The Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech

 

This time the Queen’s speech was somewhat truncated
Which may have left some of us feeling frustrated
But nonetheless our parliament will be put through its paces
Despite the Queen having to dash off to the races

Some raised an eyebrow about the lack of a Crown
Her headgear may make the traditionalists frown
But apparently to some the hat’s colour seemed bizarre
Giving more than a hint of the European flag’s stars

But I am sure the Queen stays aloof from all politics
No matter Government’s volt- faces and very strange antics
The original manifesto seems to have been whittled down
Ensuring nothing will result in an opponents’ showdown

So it would appear that for at least two more years
Brexit will obsess all the MPs and Peers
Anything else will be considered peripheral
To be squeezed into any convenient interval

So the business of Parliament is expressly defined
The way ahead has been clearly outlined
Let’s hope they get on with the job without any distraction
And pray that we avoid yet another election!

Ken Fisher

Get Wired In

Get Wired In
[for National Paper Clip Day]

I wonder if like me, you had no idea
That there is a useful device that brings us cheer
It’s a humble item of office equipment
Which ensures our papers get proper treatment

I am referring to a widget often overlooked
But is ever so useful to keep our sheets hooked
Together in some storage container or file
Where they need to reside for quite a while

This simple device, just a bent piece of wire
To greater fame it would never aspire
But the service of the humble paper clip
Is vital to ensure that loose pages don’t slip

So today I am told is National Paper Clip Day
And coincides with another office holiday
So perhaps all the paper clips will straighten themselves out
And leap from the desk-tidy as they dance and shout

For we certainly should celebrate the paper clip
Whose value our minds will often let slip
We should rejoice in its power to keep things together
An example we humans might sometimes remember

Ken Fisher

 

typo

typo

Discovering you have made an unfortunate typo
Is enough to turn a sane man into a sycho
After you’v checked every word of the script
Your reputation for accuracy has suddenly sliped

Typos come in many different disgises
Sometimes in ways that would even surprise us
You find them as as unintended duplication
And ocassionally with ones’ wrong punctuation

Spelling as you see is very often a trap
Resulting in many a ritten mishap
And of course there is the sin of omis ion
Its something that would justify strong admonision

Of course such prolbems we can quiet easily solve
And a good spell-chequer would these mostly resolve
Typos might simply be caused by a smelling mistake
And with determination the foul habit we’ll brake

An example of a typo I will never forget
Caused the passing public quite an upset
A sculptor, on a statue, carved out the following inscription
“This monument was paid for by pubic subscription”

Ken Fisher

Midges

Midges

 

It’s official, the hot news is newly broken
From the sleep of winter this little beastie’s woken
And there is little doubt it is a bigger menace
Than the eponymous comic kid known to us as Dennis

Apparently there are billions of these tiny little creatures
Which of summer, in our Highlands, is a distinctive feature
Their thirst for our blood is completely unremitting
Which sometimes forced defeated visitors into quickly quitting

Press reports tell us the female midge is the one to blame
As she seeks out her victims and sets their skin aflame
‘Cause midges have decided that we make a tasty meal
Caring little for the itch and lumps, and how they make us feel

These beasts force us to look for methods ourselves to protect
Our face and arms and legs and other parts you wont expect
For they are very persistent in their determined hot pursuit
And to the consequences they simply don’t give a hoot!

There is no simple remedy for this annual intimidating plague
Pundits offer creams and sprays but on success they are quite vague
Perhaps we simply must reconcile ourselves to the midge invasion
Pleading with visitors still to come, by all powers of persuasion

Ken Fisher

Political Correctness

Political Correctness (PC)

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In the past it was simply considered good manners
But now there seems a much higher standard
For things that we say or words that we write
The risk of offending has become infinite

We have to reflect on the language we use
And avoid using terms whose meaning is loose
And above all we must never discriminate
By adopting a term which others berate

Thus mankind is replaced by humanity
Never appealing to mens’ vanity
Workmen joined by their women equivalent
So the term workforce is much less ambivalent

The killer whale is the orca, a much kinder term
Spring Spheres replace Easter Eggs we confirm
And Christmas foliage becomes the holiday tree
So that from religion we might all be kept free

PC is not just restricted to the use of words
Some other changes you may think absurd
So to make Dennis a little less of a Menace
A softening makeover so as not to offend us

Punch and Judy, a staple of the British seaside
No more inappropriate hitting or woe betide
Brainstorming must now be described as thought showers
Such revisions took the PC inspectors many hours

A major concern of the PC advocates
Two concepts which they often like to conflate
Equality and diversity they seek to promote
Only such policies deserving our vote

One school plans to make its toilets unisex
So that any LGBT pupils will n’er be preplexed
Thus avoiding any possible crisis of identity
Binary division removed quite acceptably

So the whole agenda of political correctness
By many new measures designed to direct us
Ensuring that nothing will ever divide or offend
Perhaps a new tyranny that seems without end

Ken Fisher

 

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

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An elephant seems to have entered our room
Surely someone will say something soon
Because its presence is so clearly obvious
Yet apparently ignored by the entire audience

Despite the fact of its enormous frame
Everyone agrees to play the game
Of pretending this tusker does not exist
So speaking of which they firmly resist

The risk of its presence they simply ignore
A course of action they all should deplore
Because this mighty behemoth won’t go away
A solution is needed most speedily

Of course the elephant is simply a metaphor
For a problem we must find a solution for
Like the King’s New Clothes concealing a lie
The elephant too would the truth deny

So let our profession be honest and true
Not sending that giant back to the zoo
And candour can once again resume
When we accept the elephant is in the room!

Ken Fisher

 

 

Curmudgeon

Curmudgeon

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Sometimes we should briefly pause
And ask ourselves what is the cause
Of our behaviour so carnaptious
Childlike and quite often fractious

Perhaps it’s a rheumatic twinge
Or the result of some eating binge
When sometimes we feel out of sorts
Gloomy face, and temper short

Maybe a symptom of old age
Is that the reason why we rage?
At little gripes that bring dismay
That shouldn’t happen every day!

Sometimes we echo John Paul Sartre
Philosopher so very smart
He claimed ‘hell is other people’
Among them we ne’er can be gleeful

And for our temper we always find excuse
Too often we seem to feel the blues
But if a cure we hope to find
To others we need to be kind

And if we live life with a smile
Make acceptance our new style
The curmudgeon will soon fade away
As joy to others we display

Ken Fisher

Signature

Signature

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Watching ‘The Donald’ make his mark on documents official
Adding his signature to edicts advisory or judicial
Reminds me of the importance of when I sign on the line
I confirm that what is written is then truly mine

Perhaps within our land the signature most notable
Is that of Elizabeth our sovereign so admirable
Thus Acts of Parliament duly come into force
When Her Majesty assents and does them formally endorse

But the word signature has other applications
And is used in many differing situations
Thus TV and Radio shows are sure to emphasise
Their arrival with a tune that we all recognize

And if to watch the Bake Off was your fondest wish
Observing competitors concoct their signature dish
And of course if we wish to use a cheque to pay a bill
We sign our name confirming payment’s our own will

And the legal world still needs us to sign our name
On contracts and wills or an insurance claim
And if it’s your intention your promises to pledge
In marriage or mortgage, signing you simply cannot hedge!

Now that handwriting seems just about extinct
How do we prove we are unique and distinct?
Perhaps only by signing our personal name
Our identity to the world we still seek to make plain

On reflection it seems some hand-writing is so poor
And especially the signature which looks totally obscure
To me it’s not surprising the smart card’s usurped the pen
And perhaps those cryptic scribbles won’t e’er be seen again

Ken Fisher

 

The Swiss Army Knife

The Swiss Army Knife

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[Verses in praise of this multi-purpose tool]

 

The Swiss Army Knife is quite cutting edge
No limit to the uses to which it can stretch
Such a wide variety of functional tools
It might be described a cask full of jewels

The makers have offered several sizes
Tiny versions to huge ones brim full of surprises
There are blades just for cutting a string or a thread
And others could produce the proverbial sliced bread

There are hooks for extracting stones from a shoe
Sawblades for slicing through wood or bamboo
Pliers for those who aspire to try dentistry
And scissors for some who would prefer surgery

Gadgets for opening bottles so tight
Driving in screws made an effort so light
Indeed no matter the task, or whatever the trade
The Swiss Army Knife has a suitable blade

One point to note, which can be a snag
At airport check-ins hide it inside your bag
As the authorities might feel you have evil intent
To carrying a knife they give no assent

However, despite any such petty restrictions
Don’t spurn this tool and its applications
Because you never know what pops up in this life
And you are better prepared with a Swiss Army Knife!

Ken Fisher

[This poem is published with the prior permission of
Victorinox, manufacturers of the Swiss Army Knife]

Danger – Chilly Water

Danger – Chilly Water

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I went for a swim in the public baths
I thought it might do me good
But the water felt like an icy blast
And my swearing was quite rude

Nobody warned me of the shock I would get
As I plunged straight into the water
It was an experience that I cannot forget
In future I’ll wait till it’s hotter

So if by an urge you are suddenly seized
To leap into some lido or pool
By this temptation do not be deceived
Or you may seethe while trying to be ‘cool’

Ken Fisher

Welcome, but Feared

Welcome but Feared

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Welcome to the snow – it is not unexpected
Without this blanket white some might feel neglected
Thus a winter wonderland appears for our delight
Although it does seem for others to give them quite a fright

Because, while children in the snow are happy to cavort
Older folks may find their living turns quite fraught
And commuters on our roads and rails suffer travel woes
While youngsters of every age skid on the land that’s froze

So whatever is your point of view you’ll have to stick it out
Fortunately it’s usually only days before a turnabout
If we are lucky we will avoid any trials and tribulations
And warm and cosy by the window pane we may find consolation

Ken Fisher

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Grosvenor Terrace, Glasgow in the snow January 2017

 

Electric Blanket

Electric Blanket

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One of the aspects of these dark winter nights
When we all bemoan loss of warmth and of light
Is the prospect of retiring early to bed
When the thought of cold sheets we assuredly dread

However the appliance of science has come to our aid
And at bedtime we need be no longer dismayed
The electric blanket has brought us relief
So climbing to bed won’t ever cause grief

As we tuck ourself in between blankets and sheets
Heat envelopes us all from shoulders to feet
And if we want to maximize the full size of the bed
We can duck right down, even cover our head

Freud might suggest thoughts of return to the womb
But our cosy bed probably offers more room
For tucked up in bed we feel so safe and so warm
Just as our mother kept us free from harm

Thus cosseted we languish surrounded by heat
And soon we are gently wafted to sleep
All the world’s problems slip quietly away
As we are renewed to face a new day

There is just one problem that you may discover
And from the shock of it may take time to recover
And surely it will leave you quite woebegone
If earlier you forgot to switch blanket on!

Ken Fisher