Proximity Without Community

Proximity Without Community

Could it be that surrounded as we are
By thousands of our fellow human beings
Yet our heart cries out for companionship?
We have proximity but lack community

While sitting on a crowded tube train
Hundreds of heads clamped by earphones
Fingers tapping on smart phone screens
Perhaps community is in the ether?

Even while jostled in the rising lift
Our personal space acutely threatened
Proximity enforced upon us
A community manifestly silent

In the age of individualism, solo performance
highly valued, the allure of the selfie over all
Of course nominally we admire ‘team spirit’
But community consists of elite teams

In the pursuit of comfort and privacy
More than ever live as single occupants
So we become a community of persons
Living in proximity but in a soul-less community

In work we may be surrounded by others
But our freedom is regulated, our productivity calibrated
Together we are enslaved in the joint endeavour
But that common bond is very tenuous

And so we bob along like corks floating in a tank
Proximity demands that we impinge on each other
But in no way are we united in community
Perpetual drifting along together in independent flow

Ken Fisher

Keep on Keeping On

Keep on Keeping On

Keep on keeping on! What do we mean by that?
Perhaps the persistent griping of a little brat
Enough to drive a parent to distraction
Prompting a less than generous reaction

Keep on keeping on! is often no bad thing
When by perseverence we find it brings
The fruits of hard work and determination
An end product yielding great satisfaction

When we are tempted to throw in the towel
In the heat of play, to simply cry foul!
Keeping on amidst dark discouragement
Casting aside all that brings impairment

In days when life seems to have no point
When things conspire to disappoint
Try not to give up midst the gloom
Keep on,  surely change must come soon

So what is the value of keeping on?
Hoping the victory can be won
Those who persist until the end
Justly deserve a dividend

Heed the message of that hare and tortoise
Tenaciously just hold that poise
Consistent all the way along
The prize assured for keeping on!

Ken Fisher

It’s No Longer Retire But Retyre

It’s No Longer Retire But Retyre

Someone has suggested that the twilight years
Which in days gone by were deemed unattractive
Are no longer filled with impending fears
As pensioners to day are quite hyperactive

For decades liberation from drudge was the worker’s prayer
And although many are still able to make their escape
Active pensioners would be wise to beware
Lest they are sucked into the ‘voluntary’ landscape

For this is the territory with which they may get embroiled
And wherein  many might well be taken advantage
The unsuspecting retiree could simply be foiled
Finding their planned freedom has rapidly vanished

Some have invoked a motoring analogy
To keep us on the move simply all that we need
Is a  new set of treads to  avoid any lethargy
Thus equipped nothing will our progress impede

So forget the word retire and think of retyre
A new spring in your step as you sally forth
There’s lots of mileage to go before you expire
But don’t let all those others discount your true worth

Ken Fisher

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

Why can’t we all be like the model so sublime?
Upheld by the courts of law that shining paradigm
The man or women whose every action moderate
Ensures his deeds and words are always temperate

It seems reasonable to assert that such a canny being
Demonstrates an attitude which we should all be seeking
And an appeal to the virtue of that patent common sense
Requires no explanation or elaborate defence

The problem seems to be control of our emotions
So when provoked our mind succumbs to wildest notions
Thus our rational thinking simply evaporates
As blind zeal or passion begin to dominate

Of course it is true that the Clapham bus passenger
For sensible conduct is a fine ambassador
On decency and convention his reputation’s built
But the judiciary’s appeal to it increases our own guilt!

Ken Fisher

A New Version of Yourself

A New Version of Yourself

Perhaps what we need to do is something really radical
Reject past history, forget all that’s done and dusted
Boldly initiate change, don’t say that it’s impractical
With firm resolve our life can surely be adjusted

Why the need for planning such a revolution
With our daily lot are we really discontent?
What is the problem seeking a solution
Urging us to consider the need to re-invent

The style gurus and life coaches have written their prescription
The old self has got to go, its habits and obsessions
A need for a new version of yourself is their firm conviction
A rebirth, a new start,  new image, absolutely no concessions

Thus if we really want to follow that advice so ‘wise’
A complete make-over of all we are, appears to be imperative
Like that ugly ducking or caterpillar we then will metamorphasise
But can we ensure contentment after all this change restorative?

Ken Fisher

Scunnered

Scunnered

Scunnered with Brexit
Why can’t they fixit?
Scunnered with the News
It just gives me the blues
Scunnered with food
That may do me no good
Scunnered with pundits
Who expect all our plaudits
Scunnered with tradesmen
Who defect when I need them
Scunnered when buses fail to show up
Then three arrive, only one can pick up
Scunnered with prices that keep on rising
Especially for things I find appetizing
And so it goes on, scunners without any end
Surely there is something I can still recommend!

Ken Fisher

 

Snowflake Generation

Snowflake Generation

 

The arrival of snowflakes on the window pane
Prompts me to ask who can explain
This latest category or classification
Evolution’s most recent human mutation

A little research gives quite a surprise
When one finds in each decade there did arise
A new label by which we can signify
The main characteristics thus identify

The Forgotten Generation ended in 1910
The War years yielded the Greatest Generation of men
From 1926 till after the World War in ‘45
The Generation seemed Silent although still alive

From 1946 the Baby Boomers took us by storm
The post war youngsters were no longer forlorn
The had it all, jobs, houses and increasing wealth
Prosperity had sneaked up on us as if by stealth

1966 – 1980 was defined as Generation X
Society much changed, liberating the fair sex
Latchkey children became commonplace
As blended families joined the rat race

1981 to 2000 the age of the Millennial
Much celebration as we hit the centennial
Almost every youngster became a student
Although for their future this may not have been prudent

From 2001 the label was Generation Z
Although Snowflake now has been adopted instead
It appears our young adults have become hypersensitive
And on their virtuous opinions they are quite argumentative

I wonder if all our bright glistening snowflakes
As they go through life will have what it takes
Or will they simply melt for lack of protection
From the challenge of life as they strive for perfection?

Ken Fisher

The Family – Together!

The Family – Together!

On a cushion cover in a home furnishing store
Why would you wish for anything more?
‘Family together we have it all’  it declares
If you are not now in a family you might well despair

Like the cushion itself, these words seem inflated
Puffed up to make claims quite exaggerated
Togetherness in families is not always a feature
For familial camaraderie not everyone’s eager

And what does it mean that ‘we have it all’?
We might be the curators of things that appall
Our flashy possessions and glitzy life style
From your point of view are hardly worthwhile

And as for the habits some families display
Such common behaviour you would surely dismay
So when jointly families aspire to have it all
Would that they hid behind their Chinese wall

But perhaps these sentiments are too condemnatory
And certainly of families at large, not the whole story
Many kinship groups unite to act with verve
And together each other they willingly serve

So perhaps the family is at its creative best
When its collective energy they would invest
Outward looking to others where they see any need
Inwardly supporting by kind words and deeds

Ken Fisher

Small Talk and Loose Talk

Small Talk and Loose Talk

In the War we used to say that
‘Loose talk Costs lives’
But today it has been claimed that
Small talk can Save lives’
 

Now loose talk and small talk are
Not quite the same.
Loose talk might lead to people
Being put in danger by giving
Secrets to the ‘enemy’
 

Small talk is simply gentle chatter
That seeks to break the ice
between strangers or casual acquaintances
And small talk may lift people out of danger
When they are on the point of harming themselves

So let’s resolve to eschew modern loose talk
Which might simply amount to gossip
Tittle-tattle that is little less than
Character assignation by the unbridled tongue
The half-truth, the vague innuendo or sweeping generalisation

In its stead let’s espouse small talk
Which rather than being merely superfluous
Helps to establish connections, build bridges
Promote friendship and concord
And might even save the anxious soul from themself

Ken Fisher

Hunker Down

Hunker Down

 

Ever feel tempted to just hunker down
When the world around is wearing a frown?
So much is happening that is not to my taste
To a place of refuge I need to make haste

But where can I hide when there is so much to fear?
No place of safety seems to be near
Unless I intend to get out of town
The only choice left is to hunker down

But what are all those menacing threats
That raise the pulse and bring on the sweats
Where does that bogeyman reside
Show yourself – why must you hide?

Perhaps the spectre is all in my head
Fears from the past, long since dead
So why any need to crouch and to cringe
When on my peace they no longer impinge?

The problem today is we are too wide-awake
Newsfeeds from the media drag us in their wake
In every tragedy we must participate
The press conspires to make this our fate

But what are these fears which strike at the heart
And our reasonable thoughts will thus distort?
Some might be just a mere irritation
Others undermining the whole blessed nation

So forebodings about an impending malady
Aches and pains that we claim are agony
Through to major concerns about Brexit
Which politicians are likely to fix it?

Then there are concerns for the life of the planet
And climate change perhaps leading to havoc
Debates about trade bring on endless haggling
Can so easily end up with loud sabre rattling

At the personal level, heavy debt brings on much tension
Finding a job, a home, and affording a pension
So no wonder we feel quite overwhelmed
To take some evasive action we are thus compelled

But if at the end of the day there is no easy cure
The vagaries of life we must simply endure
Hunkering down for the immediate duration
Our only response to a dire situation

But let’s not allow ourselves to get too depressed
And with our problems become quite obsessed
In due time dark clouds are bound to blow over
We will rise from the hunker and regain composure

Ken Fisher

Rant

Rant

Why do I find that sometimes I rant?
Adopting a style that is most arrogant
I can fly off the handle without reason or rhyme
Lambasting my hearers in double quick time

Sometimes my ranting is on some hobbyhorse
Maybe an obsession or perhaps even worse
I feel that I thus might put the world straight
Save these poor souls from their terrible fate

What a pity they seem disinclined to listen
To my warnings spawned from my infinite wisdom
Notwithstanding my earnest pleas from the heart
From my judgment they obviously prefer to depart

I wonder if they are put off by my hectoring style
My angry expression with never a smile
I shout quite a lot when in such high dudgeon
They turn quickly away from a ranting curmudgeon

Perhaps I should try a more gentle approach
Not always my audience trying to reproach
More measured words and kinder expression
Renouncing a stance that smacks of aggression

I need to learn that to ’win friends and influence people’
I must not attack them with a verbalized needle
But adopt a manner that might favour implant
Eschewing all proneness to rave and to rant

Ken Fisher

Manhood

Manhood

 

You may have noticed the recent comments in the press
Which seem to push the PC agenda to excess
It now appears selling tissues described as man-size
Is offensive in some peoples’ eyes

Of course I’m not sure if you need a mansize nose to match
And that might be deemed to be the catch
Without a hooter of appropriate scale
Equality of use we might curtail

More likely the Mansize description is the issue
Bringing opprobrium to the worthy tissue
Members of the gentler sex may sense
Exclusive use by men would cause offence

But I am sure the makers of these fulsome wipes
Did not intend to stereotype
Ladies finding equal satisfaction
For larger sheets have much attraction

But it seems the Mansize description will have to go
Although such dimensions will still be on show
It’s just the name that has to change
You’ll then have “Extra Large” in exchange

Ken Fisher

With due regard to Press publicity and Kimberly-Clark