The ‘Flu Jab 2020

The ‘Flu Jab [2020 Version]

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Don’t you just love it – this time of year?
That NHS reminder that can fill you with fear
It’s time once again to do as directed
And make sure from ‘flu you are fully protected

Not everyone receives this summons from high
But it applies to me – I admit with a sigh
The vaccine comes to us completely free
So take it manfully and don’t try to flee

If you are over the age of sixty-five
They will have checked your name in their archive
Or you are a pregnant lady, or overweight
It’s most unlikely that you can escape

If your immune system is somewhat suspect
They will be even keener your arm to inject
And if around the waist there is too much flab
They will puncture it all with the bold ‘flu jab

Of course we should not complain of this annual ritual
Intended to ensure that we remain fitter
And withstand the dangers of those nasty bugs
That seem to behave like micro-sized thugs

But this year jabs are so much more significant
In a world engulfed by the pandemic malificent
It’s not the ‘flu jab that is our  greatest desire
But the Covid vaccine that we all require

So when the message arrives to make the appointment
Make sure the nurse receives no disappointment
Get along to the surgery and bare your best arm
It will do you much good and surely no harm

Ken Fisher

Gotcha

Gotcha

That gotcha moment
When the radio host triumphantly
Traps a politician
By trawling up a quote where
He has now completely contradicted
His earlier recorded claims

That gotcha moment
When exaggerated advertising promises
About some wonder product
Or miracle cure
Are exposed as snake oil
A mere puff
By investigative journalism

That gotcha moment
When a two-timing husband
Comes out of a pub with his paramour
And unexpectedly bumps into
His daughter in the street
As she is returning from
The Brownies

That gotcha moment
When Amazon delivers
That awaited package to us
Which turns out to be
A cheap trinket
And not the anticipated
Wonder gizmo

That gotcha moment
When the press lifts the lid
On some long running scandal
Or conspiracy against the public
Which a heretofore pillar of society
Has perpetrated

Those gotcha moments
Facilitated by modern technology
Through the use of mobile data
Phone call history and activity
Monitoring.
Switch off to remain invisible!

But – perhaps the best gotcha moment
Is when it tumbles to us that there are times
When such an exposure of our own life
Might not easily withstand scrutiny
So others might think of us that this is
Their gotcha moment!

Ken Fisher

Walking the Dog – By Oliver Fisher

Walking The Dog

Her shaky hands grip  my lead and I can sense her nervous need.
I bark, but she is distracted. Hood up, eyes forward.
My owner reaches in her pocket and frantically opens one of her boxes.
Those black boxes control her actions and the white paper cylinders keep her distracted.
She does not look even though I bark. Hood up, eyes forward. She is blind.
I wonder, would she still take me out. In the rain and wind and snow.
If her need was not quite so
It seems as though she can not go an hour or so without that antidote.
I stare at my owner, it’s painful to watch and I do not understand
I bark again and this time she stops. She knows she should.
‘Run’ she says, but she’s been running too.
Click, click. It breaks me. It fixes her.
She drags, drags and drags again. My lead is short now, yet still she drags.
And once the ember finally dies and her hands stop shaking I see in her eyes.
My owner’s at ease once again. Until the next time I need walking.

Oliver Fisher

 

It’s Okay not to be Okay

It’s Okay not to be Okay

When the world expects to see you grin
And inside you are feeling grim
Remember there’s no obligation
That you must help to lift the nation

Even when others are on a high
And all you can do is simply sigh
You must be honest every day
It’s Okay not to be Okay

When we no longer can be  hearty
The life and soul of any party
It’s time for truth to be expressed
When sadly we just feel depressed

Too oft we think we must perform
Hold on to the expected norm
Our emoji must not frown
No-one wants us to be down

Why should we be so guilt ridden?
Darker moods from all be hidden
Simply ‘cause it won’t appeal
To be honest how we feel

So let toleration be expanded
As of our emotions we are candid
If right now we’re far from Okay
It is Okay for us to say

Ken Fisher

Halloween – 2020

Halloween [Saturday 31 Oct 2020]

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Trick or Treat I hear them ask – what should I reply?
As on the threshold of my door the guisers I espy
To ward them off I pay their price as if it were a ransom
With fruits and sweets and even nuts a gift that I thought handsome

But before I let my ‘guests’ depart I ask them in return
What entertainment will they provide, what act will they perform?
It is in times like these I find that suddenly they’re silent
Unable to convince me that Britain has still Got Talent!

However, eventually together they muster up some courage
One even recites a bawdy poem – not really with much flourish
Two more play on the ‘air guitar’ a stimulating riff
While others mouth imagined lyrics, standing there quite stiff

The performance duly over towards the door they shuffle
And in sharing out the Treats try to avoid a scuffle
It was then I notice their costumes quite exotic
Theatrical to say the least – some even psychedelic

These young celebrants in this ancient hallowed festival
Of evil spirits, ghosts and some things quite heretical
Are really just out to have fun with all their many friends
And despite their spooky garb they bring no ill intent

So when our doorbell rings with the challenge ‘Trick or Treat’?
Let’s welcome them with open heart – and with a smile do greet
‘Cause on the eve of All Saints’ Day it’s best that we been seen
To welcome visitors e’re so strange on this night of Halloween

But in this year of the ‘plague’ guising’s quite a task
How do you perform when your face is covered by that pesky mask?
Yet let’s not spurn all visitors amidst  threatening pandemic
Try not to make your welcome seem quite so anaemic!

Ken Fisher

 

Soap

Soap

 

Soap
Without it how could we keep clean?
Attend to bodily hygiene
These days its reputation rises
As the doctor now advises

Wash your hands with diligence
Against the virus build defence
Scrub the palms and ‘tween the fingers
Ensure no danger can there linger

This product ‘ere so commonplace
Yields spotless hands and shining face
And limbs and torso don’t exclude
Unless you feel a downright prude!

Soap’s not for your body alone
Lots of uses round the home
It often comes in liquid form
Multi-functions to perform

Whatever be our cleaning wishes
Grubby floors or daily dishes
Clothes fall victim to the dirt
Smart fashion wear to cheap t-shirts

In the machine’s rotating drum
Clothes and soap together turn
And when the purging is complete
We’re summoned by that welcome ‘beep’

Whether in wash-hand basin or the sink
Just take a little time to think
Without the work of common soap
Of cleanliness we lose all hope!

Ken Fisher

Clocks Go Back 2020

Clocks Go Back 2020

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in
In no time at all we will arrive at Halloween
Darkness is descending, as we struggle through the gloom
But perhaps this year no guisers draped in their costume

‘Ere we reach that ‘hallowed’ eve the clocks must be turned back
Between Saturday and Sunday an hour they give us back
For last Spring those same clocks were moved an hour forward
To rectify that change now the movement will be rearward

It seems to me this time of year might make you feel depressed
And sometimes negative feelings can be manifest
Some people think this clock change is the harbinger of doom
And thoughts of hibernation fill their hearts with gloom

But most of us will soon accept the changing of the light
Brighter in the morning, then earlier dark at night
Nothing’s really changed, it’s ourselves who’ve played a trick
Tinkering with the clock hands but letting it still tick

So with the changing of the hour we revert to Greenwich Mean
British Summer Time left behind till Spring’s green shoots are seen
But at least we know now where we are, the timing quite official
No fiddling with the hours of day or night, no changes artificial

Of late there has been even greater pressure
Which amidst Brexit could cause great displeasure
Demands that we align with Europe using single and double BST
Unpopular notion for those who from continental shackles would us free

And this year, if politicians don’t soon somehow fix it
We are all confronted with close impending Brexit!
And if that’s not sufficient to put you in a panic
What about the menace of this engulfing pandemic?

But perhaps it isn’t right to conclude on such a sour note
The human spirit is still surely full of hope
Let optimism prevail whatever lies ahead
Starting on Sunday with an extra hour in bed!

Ken Fisher

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

“Getting and spending we lay waste our powers”
Perhaps bending and stretching will renew them!
Splashing the cash is pointless while locked down
Physical jerks might herald rejuvenation
However it seems this pandemic has prompted
Both spending (on-line) and bending (in home aerobics)

So what are we to do with life?
Spending might bring us some consolation
As we tuck into juicy steaks and tasty treats
Then perhaps we might work some of that off
With stretching sessions with Joe Wicks or
Some other modish health guru

What’s the point of “getting”?  you may ask
In lock-down we have rummaged through
Our wardrobes only to lose ourselves
Among the countless hanging garments
Perhaps thus flailing about we might find
That this too requires stretching and bending

Mind you, for the many who now fear the threat of
Unemployment – with regular income vaporising
Getting and spending likely to grind to a halt
Thus the elasticity of their cache of savings
Subjected to unbridled stretching and bending
The burgeoning overdraft a contorting of economic powers

Ken Fisher

First line: The world is too much with us (Wordsworth)

Please Keep Your Distance!

Please Keep Your Distance!

[This poem written in the light of latest tight
restrictions on freedom thanks to the pandemic]

The message for today shouts loud and clear
Intended to warn, it can induce fear
This strong injunction brooks no resistance
Demanding quite clearly – Please keep your distance!

Two metres would seem to be the optimum space
Between each other when we come face to face
And if nearer to that I see you advance
I must pirouette past in an intricate dance

The rules about distancing are highly developed
In lists and notices these commands are enveloped
Great powers on the authorities have been bestowed
Check them now on your phone with a QR Code

Outside the buildings the rules are less strict
A little more freedom from demands that restrict
But inside we must obey the floor plan
Follow the arrows as close as you can

In bars, restaurants and cafes, tables are spaced far apart
Cosy dinners for two with your dear sweetheart
When you hoped your liaison might well advance
Find two metres distance can stymie romance

Then there are also practical points to consider
And here I’d be grateful if you wouldn’t snigger
A gent requiring the toilet due to an excess of beer
Saw half the “stalls” labelled – Please don’t pee here!

So in conclusion I will not criticise
The imposition of distance rules is truly quite wise
But I plead that to each other we show toleration
Throughout this lockdown of whatever duration

Ken Fisher

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

Autumn’s gone, the fallen leaves a trampled carpet on the ground
Emblems of a life’s cycle now complete, colours faded, no longer vibrant
The naked branches of the trees look down on their abandoned offspring
In dormancy they hibernate awaiting Spring’s promise of new buds

As the years pass, so too with our lives, the fruit of our days
Eventually fades, a forlorn legacy of all our endeavours
The outcome of our activity remains only a withered memory
The effluxion of time makes history of all our deeds

But we cannot deny this natural process, the eternal round
Of birth and life and ageing and death, eventually oblivion
All we can hope for is that, just as the leaves festooned the trees
So too our labours may have yielded fruit in our own time

Enough therefore that we accept the inevitability of decline
Not losing compassion amidst the passing of the years
And in due time face ageing with a gracious heart
And like fallen leaves accept that in our ‘ending is our beginning’

Ken Fisher

In Praise of Poetry – Poetry for the Pandemic

In Praise of Poetry – or Poetry for the Pandemic?

[Prompted by the celebration of National Poetry Day 1 October 2020]

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From bard of old to modern scribe
Folks from their clan or ancient tribe
Set down their thoughts on love and life
Of peaceful days or times of strife

Primitive symbols on cave walls
Or ancient tomes kept in great halls
Retold their tales of days of yore
Of battles, feuds, and much spilled gore

Throughout the history of their land
In metropolis or island strand
In each succeeding generation
Poets speak out for every nation

As they recount in verse and rhyme
Acts heroic in their time
Myths and sagas thus survive
And old traditions kept alive

Poetry upholds a nation’s pride
Expresses feelings deep and wide
That tell of our own situation
Our joys, our hopes, and life’s frustrations

And in their lines of rhyme and prose
The poet seeks to thus compose
A tale that touches deep the heart
Reflecting life like every art

But in that special written form
A poetic voice can thus transform
Emoted by some word or phrase
We shed a tear or shout in praise

And in this year subjected to the world pandemic
The search for solace more frenetic
Let poetry spread its special balm
Troubled minds restored to calm

Ken Fisher

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 grey knobs 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