I’m Absolutely Fine

I’m Absolutely Fine

When you’re feeling down
Your brow wears a frown
And you really just need to whine
You put on a brave face
Although you want to grimace
And say I’m absolutely fine

From the pressures of life
All its troubles and strife
When there’s never quite enough time
There is too much to do
And it’s all down to you
But still I’m absolutely fine

When it seems no-one cares
And you’re nearly in tears
You might even need to resign
But you just soldier on
When the others have gone
‘Cos your still absolutely fine

Perhaps you must learn
That the peace that you yearn
Which all your hopes will enshrine
You can only attain
When you learn to complain
Saying I am NOT absolutely fine!

Ken Fisher

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

 

‘Thus, on the day o’ solemn things, The bell that in the steeple swings To fauld a scaittered faim’ly rings Its walcome screed; An’ just a wee thing nearer brings The quick an’ deid.’

These words from A Lowden Sabbath Morn – R L Stevenson

A long way we have travelled from these epic verses
The strictures of habit and belief cast readily aside
Church bells conveniently muted, sleep left undisturbed
The call to prayer a distant wistful echo in our ears

No longer do we acknowledge preachers’ admonitions
Or the authority of Sessions or Assemblies
Are we on a hand-cart to hell?
Rather than a golden chariot to paradise

But do we care? What of our inexorable progress
From the quick to the dead?  Has fear gone with belief?
Our confident exterior shows no sign of terror
And we fill our secular Sundays with worldly pleasures

And yet, and yet………..
Is there not still  some emptiness in our soul
Amidst the clamour of play and pleasure
Turn down the volume and we may yet hear
The whisper of that Still Small Voice

Ken Fisher

Unwillingly to School [August 2019]

Unwillingly to School 

 

“And creeping like a snail unwillingly to school”
[The Seven Ages of Man]
Shakespeare – As You Like It

Spare a thought for our kids today
As once more they join the fray
Wave adieu to days of freedom
As to learning they are ransomed

Knuckle down to discipline
To instruction they must listen
Co-operate with earnest teachers
Help to build a brighter future

Parents too will find relief
Saves them from a lot of grief
As they despatch their young offspring
Called to classes as bells ring

All designed minds to expand
The curriculum thus duly planned
Presented with unending tasks
Where will it lead? Our pupils ask

Who says all this is democratic
Our elders remain quite emphatic
On opening day it’s back you go!
The reason why you need not know

Ken Fisher

The Redoubtable Ms Clarke

The Redoubtable Ms Clarke

 

They said at the start “It’s a position of trust”
And accuracy is an absolute ‘must’
Ms Clarke was aware of the need for discretion
They would not tolerate any transgression

Despite these quite rigorous stipulations
Perhaps even because she liked tight regulations
Ms Clarke was happy to work for that firm
And her acceptance of all she would gladly affirm

Her duties covered a significant range
Receipts and payments, often foreign exchange
Processing documents, checking the prices
Extensive use of computer devices

Payroll and wages presented no problems
Her awareness of tax was really quite awesome
Marginal costing, credit control, even VAT
To Ms Clarke a cinch, unlike you or me

Trial balance, profit and loss, bank reconciliation
All processed without the slightest vexation
The final accounts from these easily prepared
Her bosses, amazed, just stood there and stared!

Thus Ms Clarke was well on the way to a godlike status
As master of the whole admin apparatus
But then it became something of a surprise
To find in the ointment there was a small fly

For actual money handling there was little call
But in this obscure corner began Ms Clarke’s fall
Most firms still have need of some petty cash
And with that fund employees sometimes get rash

The amounts of money are merely a trickle
But nonetheless one might get into a pickle
The total fund is called an imprest
But these small amounts can herald distress

Ms Clarke somehow succumbed to temptation
Perhaps she thought she deserved compensation
Anyway by a relentless process of syphoning off
From her worthy employer she performed a rip-off

Gradually over many months and years
A large sum of money would disappear
But because the account was still called ‘petty’
Not large paper, more like confetti

But one day when Ms Clarke went off on vacation
The auditors expressed a little vexation
About lack of clarity in Ms Clarke’s account
Which spawned in their mind some significant doubt

So while Ms Clarke basked in the sunshine of foreign climes
It became clear she had perpetrated exorbitant crimes
Her petty fraud had resulted in a vast accumulation
Exposed by this somewhat belated examination

On return Ms Clarke became the subject of an inquisition
The result of which, an unwilling admission
That she had helped herself to what she believed she was due
To label her as a thief was not really true

But I am afraid the majesty of the law extended its arm
Claiming that to condone fraud would result in great harm
Ms Clarke was reminded of her position of trust
Where not only accuracy but integrity was clearly a must

Poor Ms Clarke found her freedom somewhat restricted
As of fraud our hero was duly convicted
The law was thus applied in appropriate measure
Detained for some years at Her Majesty’s pleasure

Ken Fisher

Home Again

Home Again

 

Click goes the key in the lock
A gentle push to gain re-entry
Home’s blessed sanctuary

It’s not that we didn’t have a good time
But somehow it’s comforting to return to base
With all its every day familiarity

Travel broadens the mind they say
And without doubt it forces our eyes open
But unless you venture far
Perhaps little dilation of the eyes
Or expansion of the intellect

Home, the arena of domestic life
Of events quotidian and surprising
Moments of joy and despair
Acted out within its walls

But no matter how exiting
Our extra-mural exploits
We still hanker for home
Where we can be ourself

So that key inserted in the lock
That crossing of the threshold once again
Brings relief for a journey now completed
Normality restored once more

Ken Fisher

Have a Nice Life

Have a Nice Life

“Have a nice day” our frequent  word of benediction
When splitting from our friends in every situation
But if this happens to be the final parting of our ways
Perhaps “Have a Nice Life” is what we ought to say

We often use words in a rather glib manner
“take care” we say, but does it really matter?
I suppose we utter phrases with the best intention
But life still happens without our intervention

In any case, we hope a lifetime will be long
To make predictions is indeed headstrong
So who knows if wishing for any kind of life
Could guarantee that it will turn out “nice”

Nice Day, Nice Life – what on earth does that mean?
Will the grass beneath our feet be forever green?
Shall good fortune always shine upon our face
In all our doings might we discover grace

So is there no point in offering felicitations
All our words just vacuous declaration?
No, if offered from the heart in all sincerity
Who knows, we might nudge the course of history

Ken Fisher

Moon Landing 50 Years Ago

Moon

[In celebration of 50 years since the Moon Landing in 1969]

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Moon
mysterious sphere
whose face remains inscrutable
your phases measuring each month
whose light a pale reflection of the sun
shines on us like a slowly turning beacon
on frosty nights your face is bright and clear
but cloud and rain obscure your steady glow
your gnarled face mottled like an ageing man
craters and dry seas form your rugged features
no wonder, your age near that of ancient parent
child formed by debris of your mother earth
but distance has not dimmed your power
to influence our life here on the earth
the tides from time immemorial
by gravity’s mighty force
mover of oceans
Moon

After 50 years I wonder when your visitors might return once more?

 

Ken Fisher

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect

A moment of respite
A reality check
Go into neutral
Take a deep breath
Time to take stock
Hold on just a minute
Let’s simply be
No need to do

Yet as each new day dawns
Challenges to meet
Opportunities to seize
Targets to aim for
Boxes to tick
The urge to compete
No time to be wasted
Success is our creed

Surely there’s more to life?
What’s it all for?
What really matters?
Who pulls the strings?
Find:
Time to pause
Time to chill
Time to ponder
Time to reflect

Ken Fisher

See also: Action & Reflection

Nodding Donkeys

Nodding Donkeys

Democracy is somewhat ineffectual
If voting is reduced to ritual
When electors vote as they are told
By the ‘party line’ they are controlled

Surely there is need to use our voice
And exercise freedom of choice
Secret ballots assure anonymity
Guaranteeing electors’ privacy

The problem is, even when considered
The need to choose leaves us bewildered
Zealots exercising all their might
Delude us issues are just black or white

But many of the problems of our day
Not black or white, much near to grey
Thus the need for consideration
Even measured deliberation

Not just in matters politic
The force majeure can simply trick
Us into decisions precipitate
Reasoning inadequate

Nodding donkeys we must not be
No longer ready to agree
To those who would life dominate
From their will we’ll deviate

Ken Fisher

 

Punch & Judy Politics

Punch & Judy Politics

While watching a broadcast of Question Time
I wonder if your feelings are the same as mine
Must every session be a confrontation?
Why is there no room for moderation?

Of course politicians alone need not take the blame
Journalists are behaving just the same
Each interview used to debunk and deflower
Strip the MPs of all vestige of power

It seems a pity with so much at stake
Rational argument they seem to forsake
Of course they must not renounce the party line
Whose dogma all wisdom is said to enshrine

But this conviction rules out compromise
Even when events prove it would be wise
The result is that they simply harden their stance
Of rational thinking there is little chance

But in these days when there is no sign of unity
Our leaders should grasp the great opportunity
To draw us together, promote harmonious attempts
Rather than viewing each other with disdain and contempt

So my plea is cancel the Punch & Judy show
Drop dogged devotion to the manifesto
In the public discourse behave with respect
Then our precarious future we might yet protect

Ken Fisher

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

Purpose and Profit

Purpose and Profit

 

Traditionally it has been the view that profit
Should be the only aim of a business enterprise
Of course in the interest of shareholders
And fund managers, a surplus is surely wise

Others would claim that firms should have a purpose
That stretches beyond mere shareholder satisfaction
Wider stakeholders must be in contemplation
Else against raw capitalism there will be a reaction

Industry should take account of many disparate factors
And maximizing returns cannot be their only intent
The welfare of employees and the public at large
How will the products affect the environment?

Technological advance has wrought many changes
New gizmos developed never heard of before
Novel methods of dealing with complex situations
Ingenious methods of selling new products galore

When basic needs are met and standards are rising
The citizens pursue greater aspirations
Their eyes are cast on a wider horizon
Other goals now arise to become their new passion

Many factors determine strategic objectives
Political turmoil, economics, even advanced automation
So how to achieve profit amidst such a maelstrom
What is the purpose?  What consummation

Is this the dilemma for entrepreneurship?
The purpose that all this effort achieves
To survive and prosper amidst constant change
An outcome in which all might justly believe

Ken Fisher