I Wonder, I Wonder

I Wonder, I Wonder

Have you ever stopped to speculate
Why humans often ruminate
Can’t we be like all other creatures
Where wondering is not a feature?

Do insects spend time trying to guess
Does thinking make a beetle stress?
About the future they have no care
Of politics quite unaware

The fish that glide through deep blue seas
Think nothing of the credit squeeze
Even less of the interest rate
Which makes no difference to their fate

Giraffes and monkeys stay quite composed
Neglecting threats to which they’re exposed
Their minds fixed on the present moment
No worrying thought disturbs enjoyment

So why must we spend time on anxious thought?
Our waking moments often fraught
By concerns for actions in the past
And future fears our mind o’ercast

It’s all because we have to wonder
With thinking, our consciousness encumber
Our minds filled with endless speculation
Our rational reasoning overtaken

Wondering is about imagination
Expanding horizons without limitation
Of new possibilities we become aware
Some will thrill, others scare

Yet we would not lose this wondering skill
Renounce the power to excite or thrill
But use this talent to reflect
Thus enhance the intellect

Ken Fisher

On Realising One’s Own Mortality

On Realising One’s Own Mortality
 

Unexpected news of the passing of a friend
Surely not him, he’s younger than me!
Untimely intimation of death notice
Obituary, the contents of which one knows quite well
All this just as we look forward to annual Christmas cards
Bringing comforting news of settled journeys still progressing
The loved one’s lives harshly filled by inconsolable grief

Death obviously does not discriminate
The good and the great
The humble and anonymous
High intellect or simple artisan
Those whose contribution is preserved in words
Those who will be remembered in the work of their hands
The fruits of all their labours – gently fading into history

Makes you think!
We always knew life was just a provisional licence
But somehow we thought it might be granted an extension
And here we are, suddenly faced with the grim reality
Life is not a rehearsal as they say
So let’s act out our part to the full
Before our curtain finally falls

Ken Fisher

 

 

Apocalyptic Headlines

Apocalyptic Headlines

It seems news can only be news
If it is apocalyptic

Around the globe this is what we read:

Inundated by floods
Engulfed in uncontrolled grass fires
Ravaged by a rampant epidemic
Swallowed up by erupting volcanoes
Drowned by tsunamis
Devastated by earthquakes
Unrelieved angst about climate change
Civil unrest and international warfare
Corruption abounding
Life cruelly halted in multiple motorway pile-ups
Overwhelmed by economic disaster
Impoverished by hyper inflation
Scourged by widespread unemployment
Imprisoned in over-crowded housing
Education that pays no ‘dividends’

Depressed and despondent mental states
Poor health and short life expectancy
Inadequate health service provision
Loneliness and isolation
Trapped in elderly care provision
A society which has lost faith in anything

And right now (here at home)

Disgust at the antics of politicians
Longing for a Brexit solution
But unconvinced that the election will bring release

But surely there must be something
To bring a little levity to the headlines?

One Press Cartoonist today has said

“At least a December election  will put
a stop to all that ‘Season of Goodwill’ nonsense”

Ken Fisher

From Now On

From Now On

 From Now On…………………!

How often have we said these words?
With resolve and determination
Promising to cast aside the past
Espousing transformation

Why wait for Near Year to make a pledge?
For any time in life’s daily course
Will serve as any other
Our good intention to endorse

But déjà vu comes into mind
When committing to renewal
How often in days gone past
Has failure struck quite cruel?

‘Cause no matter how sincere
Our stated affirmation
‘Ere long, intention cast aside
Amidst life’s trials and tribulation

But let us as in the spider myth
Our efforts not relinquish
Determined that new life to forge
Past failures we would vanquish

Ken Fisher

Niceness is a Thin Veneer

Niceness is a Thin Veneer to give the Impression of Civilisation

I wonder if you agree that niceness can be  just a thin veneer
Which we apply to our persona so that others think well of us?
But many consider the word nice to be really meaningless
Simply anodyne, not likely to provoke dissent or offence

And yet I suppose most of us would like to be considered nice
That is agreeable, pleasant, good-natured, congenial, friendly
Because few of us make it our avowed intent to be the opposite
Nasty, spiteful, argumentative, arrogant, hateful, repulsive

But if our niceness is only a thin veneer, sprayed on for effect
Then it seems to suggest that we are not always good guys
Yet we feel obliged to display qualities that would meet approval
Pressure is forcing us to be hypocrites, needing public praise

Apparently the social media has shown the propensity
For people to be anything but nice to others
On-line harassment is on the rise, computer rage rampant
The uncontrolled release of these emotions is damaging to health

So perhaps we need to recall that aphorism “It’s nice to be nice”
But we don’t need to sacrifice our honesty, or deny the truth
We simply have to calmly accept the reality of life
Stand our ground but be civil in all our dealings

Ken Fisher

 

The expression Niceness is a thin Veneer ………
Is a quote from journalist India Knight in the Sunday Times
Magazine 19 March 2017

Don’t Reheat the Porridge

Don’t Reheat the Porridge

I don’t know if this is sound culinary advice
Should you heat up your cold porridge twice?
Perhaps this guidance is not about food
But about our lives when we try to do good

Cold porridge is something quite unappetizing
It’s gone off the boil so it is not surprising
That like salt which seems to have lost its savour
This pudding is quite bereft of good flavour

Stale porridge might be just a metaphor
For things we once loved but now seem to abhor
The lost joy from a broken relationship
But no chance to rekindle companionship

Stale porridge my bear some resemblance to
Some passion or cause we no longer pursue
But now all our zeal simply withered away
No light shining forth at the break of each day

Stale porridge is like a thought our hearts once excited
But has lost all its power to make us delighted
No effort the magic can rejuvenate
Or our languid spirits can motivate

So stale porridge is best left quite unattended
No further energy on its substance expended
Sometimes food must simply be cast in the bin
And a new recipe for our life we ought to begin

Ken Fisher

I’m Absolutely Fine

I’m Absolutely Fine

When you’re feeling down
Your brow wears a frown
And you really just need to whine
You put on a brave face
Although you want to grimace
And say I’m absolutely fine

From the pressures of life
All its troubles and strife
When there’s never quite enough time
There is too much to do
And it’s all down to you
But still I’m absolutely fine

When it seems no-one cares
And you’re nearly in tears
You might even need to resign
But you just soldier on
When the others have gone
‘Cos your still absolutely fine

Perhaps you must learn
That the peace that you yearn
Which all your hopes will enshrine
You can only attain
When you learn to complain
Saying I am NOT absolutely fine!

Ken Fisher

Home Again

Home Again

 

Click goes the key in the lock
A gentle push to gain re-entry
Home’s blessed sanctuary

It’s not that we didn’t have a good time
But somehow it’s comforting to return to base
With all its every day familiarity

Travel broadens the mind they say
And without doubt it forces our eyes open
But unless you venture far
Perhaps little dilation of the eyes
Or expansion of the intellect

Home, the arena of domestic life
Of events quotidian and surprising
Moments of joy and despair
Acted out within its walls

But no matter how exiting
Our extra-mural exploits
We still hanker for home
Where we can be ourself

So that key inserted in the lock
That crossing of the threshold once again
Brings relief for a journey now completed
Normality restored once more

Ken Fisher

Have a Nice Life

Have a Nice Life

“Have a nice day” our frequent  word of benediction
When splitting from our friends in every situation
But if this happens to be the final parting of our ways
Perhaps “Have a Nice Life” is what we ought to say

We often use words in a rather glib manner
“take care” we say, but does it really matter?
I suppose we utter phrases with the best intention
But life still happens without our intervention

In any case, we hope a lifetime will be long
To make predictions is indeed headstrong
So who knows if wishing for any kind of life
Could guarantee that it will turn out “nice”

Nice Day, Nice Life – what on earth does that mean?
Will the grass beneath our feet be forever green?
Shall good fortune always shine upon our face
In all our doings might we discover grace

So is there no point in offering felicitations
All our words just vacuous declaration?
No, if offered from the heart in all sincerity
Who knows, we might nudge the course of history

Ken Fisher

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect

A moment of respite
A reality check
Go into neutral
Take a deep breath
Time to take stock
Hold on just a minute
Let’s simply be
No need to do

Yet as each new day dawns
Challenges to meet
Opportunities to seize
Targets to aim for
Boxes to tick
The urge to compete
No time to be wasted
Success is our creed

Surely there’s more to life?
What’s it all for?
What really matters?
Who pulls the strings?
Find:
Time to pause
Time to chill
Time to ponder
Time to reflect

Ken Fisher

See also: Action & Reflection

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

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