Mourning

Mourning

Have you heard?
Can it be true?
That shocking news
Of loving friend
Abruptly gone

The fragility of life
In stark awareness
That placid face
That gentle voice
No longer seen or heard

The friendly smile
The concerned enquiry
The warm greeting
Encouraging words
Now only silence

Tireless worker
In God’s army
Arrested by this cruel twist
Is it any wonder
At Him frustratedly we
Shake our fist?

And yet bewildered
We must remain
Giving thanks
For her life
Leave the rest
To His greater plan

In the meantime
Offer solace
To those who mourn
With broken heart
Amidst all the devastation
May they find comfort
In joyous memory
Of her life

 

Ken Fisher

Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting

Apparently there is a new trend
Which might suggest you’re now a rebel
Where you are indeed present at work
But have taken your foot off the pedal

You have not handed in your notice
And still expect you will be paid
But your productivity has sagged
There’s minimum effort being displayed

Perhaps all this is due to the pandemic
When WFH* provided all the cover
For workers to minimise their effort
Concealed so the boss might not discover

This set me wondering if quiet quitting
Might apply to  any other endeavours
Where we may discretely withdraw
From our engagement in whatsoever

Quietly quitting requires no histrionics
No dramatic overplay of emotion
No embarrassing knee-jerk reaction
As we bring an end to our devotion

Perhaps we could just quietly quit
From allegiances we now disparage
The golf club, the Church, our social circle
In extreme cases even your marriage?

I am not advocating anything rash
But quiet quitting might be the solution
For gentle withdrawal from all that would irk
A painless retreat, not revolution

Ken Fisher

  • WFH Working From Home

Autumn Equinox 2022

Autumn Equinox 2022

 

 

This astronomical event occurs twice a year
When the plane of the Earth’s equator
Passes through the centre of the Sun
On this day the Sun shines directly on the equator
And day and night are approximately equal

Today is the Autumnal Equinox 2022
And our minds look back to warm summer days
And forward, with some foreboding, to approaching winter
And we are happy to say, for now, not yet!

An Equinox is perhaps a good time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for many blessings
For holidays, and travel, and time for relaxation

As the tint of the leaves turns and they begin
To flutter down to form an ochre carpet
Like the lowering of a flag at the end of a parade
We realise that gradual change must come

But shortening days and lengthening nights
Need not bring somber thoughts
Or fears of nocturnal terrors
‘Cause winter brings its own special charms

Family gatherings round the ‘hearth’
Bonfires and fireworks displays
Trudging home through deepening snow
To celebrate Christmas with those we love

And so we acknowledge the endless
Progression of the calendar
Through equinox to solstice
And solstice to equinox,
And again
An unending gyration

This year things seem a little different
We seem to be emerging from Covid
Although not perhaps completely free
And we are still mourning for the loss
of our beloved Queen
And the Ukrainian War rumbles ominously
in all our minds

But yet we would remain hopeful
Just as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the Sun
As each season brings its own mood and tenor
Let hope remain, the best is yet to come

 

Ken Fisher

 

National Catharsis

National Catharsis

Now it’s over
The great national catharsis
At the passing of our Queen

A vast out-pouring of emotion
Of grief, of thankfulness for her life
Of wonder at the revelation
Of all she was and has been
To so many at home
And around the globe

The great national catharsis
Proclaimed in all who paid homage
By the roadside and at the catafalque
Expressed in pomp and circumstance
In parades in capitals, in cathedrals and abbeys

The great national catharsis
As the media reviewed her gracious benefaction
From accession till final passing
Her omnipresence in the life of nations
That legacy of faithful service

The great national catharsis
As the world’s leaders assembled
With those of humbler calling
At the funeral service
A final benediction
A realisation of all our finitude

And so to Tuesday
The catharsis duly purged
What now?
The capital grows silent
Not in mourning
But in apprehension, a new era has dawned

Ken Fisher

Homage

Homage

A sombre mood
With eyes downcast
The world attests
To what has passed

The sovereign’s reign
Is now complete
Her subjects mourn in
Cathedral as in street

Around the globe
Most recognise
Her virtues
And her counsel wise

The good and great
In equal measure
Salute that life
Of given treasure

The snaking queues approach
The catafalque with due respect
Each mourner with their own tribute
In silence, on her life reflect

The funeral pending
In all our hearts
Final farewell
Our gracious lady thus departs

The world’s leaders
Along with those of lesser station
Together to commemorate
In their homage acclamation

Ken Fisher

No Longer Give Your Life, but Live Your Life?

No Longer Give Your Life, but Live Your Life?

Whatever happened to the ethic of Service?
When did the prevailing mood change?
From the idea of giving your life for others
To living your life for yourself

The death of our Queen
Who exemplified a life of service,
Has prompted reflection
On how we see our lives today

Of course we are told in the
Gospel of Matthew to
Love your neighbour
As yourself

But perhaps we have
Soft-pedalled on the neighbour bit
And majored on the loving of self
The spirit of our age

The bookshops are full of
Manuals on self-help
How to get the best out of life
In health, wealth and self-satisfaction

Perhaps we expect someone else
To do the giving, the service for others
The Government, the NHS, Social service etc
But don’t ask me to volunteer – are you mad?

So where does that leave us?
Self-contained in our little bubble
Good-bye to giving, hello to living
But perhaps happiness may be discovered
In living through giving

Ken Fisher

End of an Era, Start of the New

End of an Era, Start of the New

Pomp, pageant, precedent
The march of time could not prevent
Shock at the loss of our dear Queen
The hour not readily foreseen

Suddenly the Queen is gone
Young and old left quite forlorn
Hard to accept she is no more
That presence that most adore

One era ends, begins the new
The succession follows through
King Charles in time duly anointed
As to sovereign’s role appointed

Give thanks for blessings of the past
May the new King still hold fast
To the glory of his mother’s reign
Thus her nobility attain

Ken Fisher

 

Take Me To Your Leader

Take Me To Your Leader

Today we have been taken to the new leader
Of the Tory members throughout our land
The chosen one by their due process
The new PM, the Cabinet at her command

Liz Truss raised to this high office
All the burdens of the State
The outcome of her decisions
May determine the voters’ fate

A nation in an hour of crisis
Warfare, covid, energy, inflation
No need to look far for trouble
Endless woes in aggregation

Opinions differ there is no doubt
No matter what our views political
We would surely wish for success
In facing manifold issues critical

As Her Majesty duly ‘kisses hands’
And as Liz receives the keys to Number 10
We ne’er would grudge success in her endeavours
May our thoughts be of blessing
Swift to praise, slow to condemn

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Chatbot Challenge

Chatbot Challenge

You have already spent long enough
Trying to solve your problem
By interrogating the Website
Which promised to make your transaction
As simple as a, b, c. – or so they said

But when you find yourself lost
In some digital blind alley
Confused by options
Waylayed by algorithms
Snared in some never-ending loop

It is then that you search for
The ‘get in touch’ contact details

Thank goodness you say
I will speak to someone
Who will surely solve my problem

But of course the website gives
No clue to any contact numbers
But it beguilingly invites you
“To Chat with us”

So you click that link
And it is then that an
Additional little screen materialises
Bottom right

Thereon there appears
In neatly printed letters
Natasha here – can I help you?

Oh great – a human response
Or so you think

But the human person
Has been totally extirpated
From the system
And Natasha is a mere robot

She presents you with a set of options
To questions to which she thinks you might
Want the answer

But how come your particular question
Seems forever missing?

It is then that you feel like
Abandoning the whole mission
Cancelling the order
Complaining to the Ombudsman
Or pressing the self-destruct button

Then you notice, in tiny print,
That in the event that the Chatbot
Hasn’t come up with the right questions
Let alone the right answer

That if you need more help
Tickle a further link
And Lo and Behold

Natasha herself (not the robot)
Appears in print
And the genie has come out of the bottle
And you are on the way to a solution.

Why can’t they have done that in the first place?
Is AI – artificial intelligence –  intelligent enough?

Ken Fisher

 

Rampaging Inflation

Rampaging Inflation

A new scourge seems to be afflicting our nation
In the form of renewed rampaging inflation
Apparently the worst for over forty years
Enough to engulf all our other deep fears

We thought that Covid was enough to try us
As we sought relief from that menacing virus
But now the challenge is spiralling prices
And nobody knows quite what to advise us

Energy costs are going through the roof
The high figures quoted sound like a spoof
But regrettably these numbers are not any joke
The prospects of payment are quite beyond hope

The weekly shop we can no longer afford
But rocketing prices just can’t be ignored
We will have to cut down and do something rash
Or without doubt we will soon run out of cash

Those little treats we will have to forego
Reduce our drinking, that will be a blow
But there is little doubt we must reduce our spend
A more frugal life is what we commend

So you must tighten your belt and learn to cut back
Let’s hope that employers don’t give you the sack
We must brace ourselves throughout the nation
If we are to survive this rampaging inflation

Ken Fisher

 

This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

If you’re not keen on sport
There’s nowhere to hide
Contests of all modes
On every side

England’s women footballers
Showed us the way
As in the Euros they
Did all others outplay

Now the Commonwealth Games
Showcasing sports of all kinds
In water, on track, on court
In teams, and solo, quite unconfined

Beach volleyball, judo, wrestling and squash
Marathon runners, sprinters at speed
Gymnastics, rugby, cricket and bowls
All demand that we should pay heed

Couch-potatoes now feeling quite overwhelmed
Seek shelter from this physical bonanza
Where can we find refuge
From this athletic extravaganza?

There is little doubt sport is a good thing
Boosting our health, promoting wellbeing
But with elite athletes we cannot compare
A more modest ambition is only fair

Ken Fisher

Political Beauty Parade Now Reduced to Two

Political Beauty Parade Now Reduced to Two

It’s now a head-to-head between Rishi and Liz
For whom will the Tories crack open the fizz?
Between now and then the contest will rage
As each the other will try to upstage

The heat of this summer is quite enough
Without all this needless point scoring stuff
So let’s hope the contenders behave in a civilised way
Not treat their rival as a dragon to slay

The Tory members have got the power in their hands
The appointment of Leader and PM is at their command
So let wisdom direct their considered choice
That on 5th of September will the nation rejoice

Ken Fisher

See Also: Political Beauty Parade