For Father’s Day

For Father’s Day

Father’s day has come round once more
The shops are filled with cards galore
It’s time to think of poor old dad
An occasion when we should be glad

‘Cause Dads don’t always get best press
And maybe they fail, we must confess
But most Dads do their very best
When often they are quite hard pressed

Sometimes these days it’s sad to say
The Dad has had to be away
Family problems causing separation
And Dad might well feel desperation

Thank goodness many Dads are still around
Shared parenting can still be found
And along with Mum they are a team
Ensuring for all a great regime

But what e’r may be the situation
Let us today make affirmation
That Dads do matter, we believe
Give thanks for all that they achieve

So let’s ensure this Father’s Day
We take some time to loudly say
We love you Dad, we won’t be shy
To tell you, you’re a real great guy!

Ken Fisher

 

Momentary Thoughts

Momentary Thoughts

Momentary thoughts that enter my head
A flash in the mind, then quickly gone
An angry reaction that made me see red
Or some sadness turning me all forlorn

Pleasant thoughts of happy days past
Joyous memories of times of emotion
Recalling events that left me aghast
Crowded hours amidst untold commotion

Thoughts in my head as I anticipated
Pleasures to come in communing with others
Annoyance when hoped for joys are frustrated
Or by fearful notions my plans are smothered

Momentary thoughts are a two edged sword
At once they bring memories of times of elation
But equally recall feelings of fear or discord
Can even provoke a mood of depression

So the best response to the momentary thought
Is to simply let it pass without any reaction
That pleasure or pain, whether happy or fraught
From our peace of mind will afford no distraction

But this aversion to short lived reflection
Should not all gentle reminiscence deny
For who would turn from that introspection
Which prompts an inward smile, a tear or a sigh

Ken Fisher

Leaders’ Debates

Leaders’ Debates

 

Why have I developed such revulsion to the Leaders’ debates?
Perhaps it is because at present their rhetoric so dominates
I should appreciate that all this is intended to educate and inform
By why must their tempers so quickly rise like a gathering storm

Wouldn’t it be nice if each of these earnest protagonists
Could approach the others as friends not antagonists
Why could they not address their rivals with a wide open smile
Rather than a verbal onslaught, completely hostile?

Sometimes they begin in a reasonable manner
But that never lasts long as they raise their own banner
And claim for their party the monopoly of good
And all counterclaims are simply falsehood

Politics has been called ‘the art of the possible’
But some politicians assert they can do the impossible
Whereas it is really about what you can actually get done
And that seems about true for MP’s as for anyone

Manifestos seem to promise the kingdom of heaven
And pledges made or broken are MP’s obsession
I wish for a while they would be more realistic
And state the hard facts and not contorted statistics

Above all I wish they would stop shouting over each other
If they heard a replay they would quite soon discover
That only one at a time can really be heard
And calm, cool, presentation would be much preferred

However, I doubt if my pleadings will change their approach
Despite any prior efforts from a slick media coach
Perhaps it would be better if, like wrestlers, they were put in a ring
And at least they might then stop feuding when they hear the bell ring!

……………………………..


And now we have the contest of the heavy weights
The most elevated level of these current debates
Where the champion of each party faction
Had to spar with the formidable Jeremy Paxman
Winners or losers were hard to detect
But Paxman makes me feel I would like to defect
From the political broadcasts so much over-heated
Where only the viewers seem somewhat defeated

Ken Fisher

Sweat!

Sweat! [Posted on really hot day in May 2017!]

‘Men perspire while women really do just glow, claim scientists after discovering
that the fairer sex needs to work much harder to build up a sweat.’
Quote from an article in Daily Telegraph

‘Blood, sweat and tears’- the fruits of strenuous effort
‘Sweated labour’ – the regime to suffer when working in a sweatshop
‘By the sweat of your brow’ – the Genesis punishment of mankind
‘His sweat became like drops of blood’ – Jesus at the Mount of Olives

Sweat, that flows from fear, or anguish, exhaustion or terror
Sweat, we try to disguise when in public performance
Sweat, that in lighter vein, we generate in cathartic exercise
Sweat, exuded when we lie to conceal the truth, known to us alone

Sweat, that fluid mixed with such heightened emotion
Sweat, that telltale signal of stress we would deny
Sweat, triumphant when we complete that marathon
Sweat, in that catastrophic second before the crash

Somehow the word ‘sweat’ is rarely neutral or dispassionate
We try to work up a sweat, or break out into a sweat, even sweat blood
We might find ourselves in a sweat about a girl/boy, and just have to sweat it out
We can wear sweat’s clothes – sweat sock, sweat suit, sweater

Finally we note the claim above that it is men who sweat
[Usually like a pig – do pigs actually sweat?]
But no such indignity for the women
All that effort or emotion merely makes them glow!

Ken Fisher

Events

Events

Politicians use this expression as a lame excuse
Hoping it’s sufficient to get them off the hook
When unforeseen events pop up in the frame
They hope that you will realize they cannot take the blame

Events are things that happen, mostly commonplace
The everyday occurrences that inflict the human race
But sometimes an event can be on a grander scale
Men landing on the moon, or the beaching of a whale

Throughout our lives events come on as we progress
From the cradle, thorough all the years, eventually to death
But most of us expect that in between these important dates
A mixture of joy and sadness is bound to be our fate

Some people might view their life as a sporting competition
Each new event a trial or test, all jockeying for position
So all goes well if eventually they come out as the victor
But if that is so, then the rest of us might never be a winner

Whatever happens as we continue on the road of life
In days of lucky happenstance or even times of strife
Events, by definition, are bound to come along
They exist in every moment and through all life long

It is better to welcome than from events to turn away
And as they arrive simply try some good cheer to display
And thus you will appreciate that regardless of their nature
Events, what e’er they be, are all our past and future

Ken Fisher

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem

The phrase carpe diem comes from the Roman poet Horace
Who encourages us ‘to seize the day’, trusting little to the future
Whether this is a wise prescription or not I am not sure
But I suppose the only time that is real, is this present day

The past has gone and cannot be re-written,
The future remains ahead and somewhat unpredictable
Of course we may try to make amends for the past
Anticipate the future and plan for eventualities

And yet I wonder how often our lives are constrained
By worrying over past actions, past words, past failures
And our outlook on the future diminished by fear of the unknown
Thus the present is overshadowed by past regrets and future forebodings

So the wisest approach might well be to live in the NOW
Even although our NOW is largely the outcome of our past
And our view of the future will no doubt colour the NOW
But NOW is still NOW – let’s live it in ‘real time’

Ken Fisher

Iconic

Iconic

You must have noticed how the word ‘icon’ is now much overplayed
In ordinary conversation we seem to hear it almost every day
Historically the word was used to describe a religious work of art
Nowadays applied to distinguish some object thus setting it apart

In the digital age icons are used to represent a useful ‘application’
Click on the app’s icon and its faculties leap into action
So in this case the icon is a symbol representing a function
The graphic and the routine working in conjunction

Now we seem to have decided that anything exceptional is ‘iconic’
From a well recognized brand name to a modern health tonic
Thus everyday symbols like those for Apple, Coke or Dyson
Stimulate in our minds a sort of anticipatory frisson

All this is good for the salesmen and marketing gurus
But I wonder if the term ‘iconic’ they have patently abused
Indeed we seem to hear that label used so often in these days
It has long ago begun to sound like an inconsequential phrase

So perhaps we should resolve to give the word ‘iconic’ a well earned rest
As a description of anything that we extol as being the very best
And find some other words to refer to artifacts exceptional
And avoid hinting at ideas that are really undeliverable

Ken Fisher

The Foolishness of the Cross

The Foolishness of the Cross

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.”   1 Corinthians 1:18  

Good Friday – a day filled with poignant meaning for believers
Just the start of the Easter holiday weekend for the rest
Who can unravel the mystery of Christ on the Cross?
God’s Son dying to save us from our sins!

Those who surrounded the cross of Calvary
Gazed with a mixture of sadness and wonder
Some hurled insults, others wept in desolation
Today we don’t even swing by to take a peep

But perhaps we may pause just for a moment
Because after Calvary came the empty tomb
The unexplained conquering of death itself
Death still the taboo subject of our modern life

I wonder if this weekend we will question why and what we do?
Indulgence in  Hot Cross buns and Easter eggs might prompt a thought?
What is this all about? Services and ceremonies simply ancient ritual?
What is this foolishness? God’s lightning rod of love

Ken Fisher

 

The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law

Who needs lawyers? You may well ask
To give an answer, quite a task
The law seems a profession quite lucrative
Its rewards are clearly remunerative

But the Rule of Law is much more than lawyers’ pay
About precepts that control our every day
Our freedom, our rights and our obligations
Legal rules forming society’s foundation

If people wish to live together in community
In ordered peace, and with impunity
From the imposition of others’ aggression
Their rights protected from transgression

They therefore need rules imposed by state
Which in disputes will arbitrate
So when crime is committed or contract broken
Justice will not simply be forsaken

Through history, law has come from many sources
The Common Law and Equity, followed by the Statutes
Rules made by Parliament to govern our affairs
Intended to ensure that common life is fair

Judges too have played their part
As legal interpretation turned to art
Laying down new precedents
With which lower courts must be content

Some European laws are imposed on our nation
These are Directives and Regulations
And all this may change in two years time
As Brexit becomes the new paradigm

Then there are local rules and even byelaws
Devolved legislation for simple causes
Thus we are enmeshed on every side
We must conform or woe betides!

The Rule of Law requires the Courts
Wherein the lawyers do besport
Judges and juries all required
That true justice ne’er be denied

And then we have our worthy police
Maintaining order, even peace
The Rule of Law they will enforce
That’s what their duties will endorse

Thus a whole apparatus is put in place
That the Rule of Law might be manifest
But above all the population must agree
That justice is what they want to see

Equality under the law is fundamental
Exceptions would be detrimental
To its strictures we must all comply
Even sometimes with a sigh

International law seeks to see fair play
Holding nations in its sway
Maintaining law where’er it can
Seeking justice for every land

In the end we have to have the Rule of Law
Or nature prevails, raw in tooth and claw
And to obey the law is surely wise
To sustain a world more civilised

Ken Fisher

What is Art For?

What is Art For?

search-3

Leonardo Da Vinci – Mona Lisa

More people than ever are discovering art
Hoping that somehow it might speak to their heart
They flock to the galleries and exhibitions
Showing concern for these human creations

I suppose art echoes the world that we see
Landscape painting reflects sward, field and tree
Wide vistas captured in one broad frame
Garden, loch, hill and valley laid plain

In portraits persons are the artist’s subject
Perhaps embellished for greater effect
The visage sometimes quite benign
Yet in others so severe and stern

No doubt some paintings are commissioned
By those wishing to project a vision
Of war or conquest, power and might
Or seeking compassion for their plight

Many paintings tell their story
Of ignominy or of glory
Battle scenes of blood and thunder
Ruthless slaughter shameful plunder

Of religion, art has been handmaiden
Faith thus promoted and awakened
To thousands not yet literate
Images, belief might inculcate

Painters help to promote a message
Of politics they can be expressive
Massacres, riots and protest marches
The downtrodden emerging from the darkness

The style which the artists have adopted
The means by which subjects are recorded
Evolved o’er many generations
Each era found its own expression

Colour and symbol played their part
Rendering meaning to the art
And by these signs hidden or overt
We comprehend a work of art

In successive generations
Art movements brought forth new creations
Impressionism, Expressionism, and Modernism
And in their day, Art Deco, Gothic and even Anti-realism

But does any of this answer the question posed
What is Art For? The motion I propose
Perhaps that phrase Art for Art’s Sake
The justification one might make

Art has survived for centuries untold
Tenaciously it still takes hold
Of hearts and minds and imagination
Existing for mankind’s salvation?

Ken Fisher

search-4  images

Pablo Picasso – Guernica                                                        Gustav Klimt – The Kiss

Old Fashioned Radio

Old Fashioned Radio

I find the world of radio a great fascination
How transmissions are made by wave propagation
And the history or this amazing technology
Spreading the world’s treasures audibly

Elsewhere I wrote of radio’s evolution
And how it brought about a virtual revolution
From Crystal sets with their in-built cat’s whiskers
To VHF and  DAB via thermionic Valves and  Transistors

But an aspect of old radios that makes me smile
Is the detail printed on the wireless dial
The wavelengths are usually Medium or Long
Rarely they show Shortwave – not very strong

To select the wavelength there’s a switch to flick
So that leads to the programmes you may want to pick
The major provision seems to be the Home Service
Which serves those whose listening intentions are serious

The Home Service also has some local opt-outs
Scotland, Midland, Northern, and Wales to try out
The Third programme is for the intellectual mind
The Light programme for the rest of us  – unrefined!

The radio dials show that signals came from far and wide
Budapest, Munich, Paris, all on the Channel’s other side
Moscow, Brussels, Oslo, and somewhere called Hilversum
Apparently a town in the Netherlands not far from Amsterdam

Other stations that spread transmissions in the ‘ether’
Dublin, Hamburg, Strasbourg, and Lille feature
Back in middle England the Droitwich name
A major Long Wave transmitter of great fame

And let’s not forget that early rebel commercial pioneer
Radio Luxembourg on 208 filled the legals with such fear
It spawned the growth of pirate offshore DJ shows
And taught modern presenters all they know!

Religion was not neglected with broadcasts from the Vatican
And no doubt the other churches featured in the plan
To use the radio to ‘inform, entertain, and educate’
Which broadcasters even today claim they emulate

So there we have it, a nostalgic backward glance
Even in those early years quite an expanse
Of those with a message to spread by the radio emitter
Today surpassed by Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and Twitter!

Ken Fisher

 

see also: Radio, the Listener’s Window on the World