Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever
In the first week of ‘confinement’ due to Covid-19

We’re approaching the end of this very first week
And perhaps you are becoming a computer geek
In order to keep in touch with other ladies and chaps
We need to wise up on those specialist apps

You will have heard of Twitter and of Facebook
And of course YouTube where we all take a look
Then there’s Face Time and Skype and also Snap Chat
And the clubbing experience of being on WhatsApp

Now I’ve newly discovered the marvels of Zoom
In the current emergency it is quite a boon
But the problem is knowing how these all operate
With drop-down menus and wizards to negotiate

But it’s well worth the effort to master the art
And in the on-line assembly we should play our part
For this nasty virus which is oh so persistent
Means no physical closeness – we must keep our distance!

So in the meantime when Cabin Fever is our communal lot
To maintain your sanity you must give some thought
So start trawling the web for apps on communication
And help to keep up morale in this benighted nation

Ken Fisher

Pestilence, Plague, and Pandemic

Pestilence, Plague, and Pandemic

No-one thought it would become endemic
This pestilence, plague and pandemic
Its arrival is not entirely our fault
But it certainly is not easy to halt

Every day the totals increase
We wonder when it will cease
They tell us it’s a long way from the peak
And for a solution we anxiously seek

There is no doubt this coronavirus
Has assuredly managed to try us
Suddenly our lives are completely upset
By this intrusive and unwelcome threat

In the meantime there is little to do
But wait for some scientific breakthrough
And hope that we all can survive
Until our health and our fortunes revive

So just get used to self-isolation
Which seems to be the fate of the nation
But still try to communicate with others
As together this penance we suffer

Ken Fisher

Uncertainty

Uncertainty

[As we watch the coronavirus developments]

Uncertainty the order of the day
All our lives in disarray
Don’t greet each other with a hug
In case you catch the fearful bug

Do like those who live in Rome
Lock the door and stay at home?
Stop those outings to the gym
Only phone your kith and kin

When will they tell us what to do?
Experts all seem in a stew
What do the pundits advocate?
Congregate or isolate

Some welcome this peculiar pause
Do I hear their loud applause?
A break from everyday routine
Let’s not rush to reconvene

But perhaps we should not be so rash
From whence will come much needed cash?
If out of work we don’t get paid
By empty hands we’ll be dismayed

Goodbye to all life’s normal pleasures
When our routine is enforced leisure
Who will rid us of this scourge?
Let’s hope a cure might soon emerge

Of course most of us are still alive
Although share prices quickly dive
Now the most needed new invention
A cure to save my ailing pension!

In the meantime it’s still a waiting game
Not solved by any insurance claim
Uncertain we must thus remain
Until this vile tide is on the wane

Ken Fisher

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Have you ever heard the sound of silence?
Surely silence is the absence of all sound
But some proclaim that silence of itself can ‘speak’

Perhaps the sullen silence of when you have felt offended
By the harsh words and unkind sentiments of others
No word of defence is offered to this piercing tirade

The sound of silence might be heard
When there is nothing to be said in the
Face of sudden catastrophe or personal tragedy

The sound of silence  broods darkly in the air
In the aftermath of a lover’s tiff
Who will break the silence?  Not me

The sound of silence will resound on the hillside
As we stand awestruck at the beauty of creation
No words can do justice to that grandeur

The sound of silence found in God’s non-answer
To our petitions for the world and for ourselves
Why won’t He speak?   Must we listen out in vain

And yet perhaps silence is sound
As we quietly await a response
From the ether’s muteness
And deep in our heart the silence breaks

Ken Fisher

Self-Isolation

Self-Isolation

 

Circumstances might dictate
That we need self-isolate
It’s not that we have to atone
For sins we rightly should disown

No, victims we all may become
Of disease passed freely from someone
We did not ask for this free gift
Happy if we would be missed

A hermit we don’t want to be
Far rather we would still be free
Within our world not isolated
From all constraint be liberated

Defenceless from this spreading virus
Becomes pandemic – undesirous
Let’s hope in time the threat declines
And of improvement we catch signs

But in the meantime it’s a waiting game
Predictions made then counterclaim
Eventually the bug might tire
And world-wide panic should expire

If self-isolation becomes your fate
Normal living in stalemate
Like the stoics, without emotion
Pass each new day as in slow motion

Ken Fisher

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Don’t panic, don’t panic I say to myself
As like others I fret about my good health
The news bulletins tell how the virus has spread
With large numbers affected and some sadly dead

We hope this will not become a pandemic
But we must be guided by the expert medics
The politicians too need direct all their attention
Their energies committed towards its prevention

Coronavirus was unknown just a few weeks ago
But its advance round the globe has not been slow
The problem today is people move far and wide
And they have brought with them this viral tide

In times past the nations have been affected by plague
But our knowledge of this remains somewhat vague
But with mass communication today we’re aware
Of every epidemic that would our health impair

So we will need to put faith in those who advise
Taking their precautions would surely be wise
And hope that in due time the risk will subside
Good health be restored throughout the world wide

In the meantime don’t panic, don’t panic I say to myself
I’ll take care of me and you look after yourself
And hope that the virus will tire itself out
That the spread of the bug might turn right about

Ken Fisher

Is That All There Is?

Is That All There Is?

 

Do you ever find yourself taking an unexpected pause
And in that brief hiatus, the enigmatic question arises
“Is that all there is?”

Most of the time we are propelled along by what has often been called
The daily round, the common task
The quotidian episodes of everyday living
Which maybe in themselves are meaningful enough

Perhaps it is fortunate that existential reflection
Is something for which we can find little time
And probably consider pointless anyway

However, every now and again we feel the need
To step off the treadmill, turn our back on the clamour
And ask ourself – what’s the point?
What’s driving us on – and where to anyway?

Throughout mankind’s seven ages
There is always something to do
Goals to reach, achievements to accomplish

Each age hallmarked by forward momentum
Growth the watchward of that decade
Until, bloated by the indulgence and excess
We grind to an undignified conclusion

And even after amassing some success
Of worldly goods, respect, perchance esteem
We yet remain unsated by it all

What was the point?
Wherein that illusive satisfaction
“is that all there is?”
The question still hangs poignantly

 

Ken Fisher

 

S W O T

S W O T

 

No doubt you will have heard of this type of analysis
Intended to ensure no business is caught in paralysis
Strengths and Weaknesses we need to assess
Opportunities and Threats we have to address

But all this sounds like turgid ‘management speak’
Pointless obscure words concealed in mystique
To what does it amount? I hear you ask
Why waste any effort on this pointless task?

Well let’s leave the business world to its own devices
Might the SWOT analysis be for each of us decisive
Measuring our own strengths by a little introspection
Confessing our weaknesses in earnest reflection

Strengths come in a variety of guises
To realise this might provide surprises
Dormant skills and knowledge can be drawn into service
To compensate for weaknesses doing us disservice

Opportunities are the things that help us to advance
Sometimes we discover them as if by chance
But we need not just rely on luck to bring us progress
Exploiting new ideas often the hallmark of success

Finally there are threats – these can scupper our endeavour
But to negative thoughts or consternation we should not surrender
Each danger should be faced in the cool light of day
Problems thoughtfully overcome, we advance on our way

Ken Fisher

Is Thinking Good or Bad for our Health?

Is thinking good or bad for our health?
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
Hamlet  –  William Shakespeare

As eyelids open and consciousness returns
Befuddled mind once more becomes aware
Of issues, anxious subjects of concern
That burden the fragile soul with care

It is not thinking of itself that brings us harm
But doubts and fears arising from this cogitation
Mere reasoning ought not to spawn alarm
But minds whipped up in angst and agitation

Moments dominated by endless thought
Anxiety o’er past hasty words or foolish deeds
Fear of the future, a battlefield quite fraught
Doubts where the tangled paths might lead

We must set each thought into its context
Past assumptions so quickly become out-dated
Future plans should not our hearts perplex
Only the present should leave us animated

So what e’er comprise our everyday reflection
Let not our thinking the hope of fuller life impair
Flights of fancy amounting to mere speculation
Should not obscure joy abounding everywhere

Ken Fisher

Massaging the Eyeballs

Massaging the Eyeballs

It has been suggested our eyeballs need a massage
Perhaps these dark shadows it might camouflage
But I think the reason is not just cosmetic
Perhaps it’s intended to be therapeutic

One website says it can stimulate the vagus nerve
Slowing the heart rate, relieving much stress
But I don’t recommend any vigorous rubbing
Or eyewashing incurring relentless scrubbing

The eyeball massage concept is more about vision
Of things we espy in life or television
Of sights that amount to mere titillation
Which many believe are blatant temptation

The phrase ‘eye-candy’ is now commonplace
To label female tv presenters with a beguiling face
I suppose hunky men might make a similar claim
Their rugged looks – their passport to fame

In the world of high tech there are endless images
Used to grab our attention, to pass on their messages
Whether we consider our eyes are thus being massaged
When our settled view of the world is sabotaged

Anyway what do we do to protect precious eyes?
Avoiding sights that offend, even mesmerise
What is the answer to crack this tough nut?
It’s really quite simple, just keep your eyes shut!

Ken Fisher

Declutter

Declutter

Why wait for Spring before you declutter?
Oh give us peace! Do I hear you mutter?
But I think you’ll agree without any doubt
There comes a time when we need a clear out

But what has triggered this irresistible urge?
Which of all our affairs now demands that we purge
Is it clothing or towels making drawers overflow
Where it’s clearly time that all this junk must go

We live in an age of relative affluence
Where the advertising moguls have exerted great influence
So most of us have far more stuff than we need
And our comfort and warmth is thus guaranteed

Maybe our bookshelves are simply groaning
And in literary works we find ourselves drowning
Or computer storage, of which we are proud
Has now almost inundated that overhead ‘cloud’

Indeed it might even be that our own tiny mind
Finds its content too great to be thus confined
And our brain is demanding to have a spring clean
It’s incumbent on us to improve its hygiene

Perhaps our whole life a declutter demands
Many problems and issues filling our hands
We feel over-committed in every direction
And from many of these it’s time for defection

So to decluttering we should all now pay close attention
Thus ensuring that in future we consider prevention
Of that malady which typifies the modern age
And from all such excesses we might disengage

Ken Fisher

Flexitarian

Flexitarian

 

What on earth is a flexitarian?
What is the meaning of this neologism
Perhaps I should ask my local librarian
Before my weary brain suffers a paroxysm

Apparently it’s related to our dietary choices
Where the zeitgeist dictates we make radical change
Responding to the many strident voices
Who warn of the fact we can’t stay the same

But it occurs to me this need for flexibility
For other aspects of life might be a wise prescription
Perhaps we should be enhancing our capability
To meet its challenges no matter the description

For instance in employment, the one job for life is gone
Serial careers, like serial marriage, is the modern way
No use hankering for the past, downcast and forlorn
We have to be prepared for living, come what may

Multi-skilling is the message, get it loud and clear
Hone your talents, boost your languishing CV
Step into unknown territory, eschewing all fear
Be ready to become the very best you can be

Go with the flow, catch that tidal wave
Ready for each original movement of trend
In music, or art, cinema or theatre
Ensure that novelty becomes your best friend

To the world of ideas extend your embrace
Let these your prejudices quickly displace
Politics, philosophy, perhaps even faith
In your pliable thinking accord them a place

So just as the flexitarian’s choices in food
Are no longer rigid and tightly constrained
Make open living promote what is good
A lifestyle which therefore is quite unrestrained

Ken Fisher