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]

Dublin’s Fair City

Dublin’s Fair City

From Anglesey if you look to the west
At least if perched high in the crow’s nest
You could perhaps catch sight of that city so fair
Where the denizens seek to live with such flare

I refer of course to Dublin so fair
Which many claim is beyond compare
Not just for its girls ever so pretty
But for all of life in that capital city

So a quick hop on the Stena Line ferry
From Holyhead these ships never tarry
And with hardly time to say goodbye to Wales
You have safely landed within the Pale

Now with Irish politics one never should meddle
Digging into their history might simply court trouble
So on a quick city tour you just watch and listen
Don’t let your temper arise to a frisson

There is much to excite as you straddle the Liffey
And the commentary explains it all in a jiffy
This University town boasts many literary giants
And not just a few who excelled in science

The writers have enjoyed world renown
Shaw, Yeats, Beckett, Swift and Heaney all owned this town
But science was never neglected there
Of Robert Boyle, Ernest Walton, and Kathleen Lonsdale you will be aware

The achievements of the citizens are too numerous to quote
But one city concoction will always tickle your throat
I refer of course to their particular Erin brew
And don’t be confused it is not Irish stew

If you enter a pub in any Dublin Street
The evidence of this libation you surely will meet
I refer to the ‘Black Stuff’ – that’s the name they shout
It’s Guinness the world’s most famous stout

So it’s no use protesting that you are TT
Your eyes will light up as soon as you see
A tall pint of this quite unique Irish brew
Pulled by the barman especially for you

At last it is time to leave behind all these Irish sensations
And head back to the port for our home destination
As we leave Dublin behind with a glow in our heart
For this city where living is somehow an art

Ken Fisher

Golden Glow

Golden Glow

[On a sunny July day]

Sunlight’s golden glow
Accosts our sleepy eyes as we awake
Dawn’s shadows scattered
By the radiance from the east

The prospect of a sun-filled day
Fills us with anticipation
Active hours in the great outdoors
Or lazy languishing in some shady arbour

Our spirits lifted by the vaulted sky
Azure blue with tiny wispy clouds
Flowers standing proud and tall
Bees teasing their alluring petals

All’s well with the world
As temperature mounts towards noon
No place to be out abroad in such heat
Siesta time surely has been called

From its apex the sun tips gently downwards
But still much joy in parks and gardens
As tiny tots cavort in paddling pools
And barbecue sets called into service

Throughout the afternoon’s long sun-filled moments
Absorbed in a novel’s world of imagination
Or transported by some majestic symphony
Brought to our senses by head-phones

Gradually the sun inclines toward the west
Daytime pleasures stretched into twilight
The glasses shared bring greater conviviality
Until the chill of dusk chimes benediction

Ken Fisher

The Cicada

The Cicada

[A model in ceramics]

I have often thought that this resounding vibration
Was produced by some birds having an altercation
But when travelling on a recent holiday abroad
We were subjected to the noise that cannot be ignored

I am referring to those all-pervading continental insects
Engulfing the plane trees, making such noise to great effect
As they suck the sap which seems them to intoxicate
The males produce a high-pitched drone, all other sounds to dominate

The noise seems to increase as the temperature rises
And the fact they are seen as a pest does not surprise us
But in nature every creature no doubt has some purpose
And if we don’t bother them. Surely they will not hurt us

Apparently the “singing” of the male cicada is not stridulation
typical of the cricket, but rather a different kind of resonant vibration
By contraction of its muscles it produces those loud clicks
Thus commanding all the world around to be transfixed

One wonders if they would not by and by desist
But for hours on end they continue to persist
And eventually the clicks become as background music
A little less pervasive, if not completely muted

The cicada has been immortalized in local folklore
In French Provence it is difficult to ignore
And models in ceramics are now a major feature
Thus runs the fame of this noisy little creature

Ken Fisher