How Was Your Journey?

How Was Your Journey?

How was your journey? The poster asks
As we peep over those tiresome masks
The bus company bosses want to know
Were we happy as we come and go?

In the modern world customer satisfaction
Relates to passenger reaction
So we’re asked to tell them how we feel
Little joy or a splendid deal?

To let them know takes no time at all
Get on-line or give them a call
Did all go well as they expected?
Or little gripes have been detected

One wonders if they pay attention
Listening with apprehension
Do they consider our reply
With joyful cheer or hostile sigh?

Perhaps that’s why so few respond
No energy to correspond
We accept the deal that is presented
Conditioned just to be contented

Ken Fisher

 

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

What can we say to all those doom-mongers
Who keep warning us of impending disaster?

Every significant issue has become an Existential Threat

Let’s list a few:

[many of these seem more menacing than the
4 minute warning which hung over us at
the height of the Cold War in the ‘60s]

A mounting sense of global panic
Of threats which now seem catastrophic
Without doubt Covid’s still out there
And cyber scams seem so unfair
These arise as if by stealth
Draining us of hard earned wealth

What will we do when mineral resources are exhausted?
Our underground banks will then be busted
As water levels rise we’re inundated
Islanders’ future so ill-fated
Greenhouse gases perpetual warning
Of planet earth’s continuing warming

Some even suggest that Artificial Intelligence
Demands that mankind exert due diligence
Digital devices might soon out-smart us all
From supremacy we would fall
Machines henceforth would take control
For human power the bell will toll

From cosmic risks from outer space
Political turmoil between each race
Financial melt-down, hyper inflation
Discontent fomenting angst within a nation
Bioterrorism brings mass destruction
Disorder halting food production

How does this relate to the Titanic chairs?
Such tinkering amidst awesome affairs
What’s the point of mortal action
Yielding such futile reaction
But shifting chairs may signal hope
The human spirit may yet cope

Ken Fisher

 

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

You don’t need to be asleep to get a wake up call
Early in the morning, right through to dark nightfall
It’s a metaphor for a message that promptly galvanizes
The significance of which our mind sharply recognises

Like the canary in the coalmine or the flash before the thunder
Wake up calls are warnings that can smash our peace asunder
Just when we thought our lives were quite neatly sorted
Our happiness baby is peremptorily aborted

Wake up calls can come to us in various disguises
And almost every one harbours some surprises
A message from the bank about your account being overdrawn
Informing us their financial support has now been withdrawn

The failure to land a job we thought was in the bag
Our promotion prospects thwarted by this pesky red flag
A routine check at the doctor’s casting doubt upon our health
An unexpected setback which confronts as if by stealth

When you attempt to sell your house at a much inflated price
Lack of interest from buyers could cause much sacrifice
You will then wake up to harsh market fluctuations
Which may put paid to your lofty aspirations

Worse than all of the above is the threat of climate change
For this there is no solution we can easily arrange
From this scary wake up call none can simply hide away
And retreat into the shadows as on glorious Groundhog Day

Ken Fisher

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

A sojourn in the North
Broadens the mind
From the self-obsessed view
Of the Central Belt

Aberdeen must be distinguished
From the Shire
The City slightly careworn
It’s energy like its oil, degraded

The County offers open fields
And wide horizons
Verdant land and beefy livestock
Earth and sea happily combined

The strand of sunkissed beaches
Busy harbours
Vibrant boatyards
Burgeoning off-shore wind-farms

Country riverside rambles
The gentle ascent of Bennachie
Nature reserves teeming with wild flowers
Myriad Castles, the treasures of Haddo House explored

The Northern  Lights
Shine brightly, not just by solar wind
But by a country and a people
Still confident in life

Ken Fisher

Kindling

Kindling

Kindling,
Seems like a rather old-fashioned word
Reminiscent of getting the coal fires lit
In days before central heating

Kindling,
Gathering a few sticks
And sometimes cheating by using paper
Or even firelighters to get the campfire burning

Kindling,
Might also be a metaphor
For planting some idea in your head
And providing the spark of stimulus

Kindling,
The promotion of some initiative
Combined with the oxygen of enthusiasm
It might burgeon
Impacting its own sphere

Kindling,
Without it the fire aborts
Tinder may start the fire
But kindling feeds the flames

Ken Fisher

En Plein Air

En Plein Air

En plein air describes outdoor painting
Famous French artists adopted this style
But not only art has moved into the open
Al fresco dining would all us beguile

The pandemic has taught us how to endure
Elemental forces while our hunger we sate
No rain or shine, icy blast or heat wave
Thwart gratification we eagerly crave

We have learned how to huddle tightly
Together at tables in any courtyard
Social distance breached despite the risk
Quite cavalier of this simple safeguard

All this in expectation of steady progress
When en plein air is no longer commanded
From threatening skies once more protected
Such pretence of comfort swiftly abandoned

Ken Fisher

Snow

Snow

Noiseless in the night
This crystal blanket falls
Carpeting wherever
Without discrimination

Roofs and gardens
Streets and parkland
Trees and plants
Offer no resistance

At first so pristine
Then humanity makes its imprint
Footsteps, tyre tracks, dog paws
Even brand new plastic sledge trails

Eyes screwed up against reflected sunbeams
Dark glasses donned out of season
Bodies enveloped in warm attire
Mufflers and woolly hats with pom poms abound

Children cavort
Parents compete
Snow balls, Snow fights, Snow men [women?]
Igloos and snow forts

A paradise for the young
A hazard zone for the elderly
The young pray that it lasts
The old pray that it melts

Snow will do its own thing!

Ken Fisher

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