Plan B

Plan B

Sometimes it is wise to prepare a Plan B
If plan A should fail I am sure you’ll agree
Common sense demands we give consideration
If what we intended might end in frustration

In commerce and trade Plan B is worthwhile
If bold risk-taking is not the appropriate style
Caution is needed if firms want to stay liquid
Ensuring their losses are tightly restricted

It is all very well to boldly go forth
Believing Plan A has infinite worth
But when in time expectations flounder
Having no Plan B is surely a blunder

In politics too Plan B is essential
Although MPs believe in the life providential
Declaring success whatever arises
Denying changed plans cause them surprises

And so in life when things diverge from our plan
An alternative course we should take if we can
Plan A,  no doubt in its day a sensible course
But if needed, use plan B, and have no remorse

Ken Fisher

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me
[Fear of Death Disturbs Me]

 

In days of yore when pupils at school were ruled with iron rod
When few would dare to question the reality of God
What might confront us when moved beyond the grave
Rarely could be swept aside, even by the brave

Fear of death was a powerful motivating force
Lest we find that by past deeds we are thereafter cursed
Reflecting on the hereafter would thus our souls perturb
Resolving that our conduct might ne’er God’s rule usurp

Today our mindset has cast aside that shadow
Death’s menace ignored with much bold bravado
Indeed death now rarely accorded even mention
Eternal life apparently the focus of attention

And yet we know that such a view is unrealistic
Life may be longer but still remains naturalistic
Indeed today perhaps our fear is not of death but living
Amidst the challenges of modern life which can be unforgiving

So what might be the Holy Grail, the nostrum for our age?
To help us navigate a course and all our angst assuage
That neither fear of death nor life might carry off our peace
And from all that would disturb we might duly find release

Ken Fisher

Removal Upheaval

Removal Upheaval

 

I don’t know how often you have changed your address
But for the inexperienced this seems to cause great distress
And although we look forward with keen anticipation
We advance to our move date with some real trepidation

At first there’s the trauma of the purchase and sale
Which can push your blood pressure right off the scale
Having found your new home after diligent search
You hope you aren’t out-bid and left in the lurch

And once your target property is safely secured
Will the price leave you among the indigent poor?
Then panic sets in as you now need to sell up
Caught in the pincers that could leave you bankrupt

Of course there are professionals to help steer you through
Estate agents and lawyers, and mortgage brokers too
They are all case-hardened by years of experience
And promise their efforts will make such a difference

In the fullness of time the dark clouds will lift
And earlier worries can at last be dismissed
Your old home sold off and a new one acquired
Surely your clever dealings will be duly admired

But now you are faced with an onerous chore
Of clearing your old home from ceiling to floor
Then moving all your chattels to their new habitation
You must get on quickly with no procrastination

There is no doubt that we cannot avoid this disruption
When all our normal routines suffer vast interruption
It affects our body and mind and no doubt our purse
Perhaps selling agents should provide us all with a nurse

However, in the end when in our new flat we have settled down
Perhaps we can smile and dispense with that frown
The removal upheaval no longer an obsession
And in our new home we find pride of possession

Ken Fisher

Brexit (Decision Time)

Brexit (Decision Time)

Perhaps we should ban the word Brexit
Tell it to head for the exit
For months on end we have discussed it
Everyone of us now quite disgusted!

You expect more of our politicians
Who perform smarter tricks than magicians
Surely they have had time enough to resolve
Manifold problems they had to solve

But we remain in great disarray
Observing with mounting dismay
Internal strife now quite a spectacle
As we marvel at this chaotic debacle

At the referendum the nation gave a decision
But on facts quite devoid of precision
Since then many months have elapsed
Yet we are feeling increasingly trapped

MPs in civil war are engaged
As voices become more enraged
And the public watches on quite aghast
As each other with rhetoric they lambast

The time has come to make up their mind
And without seeming to be unkind
The various factions must learn to concede
That in or out our great UK should succeed

It seems the mood of the nation
Is we have had enough prevarication
Our legislators might get a firm grip
Abandon the pointless brinkmanship

Doubtless this island people will survive
And next week we will still be alive
So let’s make up our minds, fix on one choice
And in either deal or no deal let’s rejoice

Ken Fisher

Time’s Progression

Time’s Progression

[Written on 1st January 2019]

There is no stopping time’s progression
Its forward movement we can’t question
And as each year succeeds the last
We marvel that it speeds so fast

The years process at such a pace
It seems as if life is a race
Each month heralds something new
Novel sensations to value

Yet not for all, this speeding motion
Experiencing sluggish locomotion
The daily duty the quotidian round
Becomes for them life’s burial ground

One thing is certain what e’er the pace
With fear or joy we must embrace
The fact of change inevitable
Its advance inexorable

How to handle time and change?
From neither can we be estranged
Time. Sometimes called the fourth dimension
Change constantly prompts transformation

If we might learn time to contain
Within each day’s confining frame
And change, accept with patient calm
Our souls thus shielded from life’s harm

Ken Fisher

God Surprises Earth with Heaven

“God surprises earth with heaven
Coming here on Christmas Day”
[Iona Community Carol]

God comes in a surprising way
As we awake on Christmas Day
He comes the gift we don’t expect
No more commanding our respect
We’ve grown world weary, cynical
Incredulous of any miracle
How can the gift of the Christ Child
Make God and man be reconciled?
Only in humble trust and expectation
For pride and conceit make expiation
Grasp the hand from God above
Here below, show forth his love
Thus heaven surprises here on earth
Confounded by an infant’s birth

Ken Fisher

Santa’s NOT Coming

Santa’s NOT Coming

 

Santa’s not coming, I told you so
Reindeer and sledge will no longer go
He’s giving this year a body swerve
No present for us as we don’t really deserve

Like naughty children we have misbehaved
For this we can’t escape quite unscathed
During the year so much has gone wrong
And Santa’s not willing to just play along

The whole Brexit business is quite a disgrace
And from this debacle we’ll never save face
Politics has got us into such a tangle
As with fellow Europeans we endlessly wrangle

Then there is climate change which we tend to neglect
As with drought, flood and tempest we are now beset
But sooner or later we will need to take action
As melting snow and burning sun brings a reaction

Of course many think that we are doing just fine
And ask why the world’s problems are deemed to be mine?
If jobs are lost and people are on their beam ends
Surely they can call up a favour from friends

It’s a pity about the beggar on our local street
As he crouches despondent just at our feet
As we avoid eye contact and pretend he’s not there
We simply shrug and say “the world is unfair”

So I don’t see why Santa should go off in a huff
And punish us for all this nasty stuff
Why spoil Christmas, the time of good cheer
When we’ve all been so good throughout the past year!

Why is Santa not coming, it’s surely unfair
Do we have for others a ‘duty of care’?
Perhaps he will return if we stop to reflect
And then in love with others fondly connect

Ken Fisher

 

Snowflake Generation

Snowflake Generation

 

The arrival of snowflakes on the window pane
Prompts me to ask who can explain
This latest category or classification
Evolution’s most recent human mutation

A little research gives quite a surprise
When one finds in each decade there did arise
A new label by which we can signify
The main characteristics thus identify

The Forgotten Generation ended in 1910
The War years yielded the Greatest Generation of men
From 1926 till after the World War in ‘45
The Generation seemed Silent although still alive

From 1946 the Baby Boomers took us by storm
The post war youngsters were no longer forlorn
The had it all, jobs, houses and increasing wealth
Prosperity had sneaked up on us as if by stealth

1966 – 1980 was defined as Generation X
Society much changed, liberating the fair sex
Latchkey children became commonplace
As blended families joined the rat race

1981 to 2000 the age of the Millennial
Much celebration as we hit the centennial
Almost every youngster became a student
Although for their future this may not have been prudent

From 2001 the label was Generation Z
Although Snowflake now has been adopted instead
It appears our young adults have become hypersensitive
And on their virtuous opinions they are quite argumentative

I wonder if all our bright glistening snowflakes
As they go through life will have what it takes
Or will they simply melt for lack of protection
From the challenge of life as they strive for perfection?

Ken Fisher

The Family – Together!

The Family – Together!

On a cushion cover in a home furnishing store
Why would you wish for anything more?
‘Family together we have it all’  it declares
If you are not now in a family you might well despair

Like the cushion itself, these words seem inflated
Puffed up to make claims quite exaggerated
Togetherness in families is not always a feature
For familial camaraderie not everyone’s eager

And what does it mean that ‘we have it all’?
We might be the curators of things that appall
Our flashy possessions and glitzy life style
From your point of view are hardly worthwhile

And as for the habits some families display
Such common behaviour you would surely dismay
So when jointly families aspire to have it all
Would that they hid behind their Chinese wall

But perhaps these sentiments are too condemnatory
And certainly of families at large, not the whole story
Many kinship groups unite to act with verve
And together each other they willingly serve

So perhaps the family is at its creative best
When its collective energy they would invest
Outward looking to others where they see any need
Inwardly supporting by kind words and deeds

Ken Fisher

The Volunteer

The Volunteer 2018

[for International Volunteer Day 2018]

images-1

 

Where would we be without the volunteer?
Those selfless souls who freely offer to take part
Whether it be to join some ‘Great Cause’
And end up making the ‘Supreme Sacrifice’
Or whether it be for a much humbler task
Some regular kindness to our neighbour
That does not demand self-immolation
But nonetheless has the hallmark of self-giving

Is it just me who is becoming more aware
That volunteers seem to be a threatened species?
Despite political hectoring that we should all
Be part of the ‘Big Society’ showing social solidarity
Based on voluntarism and communitarianism
Each one prepared to play our part for the common good
Thus ordinary citizens should be enabled to
Provide the impetus for much greater ‘people power’

These are grand sentiments no doubt advocated
With the best intentions. Unfortunately
There is not too much evidence that the Big Society
Has managed to ‘big itself up’ to any significant scale
And I wonder why so few seem to have caught the vision
And responded to the challenge of active volunteering
Regretfully, I think the zeitgeist of our age has evolved into
That of ‘the snowflake’ frightened of pressure or responsibility

Why should this be, I ask myself?
Perhaps it is the pace of life, we are all too busy
Work life balance is out of kilter, we are living
In the ‘always connected’ mode – there is no escape
Earning a living, extensive commuting, and exhaustion
All surely play their part. Don’t ask me to do anything
OK – point taken. But will this sound the death knell
Of all that hitherto volunteers have done for us?

‘I hope not’ – I hear you say.
Thank God for the volunteers –but please, please,  just don’t ask me
[yet again]!

Ken Fisher

 

Black Friday 2018

Black Friday 2018

Black Friday is about to dawn
Indeed it seems never to have gone
This mad scramble for bargains
Gives birth to rugby scrums in shopping malls
And melt-down on computer networks
As search engines and eager bargain-hunters
Hit the town centres and the web browsers

I wonder if this whole exercise has some cathartic purpose
Pent-up emotions being released in some orgasmic frenzy
But who stirred up the desire in the first place?
Did we harbour some deep repressed longing to buy, buy, buy
Or was it the wiles and blandishments of the advertisers
On behalf of the retailers in their constant quest for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
We are assured that Friday will produce record-breaking turnover
Shops may be crammed with customers
And the on-line trade will ensure the white-van army
Of delivery agents will shift the goods from anonymous
Warehouses up and down the land, to your door and mine
And we will jump for joy at the ring on our door bell!

And this year when traditional retailers seem under threat
Perhaps this annual rugby scrum of hungry consumers
Will bring comfort to those who our high streets would save
Remind the great shopping public that the internet offers no
Tactile experience as they wrest coveted goods from fellow buyers
Let’s hope it might renew interest in the whole shopping experience
Heralding a rebirth as we celebrate traditional Nativity

Happy Christmas
Happy shopping!

Ken Fisher

No Sign of it There

No Sign of It There

 

No sign of it there, we have to concede
Our searches so far are of little avail
It looks as if we will not succeed
All our diligence simply will not prevail

No sign of it there, where can it have gone?
We’re sure that it’s somewhere that we can discover
If we keep on seeking, then before very long
The missing treasure we might soon recover

No sign of it there, is it worth so much trouble
Do we really need that illusive possession
Would its retrieval require a life-threatening struggle
Why let our quest be a consuming obsession?

No sign of it there, but why does it matter
We can live without it, or that is the rumour
When they hear what ‘s lost there will be no laughter
For sadly what’s missing is our sense of humour

Ken Fisher