Trees

Trees

[A humorous glance at]

Trees.   There they are
But we don’t often think much about them
Not unless there is a mighty gale blowing
And we think one is going to fall on us
Or in a thunderstorm – don’t stand under
One or you might become a lightning conductor!

Trees are woody perennial plants
That have an elongated stem – the trunk
Below the trunk there are roots
Then branches and leaves
Reaching upwards [unless a weeping willow]
Ambitious creatures!

There are myriad different trees
Boy scouts used to learn their names
Then burn bits of them in the campfire
Coniferous – with cones – for Christmas
Deciduous – with leaves that fall
OK for logging and carpentry

When a tree is cut down
You can check its age by the rings!
Similar to an old man’s scrawny neck
[but don’t cut him down]
But mostly we just let trees get
On with life – they do no harm

Children of wealthy families
Can have a tree house
Where they can view their neighbours
From their lofty position
Not just physically
But socially

Trees evidently help the world to breathe
Which right now is especially kind of them
The technical term is photosynthesis
But let’s not worry about that
Simply stop destroying trees
And get planting – they take years to grow!

Apparently trees have lots of other uses
They stabilise the soil
They prevent water run off
They can cool our homes and streets
And if any tree is giving you a headache
Don’t forget aspirin is extracted from trees!

Ken Fisher

Don’t Go Abroad

Don’t Go Abroad

It’s not that we’ve all become xenophobic
Or of overseas travel we are quite neurotic
It’s just that the government don’t seem very keen
That on foreign beaches we are readily seen

It is simply that the powers are still quite manic
Of the potential return of that epidemic
Covid-19 hangs like a menacing cloud
And they prefer travelling wasn’t allowed

So it appears the safe course is to stay near to home
And stifle the urge in far lands to roam
So instead of basking on the Costa del Sol
In rain soaked Largs you can still have a ball!

No need to head to the Dordogne for a mountain hike
Just pedal round Millport on second-hand bike
With the wind in your hair and the rain in your face
Compared to Lanzarote a much cheerier place!

So throw your euros and passport away
Perhaps you can use them in some future day
But in the meantime pack wellies and midge cream
And rediscover that Scottish idyllic dream

Ken Fisher

Joyless July

Joyless July

Joyless July?
Is that how you are feeling
The month normally dominated
By holiday escapades
Deprived of all adventure

Pristine summer clothes
Primed for action
Swimming trunks
Suntan lotion
Sunglasses
Passport
Don’t forget the Euros

But what’s the point?
Covid-19
Scuppered all prospect
Of sun, sea,
And Sangria!
Instead – Fish and Chips
Iron Bru
At Largs

The mind recalls
Lazy days
By Lake Como
Café culture in Nice
The Ramblas, Barcelona
Parisian boulevards

Never mind
It need not be
Completely joyless
Take comfort
In the weekly shop
The daily exercise
The Facetime chat
The Zoom assembly!

Don’t despair
Lifting lockdown
Will surely reveal
Wider horizons

Ken Fisher

Let’s Not Lose the Plot!

Let’s Not Lose the Plot!

Plotholders surely don’t want to lose their allotment
Which despite lots of hard work gives them great enjoyment
No matter the season there is always something to do
Useful tasks keep them busy all the year through

There is no fixed pattern, each will do their own thing
And to their site their bright ideas will bring
Some on the land construct an arable farm
Others think an orchard won’t do any harm!

But most plotholders respond to the challenge
To cultivate the earth maintaining a balance
Between flowers, fruit and veg in varieties galore
For immediate consumption or for winter store

Their hut is vital to the plot’s operation
For storage of tools to avoid transportation
But such cabins are useful for purposes social
To provide a gathering space at one’s disposal

Of course we cannot gather due to covid-19
And right now we hanker for what might have been
Meantime our endeavours are a solo act
As we don’t want to risk our respiratory tract

All plotholders want to preserve the environment
Taking into account all the enlightenment
We have received from those with concern for our globe
The warming an equal threat as that nasty microbe

So let’s continue to enjoy the fruits of the earth
And value our plots for all they are worth
And for natures’ gifts we would all give a thought
Whatever befalls let us not lose the plot

Ken Fisher

Masquerading

Masquerading

Today we are advised our face masks to don
Preventing our germs that to you might just spawn
Thus adorned, some people are inclined to swank
In past times so attired we might rob a bank!

But I must say it comes as quite a surprise
That this gear does not cause others’ eyebrows to rise
Beneath the covering our expressions concealed
Perhaps gritted teeth from the public we shield

As we go to the shops and come close to others
We don’t wish to impregnate our sisters or brothers
But their safety at all times we want to ensure
And the mask stops us expelling something impure

So as we gaze at each other from behind the mask
We serenely get on with whatever task
In these days of lockdown we have to perform
Hoping the virus can no further swarm

Ken Fisher

Existential Threat

Existential Threat

It is the season of year when thoughts become reflection
The darkness of the days shrouding our hearts in gloom
Musing over life’s purposes in maudlin introspection
A frame of mind where good cheer finds little room

At this time pundits give their prognostications
Experts on the media offer up predictions
What challenges and threats will face the nations
But what is fact and what mere speculation?

This New Year the future may seem bleak indeed
Ominous forecasts of the effects of climate change
Our confidence and hope now rapidly recedes
A dark and fear-filled abyss offered in exchange

Melting ice, rising tides, infernos fiercely blazing
Islands swamped, tornados wreak destruction
Forest fires whole communities thus razing
Advancing flames defeating all obstructions

And other threats to settled life, even our existence
Skulk on the landscape whose horizon we now scan
Consciousness filled with angst at their staunch persistence
Against the life of every woman and of man

From whence comes these other threats existential?
We thought the Cold War had become past history
But nuclear war by accident or design is once more potential
Led by zealots or by fools, determined to seek victory

Cyber crime has suddenly become a feature of our life
In times past straightforward fraud was for us sufficient
But nowadays not just theft but social media strife
Executed by perpetrators highly efficient

Centuries ago Rev Thomas Malthus warned of expanding population
He claimed that too many people would lead only to starvation
In modern times, family sizes fell in industrial nations
But elsewhere in our world today we see no limit on creation

And rightfully, many people aspire to improve the quality of living
So they seek refuge in other lands to find a better way
In this endeavour they face dangers unforgiving
The desire of their heart may never see the light of day

All this presents an outlook that offers little cheer
Is there no nostrum that might this angst assuage?
Must our hearts be filled with anxiety and fear
What remedy or cure might our minds persuade?

I think the best thought I can offer is that we must not despair
Trust in the human spirit that goodness might prevail
That collectively for each-other we might truly care
As on these global problems together we assail

Ken Fisher

Climate Change

Climate Change

This is the challenge now we face
Suddenly it’s become a race
Against passing time and rising tide
The threat can no longer be denied

Young folks rise up in alarm
‘Gainst those who downplay the harm
Polar ice continues to melt
Effects around the world are felt

Island strands buffeted by tempests
Little defence against such impacts
Hurricanes wreak devastation
Carnage heaped upon these nations

Some delight in unaccustomed sunshine
But scorching heat is not benign
Forests burn ‘neath rays incessant
While we remain quite acquiescent

But perhaps some sign of hope we can discern
As in loud protest we hear concern
Expressed by thousands on parade
As their urgent warning is relayed

Ken Fisher

Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Some people collect stamps or quaint comic books
For others it’s coins or treasured old spoons
All sorts of odd objects and strange paraphernalia
For me, I prefer Fridge Magnet Memorabilia

Collection is too big for the fridge door to hold
So I simply had to take some action quite bold
On the bathroom tiles these icons stuck firm
Testimony to worldwide visits these can confirm

European cities are well represented
Almost enough to get us disoriented
But each little icon brings into focus
The time when that place had been our locus

Some of our tribe went to far destinations
Across the wide oceans, exotic nations
Returning to base with memories filled
With stories which left the home birds quite thrilled

It’s amazing how a fridge magnet vignette
Of towering mountains or a beach at sunset
Can transport us in our mind’s inward eye
A gift that fond memories can thus supply

So this collection of magnets held on tiles with blu-tac
Provides every day a welcome feed back
The pictures and symbols and miniature maps
Keep images fresh when much time has elapsed

Ken Fisher

Summer Solstice 2019

Summer Solstice 2019

A glimpse of sunshine warms our heart
Flowers and leaves reflect the light
The gentle rays caress our brow
Our lips widen with a smile

For now the daytime stretches out
Filling each hour with gentle light
Dark days of winter long forgot
We rejoice in life outdoors

From this ‘crows nest’ of the year
We scan the horizon fore and aft
Behind, long hours of winter gloom
Then spring pregnant with promise

Ahead the prospect of summer warmth
And autumn’s gold and russet tints
But winter’s spectre lurks beyond
Vaguely threatening summer’s calm

Ken Fisher

X Marks the Scot

X Marks the Scot

 

X Marks the Scot

 

I saw a chap today quite proudly besporting
A tee shirt indicating whom he seemed to be supporting
But I may be mistaken in making such assumption
Perhaps about his politics I have made a wrong presumption

Emblazoned on his chest like cattle being branded
The saltire sign displayed quite heavy-handed
But that white cross simply marked the spot
Which contained the ample torso of a plucky Scot

For it seems to me that the Nats have no real monopoly
Of what constitutes Scottishness as defined by anthropology
When you are casting your vote X might mark the spot
But surely not the totality of what we mean by Scot

It has been said that a true Scotsman can be identified
By up-skirting him when he wears his kilt with pride
But I doubt if this dubious procedure would really prove conclusive
And in these PC days would be considered most abusive

So the marks of the Scot, of either sex or none
Are not just a flag, however it’s homespun
It’s about an attitude of openness that welcomes all the world
Symbolised in that white cross when our flag’s unfurled

Ken Fisher

 

Silent Sentinels

Silent Sentinels

 

Silent sentinels strewn across a barren moor
Giant windmills, blades turned towards the flow
Of air which thus provides the driving force
Breath converted into mechanical energy

Human intervention made redundant
In this inanimate workshop in the hills
Unattended machinery, autonomous devices
Whispering their subservience to mankind

Some protest against the presence of these sails
Scarring the skyline by their whitewashed towers
Others claim they are the enemy of birds in flight
Their mighty flails threshing them to early death

Advocates of green energy laud their contribution
To saving the life of our fragile threatened sphere
Renewable resources much more environmentally friendly
Sustainability is the watchword of these zealots

And as arguments rage and debate seethes below
These tall structures quietly spin their magic spell
As long as they have breath their duty to perform
We can live and work and play as they gyrate

Ken Fisher

 

Autumn Fruits 2018

Autumn Fruits

[Recently harvested from our garden]

Caressed by raindrops
Kissed by sunbeams
Chilled by early frosts
Cooled by gentle breezes
Coaxed to maturity

Month by month
From bud to fruit
Bramleys burgeon
Until they can no longer
Defy gravity

Cascading downwards
Excoriated, then
Coralled into sumptuous tarts and
Tasty apple crumble
Cooked to perfection

Quelle joie!

Ken Fisher