That was Then, this is Now

That was Then, this is Now

When we reflect on days gone by
We may recall with a deep sigh
Of customs we now disavow
But that was then, this is now

There never was a question whether
Before marriage you might live together
Social pressure would not allow
But that was then, this is now

Partners were business associates
Not sharing a bedroom with your mate
Today we won’t  raise an eyebrow
But that was then, this is now

Times past we blithely described something ‘gay’
Perhaps  bright flowers on a sunny day
Today gay means equal status we on all endow
Not like then, for this is now

On one thing for certain you can rely
Constant change you can’t deny
Thus we must learn to cope somehow
For that was then, and we live now

Ken Fisher

Photoshop Identity

Photoshop Identity

 

It has been claimed ‘the camera never lies’
And you simply must believe your eyes
But in this modern world, oh so high tech
That final image you should surely check

Because it’s now easy to manipulate
Thus unwanted features we obliterate
From those raw images once original
Captured by our lens then made digital

Snappers are happy with their efforts
Slight imperfections bring no discomfort
But experts feel the need to titivate
Thus post-processing simply cannot wait

So as soon as their images are downloaded
And the pixels have all been decoded
Photoshop software is called into service
Ready to work its transforming marvels

With a battery of tools ever so extensive
Its capability is most comprehensive
It can adjust exposure and colour saturation
Even straighten out chromatic aberration

It can zoom in and out and remove every blemish
Wipe out mysterious shadows which seem to menace
Pick out highlights and make minor corrections
And break up the image into multiple sections

By setting up layers it tackles each issue
Overlaying the problem with a distinct tissue
Making eyes sparkle ever so bright
Turning dark patches into clear light

It is even possible to switch someone’s head
And make people appear when you thought they were dead
Thus bodies and faces we can interchange
A practice that many will consider quite strange

This magic software uses a number of tools
Each one has to be used according to rules
You can paint bits of the screen with special brushes
Causing pallor or if needed, even hot flushes!

You can crop the photo or make it expand
A tiny image made really quite grand
There is an adjustment brush and a graduated filter
Help you sort things out if they all go out of kilter

You can apparently even decide to dehaze
And reorder items that get out of phase
Indeed there nothing impossible for this mighty edit
And we really ought to give the inventors credit

But there is one thing that concerns me and perhaps you
How do we know that the final image is true?
And while we may have claimed the camera never lies
Of the final production – can we believe our eyes?

Ken Fisher

Attitude

Attitude

 

Perhaps it’s how I think
Perhaps just how I feel
I wonder if there is a link
My thoughts thus made real?

‘It depends upon our attitude’
Is a phrase often rehearsed
Is this not just a platitude
From those in cliches well versed?

But attitude does truly matter
As we confront a situation
With fear or else with laughter
Signalling hope or trepidation

In the harsh world of competition
A little ‘attitude’ is surely needed
Set aside our inhibition
To ensure our plea is heeded

‘Attitude ‘ in a product or a service
Is now seen as quite a quirky virtue
Don’t hide it neath the surface
Loudly proclaim it to be true

The attitude of others affects our own reaction
An outlook, viewpoint and perspective
Our response to each new interaction
Oftimes personal and subjective

Perhaps you have recently heard the claim
A ‘can-do attitude ‘ is much to be prized
So if that style you can maintain
Without doubt you’ll be admired

Thus attitude, under whatever guise
Doubtless has significance
To reflect on it is wise
Don’t just leave life to chance

So in your  attitude be mindful

And never be forgetful
Of that timeless maxim
“Do unto others as you would have them
do to you”

Ken Fisher

Newspaper Supplements

Newspaper Supplements

You have heard the expression ‘too much information’
An example of this stems from newspaper publications
The weekend supplements are inclined to excesses
In the vast flow of material that spouts from their presses

The very size of the bundle you pull down from the shelf
Can all this be read by one person themself?
There are endless features, sometimes in sections
News, travel, finance, business, all demand your attention

If your interest is gardening, or the life-style of the llama
Or perhaps science is preferred to music or drama
If healthy living and sport is your main obsession
The supplements will surely give it expression

And then there are the colour magazine enclosures
Here fashion and glamour are given full exposure
Photographers are thus granted undoubted free rein
If they show rather too much we ought not to blame

For editors of these weekend cornucopia
Try to showcase a world resembling utopia
The travel supplements would take us all to exotic places
Island paradises peopled by outlandish races

And let’s not forget the crosswords and puzzles
We need these to exercise the cranial muscles
Although if we get stuck it might make us furious
And their answers to quizzes are sometimes quite curious

However I think the weekend supplements are really a boon
The Radio and TV programmes, even a cartoon
A range of material, far more than we seek
And weekend reading surely lasts us all week!

Ken Fisher

Wait

Wait

Most of us find it hard to wait
To pause momentarily becomes a trial
Somehow we can’t even hesitate
Take our foot off the pedal, once in a while

Why must we live life at this headlong pace?
Forever rushing through the tasks of each day
Determined to stay at the front in the race
Ever onwards, our motto, come what may

So no wonder we take it so very hard
When some obstacle forces us to halt
What causes our progress to retard?
Who is to blame, whence cometh the fault?

Why should we be surprised at having to wait?
Surely it’s part of the natural order
There is no reason why delay should frustrate
Or bring our emotions into disorder

At the very start we had to wait to be born
And through infancy, wait on parents’ loving care
Then wait at the school gates, somewhat forlorn
Wait as we acquired knowledge for life to prepare

Wait to develop through our teenage years
And as young adults wait to decide on our life’s direction
Perhaps wisely wait as we mix with our peers
With a suitable soulmate to make a connection

Wait for the result of the job interview
Or the news of a hoped-for promotion
Coping when our mood turns to blue
Wait for a calmer emotion

And thus as we progress through life’s diverse pathways
No matter what might come in fame or in fortune
Or trial and challenge which may mark our days
Waiting, surely no great misfortune

And later in life when more freedom is prized
Waiting might yet be seen as a boon
We may discover to our great surprise
The long coveted snooze in the afternoon!

So let’s not despise the fact that we have to wait,
In traffic, at checkouts, in queues, at the surgery
At the bus stop, the filling station, or for that longed-for date
Wait for the passage of years ticked off at each anniversary

And then at the end we wait the last final call
Heralding our separation from the joys of this life
When our waiting is over once and for all
The interruption of time can cause no further strife

Ken Fisher

See Also: Life Will See you Now  May we Hallow Life’s Brief Span

Those Who Say

Those Who Say

 

There are those who say that we should listen
As if their advice must be taken as ‘given’
We have our own thoughts, our own opinion
Why must others’ views still take dominion?

There are those who say we are too overweight
And serious ill health will be our fate
There are those who say we spend far too much
And too-ready credit has become our crutch

There those who warn us of climate change
And soon its control will be out of range
There are those who say the seas will rise
A move to higher ground is wise!

There are those who presage the robot revolution
Threatening every institution
There will be no chance that we might shirk
Due to the disappearance of all work

There are those whose concern is population
As it continues to rise among the nations
There are those who fear mass migration
As refugees seek some safe haven

There are those who say we are over educated
Unemployment making graduates frustrated
And many say they are burdened with a lot of debt
That they will never pay, seems a fair bet

There are those who say getting a roof over your head
Will be hard to achieve before you are dead
Compared to their parents’ rich generation
The millennials often sense their alienation

There are those who claim we are overwhelmed
By too much information, yet we feel compelled
To constantly monitor hand-held devices
Being ‘always on’ – one of our current vices

There are some who claim this is modern slavery
An entrapment which is most unsavoury
We are meant to live in a world that is free
Captive to our screens, we cannot flee

There a those who say politics is in disarray
For many Brexit seems to augur great dismay
And scandals have rocked our institutions
The virtuous loudly cry for retribution

There are even those who say that God is dead
No longer need for prayers beside our bed
The funeral was attended by so very few
Only a tiny remnant there to say adieu

I could go on with this doleful litany
Of pronouncements laden with calamity
But perhaps it is time to call a halt
After all most of this is not our fault

So when someone claims there are those who say
We do not need to be filled with dismay
‘Cause at best it is only their own view
Which we have the choice to espouse or eschew

After all, from whence comes the authority
Of this amorphous, dogmatic entity?
The monopoly of truth is no-one’s possession
All such assertions we should question

Ken Fisher

See also:What Does it Matter? https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/12/27/what-does-it-matter/

Clearing Out

Clearing Out

Every now and again it is time for a purge
To get rid of the clutter that bogs us down
Eventually we cannot resist the strong urge
To remove all the debris that threatens to drown

It may be prompted by the start of a year
Or the realization we are so tight for space
The reason for action is not always clear
But some of our old stuff we have to displace

That we have gathered so much is hard to accept
Some we have been given and others we bought
Whatever the source we don’t like to reject
Thus the choice for removal becomes really fraught

Many items have become like familiar old friends
Others whose use we have still to discover
The retention of some things is hard to defend
Their secret charms we have not yet uncovered

But action is needed we can no longer delay
We must remain firm in our stated intention
To shift unwanted objects the task of the day
So it’s off to the skip with no hesitation

Yet when the clear-out has been executed
And you have resorted to radical measures
All accumulated junk has been duly looted
You cast a wistful tear for departed ‘treasures’

Ken Fisher

Password Perplexity

Password Perplexity

Most of us are aware of the daily frustration
Which often leads to exasperation
When our computers refuse to allow us access
Unless the entry codes we clearly possess

However hard you try to breach the protection
False numbers will always result in rejection
You must know the password and username
Or you wont get past that very first frame

So it seems incumbent on all computer users
To ensure they’re prepared for such maneuvers
By retaining their passwords in some secure cache
And thus seek to avoid an access impasse

If you’ve forgotten the data and just try to wing it
You will be trying to get past the system’s pickets
After several attempts to breach the defences
They will consider you have committed offences

Thus your computer system may well shut down
And it is you who might suffer a complete meltdown
So it is better to take a more measured approach
Let’s you keep using other apps while maintaining hope

So that in due time you might find the right combination
To lift the cause of data deprivation
Get the passwords reset, identity renewed
Bringing an end to this digital feud

Of course we are reminded of the everyday fact
That our machines are in danger of being easily hacked
And the existence of these barriers give vital protection
From cyber thieves acting with evil intention

Ken Fisher

See Also: Cyber Safe

The Assault on Irn Bru

The Assault on Irn Bru

I see, in the press, Irn Bru is to change
Less sugar proposed in this magical mixture
It appears some drinkers it might thus estrange
For whom this beverage has long been a fixture

There is a great history behind this well-loved libation
Without it this nation would seem somewhat deprived
So fiddling the formula produces frustration
Why make these changes, we are quite satisfied?

For more than a century the Scots sought refreshment
From this unique blend of secret ingredients
For quenching their thirst, no better replacement
In bottles or cans it was found so convenient

Of course the years have seen changes in its presentation
Glass bottles by plastic in due course succeeded
And adverts quite often produced a sensation
To rival world brands, whisky almost exceeded

But in order to meet targets for sugar reduction
The makers of Irn Bru now offer a spanking new version
And they claim there should be no dissatisfaction
A switch to the new, a quite painless conversion

But in the meantime some traditionalists are simply stockpiling
Crates of the old brand of their great national drink
The prospect of the new not quite so beguiling
And that’s their opinion despite what anyone thinks

Ken Fisher

Hot Water Bottle

Hot Water Bottle

Between icy sheets your warm body slips
That hot water bottle you cannot resist
Without its heat the harsh cold defying
Bed-time would simply be terrifying

The gentle transfer of heat to the sheets
Thus the terrors of cold we seek to defeat
Although the hot bottle is really quite small
It is so much better than nothing at all

In days of yore they relied on the ‘pig’
Compared to the bottle ever so big
With its shiny surface your feet it might scald
An experience which left no-one enthralled

If the weather outside is very severe
Several bottles would bring even more cheer
Strategically positioning is quite an art
To ensure that they service each body part

Decide how best the bag to employ
Properly used it can bring you much joy
So boil up the kettle, then fill to the brim
And winter bed-time will no longer be grim!

Ken Fisher

see Also:https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/01/04/electric-blanket/

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

 

[A sonnet for the New Year]

Another day, a brand new year, we pledge a fresh beginning
Forget the past, it can’t be changed, it’s now gone forever
For our dark deeds we hope you yet will be forgiving
Let our resolve to make amends be the only measure
Yet how often in past days have we promised to reform?
But ere the first month of the year has run its course
No evidence of change that we claimed would be the norm
Somehow we seem a victim of a strong external force
So at the start of this new year let’s wipe the old slate clean
And with firm resolve act without further vacillation
That in all our words and actions prove we truly mean
To live out our promises, more than mere aspiration
Give thanks for new beginnings at this threshold of the year
Confronting every challenge, overcoming all our fear

Ken Fisher

See also: https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/12/31/at-the-threshold-of-the-year-2018/

What Does It Matter?

What Does it Matter?

 

What does it matter if you failed to win prizes
And never achieved even modest success
If your daily life produced no surprises
And few are the assets that you now possess

What does it matter if you gained no promotion
While others soared up to the giddy heights
You’re never aspired to swim the wide ocean
Or with the astronauts take a space flight

What does it matter if your artistic talent
Rarely succeeded the audience to thrill
No masterpiece came from your colour palette
No musical charms from your keyboard skills

What does it matter if you had no literary flair
Writing and poetry not your natural gift
Turgid plots, obscure verses simply made you despair
And to operatic arias you gave short shrift

What does it matter if you struggled with maths
History and geography left you equally cold
Failed to conquer science’s complex paths
And foreign grammar left you appalled

What does it matter if you never were famous
You didn’t progress to a dazzling career
People might claim you were rather aimless
A somewhat boring existence from year to year

Well this litany seems a little depressing
Life does matter, and we all must strive
To make the most of our gifts and our blessings
Above all the gift of this wonderful life

And we should not offer this lame excuse
That nothing matters in life when surely it must
Because we know in our heart that this is the truth
And to defect from that fact is a breach of our trust

Yes, it does matter, as we value each day
The moment provides us the opportunity
In small acts of love, and kind words we say
Together to build true community

Ken Fisher