What does It Matter – Now?

What Does it Matter – Now?

 

What does it matter if you failed to win prizes
And never achieved even modest success
If your daily life produced no surprises
Few are the assets that you now possess

What does it matter if you gained no promotion
While others soared up to the giddy heights
You’re never aspired to swim the wide ocean
Or with the astronauts take a space flight

What does it matter if your artistic talent
Rarely succeeded the audience to thrill
No masterpiece came from your colour palette
No musical charms from your keyboard skills

What does it matter if you had no literary flair
Writing and poetry not your natural gift
Turgid plots, obscure verses simply made you despair
And to operatic arias you gave short shrift

What does it matter if you struggled with maths
History and geography left you equally cold
Failed to conquer science’s complex paths
And foreign grammar left you appalled

What does it matter if you never were famous
You didn’t progress to a dazzling career
People might claim you were rather aimless
A somewhat boring existence from year to year

Well this litany seems a little depressing
Life does matter, and we all must strive
To make the most of our gifts and our blessings
Above all the gift of this wonderful life

And we should not offer this lame excuse
That nothing matters in life when surely it must
Because we know in our heart that this is the truth
And to defect from that fact is a breach of our trust

Yes, it does matter, as we value each day
The moment provides us the opportunity
In small acts of love, and kind words we say
Together to build true community

And especially now in this pandemic year
As we mourn the loss of a settled past
Grant us the courage to set aside fear
Hold hope in our hearts to remain steadfast

Ken Fisher

Thinking

Thinking

 

Thinking
Blessing or curse, this cerebral faculty?
That power of reasoning
Taking us beyond other sentient beings
Imagination opening vistas of joy
Or reminiscence of past nightmares

Thinking
Granting us the capacity to calculate
To build models of reality in our head
Perception prompting motivation
Cogitation before engagement
Reflection after commitment

Thinking
That power to recall fond memories
Of family life with all its blessings and burdens
Of working life with all its strivings and frustrations
Of social life enhanced by common interest
Of spiritual life and the domain of contemplation

Thinking
Domicile of the theoretical
Habitation of the speculative
Residence of abstract thought
Cathedral for religion
Library for literature

Thinking
The arbiter of mental well-being
The warder of imprisoning phobias
But also the herald of anticipation
The lovers’ beating hearts
Visions of united bliss

Thinking
Blessing or curse, this cerebral faculty?
Vanquished only by dementia or death
In life, no escape from thought
Neither sleep nor meditation
Can purge us of this turbulent force

Ken Fisher

Reboot

Reboot

Have you thought
How handy it would be
If we could reboot our life?
Like we do when our computer
Crashes and we are all screwed up

Of course with our computer
We have the expectation
That all will be restored
And we can start again
But life is not quite like that

The past has happened
It can’t be wiped out
And do we want it to be?
But hang on. I said we had “crashed”
How do we deal with the detritus?

Let it settle
Let’s hope we have not hurt
Too many others
And now reboot
And restart

We are not sure if this
Applies to computer systems
(Maybe in future with artificial intelligence)
But we have the self-awareness
To use the lessons of the past for future success

Perhaps not only reboot
Restart
But also rebrand!

Ken Fisher

The ‘Flu Jab 2020

The ‘Flu Jab [2020 Version]

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Don’t you just love it – this time of year?
That NHS reminder that can fill you with fear
It’s time once again to do as directed
And make sure from ‘flu you are fully protected

Not everyone receives this summons from high
But it applies to me – I admit with a sigh
The vaccine comes to us completely free
So take it manfully and don’t try to flee

If you are over the age of sixty-five
They will have checked your name in their archive
Or you are a pregnant lady, or overweight
It’s most unlikely that you can escape

If your immune system is somewhat suspect
They will be even keener your arm to inject
And if around the waist there is too much flab
They will puncture it all with the bold ‘flu jab

Of course we should not complain of this annual ritual
Intended to ensure that we remain fitter
And withstand the dangers of those nasty bugs
That seem to behave like micro-sized thugs

But this year jabs are so much more significant
In a world engulfed by the pandemic malificent
It’s not the ‘flu jab that is our  greatest desire
But the Covid vaccine that we all require

So when the message arrives to make the appointment
Make sure the nurse receives no disappointment
Get along to the surgery and bare your best arm
It will do you much good and surely no harm

Ken Fisher

Walking the Dog – By Oliver Fisher

Walking The Dog

Her shaky hands grip  my lead and I can sense her nervous need.
I bark, but she is distracted. Hood up, eyes forward.
My owner reaches in her pocket and frantically opens one of her boxes.
Those black boxes control her actions and the white paper cylinders keep her distracted.
She does not look even though I bark. Hood up, eyes forward. She is blind.
I wonder, would she still take me out. In the rain and wind and snow.
If her need was not quite so
It seems as though she can not go an hour or so without that antidote.
I stare at my owner, it’s painful to watch and I do not understand
I bark again and this time she stops. She knows she should.
‘Run’ she says, but she’s been running too.
Click, click. It breaks me. It fixes her.
She drags, drags and drags again. My lead is short now, yet still she drags.
And once the ember finally dies and her hands stop shaking I see in her eyes.
My owner’s at ease once again. Until the next time I need walking.

Oliver Fisher

 

It’s Okay not to be Okay

It’s Okay not to be Okay

When the world expects to see you grin
And inside you are feeling grim
Remember there’s no obligation
That you must help to lift the nation

Even when others are on a high
And all you can do is simply sigh
You must be honest every day
It’s Okay not to be Okay

When we no longer can be  hearty
The life and soul of any party
It’s time for truth to be expressed
When sadly we just feel depressed

Too oft we think we must perform
Hold on to the expected norm
Our emoji must not frown
No-one wants us to be down

Why should we be so guilt ridden?
Darker moods from all be hidden
Simply ‘cause it won’t appeal
To be honest how we feel

So let toleration be expanded
As of our emotions we are candid
If right now we’re far from Okay
It is Okay for us to say

Ken Fisher

Soap

Soap

 

Soap
Without it how could we keep clean?
Attend to bodily hygiene
These days its reputation rises
As the doctor now advises

Wash your hands with diligence
Against the virus build defence
Scrub the palms and ‘tween the fingers
Ensure no danger can there linger

This product ‘ere so commonplace
Yields spotless hands and shining face
And limbs and torso don’t exclude
Unless you feel a downright prude!

Soap’s not for your body alone
Lots of uses round the home
It often comes in liquid form
Multi-functions to perform

Whatever be our cleaning wishes
Grubby floors or daily dishes
Clothes fall victim to the dirt
Smart fashion wear to cheap t-shirts

In the machine’s rotating drum
Clothes and soap together turn
And when the purging is complete
We’re summoned by that welcome ‘beep’

Whether in wash-hand basin or the sink
Just take a little time to think
Without the work of common soap
Of cleanliness we lose all hope!

Ken Fisher

Clocks Go Back 2020

Clocks Go Back 2020

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in
In no time at all we will arrive at Halloween
Darkness is descending, as we struggle through the gloom
But perhaps this year no guisers draped in their costume

‘Ere we reach that ‘hallowed’ eve the clocks must be turned back
Between Saturday and Sunday an hour they give us back
For last Spring those same clocks were moved an hour forward
To rectify that change now the movement will be rearward

It seems to me this time of year might make you feel depressed
And sometimes negative feelings can be manifest
Some people think this clock change is the harbinger of doom
And thoughts of hibernation fill their hearts with gloom

But most of us will soon accept the changing of the light
Brighter in the morning, then earlier dark at night
Nothing’s really changed, it’s ourselves who’ve played a trick
Tinkering with the clock hands but letting it still tick

So with the changing of the hour we revert to Greenwich Mean
British Summer Time left behind till Spring’s green shoots are seen
But at least we know now where we are, the timing quite official
No fiddling with the hours of day or night, no changes artificial

Of late there has been even greater pressure
Which amidst Brexit could cause great displeasure
Demands that we align with Europe using single and double BST
Unpopular notion for those who from continental shackles would us free

And this year, if politicians don’t soon somehow fix it
We are all confronted with close impending Brexit!
And if that’s not sufficient to put you in a panic
What about the menace of this engulfing pandemic?

But perhaps it isn’t right to conclude on such a sour note
The human spirit is still surely full of hope
Let optimism prevail whatever lies ahead
Starting on Sunday with an extra hour in bed!

Ken Fisher

Coiled Spring

Coiled Spring

I must not live life like a coiled spring
Ready to react to the slightest thing
Instant response to a fly that flits by
Or sight of your hair that offends my eye!

Ever ready to meet whatever confronts
No hesitation my reaction e’r blunts
To your mildest rebuke I take great offence
An instant retort seems my only defence

A doorbell that rings, an unexpected noise
Can play havoc with any semblance of  poise
Loud TV adverts which shatter the peace
Ensure that my tension will quickly increase

Why don’t I just attempt to keep calm?
A little relaxation can do me no harm
Please try to hang loose is what you suggest
‘Cause you’re truly convinced it is all for the best

Coiled springs have their uses in lots of devices
Even humans might need them when facing a crisis
But most of the time an approach more serene
Is bound to improve my mental hygiene

Ken Fisher

 

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

Getting & Spending, Stretching & Bending

“Getting and spending we lay waste our powers”
Perhaps bending and stretching will renew them!
Splashing the cash is pointless while locked down
Physical jerks might herald rejuvenation
However it seems this pandemic has prompted
Both spending (on-line) and bending (in home aerobics)

So what are we to do with life?
Spending might bring us some consolation
As we tuck into juicy steaks and tasty treats
Then perhaps we might work some of that off
With stretching sessions with Joe Wicks or
Some other modish health guru

What’s the point of “getting”?  you may ask
In lock-down we have rummaged through
Our wardrobes only to lose ourselves
Among the countless hanging garments
Perhaps thus flailing about we might find
That this too requires stretching and bending

Mind you, for the many who now fear the threat of
Unemployment – with regular income vaporising
Getting and spending likely to grind to a halt
Thus the elasticity of their cache of savings
Subjected to unbridled stretching and bending
The burgeoning overdraft a contorting of economic powers

Ken Fisher

First line: The world is too much with us (Wordsworth)

Please Keep Your Distance!

Please Keep Your Distance!

[This poem written in the light of latest tight
restrictions on freedom thanks to the pandemic]

The message for today shouts loud and clear
Intended to warn, it can induce fear
This strong injunction brooks no resistance
Demanding quite clearly – Please keep your distance!

Two metres would seem to be the optimum space
Between each other when we come face to face
And if nearer to that I see you advance
I must pirouette past in an intricate dance

The rules about distancing are highly developed
In lists and notices these commands are enveloped
Great powers on the authorities have been bestowed
Check them now on your phone with a QR Code

Outside the buildings the rules are less strict
A little more freedom from demands that restrict
But inside we must obey the floor plan
Follow the arrows as close as you can

In bars, restaurants and cafes, tables are spaced far apart
Cosy dinners for two with your dear sweetheart
When you hoped your liaison might well advance
Find two metres distance can stymie romance

Then there are also practical points to consider
And here I’d be grateful if you wouldn’t snigger
A gent requiring the toilet due to an excess of beer
Saw half the “stalls” labelled – Please don’t pee here!

So in conclusion I will not criticise
The imposition of distance rules is truly quite wise
But I plead that to each other we show toleration
Throughout this lockdown of whatever duration

Ken Fisher