The Humble Tomato

The Humble Tomato

Fruit of the vine,
but yielding no wine
Some say it’s a veg
Resplendent in red
Not worth a dispute
Accept it as fruit
Tended with care
The branches thus bear
Kissed by the sun
Sprayed by the gun
In due time the reward
As the plant cedes it hoard
In salads regaled
Its merit revealed
In sauce or as juice
Its vigour let loose
No matter our devotion to the common potato
Its charms far outweighed by the humble tomato

Ken Fisher

 

 

Don’t Go Abroad

Don’t Go Abroad

It’s not that we’ve all become xenophobic
Or of overseas travel we are quite neurotic
It’s just that the government don’t seem very keen
That on foreign beaches we are readily seen

It is simply that the powers are still quite manic
Of the potential return of that epidemic
Covid-19 hangs like a menacing cloud
And they prefer travelling wasn’t allowed

So it appears the safe course is to stay near to home
And stifle the urge in far lands to roam
So instead of basking on the Costa del Sol
In rain soaked Largs you can still have a ball!

No need to head to the Dordogne for a mountain hike
Just pedal round Millport on second-hand bike
With the wind in your hair and the rain in your face
Compared to Lanzarote a much cheerier place!

So throw your euros and passport away
Perhaps you can use them in some future day
But in the meantime pack wellies and midge cream
And rediscover that Scottish idyllic dream

Ken Fisher

10,000 Steps

10,000 Steps

To this daily routine you have to commit
No feeble excuses to allow you to quit
10,000 steps are the target each day
From that objective we never must stray

Since lockdown imposed so many restrictions
We all must abide by these rigid conditions
But somehow we must seek our health to preserve
And reasonable fitness we would try to conserve

We are glad daily exercise is still permitted
So to a routine we have become committed
10,000 steps seems a worthy objective
Ensuring our frame might still remain active

But how do we count those 10,000 paces?
To ensure all our effort has not been wasted
By modern technology, that’s how we count
So that each day we know the total amount

The Fit Bit is best to act as a monitor
And your mobile phone contains a pedometer
Hence a record is kept of each active movement
Thus helping promote all this self-improvement

So when you’ve completed your daily routine
Just focus in on one of these tiny screens
The total pops up to reveal how you’ve done
Hoping that figure doesn’t spoil all your fun

The target we set we wish to achieve
By honest endeavour, we would not deceive
That 10,000 steps is our goal and our aim
Hurrah! We have got there, we proudly proclaim

Ken Fisher

Road Map for Life

Road Map for Life

You hear a lot these days
About a ‘Road Map’

Apparently it is a plan or strategy
Intended to achieve
A particular goal
 

So we may have ………

A road map out of lockdown
A road map for your career
A road map for peace
A road map towards independence
A road map towards buying your own home
A road map towards health and wealth

And so it goes on.  Especially ON
As the road moves onwards
So must we!

I don’t know if we can call the AA?
As we used to do when things went
Wrong on the road
But at least we will have
That Map to tell us where to go

Perhaps politicians
like road Maps
Because they suggest that
We are going somewhere
Even if we never quite arrive

Evangelists might hold up
A road map to heaven
The road may be long
But the prize is sublime

Financial advisers
Might dupe you with their road map
Using your money to bring about
Untold riches and ever increasing wealth
For whom? We might ask

Fitness instructors
Will draw up a road map
To bring us back to renewed
Health and energy

Some of these have echoes of the Funeral Plans
Tastefully marketed by the local undertaker!

You get the drift?
In every sphere of human endeavour

But now even the map has been superseded
By the GPS system that not only shows us the way
But tracks our progress every inch

Don’t you long for a world
Where maps can be ignored
Where you simply wander at will
And let the future take care of itself?

And as for all the grandiose plans
Of politicians, planners and pundits
Consign them to the file called ‘fiction’
Which contains all the flights of fancy

Ken Fisher

Smile! Smile! Smile!

Smile, Smile, Smile!

Don’t let the mask conceal your smile
Face covering cramp your style
Behind the cloth your joy express
The veil your spirit can’t depress

Dressed thus you seem anonymous
But you’re still yourself eponymous
Your name still known, you haven’t changed
From friends you have not been estranged

The mask a barrier artificial
The covering quite superficial
Underneath the guy we all know
Muffled so the breath can’t flow

So about the mask it’s my advice
No need that you stop and think twice
Just get it on and wear with pride
Do what the powers have specified

Ken Fisher

BoMaD – Bank of Mum and Dad – revisited

BoMaD – Bank of Mum and Dad [Revisited]

Four years ago I penned the verses below
And I thought that by now the challenge might go
But Covid-19 has just made things more acute
On that property ladder to place the first foot

The problem it seems, jobs are no longer secure
That their earning power they cannot ensure
But to get enough mortgage to secure a first home
How on earth can these buyers take on a large loan?

On top of all this, family homes are overcrowded
Parents, by adult offspring, are once again surrounded
The plea we can hear, how can I break free!
Who will help me, this cramped refuge to flee?

…………………………………………

It would appear from press reports that if you’re short of cash
And trying to buy a house without the necessary stash
If you’re getting nowhere with the usual high street lenders
And chances of scaling the property ladder are getting ever slender

Then the best prospect for those who hold such aspirations
Is to maintain accord with your very close relations
Because it seems you will need to bring out that begging bowl
And ask your Mum and Dad if they will kindly you bankroll?

Costs of fleeing the nest seem to forever spiral
House price inflation having gone completely viral
So ‘baby boomer’ parents find that in this world gone mad
The desirable new brand is simply called BOMAD*

And offspring for sure are rarely being coy
As they latch on to this money-seeking ploy
As their elders have gained by rises o’er the years
And their bricks became a goldmine in common with their peers

So watch out all parents if you thought your wealth secure
You can’t ignore the pleadings of your kids who’re oh so poor
Cancel world cruises or a room in that care home
You’ll need to give your progeny more than chromosomes!

Ken Fisher

*BoMaD = Bank of Mum & Dad

Emblem: M&D from Shelter

Original version posted 3 May 2016

 

 

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

 

Locked up in lockdown
Our cell door might now be ajar
But not yet free to roam
Our mind rewinds
With wistful affection
To those visions of freedom

Forget the masks, the handwashing
The two-metre pirouette
Sidling past as we perambulate
Kissing and hugging taboo
Zooming and Skypeing
Facebook, but never really face to face

Nostalgia is not just
For days long gone
And childhood memories
But for four months ago
When movement incurred no sanctions
Nor deeds require a licence

Ken Fisher

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

*[See my previous poem: Social Kissing – A nightmare at New Year
Archives : Jan 2020]

It may just be that there is something I’m missing
But I’m perplexed by the rules of ‘social kissing’*
And since the lockdown when we must keep our distance
The rule-enforcers have been especially persistent

That hugging and kissing we should surely avoid
Our emotional displays must of these be devoid
But perhaps there’s a change in how we can behave
No longer to those rules should we be a slave

But at a distance of two metres how do we show affection?
While wearing a face mask to stop the infection
And if in only select groups can we ever gather
Not even consorting with one’s mother or father

So let’s hope that as restrictions are gradually lifted
And for chatting to others we will not be convicted
Some have suggested to avoid any trouble
We should stick to  a highly selective bubble

However don’t get carried away in expressing your passion
Maintain due decorum and act with great caution
Ne’er be tempted to kiss babies, just give them a smile
Emotion that’s masked must be your new style

Ken Fisher

Gossip

Gossip

Have you heard the latest…………..?
Wait until you hear this………………
Don’t you just love it
To hear something is amiss

Chimps indulge in grooming
To endear one to the other
Humans like to gossip
Telling tales of one another

The juiciest of gossip
Of faults and indiscretions
Of peccadillos, little lapses
The stuff of true confessions

It’s odd that gossip rarely
Compliments or praises
Says little of kindly deeds
Just scandal that amazes

Doubtless gossip has a purpose
That’s surely not malignant
And the hypocrite within us
Really ought not be indignant

I retail my tittle tattle
And you then reciprocate
Thus we bond together
As chimps might congregate

Ken Fisher

‘Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!”

‘Don’t just do something, sit there!’

Yes, read it again, I have got it right
Not perhaps what you thought when glanced at first sight
I am suggesting the advice that we all should heed
Is less doing, more sitting, that’s what we need

Most of our time we rush hither and thither
And our energy levels are inclined to wither
Endless demands on our time is the cause
We really should learn to take time to pause

I know the pandemic has for some slackened the pace
But for many their lives have turned into a race
Working from home and being an amateur tutor
Can burn out more than just the computer

And new worries for many have surely arisen
Competing  concerns have their crowded minds driven
Keeping everyone safe and the show on the road
Service the mortgage over their dear abode

Perhaps things will improve when they lift the restrictions
Though speedy return to normal seems like a fiction
In the meantime we simply must continue to cope
And keep alive for the future our earnest hope

So it’s NOT what’s to be DONE that should dominate
We need to find time to SIT, perhaps contemplate
Of doing we have all had far more than our share
For a change let’s just sit, it seems only fair!

Ken Fisher

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither
[What the Scots do amidst the pandemic]

What can you do amidst this pandemic
To prevent your thoughts becoming quite manic?
Better perhaps give heed to sister or brother
As the Bible suggests that we love one another

First of all we must not lose hope
Else we would find that we never will cope
Believe in the fact that all this will pass
A glimmer of light through today’s darkened glass

We might then consider those who are in need
Whose many problems their joy would impede
Weary souls whose lives are acquainted with grief
Bring meaningful help, and to sadness, relief

Perhaps we must simply be ‘hingin thegither’
Even if this means just having a blether
Reach out to each other as best we may
Bring light and blessing to each wearisome day

So let’s adopt those three simple deeds
To ease our own and our neighbours’ needs
Bring hope and help to those in despair
And hing in thegither thus our burdens share

Ken Fisher

Tattoo That on the Inside of My Eyelids!

Tattoo That on the Inside of My Eyelids!

Have you noticed the tone of the Government’s advice?
As we are kept locked down, as gripped by a vice
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives we are told
Now Stay Alert, which seems a little less bold

The message declared so many times
To transgress is clearly seen as a crime
No other demand can this call out-bid
Words almost tattooed inside my eyelids!

Each day on TV the officials parade
As if to perform some kind of charade
A Government minister appears on the scene
But peculiarly Boris can rarely be seen

In Scotland Nicola puts on a good show
Presented to us with her usual gusto
In her words some caution can be detected
Perhaps it is better that we Scots be protected

Testing is believed to bring us some hope
With tracking and tracing we will soon need to cope
Such procedures no doubt our lives will surround
Until that illusive vaccine is found

However at Westminster and Holyrood too
A determination to see this thing through
And no matter how we feel of this regime severe
The only choice but to persevere

So check out each day what we are being told
However you feel about this stranglehold
Don your mask, restrict your time out of doors
Stay home don’t be tempted the world to explore

Ken Fisher