Independence Day (4th July)

Independence Day

 

Greetings to our friends across the pond
Of whom, despite The Donald, we are quite fond!
Whatever might be your future fate
It’s bound to show that you’re still great

Of the Special Relationship no-one seems sure
But after so much time it should remain secure
And as the globe shrinks with every passing year
The cyber world perhaps brings greater fear

So thank you still for American Pie
And Stars and Stripes this 4th July
After 242 years as a new nation
You deserve warm congratulations!

Ken Fisher

Sunshine On Our Face

Sunshine On Our Face

Someone asked me the other day
Surely you have much to say
To ignore this heat-wave is a pity
So why not write a little ditty?

Indeed this hot spell is unusual
The daily sun glowing like a jewel
As in its warmth we duly bask
And keeping cool becomes a task

And then we have to watch radiation
As sunshine smiles o’er the nation
All is not lost as ice cream sales go through the roof
Profiting from weather, this is surely proof

Beaches deserted most of the year
Now crowded out we fear
We hope we can find a little space
To lie down and enjoy that sun’s embrace

And gardeners lament the dried out earth
Watering for all their worth
Their precious plants and burgeoning blooms
Until precipitation may resume

Forecasters can’t believe their own predictions
The bulletins sound just so much fiction
Heat-wave continues unremitting
To any change they’re not admitting

But no doubt in due time it will
And that will be a bitter pill
When glorious sunshine must give way
To what we call a ‘normal’ day

But while it lasts, why not enjoy
It all seems like a cunning ploy
To make us believe in climate change
I doubt if rainfall is far out of range

Ken Fisher

A Broader Mind?

A Broader Mind?

Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

 

Having just returned from a mini version of the Grand Tour
Travelling by train and coach and occasionally by boat
Through parts of northern Europe with much allure
New vistas are to a parochial view a strong antidote

In the passage through towns and cities unfamiliar
Observing the lives of others lived out in far-flung places
Noting phenomena sometimes appearing quite peculiar
We see likenesses and differences in peoples’ faces

The architecture of Churches, civic buildings and habitations
Demonstrate patterns developed over historic time-scales
Piazzas, market squares, and hostelries distinctive of each nation
And many structures reflect the ideology which there prevails

But perhaps it is in meeting with the denizens of each location
That we may challenge our thinking and our attitudes
If only we could overcome our linguistic limitations
We can break the bonds of our insular solitude

And no matter that our sojourn in unfamiliar lands
Is bound to be limited ‘less time and distance be reconciled
There can be little doubt that our horizons will expand
Prejudice is challenged as by foreign lands we are beguiled

Ken Fisher

Cactus

Cactus

I don’t know what you think of these prickly plants
Their spines or spikes are seen at first glance
Their stems have chambers to help them conserve
The water they need, their life to preserve

Originally most cacti grew in dry habitats
Where all other plant life would simply collapse
And their thorny exterior would soon scare away
Any desert snake that might chance come their way

Cactus plants come in every shape and size
The number of species is quite a surprise
They don’t have conventional leaves as such
But some do have flowers, but you better not touch

Some cacti are tall, pointing up to the sky
Others quite low and shaped like a pie
Some are multi-coloured, some monochrome
Some, like a temple complete with a dome

There are tiny cactus plants ever so small
And others whose height is really quite tall
Some seem to have large internal tanks
Holding water like our saved money in banks

Anyway whatever you think of these succulents
Many  aficionados appraise their excellence
As decorations arranged in a classic display
Which can easily compete with a floral bouquet

Ken Fisher

Sunshine’s Kiss – Summer 2018

Sunshine’s Kiss

Sunshine’s Kiss is

Gentle on our faces

Basking in its slanting rays

Tree lined arches project

Dappled patterns

On the pathways

The wind is hushed

Replaced by buzzing bees

Marauding in bright flower heads

A dragonfly takes a momentary rest

A world of warmth and peace

Caressed by our loving star

Ken Fisher

Dragonfly

Winter’s Come (again)

Winter’s Come (again)

[Written when we woke up to significant snowfall
on 28 February 2018]

Winter’s come again, I thought that it had passed
But lo and behold, lots of snow has amassed
The schools have closed their doors, the kids are quite elated
But no doubt others have found their plans frustrated

It always seems amazing the power of this white precipitation
To bring modern society from activity to stagnation
You would think we might have learned to cope with interruption
And overcome the weather causing havoc and disruption

However here we are, we may as well submit
And make the best of our time as we might see fit
Perhaps we can immerse ourselves in a favourite book
While sitting back enjoying a mug of welcome soup

So whatever is the result of the snow piling at your door
You have no need to compound the angst even more
By worrying about things that won’t get done today
And simply enjoy the enforced change from work to play

For there is little doubt that shortly the weather’s bound to change
And all that’s had to be set aside we soon can rearrange
And no matter how about the blizzard we then felt
It will soon be forgotten when we see it start to melt

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

 

Winter Transformation

Winter Transformation

[Statue of a stag at Dunkeld House Hotel]

 The winter drabness of field and forest
Carpeted by snowflakes within an hour
Outstretched branches given a two-tone finish
Craggy slopes coated like newly iced buns

The river undisturbed in steady progress
Swallows up the chilled precipitation
Its banks, by contrast, rendered glistening white
The fish benignly ignorant of the change

Wild animals observe this monochrome world
With calm composure, their peace undisturbed
Many wisely hibernating in their chosen bower
The larger beasts left to face the icy blast

And we humans, young and old, find
Pleasure and pain in this winter wonder land
The youthful and active gamboling on shiny slopes
The old gratify their worship of hearth and home

Ken Fisher

Light

Light

 

Mysterious alchemy
In its absence
All is darkness
Sight rendered impotent
Unless this radiation
Stimulates our eyes

Sunlight brings
Warmth and illumination
The nurturing of all life

Artificial light
Chases away the darkness
Defying its terrors
Allaying our fears

From guttering candle
To light gantries on stadia
Searchlights and dazzling TV studios

Spot lights, tube lights, headlights, side lights
Torch lights, lamp lights, street lights
Incandescent and fluorescent
Up-lighters, down-lighters
Fairy lights on Christmas trees
All conspire to dominate the gloom

Ancient light
A right to light
not to be obstructed

The speed of light
No matter can exceed

Light

Both wave and particle
The photon a quantum of
The unknowable phenomenon

Ken Fisher

Traffic Jams

Traffic Jams

The bane of modern living is the daily traffic jam
When the flow of vehicles forms a metallic dam
We sit there a prisoner in our little solo cell
With no easy escape from this very private hell

But somehow we seem prepared to endure this daily grind
As commuters we have been sensitized to problems of this kind
After all we’re not alone as we crawl along the highway
Surrounded by mass travellers as we take a quick glance sideways

As long as we keep moving we seem to be appeased
But when others break lane discipline we surely are not pleased
A string of shiny red lights ahead is a warning we don’t like
And if we stop completely we might be tempted just to hike

But of course we won’t leave this cosy little capsule
Even if lack of progress will destroy the daily schedule
Because we are safer just to hang on in there, however long it takes
Missing all the deadlines and the subsequent heartache

We are tuned into the traffic news which brings us little comfort
And we know a stern warning awaits when our boss we must confront
But we will tell her we were not alone on that crowded motorway
Not the only worker with a bad start to their day

Unfortunately there is a thought in our head which will not go away
No matter otherwise the progress of the day
And that notion is the prospect looming ever closer
The journey home in twilight’s gloom might well be even slower

Ken Fisher

[This poem is published on the day the new Queensferry Crossing
on the Forth opened to traffic (30 Aug 2017)]

 

 

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

[Monday 21 August 2017]

As we look up towards the skies
[And don’t forget to shield your eyes]
The moon will block light from the Sun
As its shadow will our globe o’er run

Not everyone will be in shade
So you need not really be afraid
But parts of the U S A
Will find that night replaces day

I think that those who will be in shadow
Won’t miss the daylight they must forego
Because if they observe with care
They might catch the Sun’s coronal glare

I suppose there is a kind of magic
To experience this shade fantastic
And all fear of the dark will be dispersed
As in the gloom they are immersed

Eclipses make us all aware
Of other objects ‘way out there
And just as shadows cross our path
We should not let them prompt our wrath

For the moon’s shadow will progress
Renewed light will its power repress
And in due time the sun’s bright rays
Will penetrate another day

Ken Fisher

The Wonders of Wales – revisited

The Wonders of Wales – revisited

Llandudno

Once again we have headed for the coast of North Wales
Whose attraction for us never seems to pale
Most of our time was spent on the Isle of Angelsey
In a little hamlet, well suited for rest and for play

It is interesting that even in the modern world of today
The Welsh language is spoken here every day
And reading the multi-lingual road signs
Can quite often be a bit of a bind

However this is a minor irritation
And Wales on the whole is a generous nation
Across the Isle of Anglesey and from shore to shore
There is much for the holiday-maker to explore

The eastern gateway to Anglesey is Telford’s mighty Menai Bridge
And not far way the Britannia crossing spans the Strait’s wide ridge
At Holyhead in the west you can escape overseas
And take the Irish ferries with the greatest of ease

Having exhausted the pleasures of Angelesey’s beaches
The short trip to the mainland makes it easy to reach
Llandudno, Penmaenmawr, and royal Caernarfon
And Snowdonia’s mountains there to be climbed on

Llandudno is a seaside town you really need to see
Its pier, long promenade where Punch & Judy still brings the kids much glee
There’s the Great Orme tramway, Happy Valley and even some copper mines
Shops to spend your money and restaurants for food and wine

For the tourist North Wales offers many attractions
Scenic railways, slate mines, Bodnant Gardens bring much satisfaction
And wherever you go or whatever you do
To have chosen Wales you will never rue

Ken Fisher

 

[See my previous poems on this subject:
The Wonders of Wales – Sept 2015
North Wales – A Holiday Treasure – July 2016
See also my Poem – Dublin’s Fair City – Aug 2017]