Prosaic and Poetic

 

Prosaic and Poetic

Life’s journey is both prosaic and poetic
Prosaic in the sense that much of our daily walk
Is routine, dreary, mundane, even humdrum
Rather like a story written in uninspiring prose

However might life sometimes be considered
as poetic ?  Its events deemed imaginative
Creative, elegant, beautiful, inspirational
A narrative in finely crafted verse?

Perhaps for most of us life is both
Prosaic and poetic.  Two moods in tension
Entwined together as the days progress
Chiaroscuro of contrasting light and shade

Anyway who wants to live on the mountain top
Of heightened emotion, throbbing in poetic meter?
Better to endure with fortitude the tedium of the everyday
With timeous stimulus from poetry’s muse

Let’s simply be content with the daily round
Whose routines bring quiet satisfaction
Surprised by highlights of delight
Like poetry amidst pedestrian prose

Ken Fisher

Shehovah

Shehovah

If God is a woman how would we feel?
Would that idea have great appeal?
Would traditionalists be thrown into confusion
Or accept it as an advance in social inclusion

For a few this proposal is somewhat heretical
Contrary to earlier pronouncements prophetical
Where God as a man is always depicted
His gender thus never been contradicted

But others might say that God need not be man
Being all-powerful, to change he certainly can
And if to trans to a woman is the preferred choice
At least half of creation might well rejoice

After all in this age of universal equality
We need not be concerned with causality
If God has decided that he is a she
We must accept it I’m sure you’ll agree

Of course a womanly God can bring advantage
There are few things a lady can’t readily manage
I know an omnipotent God can multi-task
And being female could cope with whatever we ask

So if God is a woman let’s not be upset
A lady-God is as good as you’ll get
Let not male pride send men into despair
Male or female this God will still surely care

Ken Fisher

Honour Bound

Honour Bound

“The louder he talked of his honour, the faster I counted my spoons”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Why sir, when he leaves our house , the faster I count my spoons”
Dr Samuel Johnson

 

 

Have you ever felt that protestations of honour
and integrity may sometimes smack of hypocrisy?
There is a long list of suspects whom we might accuse
From the “ Trusted Trader” to the Priest in the confessional

Indeed many of us have become case-hardened
To the blandishments of car salesmen and estate agents
Borne out of our discovery that descriptions
Were a distant echo of reality

Some people we may be more willing to trust
Nurses and judges – even if they are sometimes fallible
But journalists and, above all, politicians
Often deemed to be low on the reputational pile

But modern capitalist society relies on trust
At the very heart of its enterprise
Trust in the making and executing of contracts
Trust in the banking and credit systems

And although we may rile against
The pettifogging of Health and Safety rules
We nonetheless trust that our house will not collapse
Or our tumble drier ignite

Being honour bound is more than chivalry
To a damsel in distress
It is more than protecting our household
From the theft of spoons!

They say there is honour among thieves
This may be so,  but we do not have to
Commit larceny to gain honour
Just try honesty

Honour must be at the very heart
Of all our dealings with one another
Whether in commerce, in employment
Even in the intimate relationships of our family circle

So let’s not abandon honour
As expressed in our determination
to be trustworthy
In all our words and deeds and dealings

Ken Fisher

[This poem is based on ideas taken from an article
by Anthony Hilton in the Governance and Compliance Magazine
October 2019]

Nodding Donkeys

Nodding Donkeys

Democracy is somewhat ineffectual
If voting is reduced to ritual
When electors vote as they are told
By the ‘party line’ they are controlled

Surely there is need to use our voice
And exercise freedom of choice
Secret ballots assure anonymity
Guaranteeing electors’ privacy

The problem is, even when considered
The need to choose leaves us bewildered
Zealots exercising all their might
Delude us issues are just black or white

But many of the problems of our day
Not black or white, much near to grey
Thus the need for consideration
Even measured deliberation

Not just in matters politic
The force majeure can simply trick
Us into decisions precipitate
Reasoning inadequate

Nodding donkeys we must not be
No longer ready to agree
To those who would life dominate
From their will we’ll deviate

Ken Fisher

 

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race
[Ecclesiastes Ch 3 v 9 & 10 Bible NIV]

Perhaps the life of faith and trust
Is for most of us simply too much
Submission to God’s sovereignty
Great strictures denying  humanity

Sufficient that we do our best
Without accepting His request
To live life by our God obsessed
Each moment by the Lord possessed

Those who labour in God’s garden
Shouldering a mighty burden
Toiling  for some heavenly gain
What earthly joy for all their pain?

And yet a life of dedication
Can provide true compensation
Extending love to one another
God’s face discovered in our brother

Ken Fisher

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Wise advice when we are considering some mad-cap enterprise
And yet if caution is our only compass what is the gain?
Sometimes we need to step out into the unknown
Take a gamble, be adventurous for once

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
If we are too timid to take that first stride, no headway
So why not cast aside all doubts and fears
To boldly go…………

But hang on a minute, do we need to burn our boats
Must we throw all caution to the wind?
Slam the door on past achievements
Eschew all that has given us comfort and security?

Surely there is a middle way, not stagnating
And yet not stifling all initiative, all creativity
Are we so confident in the need for change
That the decision to act can only be binary?

After all, when advised ‘not to give up the day job’
Isn’t there just a hint that others have reasoned
That, in the gamble we are about to take
The odds may be stacked against us?

The day job may seem tedious and tiresome
Characterized by boredom and routine
But at least it ensures that life is sustained
And others can still depend on us

But lest we think this view is a spoiler to all initiative
Many an enterprise has sprung from hobbies and pastimes
From the energy and enthusiasm of amateurs
Eagerly beavering away at moments snatched outside the day job

Ken Fisher

Election Fuddle

Election Fuddle

Does anyone know how I ought to vote?
Hold on while I quickly take a note
Confusion abounds causing me such trouble
Who will release me from this gigantic fuddle?

Our esteemed politicians have not helped one bit
‘For purpose’ they clearly are quite unfit
At one time we thought they might provide a lead
But sadly in that duty they have failed to succeed

Every media debate seems to end in a fight
And the last thing that happens is increasing light
On the issues that concern the whole population
We only feel ever-mounting frustration

For we cannot see a clear road ahead
And conflict and division is so widespread
The prospect of uniting in one common view
The political classes certainly seem to  eschew

If only we could come to any kind of consensus
Some basic core ideas, nothing pretentious
Then we might be able to see the way forward
By which our future affairs may then be ordered

At the heart of it all is that one basic question
If answered we might clear the congestion
Do we leave or stay on in the European Union?
Do we hang on in there or opt for exclusion

The half-way house seems to please very few
Demanding compromise which would surely ensue
So perhaps someone will show how we get out of this bind
And tell us it’s time that we all made up our mind!

So as you come to vote in the impending election
When you finally have to mark your selection
Try to make it clear to the powers that be
Thus from fuddle and fog we might at last be free!

Ken Fisher

 

 

Public Intellectual

Public Intellectual

Acknowledged for their lofty thoughts
From whom doubtless we can be taught
Critical thinking, deep reflection
Hallmarks of such an esteemed person

Legions of experts proffer solutions
How to save the planet from pollution
No problem beyond their power to solve
When brilliant minds beomce involved

The public intellectual, wisest of all of these
Fame gained through demonstrated expertise
Consulted on perplexing issues of the day
Never reluctant to have their say

The luminaries are nothing if not highbrow
Common knowledge they simply disavow
On higher thoughts is built their reputation
To exercise our minds is their great aspiration

The influence of public intellectuals is widespread
Their quality of mind that of a thoroughbred
Thus we lesser mortals may feel second rate
Our simple musings made to seem lightweight

But in our world so complex and diverse
It would undoubtedly appear perverse
If in the realm of discourse and debate
Thoughts high or humble we can’t accommodate

Ken Fisher

So Much Depends

So Much Depends

Are we free to act as we alone would choose?

Born an individual, but not a solo act

Imprisoned by our genes, brainpower and physique

Blessed and blighted by our up-bringing

Constrained by society, race and opportunity

Our health, wealth and security governed by others

So much depends on this past inheritance

How can we break free from the marionette strings?

Dare we defy the puppet master?

So much depends on self-belief and confidence

Self-belief in our own chosen path

And confidence to pursue that course

So let’s shun a robotic determinism

Thankful to those on whom erstwhile we have depended

We cast aside all shackles and excuses

Accountable to ourself alone

 

Ken Fisher

Anything Can Happen and Probably Will

Anything Can Happen and Probably Will

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Some say that life is full of surprises
Surely that is one of its greatest blessings
Where would we be if every day was predictable
And the element of surprise completely absent?

A heritage radio programme – Take it From Here
Used the catch phrase – anything can happen and ……..
The comedy show then showcased lots of skits
Where the unexpected added spice to the scripts

Mind you, there are those who would prefer a life
Where surprise was kept to a minimum
Perhaps they have lived through too much uncertainty
Their smooth passage interrupted by many incidents

Recently we moved house and are settling in
To our new home.  Quite a stressful transition
We had planned it quite well, but did not escape
Unpredicted collateral damage!

Often the best way of coping with the unexpected
Is to be prepared in advance for eventualities
Then when something springs up it is less of a trial
More an unexpected pleasure, something of serendipity

Sometimes we can deliberately seek out excitement
By exposing ourselves to the unknown, even the dangerous
From a simple mystery tour to a trek into the wilderness
From tourist to pilgrim, to nomad or adventurer

So why don’t we attune our minds to the possibility
That in life anything can happen and probably will
Because things do happen, no matter what
And our reaction may bring us grief or joy

Ken Fisher

 

 

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me
[Fear of Death Disturbs Me]

 

In days of yore when pupils at school were ruled with iron rod
When few would dare to question the reality of God
What might confront us when moved beyond the grave
Rarely could be swept aside, even by the brave

Fear of death was a powerful motivating force
Lest we find that by past deeds we are thereafter cursed
Reflecting on the hereafter would thus our souls perturb
Resolving that our conduct might ne’er God’s rule usurp

Today our mindset has cast aside that shadow
Death’s menace ignored with much bold bravado
Indeed death now rarely accorded even mention
Eternal life apparently the focus of attention

And yet we know that such a view is unrealistic
Life may be longer but still remains naturalistic
Indeed today perhaps our fear is not of death but living
Amidst the challenges of modern life which can be unforgiving

So what might be the Holy Grail, the nostrum for our age?
To help us navigate a course and all our angst assuage
That neither fear of death nor life might carry off our peace
And from all that would disturb we might duly find release

Ken Fisher