Mickey Mouse Degree

Mickey Mouse Degree

 

The Government is now showing concern
That taking certain degrees won’t help you to earn
Mickey Mouse is the label they give to these courses
And they may decide to cut their resources

In expanding their range some Unis were rash
Concocting degrees that for them brought in cash
But for their students this proved a rather poor bet
Leaving them up to their eyeballs in debt

The problem for students is they need take out loans
For something much less worthy than buying a home
And when it comes to repayment from the little they earn
They discover any job yields too low a return

But this doesn’t hurt the student right then
They don’t start to repay until as and when
They are earning enough to refund the State
Who find the debt burden an increasing weight

Mickey Mouse degrees are often in music or arts and design
Although social sciences rarely yield a goldmine
But that’s not to say these degrees should be trashed
Many persevere with them quite unabashed

Of course student debt grows greater each year
And to pay it off you need a career
To do this you want a good qualification
Accounting, law or computing helps you even more than the nation

Medicine, science and engineering might yield a return
Creative arts and media studies perhaps one should spurn
But if the best choice is to do something vocational
Take college training linked to trades occupational

And what of degrees in subjects traditional?
Your acceptance of these might be provisional
Geography, history, economics, even theology
As much Mickey Mouse as a course in astrology!

The problem suggesting it’s a trivial degree
Is to imply it’s of little use to you or to me
But many such degrees are quite life-enhancing
And their value is more than just their financing

So let’s not of Mickey Mouse be too pejorative
Such courses of study might start as explorative
But for the diligent student they can open the door
To lifelong learning promising so very much more

Ken Fisher

 

 

Time to Move On

Time to Move On

When Governments and people are knee-deep in trouble
And somehow they hope to escape but still struggle
They pretend the matter is now all but gone
And insist that this is the time to move on

But of course that is really just camouflage
The real facts they are simply trying to massage
They hope our outrage to quickly avert
And by some other issue our eyes to divert

Our concentration they would not want to prolong
Insisting as always that they’ve done nothing wrong
They try to point out something else that’s distracting
And they declare we are just over-reacting

In this present hour the powers that be
Want us to ignore that they’ve been on a spree
Partying and revelling in jollification
At times out of tune with the rest of the nation

It seems this time they have misjudged the mood
Their inappropriate antics did them no good
They really must now show some genuine contrition
If for their sins they might seek remission

Time to move on may be all well and good
No doubt they’d hope that they really could
But in the meantime they must try to show more respect
To restore a reputation they so wilfully wrecked

Ken Fisher

 

 

Posh

Posh

‘Posh’ describes some lofty people
Perhaps they have all our heart’s desire
That superior quality of living
At once we envy and admire

But why should this make us jealous
What do they have that we might crave?
Is it how they dress or speak
Or in the manner they behave?

Perhaps the words they use
The diversity of  language?
The rich vocabulary, superior accent
In us inducing anguish

A kitchen rack full of spices
The Aga oven, log burner in the hearth?
Fancy sports car, skis stored in the garage
Trinkets witness to  their wealth

Perhaps the extent of their possessions
Of this world’s goods they have it all
But I suspect you may be posh
With hardly anything at all

You don’t need limitless belongings
Houses, gardens, clothes, or toys
The hallmark of the truly posh?
Calm superiority and poise!

Ken Fisher

 

 

An APP for the Day

An APP for the Day

Moderns seeking motivation
From words that challenge or inspire
Often turn to social media
For goals to which they would aspire

And apple a day keeps the doctor away
Was once the best prescription
The modern version of this advice
Let an APP feed your addiction!

The range of apps is now extensive
By which friends communicate
But not only news or juicy gossip
Ideas too, they circulate

But some suggest it’s gone too far
The speed of growth impressive
From hero worship to hate mail
Their influence excessive

Many are the diverse platforms
Employed their message to proclaim
Words to lift our flagging temper
Our languid spirits to inflame

Carpe diem – seize the day
Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud
Make each day your masterpiece
Let inner joy shout out loud

New thoughts to guide our living
Pithy aphorisms retailed on Facebook
LinkedIn, What’s App, and Snap Chat
Ideas made visible on YouTube

TikTok, Twitter vie to catch your eye or ear
Instagram and Flikr seek to grab attention
Each purveying instant wisdom
Boost our happiness, shrink our tension

But all this has made me wonder
Can brief messages be life changing?
Well-chosen words can have impact
But life is complex, its paths wide ranging

Unlike Bible texts or rulings Ex Cathedra
Demanding all the world’s respect
Can social media’s daily diktats
Ever have equal effect?

I suppose they can despite being mere opinion
Hoping that we all may heed
Inducing us to spend, adopt a view
But why should we concede?

Keep social media under tight rein
No doubt it can give inspiration
Stretch your mind, expand horizons
Words and images firing your imagination

But let no-one else control your fate
No weasel words should e’er dictate
You were born free, chose your own path
Deny influencers their right to dominate

 

Ken Fisher

 

At the Threshold of the Year 2022

At  the Threshold of the Year 2022

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
Its 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 was that in those dark fading days of late December
As we approached 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?
You have 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 enter on with trepidation
As 2021 brought challenges unprecedented
In 2022 our hopes again rest in effective vaccination
Thus greater certainty may make us more contented

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

 

 

Twixmas

Twixmas

What do you do during the week we call Twixmas
The seven twilight days following Christmas?
And as rowdy Scots may gear up for the revelry
Traditionally known to them all as Hogmanay

I suppose most use these hours to sleep it off
All that rich food and booze that they quaffed
Others take time to play with their toys
Not only the kids but grown-up boys

Perhaps the virtuous write thank-you notes
For gifts received which fulfilled their hopes
Others might try to remember who gave them what
From Aunt Matilda – underpants? Who would have thought?

Then there are all those gift vouchers or Amazon codes
If you’re into high tech you might have got loads
Like on a much coveted cake these are the cream
But I wish you success as you try to redeem

Perhaps in Twixmas we might visit some friends
To bring seasonal greetings, but try not to offend
For the coming year, to wish them all the best
But you must first of all take a Lateral Flow Test

Some might decide they want to get active
That new sporting kit they think makes them attractive
But there are even more who prefer indoors instead
Tucked cosily together neath the new duvet in bed!

So in Twixmas it’s for each one to decide
And whatever it is you are not surely obliged
To listen to others telling what you should do
Lazy or active it’s all down to you!

 

Ken Fisher

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled

Christmas isn’t cancelled
It just had to change its name
Like those colonial tumbling statues
We’ve been told we should defame

The problem seems to be
The name ‘Christmas’ too exclusive
And in the modern world so woke
We must learn to be inclusive

‘Winter Holiday’ is considered quite acceptable
Or ‘Festive Season’ we can easily defend
At all costs avoid religious labels
That might certain faiths offend

I suppose life in these islands
Has become largely secular
So the loss of Christ in Christmas
May not now seem peculiar

But although the genesis of Christmas
May have lost its true significance
It’s a pity this great Church festival
Might not still have resonance

So we’ll have to be content
With Christmas by another title
Not demur at enforced change
And all objections stifle

You may have thought that Covid
Has made Christmas disappear
But it’s the mighty PC warriors
Who have filled us all with fear

However by whatever name
Attached to this celebration
Let’s hope it still brings joy
To all throughout the nations

Ken Fisher

See also this poem presented a year ago when,
like now, Covid remained a menacing threat to
all celebrations

Click link below:
Is Christmas Cancelled?

People, Planet, Profit

People, Planet, Profit

In the world of sustainability
There’s a new Holy Trinity
And for those who would invest
An enterprise that’s best

For magnates in the past
Profit came first, not last
People did the work
From labourer to clerk

The planet is our Earth
Exploited for its wealth
We gave nothing in exchange
No thought of climate change

But now we realise
This strategy unwise
Resources are finite
That’s our human plight

So changes must be made
With rising centigrade
And floods that inundate
We can not tolerate

A new vision is required
Sustainability much desired
The planet we must nurture
That people have a future

But for profits that’s unfair
About them, who will care?
Perhaps everyone would care
If with clear conscience all could share

So People, Planet, Profit
Together we must cosset
That all obtain their legacy
A fourth P – Prosperity!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics is War Minus the Shooting

Politics is War Minus the Shooting

[George Orwell once said that Serious Sport
Is like War Minus the Shooting.
Is politics the same?]

I wonder why politicians
Always seem like contestants
In the boxing ring

Ready to fight their corner
Against a hostile world
Whether fellow MPs of a different stripe
Or when bated by the belligerent press

PM’s Question Time like some gladiatorial contest
Insults slung mercilessly from the opposition parties
The Government benches filibustering
Answering anything but the question posed

Politicians pledged to stick to their Party line
Only the odd maverick prepared to speak their mind
Cheering and jeering and waving of order papers
No quarter given or expected

The Speaker fighting to maintain order
The members, like schoolboys running amok
No room for rational argument or calm reflection
Is this simply War Minus the Shooting?

The battlefield extends beyond the House
In TV studios and debating chambers
The skirmishes on a smaller scale
The invective no less spiteful or acerbic

And at election time on hustings throughout the land
The candidates convinced of the validity of their Party’s case
Unwilling to recognise any virtue in the policies of others
Belief in their own Manifesto unwavering

In the war of words
Truth and lies cut from the same cloth
The authenticity of any pronouncement unclear
Veracity and falsity rendered indistinguishable

One wonders if there is no other way
Must democracy only ever be viewed in monochrome
Can no-one ever concede there are shades of colour?
And muzzle their guns in the pursuit of the common good
Ken Fisher

Christmas is Coming 2021

Christmas is Coming 2021

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

And this year, still oppressed by the great pandemic
We need something special a gizmo or a gimmick

Lots of choices to entertain and amuse
Making it impossible for each of us to choose

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift – is still unwrapped I fear!

The problem for me is you are so very very generous
Thus I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
If I donned one nowadays it’d be a great surprise

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, perhaps appalled

And how about a faux-fur dressing gown for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

Or this rather sick suggestion about a novel coffin
Called a “wooden onesie” you won’t use it very often!

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
On-line catalogues put temptation on every flickering  page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

And perhaps this year you might want a lie detector
Something, from dear Boris’ mind must be a defector
With such a tool you will easily recognise
My profuse “thank youz” are just a bunch of lies

Ken Fisher

Cancel

Cancel

Have you noticed a subtle change
Like when a word takes on another meaning?
‘Cancel’ no longer implies you’ve changed your mind
It now means something more demeaning

The woke world has forced us all
To be much more aware
Of what we state as our opinions
Of the words our lips declare

Before we hoist our colours to the mast
We must watch lest we offend
A world waxed hypersensitive
Our cherished views we need defend

The unguarded candid comment
The throw-away remark
Might quickly rebound to us
A blazing flame lit by our spark

Thus our words on social media
Views however gently stated
May lead to consequences
Far beyond our being berated

You may well ask what is the harm
Why must so much be seen at stake?
Risk to job, health or reputation
Dire consequences in its wake

But some may ask whither democracy?
And the principle of free speech
Where gone the right to state one’s mind
If every utterance will impeach?

So let’s set aside the ‘cancellation culture’
Let the Speakers’ Corner be restored
Open debate remain unchained
Vicious critics be exposed
Ken Fisher

 

Advent Calendar Makeover

Advent Calendar Makeover

Have you noticed how the Advent Calendar
Has evolved?
Less traditional ‘nativity’
Now involved

Gone are the shepherds
And the sheep
Of the Wise Men
Not a peep

Mary & Joseph gone A W A L
Baby Jesus escaped the stall
Even that twinkling star
No longer seen afar

The modern calendar you will discover
Given a radical makeover
Bethlehem now rarely features
Behind the doors quite different creatures

Each day your taste buds stimulated
Your sweet longings thus are sated
Miniature morsels in confection
Cheeses wrapped into perfection

Jewelled trinkets for the rich
Despite the cost, seem rather kitsch
Wine and spirits for the tippler
Mini biros for the scribbler

For those concerned about their looks
Opening doors in tenterhooks
May find something quite prosthetic
Amidst offerings cosmetic

And so on it goes, those daily treats
From micro gifts to tasty sweets
Until at last on Christmas day
We gasp at this endless array

And then we ask
What’s this all about?
Amidst cheap goodies
Don’t shut love out

Ken Fisher