Conversation

Conversation

Dr Johnson says “the happiest conversation involves
no competition, no vanity, but a calm, quiet, interchange
of sentiments”

 

It is sometimes said that we have
lost the art of conversation
Our verbal interchanges more a matter
Of unbridled confrontation

Perhaps we listen too much
To the strident politicians
Who never give in or show
Any sign of due contrition

Conversation sometimes becomes
A battle ground
A shouting match, a stair-head brawl
Where every reasoned voice is drowned

Would that we could just
Listen to each other
Hear what is being said
New information gather

Give each due time
To state their point of view
Note the detail
Thus learn something new

Pause for breath, we need not
Be quite so abrupt
Hear the other side
Avoid the constant interrupt

Thus our tete-a-tetes
Will yield much pleasure
If in our discourse
The pace we duly measure

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

 

Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting

Apparently there is a new trend
Which might suggest you’re now a rebel
Where you are indeed present at work
But have taken your foot off the pedal

You have not handed in your notice
And still expect you will be paid
But your productivity has sagged
There’s minimum effort being displayed

Perhaps all this is due to the pandemic
When WFH* provided all the cover
For workers to minimise their effort
Concealed so the boss might not discover

This set me wondering if quiet quitting
Might apply to  any other endeavours
Where we may discretely withdraw
From our engagement in whatsoever

Quietly quitting requires no histrionics
No dramatic overplay of emotion
No embarrassing knee-jerk reaction
As we bring an end to our devotion

Perhaps we could just quietly quit
From allegiances we now disparage
The golf club, the Church, our social circle
In extreme cases even your marriage?

I am not advocating anything rash
But quiet quitting might be the solution
For gentle withdrawal from all that would irk
A painless retreat, not revolution

Ken Fisher

  • WFH Working From Home

National Catharsis

National Catharsis

Now it’s over
The great national catharsis
At the passing of our Queen

A vast out-pouring of emotion
Of grief, of thankfulness for her life
Of wonder at the revelation
Of all she was and has been
To so many at home
And around the globe

The great national catharsis
Proclaimed in all who paid homage
By the roadside and at the catafalque
Expressed in pomp and circumstance
In parades in capitals, in cathedrals and abbeys

The great national catharsis
As the media reviewed her gracious benefaction
From accession till final passing
Her omnipresence in the life of nations
That legacy of faithful service

The great national catharsis
As the world’s leaders assembled
With those of humbler calling
At the funeral service
A final benediction
A realisation of all our finitude

And so to Tuesday
The catharsis duly purged
What now?
The capital grows silent
Not in mourning
But in apprehension, a new era has dawned

Ken Fisher

No Longer Give Your Life, but Live Your Life?

No Longer Give Your Life, but Live Your Life?

Whatever happened to the ethic of Service?
When did the prevailing mood change?
From the idea of giving your life for others
To living your life for yourself

The death of our Queen
Who exemplified a life of service,
Has prompted reflection
On how we see our lives today

Of course we are told in the
Gospel of Matthew to
Love your neighbour
As yourself

But perhaps we have
Soft-pedalled on the neighbour bit
And majored on the loving of self
The spirit of our age

The bookshops are full of
Manuals on self-help
How to get the best out of life
In health, wealth and self-satisfaction

Perhaps we expect someone else
To do the giving, the service for others
The Government, the NHS, Social service etc
But don’t ask me to volunteer – are you mad?

So where does that leave us?
Self-contained in our little bubble
Good-bye to giving, hello to living
But perhaps happiness may be discovered
In living through giving

Ken Fisher

Apple

Apple
A Many Splendoured Thing

Thoughts about the Apple

Adam’s Apple – was that his downfall
Or was that Newton’s idea?

The Apple of his Eye – not a Crab
But a Golden Delicious

Don’t write off the whole barrel
Because of one bad Apple

The American Dream of Apple Pie
Blue Jeans and Chevrolet

It’s not Covid that keeps the Doctor away
It’s an Apple a Day

But in today’s world it is not the fruit we think of
But the iPhone, iPad, and iMac, Mackintosh’s iconic Apples

And of course, we cross the pond
To reach The Big Apple where Liberty welcomes us

Solomon pleaded –
Refresh me with Apples!
[Song of Solomon Ch2 V5]

Ken Fisher

[Cooking Apples from Mrs Fisher’s Allotment]

Rampaging Inflation

Rampaging Inflation

A new scourge seems to be afflicting our nation
In the form of renewed rampaging inflation
Apparently the worst for over forty years
Enough to engulf all our other deep fears

We thought that Covid was enough to try us
As we sought relief from that menacing virus
But now the challenge is spiralling prices
And nobody knows quite what to advise us

Energy costs are going through the roof
The high figures quoted sound like a spoof
But regrettably these numbers are not any joke
The prospects of payment are quite beyond hope

The weekly shop we can no longer afford
But rocketing prices just can’t be ignored
We will have to cut down and do something rash
Or without doubt we will soon run out of cash

Those little treats we will have to forego
Reduce our drinking, that will be a blow
But there is little doubt we must reduce our spend
A more frugal life is what we commend

So you must tighten your belt and learn to cut back
Let’s hope that employers don’t give you the sack
We must brace ourselves throughout the nation
If we are to survive this rampaging inflation

Ken Fisher

 

Freak Out

Freak Out

Surprised, upset, angry, or confused
Quite suddenly your ego badly bruised
Your mood has changed, what’s that about?
From calm composure, complete freak out

What change of fortune, turning of events
Brings this sudden surge of discontent?
What bad tidings, what ill-timed casualty
Turns settled life into catastrophe?

The truth perhaps is not so clear
What to one person induces deadly fear
To others minor inconvenience all they feel
Their thoughts to reason will appeal

What can be the cause of a freak out?
What shocking fact might make you shout
Perhaps exam results you didn’t expect
New energy bills your budget wrecked!

Freak outs prompted by bad news
Foundering at some interviews
Pay rise that didn’t materialise
Failure to win the expected prize

But somehow we must learn to cope
Don’t despair, hold on to hope
Accommodate the unexpected
Little point in being dejected

Say good-bye to pointless freak out
From nasty frights avoid the fall-out
Hang on to sunny disposition
‘Keep calm’ become your new-found mission

Ken Fisher

Contrast the above poem with Inscrutable

This Sporting Life

This Sporting Life

If you’re not keen on sport
There’s nowhere to hide
Contests of all modes
On every side

England’s women footballers
Showed us the way
As in the Euros they
Did all others outplay

Now the Commonwealth Games
Showcasing sports of all kinds
In water, on track, on court
In teams, and solo, quite unconfined

Beach volleyball, judo, wrestling and squash
Marathon runners, sprinters at speed
Gymnastics, rugby, cricket and bowls
All demand that we should pay heed

Couch-potatoes now feeling quite overwhelmed
Seek shelter from this physical bonanza
Where can we find refuge
From this athletic extravaganza?

There is little doubt sport is a good thing
Boosting our health, promoting wellbeing
But with elite athletes we cannot compare
A more modest ambition is only fair

Ken Fisher

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Dire warnings have been issued
Temperatures unprecedented
Desperate need to find some shade
By sun’s merciless rays tormented

It seems there may be no escape
From this mighty solar onslaught
Although Scotland’s hiding in the shade
From this not quite all-pervading sunspot!

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]

You Can’t Beat Beans!

You Can’t Beat Beans

Home grown Broad Beans

When it comes to beans there’s an infinite range
Up to four hundred some experts would claim
In all shapes and sizes and in every hue
Tasty to eat, great for  health too

There is cranberry, black bean and also chickpea
Cannellini, garbanzo, and pinto to see
Navy beans, fava beans, and of course soya
Nutritionists claim they’re all very good for ya

Beans also appear in a variety of shapes
Kidney shaped, globular, some quite elongate
From slim and narrow to really quite broad
Some appear bashed, regrettably flawed

Beans apparently are a class of legume
Without any doubt they are great to consume
Endless methods of cooking this ubiquitous food
Whatever the type they are sure to do good

So the message is clear you must beans explore
Their many virtues you should not ignore
You can’t beat beans is the greengrocer’s slogan
On your diet sheet give them rapid promotion

 

 

Ken Fisher

Hospitalisation (2)

Hospitalisation (2)

Return visits were anticipated
Anxiety not quite dissipated
Glasgow’s new Victoria ward
The best that science can afford

No major issues there detected
Somewhat perplexed but not dejected
Then to the QEUH for something more invasive
Surgeon’s pleas are quite persuasive

Three nights within this radiant star
Keyhole-type probes that go quite far
Kidney bypass now a stent
Blockage problem to prevent

Not yet quite clear of every doubt
But in due time I did checkout
The final verdict still awaited
But original plumbing reinstated!

 

Ken Fisher

To be read in conjunction with Hospitalisation  (see link)