunities are the things that help us to advance
Sometimes we discover them as if by chance
But we need not just rely on luck to bring us progress
Exploiting new ideas often the hallmark of success

Finally there are threats – these can scupper our endeavour
But to negative thoughts or consternation we should not surrender
Each danger should be faced in the cool light of day
Problems thoughtfully overcome, we advance on our way

Ken Fisher

Brexit Day

Brexit Day

No doubt some will shout bravo!
But others do not want to go
47 years the full duration
UK as one Euro nation

Freedom regained some will claim
But many think it is a shame
To break the bonds of these long years
And surely they will shed a tear

The pros and cons are balanced finely
Divorce will not be gained benignly
But from Brussels rule we will be free
The Eurosceptics wish to flee

But what of solidarity with others?
Continental sisters, brothers
Surely we can still be friends
When formal Union meets its end

Ken Fisher

Just As Soon As

“Just as soon as”

Why must we live life with the ever-present thought
Something will happen “just as soon as”
Just as soon as I have completed my education……..
Just as soon as I have got a good degree…………..
Just as soon as I land a rewarding  job……………..
Just as soon as my career progresses……………
Just as soon as I meet the right partner………..
Just as soon as I can afford my first home……..
Just as soon as I start a family………..
Just as soon as the kids grow up and leave home……
Just as soon as my divorce settlement comes through….
Just as soon as I can afford to retire……………
Just as soon as I escape all responsibility for anything…….

So life is a sort of local train chugging relentlessly along
As soon as we reach one station we must head on to the next
Never stepping off to enjoy the pleasures beyond the platform
And then at last, when we have fulfilled the timetable
We stagger towards the terminus – only to hit the buffers
What was that all about? We ask

Ken Fisher

Note: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) viewed the ‘just as soon as’
mentality as the most significant problem of Western Civilisation!
Mainly as a snipe against religion which promised ‘pie in the sky by and by.’

Declutter

Declutter

Why wait for Spring before you declutter?
Oh give us peace! Do I hear you mutter?
But I think you’ll agree without any doubt
There comes a time when we need a clear out

But what has triggered this irresistible urge?
Which of all our affairs now demands that we purge
Is it clothing or towels making drawers overflow
Where it’s clearly time that all this junk must go

We live in an age of relative affluence
Where the advertising moguls have exerted great influence
So most of us have far more stuff than we need
And our comfort and warmth is thus guaranteed

Maybe our bookshelves are simply groaning
And in literary works we find ourselves drowning
Or computer storage, of which we are proud
Has now almost inundated that overhead ‘cloud’

Indeed it might even be that our own tiny mind
Finds its content too great to be thus confined
And our brain is demanding to have a spring clean
It’s incumbent on us to improve its hygiene

Perhaps our whole life a declutter demands
Many problems and issues filling our hands
We feel over-committed in every direction
And from many of these it’s time for defection

So to decluttering we should all now pay close attention
Thus ensuring that in future we consider prevention
Of that malady which typifies the modern age
And from all such excesses we might disengage

Ken Fisher

The Chateau and the Gateau

The Chateau and the Gateau

Poor Harry and Meghan have been told it’s not on
Their fairy tale has reached its denouement
They really cannot be that conceited
To keep all the cake and then simply eat it

The chateau an ideal place to abide in
The cake just the thing to get your teeth in
But why should the subjects be expected to pay
From taxation extracted from their daily wage?

We don’t wish to be unkind and seen to be mean
But to afford part-time royals we’re not very keen
Most of the people work hard every day
And the Sussex proposal they viewed with dismay

So Meghan and Harry and even Baby Archie
Have no doubt had quite a loud argy-bargy
But they now know how most of us feel
And we’re not coming up with any new deal

So I hope all goes well on the far distant shore
And with America they will not get bored
Star quality like Harry and glitzy young Meg
Are unlikely to find that they need to beg

So in the meantime as we bid them farewell
Who needs an HRH their career to propel?
They’re bound to succeed with their oodles of charm
And a little hardship might do them no harm

Ken Fisher

Note: the headline Chateau and Gateau is the invention of the UK
Sunday Press

Flexitarian

Flexitarian

 

What on earth is a flexitarian?
What is the meaning of this neologism
Perhaps I should ask my local librarian
Before my weary brain suffers a paroxysm

Apparently it’s related to our dietary choices
Where the zeitgeist dictates we make radical change
Responding to the many strident voices
Who warn of the fact we can’t stay the same

But it occurs to me this need for flexibility
For other aspects of life might be a wise prescription
Perhaps we should be enhancing our capability
To meet its challenges no matter the description

For instance in employment, the one job for life is gone
Serial careers, like serial marriage, is the modern way
No use hankering for the past, downcast and forlorn
We have to be prepared for living, come what may

Multi-skilling is the message, get it loud and clear
Hone your talents, boost your languishing CV
Step into unknown territory, eschewing all fear
Be ready to become the very best you can be

Go with the flow, catch that tidal wave
Ready for each original movement of trend
In music, or art, cinema or theatre
Ensure that novelty becomes your best friend

To the world of ideas extend your embrace
Let these your prejudices quickly displace
Politics, philosophy, perhaps even faith
In your pliable thinking accord them a place

So just as the flexitarian’s choices in food
Are no longer rigid and tightly constrained
Make open living promote what is good
A lifestyle which therefore is quite unrestrained

Ken Fisher

Social Kissing – a nightmare at New Year

SOCIAL KISSING – A nightmare at New Year

How to handle New Year’s greetings?

Unknown

 

It may just be that there is something I’m missing
But I’m perplexed by the rules about ‘social kissing’
For this without doubt is a real pressing question
And I would be pleased to hear your suggestions

For most of my life we controlled our emotion
Kissing reserved to show real deep devotion
For parents to children or husband to wife
But rarely to others in everyday life

But now that’s all changed and we kiss everyone
And I’m inclined to think it is much overdone
Not just our family or fairly close mates
Or young lovers embracing on their very first dates

No, today it would seem it is quite de rigueur
The habit ‘s almost become like a force majeure
No matter how casual may be the connection
We feel obligated to show our affection

But what is expected, a peck on the cheek?
Perhaps for many that may seem too weak
Go the whole hog, I say with a shrug
And grasp my victim in a mighty bear hug!

Then there’s the problem of which side comes first
Get it wrong and your sore head will need to be nursed
As your nose swipes across your acquaintance’s face
You will try to disguise the emerging grimace

The kiss straight on the lips might indeed satisfy
No doubt a technique that most bounders might try
But for those less red-blooded let’s keep it cool
Anyway, inappropriate kissing might prove you a fool

And now greeting each other in this a New Year
The procedure has assuredly filled me with fear
Back in the day we simply shook hands
Today full-hearted embrace is what custom demands

So where does this leave us, is there no protocol
For modern behaviour – no guidance at all?
Perhaps we should return to the well-tried handshake
And give all this kissing and hugging a break
Ken Fisher

 

[Original idea for this poem from the Daily Telegraph]

Existential Threat

Existential Threat

It is the season of year when thoughts become reflection
The darkness of the days shrouding our hearts in gloom
Musing over life’s purposes in maudlin introspection
A frame of mind where good cheer finds little room

At this time pundits give their prognostications
Experts on the media offer up predictions
What challenges and threats will face the nations
But what is fact and what mere speculation?

This New Year the future may seem bleak indeed
Ominous forecasts of the effects of climate change
Our confidence and hope now rapidly recedes
A dark and fear-filled abyss offered in exchange

Melting ice, rising tides, infernos fiercely blazing
Islands swamped, tornados wreak destruction
Forest fires whole communities thus razing
Advancing flames defeating all obstructions

And other threats to settled life, even our existence
Skulk on the landscape whose horizon we now scan
Consciousness filled with angst at their staunch persistence
Against the life of every woman and of man

From whence comes these other threats existential?
We thought the Cold War had become past history
But nuclear war by accident or design is once more potential
Led by zealots or by fools, determined to seek victory

Cyber crime has suddenly become a feature of our life
In times past straightforward fraud was for us sufficient
But nowadays not just theft but social media strife
Executed by perpetrators highly efficient

Centuries ago Rev Thomas Malthus warned of expanding population
He claimed that too many people would lead only to starvation
In modern times, family sizes fell in industrial nations
But elsewhere in our world today we see no limit on creation

And rightfully, many people aspire to improve the quality of living
So they seek refuge in other lands to find a better way
In this endeavour they face dangers unforgiving
The desire of their heart may never see the light of day

All this presents an outlook that offers little cheer
Is there no nostrum that might this angst assuage?
Must our hearts be filled with anxiety and fear
What remedy or cure might our minds persuade?

I think the best thought I can offer is that we must not despair
Trust in the human spirit that goodness might prevail
That collectively for each-other we might truly care
As on these global problems together we assail

Ken Fisher

At the Threshold of the Year 2020

At the Threshold of the Year 2020

 

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
It’s 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 is that in these dark fading days of late December
As we approach 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?
We’ve 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 have reached the end of the decade
2020 vision implies our sight is sharp and clear
But would such clarity make us afraid
Expectation of the future raising only fear

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

 

 

Is Christmas really a time for Wanting?

Is Christmas really a time for Wanting?

Christmas is the time for Wanting
So at first light on Christmas morning
We will find goodies piled ever higher
Treasures to match our heart’s desire

Wanting, the driving force of our demand
The ‘must have’ toy, the glitzy brand
Advertisers lay on constant pressure
Without their wares you’ll have no pleasure

‘Everyone is buying this stuff’
Parents challenged by such bluff
Kids hold your feet to the blazing fire
Your prompt submission they require

Such Wants are given centre stage
Nothing can those demands assuage
Households forced into mounting debt
Approaching advent makes you sweat

But must Christmas only feature Wants?
Gifts, sumptuous meals in restaurants
Must all our Wants be quickly sated
When often we remain frustrated?

And well we know from past experience
Wants acquired make little difference
We thought of the object that we covet
No joy in life if we can’t have it

But that is so far from the truth
Dissatisfaction is the proof
We Want and Want and still Want more
Teach us this yearning to ignore

Our error is only Wanting for ourselves
Such motives thus our thoughts compel
What if we Wanted things for others?
By kindness we could work great wonders

We might then aspire to seek their good
Ensure their needs be understood
And then in actions great or small
Their suffering we might forestall

Wants are part of Christmas living
But of equal merit is the Giving
As we receive with thankful hearts
In generous Giving play our part

So as well as getting this Christmastide
In generous giving let us take pride
That Wants and Needs might coalesce
And mutual joy be thus expressed

Ken Fisher

Santa’s Not Coming 2019

Santa’s NOT Coming

 

Santa’s not coming, I told you so
Reindeer and sledge will no longer go
He’s giving this year a body swerve
No present for us as we don’t really deserve

Like naughty children we have misbehaved
For this we can’t escape quite unscathed
During the year so much has gone wrong
And Santa’s not willing to just play along

The whole Brexit business is quite a disgrace
And from this debacle we’ll never save face
Politics has got us into such a tangle
As with fellow Europeans we endlessly wrangle

But now Boris has won we can steer a new course
The Tories returned in much greater force
But whether this means that we’ve lost many friends
Or does the whole fiasco not make any sense?

Then there is climate change which we tend to neglect
As with drought, flood and tempest we are now beset
But sooner or later we will need to take action
As melting snow and burning sun brings a reaction

Of course many think that we are doing just fine
And ask why the world’s problems are deemed to be mine?
If jobs are lost and people are on their beam ends
Surely they can call up a favour from friends

It’s a pity about the beggar on our local street
As he crouches despondent just at our feet
As we avoid eye contact and pretend he’s not there
We simply shrug and say “the world is unfair”

So I don’t see why Santa should go off in a huff
And punish us for all this nasty stuff
Why spoil Christmas, the time of good cheer
When we’ve all been so good throughout the past year!

Why is Santa not coming, it’s surely unfair
Do we have for others a ‘duty of care’?
Perhaps he will return if we stop to reflect
And then in love with others fondly connect

Ken Fisher