The Suit is an Endangered Garment

The Suit is an Endangered Garment

That favoured garb of office staff
Is now considered really naff
Formal dress is not required
Jeans and T-shirt more admired

In days of yore it was expected
Certain standards were respected
And suits were necessary attire
If approval you would acquire

But as office attendance has declined
For Zoom or Teams suits weren’t designed
Thus casual dress has been conceded
Smart formal suits no longer needed

It depends upon the organisation
And the degree of strong persuasion
But many firms allow casual wear
As long as clients it will not scare!

So all this has meant suits are endangered
Party dress or beachwear favoured
So perhaps this decline in things sartorial
Demands for the suit a two-piece memorial!

Ken Fisher

The Doctor Won’t see you Now

The Doctor Won’t See You Now

 

No more waiting full of tension
Filled with fear and apprehension
NHS is in a plight
No doctors looming into sight

Images on tiny screens
That’s the best that can be seen
Gone the old-style consultation
Spawning doubt and consternation

You may be thinking that’s unfair
What’s overtaken primary care?
Where once we could meet face to face
Sadly now that’s not the case

Of these awkward new restraints
There have been a few complaints
On symptoms they may not be deciding
Alas the medics have been hiding

They claim they’re doing the best they can
To uphold our treatment, that’s their plan
But we would rather meet in person
Before our ailment starts to worsen

Therefore let’s hope before too long
To the surgery we might go along
And the receptionist  cry out somehow
The Doctor indeed Will see you now!

 

Ken Fisher

Our World Our Future

Our World, Our Future

A poem written by my 11-year-old grandson DF

Smoke, children coughing,
People crying, water’s rising.
Pollution, many dying, others ill
Causing the icebergs to not keep still.
Fish being reeled in, like us
when world leaders tell us it’s OK to keep polluting.
Cars speeding at 100 miles per hour
Causing the animals to feel sour
Deforestation, trees fall like oxygen in our air.
And apes look agape
as their homes are destroyed by lumberjacks and foresters
Natural disasters, hurricanes taking your homes, fires taking
Lives.
But wait! I can hear an orchestra of bird song

Singing a song of hope
“We can still do this!”
If we stand together, raise our own voices and speak up –
“This is our world, our future!”

 

Telescope, Microscope, Horoscope

Telescope, Microscope, Horoscope

 

 

The telescope is a vital tool of cosmologists who would reach for the stars
The microscope the choice of technicians who peer nearer rather than far
The horoscope essential for astrologers predicting forward not back
These wizards are deft at navigating cryptic signs of the zodiac

All these devices are the stock in trade of those who would aim to shed light
On phenomena, not immediately clear to our ordinary sense of sight
The first two of these were designed by applying principles of unalloyed science
More mystical formulae the basis on which astrologers place their reliance

Mind you in earlier years astronomers and astrologers seemed to tread similar paths
But with the passage of time the former gained prestige by flaunting a knowledge of maths
In the meantime the microscope helped speed advances in biology, geology and chemistry
Its magnifying power revealed fine details which hitherto had been a dark mystery

What more can be said about these three types of scope – are they each of equal worth?
There is no dispute on the advances to which the telescope and microscope have given birth
But the dubious horoscope regularly gets an outing in much of our daily press
And there can be little doubt this pseudo-science can a credulous public impress

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Face Recognition

Face Recognition

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face”
A famous line from My Fair Lady
You’re in my database
Quite sure, I don’t mean maybe

In the world of digital devices
Without shame or inhibition
Images captured of all shapes and sizes
Snared by face recognition

We’ve entered the realm of biometrics
Machines scanning every feature
Fresh-faced youth or ageing geriatric
It knows what kind of creature

Human faces are apparently
Tremendously diverse
No end to the variety
A featured universe

But how do I know it’s you?
By your familiar countenance
Even the mask I can see through
With one quick furtive glance

With its limitless expressions
From wide smile to harsh grimace
Signs of joy or dark depression
Unspoken on your face

To the world, what face do we display?
Threat or fear or love shining from our eyes
Ready to meet life come what may
Not hidden by disguise

Just as face recognition provides the key
Our devices to unlock
Thus the face I proclaim as me
All barriers might unblock

Ken Fisher

Off to Yooni!

Off to Yooni!

Spare a thought for this year’s
Recruits to Higher Education
They are going off to Yooni
But are they really?

This year they may not
Be going off to anywhere
Or perhaps only for day-trips
A sort of discounted experience

But the young ones are not all snowflakes
Many are very resilient
And no doubt will make the best
Of what’s on offer – however convoluted

After all this is the high tech generation
Whose tiny fingers have been grafted on
To key-boards, Joy sticks and the mouse
Since infancy

So interfacing with on-line lectures
Should be almost instinctual
Zooming a doddle
Gaming in the blood

But how do you forge a relationship
With an algorithm?
What’s the required bandwidth
To cultivate human friendship?

I am not a robot – but I need to prove it
Coffee together in the common room
A pint in the union bar might be more
Evidence of our humanity

And all this ignores the enormity
Of the challenge of grasping new subjects
Unfamiliar landscapes, mountain climbing
Striving to ascend intellectual ladders

So we wish them well, all youz off to Yooni
Don’t let It beat you, whether your diet
Is to be blended or wholemeal
Swallow it – and don’t choke!

Ken Fisher

Anything to Declare?

Anything to Declare?

At Customs Desks there’s no evading
The essential interrogation
No bribery or glib persuasion
Averts our making declaration

Anything you need declare?
Uncompromising stark demand
Accompanied by a piercing stare
Authority’s dogged command

Not only when we’re on the move
Must we readily declare
All covertness remove
Honest intention thus laid bare

Need our life be so transparent
Others have no cause for doubt?
That our motives be apparent
Virtue evident throughout

Our words, our deeds, our whole demeanour
To the world a statement makes
Perceiving from our normal  manner
Judging whether true or fake

When we act as politician, evangelist
Or salesman trying to persuade
For that cause protagonist
Attempts your mistrust to evade

But sometimes there is contradiction
Between the image thus presented
The smiling face portrays a fiction
Concealment of the truth intended

What does your very life declare?
What is the essence that is you?
Perhaps the question’s quite unfair
You’re not a primate in the zoo!

Ken Fisher

A I B U

 

A I B U?

Am I being Unreasonable?

Am I being unreasonable
When I ask what’s for tea
As I’ve had a large lunch
And a snack will do me

Am I being unreasonable
When I expect you to pay
I coughed up all week
And it’s your turn today

Am I being unreasonable
When I say put on a clean shirt
For the job interview
Surely that’s not going to hurt

Am I being unreasonable
When I say you’re getting fat
It looks to me you’re becoming
A bloated plutocrat!

Am I being unreasonable
When I say it’s my turn to choose
Which TV channel to watch
Without giving excuse

Am I being unreasonable
When I say your hair’s turning grey
We ‘re all getting older
That’s all I say

Am I being unreasonable
In whatever I say
Perhaps I should pipe down
And call it a day!

Ken Fisher

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

What can we say to all those doom-mongers
Who keep warning us of impending disaster?

Every significant issue has become an Existential Threat

Let’s list a few:

[many of these seem more menacing than the
4 minute warning which hung over us at
the height of the Cold War in the ‘60s]

A mounting sense of global panic
Of threats which now seem catastrophic
Without doubt Covid’s still out there
And cyber scams seem so unfair
These arise as if by stealth
Draining us of hard earned wealth

What will we do when mineral resources are exhausted?
Our underground banks will then be busted
As water levels rise we’re inundated
Islanders’ future so ill-fated
Greenhouse gases perpetual warning
Of planet earth’s continuing warming

Some even suggest that Artificial Intelligence
Demands that mankind exert due diligence
Digital devices might soon out-smart us all
From supremacy we would fall
Machines henceforth would take control
For human power the bell will toll

From cosmic risks from outer space
Political turmoil between each race
Financial melt-down, hyper inflation
Discontent fomenting angst within a nation
Bioterrorism brings mass destruction
Disorder halting food production

How does this relate to the Titanic chairs?
Such tinkering amidst awesome affairs
What’s the point of mortal action
Yielding such futile reaction
But shifting chairs may signal hope
The human spirit may yet cope

Ken Fisher

 

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

You don’t need to be asleep to get a wake up call
Early in the morning, right through to dark nightfall
It’s a metaphor for a message that promptly galvanizes
The significance of which our mind sharply recognises

Like the canary in the coalmine or the flash before the thunder
Wake up calls are warnings that can smash our peace asunder
Just when we thought our lives were quite neatly sorted
Our happiness baby is peremptorily aborted

Wake up calls can come to us in various disguises
And almost every one harbours some surprises
A message from the bank about your account being overdrawn
Informing us their financial support has now been withdrawn

The failure to land a job we thought was in the bag
Our promotion prospects thwarted by this pesky red flag
A routine check at the doctor’s casting doubt upon our health
An unexpected setback which confronts as if by stealth

When you attempt to sell your house at a much inflated price
Lack of interest from buyers could cause much sacrifice
You will then wake up to harsh market fluctuations
Which may put paid to your lofty aspirations

Worse than all of the above is the threat of climate change
For this there is no solution we can easily arrange
From this scary wake up call none can simply hide away
And retreat into the shadows as on glorious Groundhog Day

Ken Fisher

Blue Sky Thinking

Blue Sky Thinking

What on earth is Blue Sky Thinking?
Well, perhaps it’s not on earth at all
Rather it is more above the earth, than on it
High up in the clear blue yonder

Apparently it is a kind of creative brainstorming
The clash of minds sparking off each other
In some glorified group-think session
The hoped-for outcome a scintillating novelty

From the blue sky thinking, innovative visions
Inspirational ideas, novel solutions, ingenious products
Will scatter down in thought showers
To engulf the minds, and stimulate action

I am afraid that to me all this seems like
Management Speak spouted on  the scale of a
Modern day Pentecost –
Tongues wagging uncontrollably

However, all might not be lost
Sometimes we need to lift our eyes
To the blue sky, to penetrate the dull clouds of tedium
And motivate ourselves for daily living

Perhaps as we (hopefully) emerge
from the constraints of the pandemic
The shimmering blue sky will bring
New hope, new life, new beginnings

Ken Fisher

Whatabout?

Whatabout?

Have you noticed how the unconvinced
Always have to ask – “what about”?
Their scepticism pervades all their thinking
They simply must find some flaw, some snag
Some doubt to cast on the validity
Of any proposal or plan or strategy

Perhaps they think they are being clever
In highlighting some omission or error
Which renders your suggestion untenable
What about the cost? The inconvenience?
The deconstruction of the existing situation?
Have you not considered the stumbling blocks?

Perhaps these naysayers might claim
They are only being prudent
That caution should precede action
That hesitation might be wiser than precipitation
They might even ask the complete showstopper
Whatabout doing nothing instead?

Enterprise is based on taking risks
Agreed that potential dangers should not be overlooked
But if whatabout is worth anything
We should reckon whatabout the failure to act?
Whatabout the missed opportunity?
Should we change the question from whatabout to howabout?

Then we might start living!

Ken Fisher