Pivot Point

Pivot Point

The powers-that-be loudly declare
We’ve reached a pivot point
Now is the time for change they say
We must not disappoint

Covid-19 has brought this on
It never was our choice
But act we must without delay
Hear no dissenting voice

But what does pivot mean we ask?
Embrace a new direction
Abandon all that went before
Follow a new projection

A turning point in how we live
New job, new skills, new attitude
Seems the spirit of the age
The nostrum and the platitude

Is that the cure for our malaise?
Radical transformation
A whole ‘new you’ is what we need
Assuring our salvation

So as you begin to contemplate
Your metamorphosis complete
Try to retain the essence of your self
However bittersweet!

Ken Fisher

You Will Need to Un-Mute!

You Will Need to Un-Mute!

In the world of social media there has been a great boom
Not least if we consider the mushrooming of Zoom
It has been the front runner in the digital race
Since it’s no longer easy to meet face to face

Covid-19 has spawned new ways of meeting
For serious talk or just everyday greeting
We can’t get near to each other and have a hug
Accept social distance with a nod and a shrug

But getting linked up has been no easy task
Like trying to speak clearly behind a face mask
First of all we need to download the apps
A procedure fraught with technical traps

Then once we’ve completed necessary boxes
Designed to protect us from scams or from hoaxes
We need to ensure we can make the connection
And the system will not simply offer rejection

At last we will find that Zoom is up and running
Seeing all the faces of contacts can be quite stunning
To achieve this array we hoped that you knew
You have to click straight on to Gallery View

Now it may depend on who is the host
That is the person whose power is the most
But if we hope that we will be able to speak
We will need to master some simple techniques

The most common problem that seems to arise
To seasoned Zoomers this is not a surprise
Peoples’ lips are moving, they look rather cute
But no sound is broadcast because they need to unmute!

So don’t forget when in on-line meetings you are asked to take part
To check the micro-phone icon first is really smart
Thus when on your message you wish to expound
Un-mute yourself first or we can’t hear any sound!

Ken Fisher

Is Christmas Cancelled?

Is Christmas Cancelled?

As Autumn days come closer I’m trying to be brave
Ignore ominous warnings of a looming second wave
But this virus is persistent, this fact you must believe
It hangs on tenaciously determined not to leave

Recently we had hoped it might be getting bored
Of menacing all humankind, its options all explored
But regretfully this little beastie refuses to depart
So far all our strategies it can easily outsmart

As week follows week and still the battle rages
Statistics keep confirming just how readily contagious
Covid 19 is a threat to all of life’s enjoyment
To say nothing of the risk to income and employment

Now we are beginning to give thought to Christmastide
Normally a season of goodwill shown nationwide
But are all our festivities to be dampened down this year
As we hide in our bubbles paralysed by fear?

So let’s declare to all the world Christmas won’t be cancelled
The tinsel and decorations are not that easily dismantled
Even if hugs are out we can still show our resistance
By partying, and roistering while maintaining social distance!

Ken Fisher

A Rock and A Hard Place

A Rock and a Hard Place

‘In Greek mythology, Homer’s Odyssey tells of Odysseus being
trapped between a treacherous whirlpool and cliff dwelling
man-eating monster’

I wonder if you feel you are trapped
By life’s forces been kidnapped
No clear road out, which way to turn?
Resolution you cannot discern

Prisoners all of this lock-down
Little wonder we wear a frown
Horizons mightily reduced
By isolation thus seduced

Would that we could break free
And from these bonds could flee
Casting aside all that would restrain
And liberty regain

But rocks are unforgiving
Hard places confine living
Acceptance we must learn
Our burdens must be borne

But time’s progress will bring change
Freedom for the cell exchange
Chastened by our plight
Emerge into brightening light

Ken Fisher

Algorithm

Algorithm

An algorithm as our route map to life?
As if every situation we meet
Is as simple as a T junction
Left or right – no in between

You might use
A robust algorithm for furniture selection
For buying a replacement light bulb
To choose a new insurance provider
For checking if it’s your turn to put out the bins!

As long as you can reduce every decision
To a straightforward binary choice
Yes or No, greater than or less than
If only one option of two leads on to another
You are directed down that route

Thus quite complicated situations
Are reduced to a series of logical steps
Ideal when performing calculations
Automated reasoning, data processing
Problems tackled in short coherent stages

But algorithms are now in the political arena
Blamed for the recent exam results debacle
What happens when the algorithm
For all its logic, doesn’t give the desired out-come?
Of course we scrap it

And resort to human sophistry
To bring us the result
That is expedient
That’s the realpolitik
Of modern life

Perhaps unsurprising in the midst of a pandemic

Ken Fisher

Post Truth Society

Post Truth Society

It has been claimed
That truth has gone
The victim of modern living
It no longer matters
What we say
The world will be forgiving

But not just in words
In actions too
In every task that we should do
With ease, who cares
We simply bluff
Our way right through

When truth takes flight
And fiction rules
No-one knows what to believe
No longer sure
Of falsity or verity
Duplicity designed to deceive

If truth is only relative
Dependent on the context
How then define propriety?
Fake news, white lies
Flights of fancy, the currency of
Our post truth society

Ken Fisher

Out of Hibernation and Into School

Out of Hibernation and Into School

 

As we approach the opening of the new school year
Let us cast aside all doubts and fear
Which in our anxious minds may have arisen
As by Covid into hiding kids were driven

For several months pupils of our nation
Were subjected to forced hibernation
And despite their natural resistance
Had to maintain some social distance

A major aspect of this lockdown
Which to parents’ faces brought a frown
The closing of all schools and other institutions
To which educators had to find solutions

Thus home schooling became the norm
Mums and Dads were sometimes forlorn
They quickly had to learn new tricks
To the teaching problem find a fix

Not only that, parents also tried to work at home
As from the household few could roam
So new uses found for domestic premises
Overloading became the family nemesis

But thank goodness time will bring release
And hopefully a return to peace
When children once again head off for school
And order o’er our homes will rule

Let’s hope kids will be happy to return
When from this hiatus they adjourn
Ending these months of stifling frustration
Embraced by the blandishments of ‘real’ education

Ken Fisher

Funny Summer

Funny Summer

Funny summer we have had this year
I don’t mean ‘funny’ in the amusing sense
Often these days brought little cheer
To lockdown we offered no defence

Since Spring, a new pattern to our daily living
Past freedoms steadily withdrawn
The rules were rather unrelenting
Prospects left us quite forlorn

Why let this ‘new normal’ dictate our mood?
For much in life we should be grateful
Adversity can still yield good
If to kindness we keep faithful

So throughout these long summer days
When daylight our paths illuminate
We give thanks for God’s abiding grace
Our hearts his spirit might still permeate

So as funny summer slips quietly away
As Autumn beckons have no despair
Confident address each coming day
With hope its challenges forbear

Ken Fisher

Don’t Go Abroad

Don’t Go Abroad

It’s not that we’ve all become xenophobic
Or of overseas travel we are quite neurotic
It’s just that the government don’t seem very keen
That on foreign beaches we are readily seen

It is simply that the powers are still quite manic
Of the potential return of that epidemic
Covid-19 hangs like a menacing cloud
And they prefer travelling wasn’t allowed

So it appears the safe course is to stay near to home
And stifle the urge in far lands to roam
So instead of basking on the Costa del Sol
In rain soaked Largs you can still have a ball!

No need to head to the Dordogne for a mountain hike
Just pedal round Millport on second-hand bike
With the wind in your hair and the rain in your face
Compared to Lanzarote a much cheerier place!

So throw your euros and passport away
Perhaps you can use them in some future day
But in the meantime pack wellies and midge cream
And rediscover that Scottish idyllic dream

Ken Fisher

10,000 Steps

10,000 Steps

To this daily routine you have to commit
No feeble excuses to allow you to quit
10,000 steps are the target each day
From that objective we never must stray

Since lockdown imposed so many restrictions
We all must abide by these rigid conditions
But somehow we must seek our health to preserve
And reasonable fitness we would try to conserve

We are glad daily exercise is still permitted
So to a routine we have become committed
10,000 steps seems a worthy objective
Ensuring our frame might still remain active

But how do we count those 10,000 paces?
To ensure all our effort has not been wasted
By modern technology, that’s how we count
So that each day we know the total amount

The Fit Bit is best to act as a monitor
And your mobile phone contains a pedometer
Hence a record is kept of each active movement
Thus helping promote all this self-improvement

So when you’ve completed your daily routine
Just focus in on one of these tiny screens
The total pops up to reveal how you’ve done
Hoping that figure doesn’t spoil all your fun

The target we set we wish to achieve
By honest endeavour, we would not deceive
That 10,000 steps is our goal and our aim
Hurrah! We have got there, we proudly proclaim

Ken Fisher

Road Map for Life

Road Map for Life

You hear a lot these days
About a ‘Road Map’

Apparently it is a plan or strategy
Intended to achieve
A particular goal
 

So we may have ………

A road map out of lockdown
A road map for your career
A road map for peace
A road map towards independence
A road map towards buying your own home
A road map towards health and wealth

And so it goes on.  Especially ON
As the road moves onwards
So must we!

I don’t know if we can call the AA?
As we used to do when things went
Wrong on the road
But at least we will have
That Map to tell us where to go

Perhaps politicians
like road Maps
Because they suggest that
We are going somewhere
Even if we never quite arrive

Evangelists might hold up
A road map to heaven
The road may be long
But the prize is sublime

Financial advisers
Might dupe you with their road map
Using your money to bring about
Untold riches and ever increasing wealth
For whom? We might ask

Fitness instructors
Will draw up a road map
To bring us back to renewed
Health and energy

Some of these have echoes of the Funeral Plans
Tastefully marketed by the local undertaker!

You get the drift?
In every sphere of human endeavour

But now even the map has been superseded
By the GPS system that not only shows us the way
But tracks our progress every inch

Don’t you long for a world
Where maps can be ignored
Where you simply wander at will
And let the future take care of itself?

And as for all the grandiose plans
Of politicians, planners and pundits
Consign them to the file called ‘fiction’
Which contains all the flights of fancy

Ken Fisher

WFH

WFH 

Working From Home

Victim of this overwhelming pandemic
Of bodily contact we are now rather phobic
Thus the old office spaces are somewhat deserted
And the haven of home has now been converted

Whether by accident or by design
Working From Home is the new paradigm
Computers now parked on kitchen tables
Living room floors enmeshed in cables

For WFH is now commonplace
Domestic commerce we have to embrace
Goodbye fellow travellers on the daily commute
Confined to our house we all must stay put

Of course there are some gains without a doubt
With irritating colleagues we no longer hang out
And overbearing bosses are kept off our backs
Or the office comedian with his feeble wisecracks

But at home it may not always be quite serene
As your eyes become glazed at the flickering screen
If there’s children at home, or a pet that want’s out
There’s bound to be times when you just want to shout

At least at the office you just got on with your work
No domestic distractions that might make you shirk
On the other hand when WFH you feel you are free
To chat to a neighbour, take a fly cup of tea

Anyway as WFH is now part of our life
Let’s hope it doesn’t bring domestic strife
And that our labours at home will bring satisfaction
And the move to home working is affirmative action

Ken Fisher