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

Icon

Icon

You must have noticed how the word ‘icon’ is now much overplayed
In ordinary conversation we seem to hear it almost every day
Historically the word was used to describe a religious work of art
Nowadays it is applied to distinguish some object thus setting it apart

In the digital age icons are used to represent a useful ‘application’
Click on the app’s icon and its functions leap into action
So in this case the icon is a symbol representing a function
The symbol and the routine working in conjunction

Now we seem to have decided that anything exceptional is ‘iconic’
From a well recognized brand name to a modern health tonic
Thus everyday symbols like those for Apple or Dyson
Ensure in our minds a sort of anticipatory frisson

All this is good for the salesmen and marketing gurus
But I wonder if the label ‘icon’ they are inclined to abuse
Indeed we seem to hear the word so often these days
It begins to sound like a meaningless phrase

So perhaps we should give the word icon a rest
In trying to identify what we claim is best
And simply describe what the icon would typify
Instead of using a symbol as some false alibi

Finally, it occurs to me that when the term ‘logo’ is used
Sometimes with icon I get it confused
Companies use logos to symbolize their essence
And icons direct you to their nearer presence!

Ken Fisher

Mountebank

Mountebank

Mountebank is an old-fashioned description
Of a person we might view with some suspicion
Someone to whom the truth is a stranger
Disregarding whoever they might endanger

Yet some mountebanks receive our affection
Despite evident flaws and clear imperfection
In fact it seems their shortcomings and chinks in the armour
Enhance their charisma adding even more glamour!

And now you might ask who these mountebanks are?
I suggest you don’t need to cast your thoughts far
Certain politicians of cabinet rank
Well known for failing to always be frank

Without doubt politics requires the skills of a clown
Able to climb back up when you’ve been knocked down
Political debate filled with confrontation
Every exchange can become altercation

The mountebank is more than a simple buffoon
Whose behaviour will change any time soon
Their jocular manner, bright disposition
Means they achieve wide recognition

Mountebanks exist in other professions
Those holding high office in different vocations
CEO’s, judges, medics, architects, all expert contractors
Many seem to have been trained as comic actors!

So perhaps the mountebank should not be derided
Their eccentric personality not seen as lop-sided
There is no doubt virtue among all the vice
And a little clowning surely adds spice!

Ken Fisher

 

No-Shows

No-Shows

“No-shows” are those who we had duly invited
Whose actual presence we surely expected
But for reasons unknown they failed to appear
Whatever has happened remains quite unclear

Their names all printed on the voters roll
A high turn-out is each party’s goal
On election day, their name’s still a blank
And for this omission we don’t know who to thank

Then there are those who won’t take the jab of vaccine
At the centre staff wait, but they’re nowhere to be seen
The syringes are all ready the people to protect
But without plea or excuse they simply defect

Doctors and dentists sometimes join the fray
If you don’t turn up on the expected day
Mind you, if you do, they can still keep you late
This frequently seems to be a poor patient’s fate

But perhaps the worst no-show I’m sure you’ll decide
When at the altar the groom’s lost the bride
The groom stands there waiting that he might be wed
His bride and her father gone AWOL instead

So I hope you won’t resort to being a no-show
If you’re meant to be there you really must go
From whatever duty don’t be an abstention
Avoiding the need for some crisis prevention

 

Ken Fisher

Sorry for Interrupting

Sorry for Interrupting

It never fails to irritate
When journalists keep interrupting
Those whom they interrogate
I find it most disrupting

Why don’t they give the interviewee
The chance to state their case?
Showing that the don’t agree
Denying them airspace

The hacks find fair game in politicians
Holding their feet to the fire
Countering their claims and petitions
Butting in promoting ire

Why are speakers for a cause asked on
To a programme to tell their tale?
If not allowed to educate or to inform
Hosts make sure their own views prevail

So let programme makers heed the plea
Give the guests some time and space
Don’t talk over them, let them be free
Let the audience hear their case

Ken Fisher

Hi Viz Vest

Hi Viz Vest

If your intention is always to be clearly seen
Not obscured within some devious smokescreen
Then the solution which undoubtedly is best
Is to make sure you’re wearing a Hi Viz Vest

Such a garment is not meant for showing off
Of Health & Safety measures you really must not scoff
The bright yellow colours help in your detection
Therefore providing the necessary protection

Apart from safety, other functions they fulfil
Sometimes they imply you have a certain skill
The uniform provides some guarantee
That on a building site you can be set free

This idea set me wondering if it’s the case
That others might use disguise by donning a face
Of apparent license to seemingly validate
A white coat, a name tag, thus might fabricate

Perhaps we should beware of authority ostensible
To check their badges of power might be quite sensible
Is the parking attendant, even our friendly copper
Simply a phoney acting out a monstrous whopper?

I am sure that most Hi Viz Vest wearers are not trying to deceive
The message of their bright gilets we can surely believe
And uniformed workers of whatever profession
Have aims other than this good life’s suppression

Ken Fisher

In Real Life

In Real Life

 

In Real Life
I wonder if there is
Any other kind of life?

I read the expression
‘In Real Life’
Comparing office life
With WFH
(Working From Home)

Some workers seem to feel
Apprehensive about returning to real life
Will we remember how to interact
With others not framed by a tiny screen?

But apart from Zoom and Teams etc
I wonder how we might be
Living in a manner which is
Not real life

Perhaps our imaginings and dreams
Are not real life
Can we escape real life
To hide in fantasy?

Humans can have a life of the mind
Animals, only to a limited extent
I guess they are trapped in real life
We can enjoy or endure the unreal life

Many say this is the only life we have
That is the real one, the here and now

But surely the life of ideas
Embracing our hopes and fears
Our plans and strategies
Our beliefs and aspirations

Brings both joy and sorrow

A much richer journey

Let’s not Get Real too quickly!

Ken Fisher

 

It’s Now or Never!

It’s Now or Never!

On the lifting of Covid Restrictions July 2021

It’s now or never declares the PM
Lift all restrictions, breathe free again
One wonders if that’s really wise
Is the bug still on the rise?

Yet not only with Covid but in life at large
Comes a time, horizons to enlarge
Grasp the reins, control regain
Take the profit or the shame

In such moments be prepared
‘Though the risk might make you scared
It’s now or never, don’t hesitate
Step boldly, espousing fate

So if today you vacillate
Doubting makes you prevaricate
Upwards and onwards forward facing
It’s Now, not Never, you’re embracing.

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

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

 

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