Next Slide Please!

Next Slide Please!

I am sure we all view this man with affection
His cautious messages for our protection
Graphs and diagrams to keep us informed
Of threatening trends he ensures we are warned

He sometimes spars with the bold PM
Who this health hazard would roundly condemn
But Prof Whitty says we need play the long game
If this menacing beastie we hope to contain

This boffin is a statistician’s dream
Explaining what the baffling numbers mean
With line graphs and pie charts one thing’s for sure
The nation’s predicament is no longer obscure

With PowerPoint he has ably displayed
Hard facts that sometimes make us dismayed
But we would be wise to simply think twice
Before we ignore his prudent advice

As he progresses through his presentation
On nasty viruses’ latest mutation
He reminds us the battle’s not yet won
And the need for vigilance not quite done

The rate of vaccination should bring hope
Assuring us all that we are going to cope
The double jab is our route to salvation
From this pandemic still engulfing the nation

So let’s pray that in the course of time
The next slide might point to conditions sublime
When the graphs show the bugs almost disappear
And Professor Whitty proclaims we need no longer fear!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Influencer

Influencer

Over the past few years
You may have become aware
Of a new social phenomenon
That is the ‘Influencer’

These influencers mainly
Exercise their sway
Through Social Media
Computerised evangelists!

Their power rests in their ability
To condition our thoughts and actions
Primarily our purchasing decisions
But their influence can affect
Every aspect of life
From before the cradle
To after the grave!

But is this really a new idea
And is it benign or deleterious?

Here are some long-standing influencers:

Teachers and Preachers
And marketing men
Mothers and Fathers
And friends who know them

Instructors and Coaches
Who help us improve
Parking attendants
Who tell us to move

Lecturers and Readers
And lofty Professors
Even Priests who for the pious
Might be their confessor

Doctors and nurses
Concerned for our health
Financial Advisers
Who look after our wealth

Driving Instructors
To get us on the road
With due regard
To the Highway Code

YouTube performers
Who show us how
To solve any problem
We might have right now

Spin doctors and lobbyists
Cannot be ignored
Despite expressing feelings
That some might deplore

Aunties and Uncles
Who know it all
Tell us to take care
Lest from grace we may fall

From cradle to grave influencers opine
Ante natal clinics tell us if the baby is fine
Long before we get old we must set up a pension
And a funeral plan can avert future tension

Face Book, TikTok , Instagram and the rest
For the persuaders these are the tools of their trade
From these modern platforms their message goes forth
Their power to beguile us out on parade

And so it would seem the list just goes on
The range of influencers is ever so long
Perhaps we should pause, and briefly think twice
Why not just simply take our own advice?

Ken Fisher

WOW!

WOW!

 

WOW, that expression of huge surprise
Signified by widening eyes
The unexpected news event
Shock reaction we can’t prevent

Somehow we did not anticipate
Arrival so precipitate
Of good fortune landing in our lap
Much more likely some mishap

WOW signifies astonishment
At unforeseen accomplishment
Who would have known? We must exclaim
The loser joins the hall of fame!

WOW expressed in admiration
At some achievement, new creation
Amazed we stand with mouth agape
As novel artifact takes shape

Cynics sometimes express WOW
Can’t believe the why and how
Their WOW has such a hollow ring
Of your praises they won’t sing

But mostly WOW means genuine praise
As the flag they keenly wave
Well done, plaudits much deserved
Congratulations unreserved

Ken Fisher

 

Silence is Golden?

Silence is Golden?

‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent’ – Ludwig Wittgenstein

How often have we declared
“I simply had to say something”
But would it not have been better
If we had just said nothing?

Can silence actually say something?
When we remain tight lipped
In the face of some blatant calumny
An outrageous slander

But what is being said by the silence?
Approval, disapproval, support or opposition
Or it might simply be indifference
Who cares anyway?

You’ve met the silent participant I’m sure
The mute committee member at meetings
The deaf ear when asked for their view
The parent pretending not to hear offspring’s pleadings

The toddler who has discovered language
Her favourite word is Why?
Amusing at first, but eventually Dad wearying
Of this unending inquisition, resorts to silence

‘Speak now or forever hold your peace!’
The pronouncement on the brink of matrimony
Time to stifle the dark misgivings of the bride’s father
Who has refrained from expression of his inner forebodings

Then there’s the sullen teenager
Silent amidst internal angst
The morose husband
Long ago mislaid his power of speech

On a wider canvas, we refer to the Silent Majority
What is the meaning of this reticence?
If you are not for me – are you against me?
Such taciturnity – explain please!

But silence ought not always be indicted
In moments of ignorance, or awe, or tragedy
Whereof one cannot speak,
Thereof one must be silent

Ken Fisher

Do Grasshoppers Have Low Self-Esteem?

Do Grasshoppers Have Low Self-Esteem?

The Queen’s Speech to Parliament has made it quite clear
Some animals have emotions like pleasure and fear
So a new Bill will in due course be brought into law
Could mean a fine if you squash Fido’s paw

Apparently if your pet has a backbone
Its rights as a creature can’t be overthrown
It’s a sentient being, sometimes happy or sad
If we upset him he’s bound to get mad

This set me wondering if I’d come a cropper
If I was cruel to a resident friendly grasshopper
Would his self-esteem be deeply offended
If I swiped at him while quite undefended

This whole notion raises issues philosophical
Even of categories quite hierarchical
Are some creatures deserving of greater respect?
While others we can quite simply neglect

I wonder if all creatures have an opinion
As king of the jungle or just a mere minion
Does a snake have a grand conceit of herself
Or the hamster abandoned on  the pet shop shelf

Birds of the air and fish of the sea
For legal protection they might have a plea
The problem is to know where to draw the line
At the golden eagle or the sharp porcupine

I’m afraid these limits can’t be clearly defined
I’m content to accept that all humankind
Deserve our respect for their self-esteem
But for slugs don’t send us to jail, that’s much too extreme

One final point about the humble grasshopper
Its jumping performance is quite a show-stopper
It can spring to a height many times its own length
You have admit that must take great strength

Ken Fisher

Fumbling With Your Phone

Fumbling With Your Phone

Your mobile erupts with its jazzy ring
Into action your fumbling hands spring
You would think it easy to receive a call
To grab the phone, not letting it fall

But the modern mobile is a complex device
Quite often you find you need good advice
Its switches and buttons to easily master
To effectively use, avoiding disaster

In the past you simply lifted the old handset
From its solid cradle where it was at rest
But the mobile immediately a challenge presents
With a menu filled with diverse contents

Am I meant to speak or read a new text?
The question leaves me quite perplexed
Or is it just one of those alarm beeps
To ensure that I am not still asleep

When you want to ring someone like your dentist
Retrieve their number from the contacts list
This should be easy they are all alphabetic
But your fingers require to be quite athletic

Then suddenly find it’s the wrong number you are ringing
The disturbed recipient makes remarks quite stinging
And if you wish to send a text to someone
Find your digits are fatter than everyone

Mind you the mobile helps in a variety of ways
With facilities that will really amaze
It counts the number of steps that you take
And its compass and map help avoid any mistake

Your phone is a camera for videos and snaps
Indeed an endless array of functions through apps
With QR codes you can buy goods, pay your fare
And the pious can look up that new day’s prayer

If while sitting in the bus or a train
You need to know something very arcane
Inside the phone you can find the solution
To the price of fish or foul air pollution

The phone can monitor your health
Keep regular checks on fluctuating wealth
Take selfies of those who are quite vain
Give daily forecasts of impending rain

Your mobile is no longer for just ringing friends
Its capabilities simply know no ends
So fumbling to use it is a small price to pay
For a multi-functional aid in your hand everyday

Ken Fisher

Open Wide!

Open Wide!

This morning at nine I am off to the dentist
This lady is long past being an apprentice
I’ll jump up on the chair, she’ll begin the task
Of course not forgetting to take off my mask

The lamp shines down to light up the scene
Showing the gaps where some teeth may have been
There is no point in treating those that are lost
At least they won’t be added to the final cost

Before my last visit a large filling fell out
That’s what my appointment is all about
Apparently I am going to need a new crown
The estimated cost has brought on a frown

Next I am told you need an injection
Not from Covid is this one giving protection
Two Astra jabs are equal to none
When it’s my tender gums they need to make numb

X-rays can see things that no-one else can
I am surprised they don’t ask for a whole body scan
And such oral techniques are a regular feature
I am unable to smile as my gaping jaws they picture

To do the job they must take an impression
To ensure the new crown fits in the depression
I don’t yet know what expensive stuff’s being used
And such technical detail just leaves me confused

Now her face takes on an expression of gravity
As drilling begins to gouge out the cavity
Suction is applied to keep everything dry
If my mouth wasn’t blocked you might hear me cry!

While the dentist wields those whining drills in motion
The nurse is busy preparing strange potions
Sometimes to my mouth pokes in strange things
Perhaps timers, that give an ominous ping

Dentistry now has gone all high tech
Which I suppose we should not regret
Their approach is much more sympathetic
To improve our appearance it’s considered cosmetic

So if you want to impress with your gleaming smile
Be prepared to submit to their charms for a while
When they say to you, please open wide
It’s  to your bank balance this request is implied!

Ken Fisher

Taking Umbridge

Taking Umbridge

UMBRIDGE

Umbridge is something I’d rather not take
Even if just for harmony’s sake
But sometimes by others I am deeply offended
By their words which I feel cannot be defended

Now and then I am sure you feel aggrieved
By untrue statements that leave you quite peeved
Little white lies that bring on vexation
Hiding the truth of the situation

A description of something, their own critique
Prompting in you a feeling of pique
What they have said is misrepresentation
Devoid of the facts of the situation

We may take umbridge when things are unfair
When we have been denied our rightful share
Too small a slice of the birthday cake
No share in the will bringing huge heartache!

Sometimes umbridge is taken at the slightest infringement
Resulting in quite disproportionate resentment
It would be better if we might tolerate
Not allowing minor issues to quickly inflate

And the question is, does it do any good?
Tell me how taking umbridge ever would
Bring change to that perplexing situation
And resolve all resentful aggravation

Perhaps the response that’s more mature
Averting umbridge that might endure
Simply adopt a smile so benign
And the portion of umbridge quite simply decline

Ken Fisher

Sin

Sin

 

 

Sin
A curiously old-fashioned word
Perhaps even an antiquated concept
The old adage – it is a Sin to steal a pin!
Who steals pins these days?

Sin
What is it?

Many things is would appear
From peccadillos to mortal offences
Insulting those we should revere
Crimes that merit no defences

Original sin in Eden perpetrated
Mankind’s innocence destroyed
From guilt no longer separated
Gone all goodness unalloyed

Lapses, faults, larceny, transgressions
Falling from grace, short of the mark
Sins of commission and of omission
Slanderous words, the unkind remark

And what of all those Biblical sins?
Lust and pride, envy and greed
Much worse than just a stolen pin
Gluttony, sloth not mere misdeeds

Sin abounds when we are tempted
By this world’s blandishments
Our resistance sorely tested
Disregarding punishment

Life needs sin to give it relish
From virtuous boredom be released
Its grey canvas to embellish
Peppered with impious yeast

Ken Fisher

Wokeplace

Wokeplace
[The Modern Workplace]

In the modern wokeplace I rather regret
You must watch what you say in case you upset
Your colleagues sensitive to today’s social issues
Non-PC opinions may make them reach for the tissues!

Of course few would deny that we must be aware
That society’s divisions are often unfair
And to promote justice we all should endeavour
That no class of people suffer disfavour

But I wonder if perhaps it has all gone too far
Historical figures removed from the repertoire
Of those who heretofore we all have respected
Their toppled statues lying there look dejected

The history books a rewrite require
Heroes to whose ideals we should no longer aspire
How have the mighty fallen the wokeists declare
Ignoring our pleas that this might be unfair

In the wokeplace there is a new atmosphere
Where any criticism may well induce fear
Woke opinions are strong on the concerns of today
We cannot ignore them or try to downplay

No doubt woke values deserve consideration
Race, sex, equality, slave-like  discrimination
Social media has ensured these issues prevail
Public reaction on a quite momentous scale

I simply make a plea for moderation
No knee-jerk reaction across the nation
Don’t vilify the pioneers of our great institutions
Or force us all living today to take their retribution

Ken Fisher

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

FOMO
[Fear of Missing Out]

Apart from the dreaded virus
Is this the malady of our age?
FOMO Fear Of Missing Out

But what might be the missing items?
Could it be some of these?

When you are just a young girl or boy
You simply must have the latest toy
It’s no use being told these things are just trash
And your parents can’t afford to spend so much cash

As you grow into those teenage years
FOMO brings on some serious fears
Unless you can sport the trendiest gear
Your complete deprivation will bring on a tear!

You loudly declare that all of your in-crowd
Have smart phones and tablets of which to be proud
You have missed out in this tech revolution
And demand that your parents find a solution

After schooling’s complete you need to progress
A top university is bound to be best
But your school achievements are rather pathetic
No clear indication of the mind academic

In time you emerge with an unimpressive degree
To the working world you’ve been set free
But where is that promise of a future so bright?
I am sorry to say it’s nowhere in sight

Eventually you aspire to some modest employment
Into which your limited talents might find deployment
Job satisfaction is the least of your care
But the minimum wage you consider unfair

On somewhere to live you must not miss out
The old family home is no place to hangout
But the bank manager soon puts you into a rage
When he declares the cost of a mortgage

And so FOMO continues as you progress through life
Why so much pressure to find husband or wife?
There is nothing wrong with the single life
One way of avoiding continual strife

But if you do eventually tie the knot
Married or partnered it matters not
In due time FOMO might well arise
If no baby appears for you to baptise

Next, in your job, you miss out on promotion
This results in a display of rampant emotion
The world is patently unfair and unjust
Is there no-one left in whom you can trust?

And so as you go through all of life’s phases
You’re afraid you’ll miss something at each of these stages
You wonder if you will ever be set free from this tension
When at last you are granted the meagre state pension

What is the moral of this woeful tale?
You should not allow FOMO to be some kind of blackmail
You should completely expunge all these irrational fears
And Missing Out phobia will soon disappear

Ken Fisher

Tech Frenzy

Tech Frenzy

We have been forced to learn fast
‘Cause we need to survive
And new methods of working
We have all had to contrive

The office largely abandoned
For much of the time
Work geographically scattered
Is the new paradigm

Between every worker
Covid-19 demands enough space
All employees screened off
A mask on each face

Our home computer devices
Are working flat out
To keep up with demand
While office health is in doubt

All of us must improve our tech skills
This pressure puts many into a frenzy
Grasping the basics of Skype, Teams, and Zoom
A predicament few laymen would envy

Some say home working is just what they want
It gives them a freedom the office denies
But others claim that isn’t quite true
Monitored there by electronic “spies”

But it looks as if this is the new reality
Get tech savvy is the only road to success
Master the realms of cyberspace and the cloud
In all these techniques you need show your finesse

Ken Fisher