Proximity Without Community

Proximity Without Community

Could it be that surrounded as we are
By thousands of our fellow human beings
Yet our heart cries out for companionship?
We have proximity but lack community

While sitting on a crowded tube train
Hundreds of heads clamped by earphones
Fingers tapping on smart phone screens
Perhaps community is in the ether?

Even while jostled in the rising lift
Our personal space acutely threatened
Proximity enforced upon us
A community manifestly silent

In the age of individualism, solo performance
highly valued, the allure of the selfie over all
Of course nominally we admire ‘team spirit’
But community consists of elite teams

In the pursuit of comfort and privacy
More than ever live as single occupants
So we become a community of persons
Living in proximity but in a soul-less community

In work we may be surrounded by others
But our freedom is regulated, our productivity calibrated
Together we are enslaved in the joint endeavour
But that common bond is very tenuous

And so we bob along like corks floating in a tank
Proximity demands that we impinge on each other
But in no way are we united in community
Perpetual drifting along together in independent flow

Ken Fisher

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Wise advice when we are considering some mad-cap enterprise
And yet if caution is our only compass what is the gain?
Sometimes we need to step out into the unknown
Take a gamble, be adventurous for once

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
If we are too timid to take that first stride, no headway
So why not cast aside all doubts and fears
To boldly go…………

But hang on a minute, do we need to burn our boats
Must we throw all caution to the wind?
Slam the door on past achievements
Eschew all that has given us comfort and security?

Surely there is a middle way, not stagnating
And yet not stifling all initiative, all creativity
Are we so confident in the need for change
That the decision to act can only be binary?

After all, when advised ‘not to give up the day job’
Isn’t there just a hint that others have reasoned
That, in the gamble we are about to take
The odds may be stacked against us?

The day job may seem tedious and tiresome
Characterized by boredom and routine
But at least it ensures that life is sustained
And others can still depend on us

But lest we think this view is a spoiler to all initiative
Many an enterprise has sprung from hobbies and pastimes
From the energy and enthusiasm of amateurs
Eagerly beavering away at moments snatched outside the day job

Ken Fisher

Election Over

Election Over

 

The Euro Election has come and gone
Some are pleased, others forlorn
Brexit party fired a huge barrage
Launched by smiling Nigel Farage

From the EU, Brexit wants us out
We must stay in, the Lib Dems shout
SNP say yes to Europe,  but in UK don’t stay!
Most other parties in complete disarray

The Tories have wasted almost three years
Infighting among their peers
Labour simply prevaricate
And now they’ve left it much too late

The Greens have gained a high profile
Something sure to make them smile
The planet is what they want to save
From a perpetual heat wave

In Europe itself there has been change
Centrist parties hit across the range
Europe’s voters are making different choices
Not a fact in which everyone rejoices

So there we are, the election’s over
New MEP’s will now take over
Who knows how that might make us feel?
Only the future will all reveal

Ken Fisher

Vacancy at Number 10

Vacancy at Number 10

 

There’s a vacancy at Number Ten
Open to women and to men
No need for you to be a snob
Just a Tory, to get this job

The money isn’t really great
Far short of a CA’s rate
Or even of some City clerks
But there are some quite good perks

At the start you get to meet the Queen
This might make your pals turn green
With envy at your new high status
In charge of such power legislative

But you have to toe the party line
Normally that would be fine
But no-one is clear what that’s about
To Europe are we in or out?

Facing the rabble at PM’s question time
Might induce you to commit a crime
On every side the baying mob
Your peace of mind they’re sure to rob

The press are bound to wind you up
And delight if they can trip you up
To them politicians are fair game
Unconcerned whom they defame

Eventually you’ll have no defence
Facing a vote of no confidence
Your promising career evaporated
And at the end humiliated

Having said all this it’s some surprise
So many seem to want the prize
Of occupying Number 10
It truly is beyond my ken!

Ken Fisher

Public Intellectual

Public Intellectual

Acknowledged for their lofty thoughts
From whom doubtless we can be taught
Critical thinking, deep reflection
Hallmarks of such an esteemed person

Legions of experts proffer solutions
How to save the planet from pollution
No problem beyond their power to solve
When brilliant minds beomce involved

The public intellectual, wisest of all of these
Fame gained through demonstrated expertise
Consulted on perplexing issues of the day
Never reluctant to have their say

The luminaries are nothing if not highbrow
Common knowledge they simply disavow
On higher thoughts is built their reputation
To exercise our minds is their great aspiration

The influence of public intellectuals is widespread
Their quality of mind that of a thoroughbred
Thus we lesser mortals may feel second rate
Our simple musings made to seem lightweight

But in our world so complex and diverse
It would undoubtedly appear perverse
If in the realm of discourse and debate
Thoughts high or humble we can’t accommodate

Ken Fisher

It’s No Longer Retire But Retyre

It’s No Longer Retire But Retyre

Someone has suggested that the twilight years
Which in days gone by were deemed unattractive
Are no longer filled with impending fears
As pensioners to day are quite hyperactive

For decades liberation from drudge was the worker’s prayer
And although many are still able to make their escape
Active pensioners would be wise to beware
Lest they are sucked into the ‘voluntary’ landscape

For this is the territory with which they may get embroiled
And wherein  many might well be taken advantage
The unsuspecting retiree could simply be foiled
Finding their planned freedom has rapidly vanished

Some have invoked a motoring analogy
To keep us on the move simply all that we need
Is a  new set of treads to  avoid any lethargy
Thus equipped nothing will our progress impede

So forget the word retire and think of retyre
A new spring in your step as you sally forth
There’s lots of mileage to go before you expire
But don’t let all those others discount your true worth

Ken Fisher

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

Why can’t we all be like the model so sublime?
Upheld by the courts of law that shining paradigm
The man or women whose every action moderate
Ensures his deeds and words are always temperate

It seems reasonable to assert that such a canny being
Demonstrates an attitude which we should all be seeking
And an appeal to the virtue of that patent common sense
Requires no explanation or elaborate defence

The problem seems to be control of our emotions
So when provoked our mind succumbs to wildest notions
Thus our rational thinking simply evaporates
As blind zeal or passion begin to dominate

Of course it is true that the Clapham bus passenger
For sensible conduct is a fine ambassador
On decency and convention his reputation’s built
But the judiciary’s appeal to it increases our own guilt!

Ken Fisher

X Marks the Scot

X Marks the Scot

 

X Marks the Scot

 

I saw a chap today quite proudly besporting
A tee shirt indicating whom he seemed to be supporting
But I may be mistaken in making such assumption
Perhaps about his politics I have made a wrong presumption

Emblazoned on his chest like cattle being branded
The saltire sign displayed quite heavy-handed
But that white cross simply marked the spot
Which contained the ample torso of a plucky Scot

For it seems to me that the Nats have no real monopoly
Of what constitutes Scottishness as defined by anthropology
When you are casting your vote X might mark the spot
But surely not the totality of what we mean by Scot

It has been said that a true Scotsman can be identified
By up-skirting him when he wears his kilt with pride
But I doubt if this dubious procedure would really prove conclusive
And in these PC days would be considered most abusive

So the marks of the Scot, of either sex or none
Are not just a flag, however it’s homespun
It’s about an attitude of openness that welcomes all the world
Symbolised in that white cross when our flag’s unfurled

Ken Fisher

 

Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster

 

 

Like a roller coaster ride life’s full of ups and downs
Some days our face contorts with smiles at other times it’s frowns
The trick is learning how to cope with these undulations
Not allowing all those dips to drive us to frustration

When we are on the upslope and everything is fine
The world seems in our favour our future quite benign
We reach the top of the loop feeling so elated
As we start the steep decline we then become deflated

Thus we progress along the line by many fits and starts
The carriage lurches back and forth shaking all our parts
At one time we find ourselves completely upside down
Excitement enough to induce nervous breakdown

And then at last the coaster slows down towards the station
Our beating hearts cease their rapid palpitations
But suddenly it’s all gone flat the thrills are dissipated
We yearn once more for such delights unanticipated

As with the roller coaster ride, in life we seek excitement
For although tranquil days may bring us much contentment
But lest dull boredom should become a constant feature
We pray the twisting spiral will recoil early in the future

Ken Fisher

A New Version of Yourself

A New Version of Yourself

Perhaps what we need to do is something really radical
Reject past history, forget all that’s done and dusted
Boldly initiate change, don’t say that it’s impractical
With firm resolve our life can surely be adjusted

Why the need for planning such a revolution
With our daily lot are we really discontent?
What is the problem seeking a solution
Urging us to consider the need to re-invent

The style gurus and life coaches have written their prescription
The old self has got to go, its habits and obsessions
A need for a new version of yourself is their firm conviction
A rebirth, a new start,  new image, absolutely no concessions

Thus if we really want to follow that advice so ‘wise’
A complete make-over of all we are, appears to be imperative
Like that ugly ducking or caterpillar we then will metamorphasise
But can we ensure contentment after all this change restorative?

Ken Fisher

So Much Depends

So Much Depends

Are we free to act as we alone would choose?

Born an individual, but not a solo act

Imprisoned by our genes, brainpower and physique

Blessed and blighted by our up-bringing

Constrained by society, race and opportunity

Our health, wealth and security governed by others

So much depends on this past inheritance

How can we break free from the marionette strings?

Dare we defy the puppet master?

So much depends on self-belief and confidence

Self-belief in our own chosen path

And confidence to pursue that course

So let’s shun a robotic determinism

Thankful to those on whom erstwhile we have depended

We cast aside all shackles and excuses

Accountable to ourself alone

 

Ken Fisher

Silent Sentinels

Silent Sentinels

 

Silent sentinels strewn across a barren moor
Giant windmills, blades turned towards the flow
Of air which thus provides the driving force
Breath converted into mechanical energy

Human intervention made redundant
In this inanimate workshop in the hills
Unattended machinery, autonomous devices
Whispering their subservience to mankind

Some protest against the presence of these sails
Scarring the skyline by their whitewashed towers
Others claim they are the enemy of birds in flight
Their mighty flails threshing them to early death

Advocates of green energy laud their contribution
To saving the life of our fragile threatened sphere
Renewable resources much more environmentally friendly
Sustainability is the watchword of these zealots

And as arguments rage and debate seethes below
These tall structures quietly spin their magic spell
As long as they have breath their duty to perform
We can live and work and play as they gyrate

Ken Fisher