Scarcity

Scarcity

 

Scarcity is the beating heart of economics
Economists imagine that humankind
Constantly lives in the purgatory
Between our insatiable demands
And our limited means

From this point of view
All economic activity
Is a battle-ground where
Humans forever compete with each other
To grab their share of the scarce resources

Perhaps there is some truth in this view
As, in the animal kingdom,
Different creatures prey on each other
Not only dog eat dog
But any dominant beast swallows the subservient

But economists also tell us that scarcity
Produces markets, where supply meets demand
Prices are struck at the equilibrium
Seller and buyer are in accord
Satisfaction built on scarcity

Perhaps this is the capitalist ideal
And for the most part it has worked
But what about those with no purchasing power?
What if supply falters through drought or monopoly?
Markets need money to function, what if you are broke?

Scarcity is OK, it can be a great stimulus
But in a world where inequality is rife
Who will take care of the losers?
Must they too simply perish
As casualties in economic warfare?

Abundance is the obverse of scarcity
Like fresh air, of limitless supply
Untreated its economic value sits at zero
Would that the supply of all our needs was abundant
Might universal contentment be the norm?

Ken Fisher

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

 

Mind the Gap we’re duly warned
Lest we fall and thus are harmed
But for other gaps we need watch out
Must take care when we’re about

A gap’s a space between two things
Its existence concern brings
We might trip up or come a cropper
Or fail to do what would be proper

But gaps occur at other times and places
It depends upon the different cases
A gap year in our education
Excuse for unjustified vacation

A gap in our employment record
Perhaps difficult to afford
Sometimes viewed with suspicion
When we seek a new position

A gap might just be an interlude
A mother bringing up her brood
Or perhaps a choice just to escape
Our life’s trajectory reshape

Perhaps we all deserve a gap, a breather
Respite from work, enjoy good weather
A four-day working week is now in favour
Let us all that freedom savour

Whether your longed-for gap is an intermission
Some danger needing recognition
Or some other snag or trap
It’s always best to Mind the Gap!

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

 

Venerated Ruins

Venerated Ruins

The Scottish Borders Abbeys
Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso, Jedburgh

Dryburgh Abbey 

 

                                                                             

Kelso Abbey

Serene in these ancient kirkyards
The ruins lie at rest
Testimony to their illustrious past
Historians will know best

Founded in the 12th Century
In King David’s reign
Scotland’s southern monasteries
Through all chance and change
Their mission was the same

Perpetual prayer and supplication
The Chapter and the Rule’s command
Hours of silence, simple tasks
The discipline demands

Despite the pursuit of such peace
The sanctuary oft disrupted
Warring factions, Border reives
Plunder and pillage their service interrupted

And now in modern times the silence reigns
Historic testimony their only proclamation
Mere venerated ruins with muted voice
Unheeded by our post-Christian nation

Ken Fisher

 

Perplexing Maze

Perplexing Maze

Maze at Doxford Hall Hotel, Northumberland

Do you feel life’s progress can resemble a maze?
Unsure which way to turn, north, south, east or west
The choice of direction may us easily faze
Left or right, fore or aft, which may be best?

Mazes present problems which must be resolved
At every junction we are forced to make a decision
At turning points our sense of direction must be involved
Then for wrong turns and dead ends we must make correction

Of course there may come a time after many attempts
When we feel this labyrinth has got us beaten
Our earlier shifts of direction we may now regret
And those wrong choices we kept on repeating

In the end all we want is to be liberated
From the hedge barriers which so tightly constrain
And all the false hopes that have left us frustrated
At last to escape to  open ground again

Ken Fisher

Harvest Home

Harvest Home

My recent poem was in praise of the bean
But other fruits and veg ought to be seen
Raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries excel
But rhubarb and potatoes are there as well

Whatever your preference for what the earth yields
From tiny allotments to extensive fields
Praise for the harvest which all life sustains
And for the farmer and gardener the result of their pains

Ken Fisher

[Produce grown by B Fisher]

Summer Solstice 2022

Summer Solstice 2022

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

The Massive Indifference of the Universe

The Massive Indifference of the Universe

One of Thomas Carlyle’s characters describes a
“Universe…..Void of all life, of Purpose, of Volition,
Even of Hostility………”

Have you ever thought whether the Universe cares
about us, or is massively indifferent to our plight
and predicament?

Of course you might respond by saying that
most of the time most of us humans
seem to be totally indifferent of the Universe

We might vaguely realise that here we exist on one
tiny planet, a satellite of our star the Sun, set within
our Galaxy the Milky Way whirling round within the
infinite void of space. But so what?

It seems to me that the issue of Indifference
is a human response. It signifies a lack of concern
or sympathy

Yet humans have indeed shown much interest in
the Universe – particularly through scientific
exploration or philosophical and
even theological musings
but have we noticed any reciprocal speculation
from the void?

So humans may not be totally indifferent but is
The Universe?

I suppose this matter of Indifference or concern
might be related to whether there is any Purpose
in the Universe. Why was it created [if indeed it
was actually created] and what is it for?

It seems to me that it is Humankind [in however limited
a way] which has taken the intiative to make sense
of what the cosmos is all about, and as a result
of such hypothesising has begun to wonder
what’s the point? Are we the only ones that care?

But humans don’t give up hope.

 

Ken Fisher

 

 

Yorkshire

Yorkshire

A visit to Yorkshire will do you much good
Like a slice of roast beef with Yorkshire pud
Long walks in the dales might give you blisters
As you pursue the tales of those Bronte sisters

The largest county in the whole of England
From Leeds cityscape to Scarborough sand
Ancient abbeys, fortresses and castles to see
The home of Emmerdale on your TV

Building societies for the financially wise
Percy Shaw who gave roads Cats Eyes
Cricketing legends and Sheffield steel
Harrogate health spas to improve how you feel

In earlier years even the Yorkie bar
Sent from the county to lands afar
Wensleydale cheese, another favourite
And Parkin a cake for your great delight

I think you can see Yorkshire gets my vote
If a little time you care to devote
It’s not too far if you care to travel
And strong Yorkshire Tea is not their only marvel!

 

Ken Fisher

Balcony Blizzard

Balcony Blizzard

We open curtains this winter morn
A white carpet does our view adorn
A blizzard overnight arrived
We really ought not be surprised

Snowflakes gently drifting down
Slowing traffic into town
Pavements carpeted by snow
Pensioners, mind how you go!

How will the kids get to the school?
Perhaps they think it’s really cool
Early escape they will expect
Teachers too may well defect

The workers to their jobs will struggle
Waiting for the bus they huddle
Remembering to keep safe distance
Scarfs and masks for their resistance

On the balcony we conserve
From our safe perch we observe
Through swirling blizzard, drifting snow
The working world battling below

But life goes on however fraught
Pandemic months have surely taught
So best foot forward into snow
Let joy on all our hearts bestow

Ken Fisher

Winter Solstice 21/12/21

Winter Solstice 21/12/21

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 slow progress
Climbing sun will dark suppress
And soon its penetrating rays
Bring the lengthening of our days

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

In this, wretched Covid’s second year
Yet engulfed by gloom and fear
We pray that with extended light
All our future’s may yet turn bright

Ken Fisher

 

People, Planet, Profit

People, Planet, Profit

In the world of sustainability
There’s a new Holy Trinity
And for those who would invest
An enterprise that’s best

For magnates in the past
Profit came first, not last
People did the work
From labourer to clerk

The planet is our Earth
Exploited for its wealth
We gave nothing in exchange
No thought of climate change

But now we realise
This strategy unwise
Resources are finite
That’s our human plight

So changes must be made
With rising centigrade
And floods that inundate
We can not tolerate

A new vision is required
Sustainability much desired
The planet we must nurture
That people have a future

But for profits that’s unfair
About them, who will care?
Perhaps everyone would care
If with clear conscience all could share

So People, Planet, Profit
Together we must cosset
That all obtain their legacy
A fourth P – Prosperity!

Ken Fisher