Seed Time

Seed Time

The time of year for the planting of tiny seeds
Pressed by the compost, forced into hibernation
Protected from threats of all invasive weeds
Laid down lovingly in hope and expectation

Embryonic plants secreting great potential
Upward  reaching tiny shoots will pierce the surface
Believers acknowledge God’s purpose providential
Nature thus mobilized in mankind’s service

Emblematic of that process of regeneration
Life emanating from a substance quite minute
As with plants, so with all life’s rich creation
Grandeur blossoms from the tiniest root

Thus the fruit of Eden’s garden multiplies
The good and evil tangled in the garden plot
Primal planting initiates the whole great enterprise
From which in time all living things are wrought

Ken Fisher

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

On the thirty-first of January in 2018
Observe the moon tinged with a strange blue sheen
The cause is due to the intervening atmosphere
But the unusual colour is nothing we should fear

A blue moon is a second surprising appearance
After an earlier quite regular occurrence
Thus in the month we see two successive moons
One is a New Moon followed now by the Blue

Of course there is only one moon which pops up twice
As if in this month only one won’t suffice
A calendar year has a surfeit of days
So with the 12 lunar cycles timings get out of phase

To keep the annual pattern duly uniform
Scientists had to devise  a quite clever reform
Thus on occasions which really are quite rare
A blue moon was scheduled quite reasonable and fair

But because this event is rather infrequent
A new name was given some time subsequent
Blue moons are events that make you stand and stare
Thus here on earth a ‘blue moon’ marks something very rare

Ken Fisher

See also: September Moon  Summer Moon   Moon

 

Get Out Your Pen; Ditch the Keyboard

Get Out Your Pen; Ditch the Keyboard

[for National Handwriting Day 23 Jan 2018]

 

Perhaps it has become a forgotten art
Being viewed nowadays as somewhat quaint
Technology has certainly played its part
But I am not sure to whom to complain

For each of us in early school days
Many hours were spent in learning to write
Each letter shaped in its own special way
All endeavours aimed at getting it right

We dotted the I’s and stroked all the T’s
Tried to ensure the words were all clear
Thus we shaped the letters with loops you could see
Gradually improving our style every year

Practice gained in notes and compositions
Eventually we achieved considerable skill
Some even entered writing competitions
As their aspirations they tried to fulfill

But then came along the computer revolution
The use of the pen soon became redundant
The keyboard for data became the solution
QWERTY suddenly appeared quite abundant

As well as the keyboard we have the touch screen
And sensory devices the data to capture
The old fashioned pen is now rarely seen
With so many alternatives input to gather

We have taught our computers to hear our voice
And mouse clicks replace the stroke of the pen
Indeed there is now an infinite choice
To feed in data again and again

So what of the diminishing art of writing?
Well perhaps there are still times it can play a part
When we wish to ensure a personal greeting
On a generous cheque or a birthday card!

So my plea is get out your pen; ditch the keyboard
Jot down a few lines, straight from the heart
That biro or fountain will bring its reward
And for one brief moment restore the lost art

Ken Fisher

At the Threshold of the Year 2018

At the Threshold of the Year 2018

[A variation on a poem posted last year]

Time is sometimes called the Fourth Dimension
Length, breadth and height the other three
But time can fill our hearts with apprehension
No wonder that it’s often said to flee

‘Tempus fugit ‘ we plead as ready-made excuse
When everyday concerns and never-ending cares
A sense of guilt and failure does induce
Our quest for peace and freedom thus impaired

But time cannot be stalled; its steady progress will not falter
It’s march like Roman legions moving ever onward
Along straight roads, their fixed direction does not alter
The army moves in steps that take them ever forward

And so it is that in these dark fading days of late December
As we approach the threshold of yet another year
Thoughts filled with joy and sorrow as we remember
Hopefulness for days ahead but not without our hidden fear

What lies just beyond the gate of this New Year?
We’ve been warned: ‘the past no guide to future performance’
Would life be simpler if the way ahead was clear?
Why do we ever have to seek for reassurance

And so as we peer into the void beyond this New Year’s Day
We simply must accept that unlike length or breadth or height
The realm of time brings with it ‘come what may’
Our prayer remains that faith and hope will bring us light

And so my friend step onward with a steady pace
Give thanks for many blessings in the past
Let love for life and all mankind your heart embrace
And to God’s providence our trust remain steadfast

Ken Fisher

 

See also : https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2018/01/01/new-beginnings-2/

 

Christmas Morning 2017

 

Christmas Morning 2017

The excitement of anticipation,
Children tip-toeing downstairs
In search of Santa’s bounty
The tearing open of those wrappings
The shrieks of pleasure as the long-awaited
Gifts are exposed

Mum and Dad come to find out if burglars
Have arrived to upset the household
The children squeal with joy as they
Show what Santa has delivered
Parents gasp conspiratorially
Admiring his awareness of all
That had been hoped for

Then the stockings are pillaged
Revealing their cache of treats and sweets
No longer just the time honoured fruit
The current Apple is probably a Mac!

After the intial excitement
Then parents too check to see
What Santa has done for them
In the hope that it might be more than
Socks or hankies – perhaps a spa break
Or a hamper full of goodies!

Then breakfast – don’t eat much
Leave space for the Christmas feast
The full works accompanied by the crackers
With their crafty little jokes – who thinks them up?
Indeed who needs philosophers?
The whole thing kept afloat by your favourite tipple
Remember to drink sensibly – especially the drivers

Traditional TV programmes will compete for those
Whose eyes will be glued to their new iPads and smart phones
The Queen’s inspirational message muffled
By those ears stopped with headphones
Lambasted by the latest gaming wizardry
The traditional phone call to relatives
Superseded by a thousand Tweets, Skypes, Face Time
Or whatever instant messages assail your privacy

Anyway that’s the modern Christmas
And of course not all will celebrate in happy families
Some choosing to be alone, others filled with memories
And yearning for the companions now gone from their life

And somewhere in the distant background is that stable
At Bethlehem, with the baby in the manger,
Still radiating the message of love
To every human soul in this angst-torn world

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts (2017)

Christmas Gifts (2017)

The Three Wise Men – is it them we should blame?
For starting this craze which can drive us insane
Each Christmas demands that we spend so much cash
As in our giving we are ever more rash

We know that it’s time that we all took a stance
And tried to control this needless expense
But somehow it seems we cannot reduce
As the desire to give still seems to seduce

We feel that it’s good to be kind to our friends
So to one and all our largesse extends
But we know that deep down their love can’t be bought
And much reckless spending is really for nought

And now it is easier than ever to spend
As some claim on-line shopping is such a godsend
But the real gift of God was his only Son
Who come down to our world, a gift to each one

So why don’t we reflect as did those Wise Men
Who sought out the Infant in far Bethlehem?
That gifts are mere symbols of their adoration
As to that Baby they bent in prostration

Now, as long ago, we need only one gift
As we too our faces to Jesus uplift
Just hearts filled with love for God and for man
Reflecting that glory whenever we can

Ken Fisher

 

Winter Solstice 2017

Winter Solstice 2017

The shortest day the longest night
Benighted souls seeking the light
The sun in deepest declination
Darkness shrouds the northern nations

The solstice marks a time of change
From the light we’ve been estranged
For longer days our hearts do yearn
Sunlight surely must return

For in due time by steady progress
The sun’s climb will this dark suppress
And soon its penetrating rays
Bring the lengthening of each day

As the solstice now we mark
Entombed in gloom and shadows dark
Let’s look to brightening days ahead
As light again becomes widespread

Ken Fisher

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

[A new version of a poem posted at Christmas time in the last two years]

[Sing this to the tune of ‘Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown’]

We left God alone with his throne and his crown
For we had little time to spare
We were too busy spending our hard earned cash
Buying gifts and grooming our hair
For it’s party time and let’s just be rash
As we’re all heading off to town

But then someone reminds us of that stable bare
With the Holy Child in the manger
And the ox and ass and wise men three
Then we thought of those living in danger
The sick and the poor and the refugee
And all those deserving our care

So that Baby of old and the twinkling star
Tells of God’s great love which came
Into the world to save souls in their need
By kindling that tender flame
So come dear Lord wipe out all our greed
With the warmth from that stable afar

God never says no when we celebrate
He is happy to rejoice with us all
So give thanks to God who loves each of us
He too will come to the ball
So come dear Lord, we won’t make a fuss
As again you with us incarnate

Ken Fisher

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

The shops are crammed with goodies
And it’s impossible to choose

So many difficult decisions,
Might drive you to the booze

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift still unwrapped I fear

The problem is you are so very generous
Every year I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
And my thank-youz for them are really little lies

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, even appalled

And how about a onesie for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
Shops’ catalogues put temptation on every shiny page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

Ken Fisher

Hospitality

Hospitality

As we enter the season of advent, with its feverish activity
We hear distant echoes of Bethlehem, home to the nativity
And we compare our modern world of sumptuous hospitality
With the those far off rustic scenes of poverty and frugality

Hospitality given to strangers is a revered ancient tradition
To those who travel, driven on by a  determined mission
Pilgrims, intent on arrival at some holy shrine, their ambition
Travel weary refugees, claiming sanctuary is their petition

Hospitality today has moved far from simply the provision of a home
For Holy Family, shepherds and wise men beneath the celestial dome
In the dazzle of Christmas celebrations light is no longer monochrome
And to join in the fiesta no obligation on us to roam

Hospitality now manifest in food and drink and warmth and friendliness
A congenial welcome, a re-discovery of neighbourliness
An opening of hearts to show the milk of human kindness
So in our celebrations let love be the ever-present witness

But the spirit of advent exceeds mere hospitality
Or modern Christmas fun with tinsel and triviality
In essence it renews the desire for hope and peace and joy and love
Incarnate in that Infant come to mankind from God above

Ken Fisher

 

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017

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!

Happy shopping!

Ken Fisher

 

 

History

History – ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’

It was apparently Henry Ford who sagely declared
That “History was just one damned thing after another”
And I don’t think there is any way we can refute that
Because we think of history as moving with time

At school we were sometimes told that Geography is about Maps
And History was about Chaps
(Ignoring the enormous contribution of the female sex)
Anyway History is generally expressed as a reflexion of  peoples’ lives

Of course the timespan of human existence in terms of
The whole history of  the earth is limited to perhaps
About 200,000 years, and we don’t know much
Of the story of the very earliest chaps

But nonetheless it is a long time from 200,000 years ago
To our present day – a very large historical tome
would be needed to tell that story
And perhaps a little boring – let’s try it on Facebook!

But what did Henry Ford mean by just one damned thing?
It sounds as if he had a troublesome life
Well he was a brilliant engineering innovator
And his problems were more with the unions than engines

Anyway Ford, in using the epithet about History
Seems to me to have succinctly summed up
The nature of life and living down the centuries
Never easy for the human spirit, but triumphing through it all

But I wonder if we ourselves would put such a negative judgment
on our view of history. Some might prefer to say it was the constant
march of progress* down the years from the darkness of ignorance
and superstition to the light of knowledge and rationality

But this seems to overlook an endless succession of really damnable things!

Ken Fisher

  • Interestingly, I read that Marx took from Hegel the sense that
    progress is inevitable, and that history has a pattern and is 
    not just one thing after another.