Advent Calendar Makeover 2022

Advent Calendar Makeover 2022

Have you noticed how the Advent Calendar
Has evolved?
Less traditional ‘nativity’
Now involved

Gone are the shepherds
And the sheep
Of the Wise Men
Not a peep

Mary & Joseph gone A W A L
Baby Jesus escaped the stall
Even that twinkling star
No longer seen afar

The modern calendar you will discover
Given a radical makeover
Bethlehem now rarely features
Behind the doors quite different creatures

Each day your taste buds stimulated
Your sweet longings thus are sated
Miniature morsels in confection
Cheeses wrapped into perfection

Jewelled trinkets for the rich
Despite the cost, seem rather kitsch
Wine and spirits for the tippler
Mini biros for the scribbler

For those concerned about their looks
Opening doors in tenterhooks
May find something quite prosthetic
Amidst offerings cosmetic

And so on it goes, those daily treats
From micro gifts to tasty sweets
Until at last on Christmas day
We gasp at this endless array

And then we ask
What’s this all about?
Amidst cheap goodies
Don’t shut love out

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Remembrance 2022

Remembrance 2022

This poem was posted at the same time in earlier years
We hope that this year we might yet remain
optimistic about the future

Today’s a time for remembering
Thinking back to those dark days of war
When life was uncertain for all
And for some, death was an imminent prospect

But few living today have much memory
Of the years of conflict when hostilities raged
And although warfare still encircles the world
Our experience of it is mediated by TV images

And yet we have an uncomfortable feeling
That despite efforts to unite the nations
There is a persistent climate of arm-wrestling
Between the great powers who eyeball each other

The Cold War brought with it the four-minute-warning
Not long to compose our minds for oblivion!
And presently with the continuing conflict in the Ukraine
And other theatres of war in our troubled world
We cannot quite eliminate the nagging uncertainty for our destiny

However, for today, we give thanks
For all those who bought our freedom
And pledge to strive to maintain
Such fragile peace as we possess

Ken Fisher

Beeb Centenary

Beeb Centenary

Congratulations to our companion
Purveyor of news and diverse opinion
The BBC has reached its centenary
Throughout each age remained contemporary

Harnessing each new development
From crystal set to internet
The beeb’s output embraced the world
Its transmissions like flags unfurled

From Reithian sobriety
To music and variety
In programmes thus our tastes reflected
No part of culture e’er neglected

To educate, inform and entertain
Its mission e’er remained the same
So much a part of daily life
Through peaceful years and times of strife

Despite the fact of great prestige
In modern times more under siege
Who want’s to pay a licence fee
When the airwaves may come free?

The Beeb is somehow like no other
From Strictly back to Watch with Mother
Endless output from the archives
Broadcasts woven through all our lives

Congratulations to this mighty institution
There is no ready substitution
We wish it well in years ahead
That its broadcast waves may still be spread

Ken Fisher

 

See Also: Radio The Listender’s Window on the World

The Night Time Broadcast

 

In Praise of Poetry – 2022

In Praise of Poetry
In celebration of National Poetry Day 6 October 2022

From bard of old to modern scribe
Folks from their clan or ancient tribe
Set down their thoughts on love and life
Of peaceful days or times of strife

Primitive symbols on cave walls
Or ancient tomes kept in great halls
Retold their tales of days of yore
Of battles, feuds, and much spilled gore

Throughout the history of their land
In metropolis or island strand
In each succeeding generation
Poets voice the thoughts of every nation

As they recount in verse and rhyme
Acts heroic in their time
Myths and sagas thus survive
And old traditions kept alive

Poetry upholds a nation’s pride
Expresses feelings deep and wide
That tell of our own situation
Our joys, our hopes, and life’s frustrations

And in the words of rhyme and prose
The poet seeks to thus compose
A tale that touches deep the heart
Reflecting life like every art

But in that special written form
A poetic voice can thus transform
Emoted by some word or phrase
We shed a tear or shout in praise

Ken Fisher

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

Freak Out

Freak Out

Surprised, upset, angry, or confused
Quite suddenly your ego badly bruised
Your mood has changed, what’s that about?
From calm composure, complete freak out

What change of fortune, turning of events
Brings this sudden surge of discontent?
What bad tidings, what ill-timed casualty
Turns settled life into catastrophe?

The truth perhaps is not so clear
What to one person induces deadly fear
To others minor inconvenience all they feel
Their thoughts to reason will appeal

What can be the cause of a freak out?
What shocking fact might make you shout
Perhaps exam results you didn’t expect
New energy bills your budget wrecked!

Freak outs prompted by bad news
Foundering at some interviews
Pay rise that didn’t materialise
Failure to win the expected prize

But somehow we must learn to cope
Don’t despair, hold on to hope
Accommodate the unexpected
Little point in being dejected

Say good-bye to pointless freak out
From nasty frights avoid the fall-out
Hang on to sunny disposition
‘Keep calm’ become your new-found mission

Ken Fisher

Contrast the above poem with Inscrutable