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

The Tyranny of the Password

The Tyranny of the Password

To compare this with Covid may seem quite absurd
But I’m almost as scared of the missing password
When we cannot remember these numbers and letters
Our hands are tied as if by tight fetters

These digital door keys prevent interference
Meant to protect our bank balance from disappearance
To the hands of some hacker of ill repute
Intent on swiping away all our loot

So with every aspect of computer filing
Requests for a password sets us compiling
A secret code to keep data secure
Safely concealed there for evermore

It is then that we need to be quite inventive
Complex passwords can be preventive
Of those who would all our secrets expose
Our facts and figures that no one else knows

The names of long dead pets, or gran’s date of birth
That primary school teacher if we think she was worth
Of incorporation into a password obscure
A combination that might long endure

This all sounds fine as far as it goes
Except when we need to enter the password and letters transpose
Or worst of all we suffer from total amnesia
Our brain dormant as through anaesthesia

We try to recall where the password record is hidden
We search our machine but all access forbidden
The more times we try the wrong combination
Now struck by panic and mighty frustration

In the end we may have all hope to abandon
All this computing is far too demanding
Just keep all your records in a box under your bed
Where password tyranny can  no longer cause dread

Ken Fisher

You’re Muted!

You’re Muted!

The dictionary defines “mute” as
Adjective:
Refraining from speech
or temporarily speechless

Noun:
A person lacking the faculty of speech
A device on a phone or TV or another appliance
That turns off the sound

But since the advent of the extensive
use of the Zoom app
Mute, has gained a whole
lot more significance

Thus:
You appear on our screens
Your frame illuminated
Moving lips can be seen
But all sound confiscated

Your body language is quite animated
Wishing the current topic to be debated
But no sound can be heard in our attentive ears
Your impact on us simply disappears

We know the problem of which you’re unaware
We all try to tell you with a waving fanfare
But all our signals somehow go unseen
Only silence emerges from your flickering screen

At last, bemused by our gestures you reach the conclusion
Between us and you there is some confusion
We all want to ensure that you participate
To achieve this your mike needs to activate

The penny then drops and falls down the chute
It dawns on you that you must simply un-mute
And to the cheers of all who anxiously wait
You click the icon to let sound emanate

And so at last we achieve that blessed concord
When we can see you and hear every word
Un-muting is vital for full participation
But only if the host grants that dispensation

Ken Fisher

Stooshie

Stooshie

[An uproar or commotion, or a minor row of sorts]

Here’s a word of which the English may be unaware
One of those obscure terms which we might share
It’s used to describe a row or a commotion
An argument with signs of stirred emotion

It’s not quite as serious as all-out war
And any fisticuffs we would deplore
More like a skirmish of the verbal kind
Where opponents are readily maligned

Stooshies can arise at any time or place
Sometimes only two contenders face to face
At others the arena is on a grander scale
Unparliamentary language used opponents to impale

A cause celebre might well a stooshie generate
Or some long-held grudge cause others to berate
Or perhaps just even some minor irritation
The trigger for much unnecessary vexation

Stooshies, perhaps depending on the situation
May be of short or quite prolonged duration
Perpetual stooshies are really a vendetta
Likened to the plot of some tragic operetta

Stooshies, on the whole, are best avoided
Deep divisions thus remain unexploited
Endeavour to ignore all discourse acrimonious
Conducting your affairs with speech harmonious

Ken Fisher

Turkey Without Legs 2020

Turkey Without Legs [2020]

Warning: this poem is not suitable for Vegetarians or Vegans!

Here’s a thing you did not know
And I assure you that it’s so
Legless turkey is being served
A phenomenon I have observed

As you see from this tasty plate
Who needs legs you might debate?
When stuffing’s there and so’s the meat
With sprouts and roasties, quite complete

It’s just that somehow one does wonder
Has the chef just made a blunder
Or have those legs now gone astray?
Their absence may cause some dismay

However, I really have to claim
Legless turkey tastes the same
And with the trimmings on display
Such a meal will make your day

One final thought about this dish
As we munch together I would wish
Despite not being the real McCoy
This legless bird might still bring joy

And especially in this Covid year
When Christmas seems bereft of cheer
Turkey with legs, or without
Happily smiles next the sprouts!

Ken Fisher

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Christmas is Coming 2020

Christmas Is Coming  2020

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

And this year, still oppressed by the great pandemic
We need something special a gizmo or a gimmick

Lots of choices to entertain and amuse
Making it impossible for each of us to choose

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift –  still unwrapped I fear!

The problem for me is you are so very generous
Thus I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
And my thank-youz for them are really little lies

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, perhaps appalled

And how about a faux-fur dressing gown for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

Or this rather sick suggestion about a novel coffin
Called a “wooden onesie” you won’t use it very often!

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
On-line catalogues put temptation on every flickering  page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

And this Covid year makes it difficult to deliver
But don’t let the DPD man stand in the cold and shiver!

Ken Fisher

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Will God be impressed by this method prosaic
With the worshippers aligned in this little mosaic?
Will He incline His ear as we offer our praises
Watching our lips to catch all the phrases

When communal worship is now so constricted
By Covid rules all our freedom restricted
We still feel the need to sing and to pray
Of God’s gift to the world on that first Christmas Day

We recall how at the inn they could find little room
If they could fast forward the Wise Men would Zoom
The Shepherds too need not leave their land
As long as they use fibre-optic broadband

Back to today, what are the faithful to do?
To voice all the old favourites and some that are new
How might we this year lift up our hearts
In communal praises, each playing our part

The answer is that we must just do our best
Aware that God all our efforts will bless
So let’s Zoom all ye faithful, give thanks to our Lord
Assured that on high our song surely is heard

Ken Fisher

Digital Christmas

Digital Christmas

Traditional plans are all cast asunder
Christmas now enshrined in digital numbers
Our letters to Santa at his home far up north
Replaced by texts and emails henceforth

Invites to parties we must meet with resistance
As they breach strict rules on social distance
Not just for Baby Jesus the inn has no room
The shepherds and wise men must learn how to Zoom

Indeed their gifts and anything else they require
At this present time are hard to acquire
It may be OK if they intend to bring food
But the shops are shut for non-essential goods

Our carol singing must be a solo affair
We cannot allow choir voices to blare
The YouTube version is the best we can do
Recorded last year from the Church pew

It seems that our homes we can still decorate
Here the digital age can our ambitions inflate
Not just the tree topped with an icon angelic
But thousands of lights which flash psychedelic

But our Christmas greetings will have to be muted
No travelling too far or you’ll be prosecuted
Sticking to the rules is an onerous task
And kissing impossible while sporting that mask!

But despite all these issues I am sure you agree
Noel should never be devoid of all glee
The digital world can still keep us connected
Ensuring that others are never neglected

Ken Fisher

Halloween – 2020

Halloween [Saturday 31 Oct 2020]

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Trick or Treat I hear them ask – what should I reply?
As on the threshold of my door the guisers I espy
To ward them off I pay their price as if it were a ransom
With fruits and sweets and even nuts a gift that I thought handsome

But before I let my ‘guests’ depart I ask them in return
What entertainment will they provide, what act will they perform?
It is in times like these I find that suddenly they’re silent
Unable to convince me that Britain has still Got Talent!

However, eventually together they muster up some courage
One even recites a bawdy poem – not really with much flourish
Two more play on the ‘air guitar’ a stimulating riff
While others mouth imagined lyrics, standing there quite stiff

The performance duly over towards the door they shuffle
And in sharing out the Treats try to avoid a scuffle
It was then I notice their costumes quite exotic
Theatrical to say the least – some even psychedelic

These young celebrants in this ancient hallowed festival
Of evil spirits, ghosts and some things quite heretical
Are really just out to have fun with all their many friends
And despite their spooky garb they bring no ill intent

So when our doorbell rings with the challenge ‘Trick or Treat’?
Let’s welcome them with open heart – and with a smile do greet
‘Cause on the eve of All Saints’ Day it’s best that we been seen
To welcome visitors e’re so strange on this night of Halloween

But in this year of the ‘plague’ guising’s quite a task
How do you perform when your face is covered by that pesky mask?
Yet let’s not spurn all visitors amidst  threatening pandemic
Try not to make your welcome seem quite so anaemic!

Ken Fisher

 

Soap

Soap

 

Soap
Without it how could we keep clean?
Attend to bodily hygiene
These days its reputation rises
As the doctor now advises

Wash your hands with diligence
Against the virus build defence
Scrub the palms and ‘tween the fingers
Ensure no danger can there linger

This product ‘ere so commonplace
Yields spotless hands and shining face
And limbs and torso don’t exclude
Unless you feel a downright prude!

Soap’s not for your body alone
Lots of uses round the home
It often comes in liquid form
Multi-functions to perform

Whatever be our cleaning wishes
Grubby floors or daily dishes
Clothes fall victim to the dirt
Smart fashion wear to cheap t-shirts

In the machine’s rotating drum
Clothes and soap together turn
And when the purging is complete
We’re summoned by that welcome ‘beep’

Whether in wash-hand basin or the sink
Just take a little time to think
Without the work of common soap
Of cleanliness we lose all hope!

Ken Fisher

Please Keep Your Distance!

Please Keep Your Distance!

[This poem written in the light of latest tight
restrictions on freedom thanks to the pandemic]

The message for today shouts loud and clear
Intended to warn, it can induce fear
This strong injunction brooks no resistance
Demanding quite clearly – Please keep your distance!

Two metres would seem to be the optimum space
Between each other when we come face to face
And if nearer to that I see you advance
I must pirouette past in an intricate dance

The rules about distancing are highly developed
In lists and notices these commands are enveloped
Great powers on the authorities have been bestowed
Check them now on your phone with a QR Code

Outside the buildings the rules are less strict
A little more freedom from demands that restrict
But inside we must obey the floor plan
Follow the arrows as close as you can

In bars, restaurants and cafes, tables are spaced far apart
Cosy dinners for two with your dear sweetheart
When you hoped your liaison might well advance
Find two metres distance can stymie romance

Then there are also practical points to consider
And here I’d be grateful if you wouldn’t snigger
A gent requiring the toilet due to an excess of beer
Saw half the “stalls” labelled – Please don’t pee here!

So in conclusion I will not criticise
The imposition of distance rules is truly quite wise
But I plead that to each other we show toleration
Throughout this lockdown of whatever duration

Ken Fisher

Trees

Trees

[A humorous glance at]

Trees.   There they are
But we don’t often think much about them
Not unless there is a mighty gale blowing
And we think one is going to fall on us
Or in a thunderstorm – don’t stand under
One or you might become a lightning conductor!

Trees are woody perennial plants
That have an elongated stem – the trunk
Below the trunk there are roots
Then branches and leaves
Reaching upwards [unless a weeping willow]
Ambitious creatures!

There are myriad different trees
Boy scouts used to learn their names
Then burn bits of them in the campfire
Coniferous – with cones – for Christmas
Deciduous – with leaves that fall
OK for logging and carpentry

When a tree is cut down
You can check its age by the rings!
Similar to an old man’s scrawny neck
[but don’t cut him down]
But mostly we just let trees get
On with life – they do no harm

Children of wealthy families
Can have a tree house
Where they can view their neighbours
From their lofty position
Not just physically
But socially

Trees evidently help the world to breathe
Which right now is especially kind of them
The technical term is photosynthesis
But let’s not worry about that
Simply stop destroying trees
And get planting – they take years to grow!

Apparently trees have lots of other uses
They stabilise the soil
They prevent water run off
They can cool our homes and streets
And if any tree is giving you a headache
Don’t forget aspirin is extracted from trees!

Ken Fisher