Heavy Cold

Heavy Cold

Perception of the world dimmed
Felt-like ears muffle sound
Nose congested, breathing strangled
A constant trickle irritates the tubes
Paroxysms of coughing deny all rest
Overall sense of discomfiture

How can the body find itself besieged?
Slowly but inexorably the enemy attacks
And soon the equilibrium is disturbed
An armoury of sprays and pastilles
Pain relievers and inhalers
Seem impotent in the face of this onslaught

What to do when one defies the existence of illness?
Pretend this visitation is mere phantom
But clearly it manifests itself head on
The only wise and honourable course
To accept reality of this plague
And bear the trial with fortitude

Ken Fisher

Can It Be True?

Can It Be True?

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
That religion is dead, we no longer believe
Just forget it all, there is no need to grieve

Can it be true? I hope that its not
Although people say it quite a lot
That the future is bleak due to global warming
Yet most of us simply ignore every warning

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
That we are eating too much and are all overweight
And obesity will surely increase the death rate

Can it be true? I hope that its not
Although people say it quite a lot
That too many of us are burdened by debt
And bankruptcy is now an odds-on bet

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
So many folks claim they feel depressed
And the pace of life is making them stressed

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
We spend far too much time gazing at screens
We’ve become totally absorbed by these crazy machines

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
They’ve given up on 24-hour news
Tragic events just give them the blues

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
Our ‘friendships’ quite often only on-line
Rarely together with a glass of wine

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
They are fed up enduring the daily commute
Stuck in slow traffic on their regular route

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
Robots are coming to take all our work
Unemployment is looming really quite stark

Can it be true? I hope that it’s not
Although people say it quite a lot
That somehow their life has begun to cloy
And wish they might somehow recover its joy

But enough of all this long list of complaints
To this litany let us put some constraint
‘Cause life’s not all bad, I am sure that is true
And all dark thoughts we should simply eschew

Can it be true? I hope it is so
That your own life is not so blighted by woe
And when these Jeremiahs your spirits assail
Your joie de vivre might yet  prevail

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

 

Hic et Nunc

Hic et Nunc

[Here and Now]


Here and now that’s all there is
Past and future don’t exist
As past is gone so let it be
Future we can not yet see

Let not shadows from the past
Cause our mind to be downcast
Nor foreboding for what’s ahead
Keep us wakeful while abed

Here and now is all that’s real
At its altar let us kneel
For hic et nunc we bring our praise
And seek to live in all our days

Ken Fisher

 

Shoehorn

Shoehorn

 

If ever there was a useful device
That solves one of the problems of daily life
The shoehorn is surely one of the best
To prevent our feet being unduly distressed

We all know that feeling when trying to get shod
Forcing our feet that seem far too broad
Into that slim tight-fitting shoe
A narrow gap they refuse to go through

We tug at the laces to make them go slack
We push the foot forward and then pull it back
We turn it around like a twisting corkscrew
But to no avail whatever we do

You would think modern ‘trainers’ would need no shoehorn
But round the ankle they are with padding adorned
Thus inserting your foot through such a thick cushion
requires much assistance as you begin pushing

It is then that the shoehorn comes into its own
By some kind of magic as yet unknown
Slid behind the ankle the horn guides our foot
By this method our problem we can troubleshoot

Shoehorns are produced from various materials
Plastic and metal, even obscure minerals
They are sometimes quite short but occasionally long
Some seem quite flimsy and others so strong

However they look, and by what means they are made
They act like a miniature form of a glassade
But just like a spade or sometimes a shovel
The shoehorn avoids all that foot-fitting trouble

Ken Fisher

POMS – Peevish Old Man Syndrome

POMS – Peevish Old Man Syndrome

I wonder if you ever find yourself in a peevish mood
No matter what’s happening, to you, nothing is good
Even if your life has provided you plenty
You always consider your glass is half-empty

You have adopted an ill-tempered disposition
All joyous thoughts beaten into submission
And no matter whatever the situation
Your usual response, simply irritation

Young and old alike are a threat to your peace
Their demands on your time makes your anger increase
Happy laughter or even friendly badinage
Produces a reaction as if you were mad

The reason for all of this I really can’t figure
Perhaps it’s their youth or obvious vigour
But I really must learn to share in their ploy
And avoid simply being seen as an old kill-joy

Being peevish will never win many friends
Instead warm heartedness would pay dividends
So I truly must stop nurturing my P O M S
And grant to the world my share of kindness

Ken Fisher

[With respect to Richard Wilson]

 

Momentary Thoughts

Momentary Thoughts

Momentary thoughts that enter my head
A flash in the mind, then quickly gone
An angry reaction that made me see red
Or some sadness turning me all forlorn

Pleasant thoughts of happy days past
Joyous memories of times of emotion
Recalling events that left me aghast
Crowded hours amidst untold commotion

Thoughts in my head as I anticipated
Pleasures to come in communing with others
Annoyance when hoped for joys are frustrated
Or by fearful notions my plans are smothered

Momentary thoughts are a two edged sword
At once they bring memories of times of elation
But equally recall feelings of fear or discord
Can even provoke a mood of depression

So the best response to the momentary thought
Is to simply let it pass without any reaction
That pleasure or pain, whether happy or fraught
From our peace of mind will afford no distraction

But this aversion to short lived reflection
Should not all gentle reminiscence deny
For who would turn from that introspection
Which prompts an inward smile, a tear or a sigh

Ken Fisher

Sweat!

Sweat! [Posted on really hot day in May 2017!]

‘Men perspire while women really do just glow, claim scientists after discovering
that the fairer sex needs to work much harder to build up a sweat.’
Quote from an article in Daily Telegraph

‘Blood, sweat and tears’- the fruits of strenuous effort
‘Sweated labour’ – the regime to suffer when working in a sweatshop
‘By the sweat of your brow’ – the Genesis punishment of mankind
‘His sweat became like drops of blood’ – Jesus at the Mount of Olives

Sweat, that flows from fear, or anguish, exhaustion or terror
Sweat, we try to disguise when in public performance
Sweat, that in lighter vein, we generate in cathartic exercise
Sweat, exuded when we lie to conceal the truth, known to us alone

Sweat, that fluid mixed with such heightened emotion
Sweat, that telltale signal of stress we would deny
Sweat, triumphant when we complete that marathon
Sweat, in that catastrophic second before the crash

Somehow the word ‘sweat’ is rarely neutral or dispassionate
We try to work up a sweat, or break out into a sweat, even sweat blood
We might find ourselves in a sweat about a girl/boy, and just have to sweat it out
We can wear sweat’s clothes – sweat sock, sweat suit, sweater

Finally we note the claim above that it is men who sweat
[Usually like a pig – do pigs actually sweat?]
But no such indignity for the women
All that effort or emotion merely makes them glow!

Ken Fisher

Happiness [International Day of Happiness 20 March 2017]

Happiness [International Day of Happiness 2017]

(This poem is similar one I posted last year for the same event)

In this mortal life we spend much time in seeking satisfaction
Chasing things we hope will bring much happiness and joy
And many a time these efforts bring no positive reaction
No bliss nor gain do we discern for all efforts we employ

In recent times the need for all to experience this felicity
Has come to be the battle cry of those who claim what’s best
And thus this need for untold joy’s been given much publicity
A new nostrum to lift our hearts and ensure that we are blessed

Politicians have on this matter long before pronounced
Jefferson in drawing up the US Constitution
Made clear to one and all when it was first announced
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” their chosen resolution

The New World pioneers held not the slightest doubt
That it was man’s clear and inalienable right
At the heart of all we do, all that we are about
To Live life, be Free, seek Happiness with all your might

In modern times our rulers revisit that great vision
The government claims it’s time again our wellbeing to measure
To calibrate our state of joy once more becomes our mission
And in due time we’ll have to gauge our sadness and our pleasure

To count and measure the nation’s joy is said not to be woolly
But to grasp it all may stretch demands on any Excel spreadsheet
If each and every factor be identified quite fully
The recording and analyzing, a highly complex feat

But can the concept of happiness be something quite objective?
My views on what to me brings joy or lasting peace
Are victims of emotions often quite subjective
For you my choice prove no great gain, from any fear, release

The Bible, on happiness quite often does declare
Ecclesiastes says – to be happy, no better aim can be
To build a world where life is truth, and acts are just and fair
Should on the lips of worshippers be their own earnest plea

But the Good Book says of happiness for its dear sake alone
The Christian life demands we seek the good of every other
The nobler path to which we’re called, that we must try to take
Shows peace we gain, when life is lived in service to our brother

But perhaps all this for you and me, a little too high-minded
Too vague an aim, such lofty thoughts, perhaps too altruistic
Our vision of happiness too bright and thus our eyes are blinded
Our keen pursuit needs grounding in plans more realistic

Perchance like me you may find that in order to pursue
The prospect of a worthy life, but not too hedonistic
For a life which cares for self but gives others too their due
We need a plan, not lofty thoughts, but much more realistic

Thus it may seem the media hype broadcast of latter days
Happiness an Agenda and call to Action
For each of us prove gainful and some dividend might pay
As step-by-step each one of us decides our own reaction

By daily acts of kindliness and personal good deeds
By loving thought, supportive words, and little acts of grace
We might promote goodwill as we note others’ needs
Each friendly word, each happy smile, radiating from our face

For Buddha the path to happiness is found in understanding
Of suffering whose root causes may be longstanding
And through daily practice of mindful thought and action
Our living may bring much greater satisfaction

Now perhaps none of this will answer, give adequate reply
To those whose quest for happiness seeks answers universal
But this gentle, kind approach I hope you won’t deny
Might from our gloom, our fear, our woe, initiate reversal

Ken Fisher

Vernal Equinox

Vernal Equinox

[Monday 20 March 2017]

 

Equinoxes occur twice a year
When the plane of the Earth’s equator
Passes through the centre of the Sun
On this day the Sun shines directly on the equator
And day and night are approximately equal

Today is the Spring Equinox
And our minds look forward to warmer days
And backwards, with gratitude for the receding of winter
We are filled with hope for the months ahead

An Equinox is perhaps an appropriate time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for its many blessings
For health and shelter and for companionship

As the buds form on the trees and plants sprout
Carpeting the land which has lain barren for long
We look forward in anticipation to burgeoning life
In field and tree, in gardens and on hillside

And these days of longer daylight hours
Afford us the chance to escape from our winter burrows
And breathe the more expansive air of the world outside
As our horizons are lifted to a wider vision

Ken Fisher

 

 

Exercise

Exercise

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You have no doubt heard lots about exercise
To heed that advice is certainly wise
To keep our bodies ever on the move
Is something we should learn to love

‘Cause the experts tell us that physical activity
Is far better for us than mere passivity
So make sure you keep swinging those arms and legs
And don’t simply languish in your comfy bed

Our muscles come in all shapes and sizes
To keep stretching them the physio advises
If they are not used on a regular basis
We might encounter some bodily crisis

Similarly the joints that link up the bones
Might grind to a halt for reasons unknown
So the best advice for the human frame
Is constant movement to avoid getting lame

Exercise can improve all sorts of diseases
Heart problems, the liver, and type 2 diabetes
It is even claimed that it’s good for the brain
So get out of doors and ignore any rain

Avoid sitting on your couch or the life sedentary
Make going outside your routine customary
And if you can accept this discipline severe
You’ll be the healthiest old codger in that bath-chair!

Ken Fisher

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