Etch A Sketch

Etch A Sketch

[On Etch A Sketch Day 12 July 2018]

 

I am sure if you recall your childhood days
One favourite toy with which to play
Was the Etch A Sketch tablet, a clever device
And parents were sure it was well worth the price

Because this novel invention could ‘wipe the slate clean’
And then begin to trace out a new magical scene
Using the two knobs to control the direction
We could bring our ideas into graphic perfection

The mechanical workings of the cunning machine
Allowed lines to be drawn thus creating a scene
One knob directs a line on the horizontal plane
The other one, vertical, but just the same

Thus by deft movement and manipulation
We can represent virtually any situation
Landscapes and portraits can all be displayed
And no budding artist will e’er be dismayed

So on this Etch A Sketch Day we fondly recall
Of the times when computers could not do it all
Giving thanks for the joy of this quirky possession
Unlike smart-phone usage – not inducing addiction

Ken Fisher

Attitude

Attitude

 

This may sound like platitude
And can’t be claimed with certitude
If only thoughts might be imbued
With thankfulness and gratitude
Those lurking doubts might be subdued
And confidence once more renewed
Banishing disquietude
By choosing the right attitude

But what attitude should we exude?
What is bad and thus not good
We must speak truth and not delude
What virtues should then be pursued
To others demonstrate solicitude
Eschewing all  turpitude
Forgiving to the multitude
Our love shown in magnitude
Surely the right attitude

Ken Fisher

A Broader Mind?

A Broader Mind?

Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

 

Having just returned from a mini version of the Grand Tour
Travelling by train and coach and occasionally by boat
Through parts of northern Europe with much allure
New vistas are to a parochial view a strong antidote

In the passage through towns and cities unfamiliar
Observing the lives of others lived out in far-flung places
Noting phenomena sometimes appearing quite peculiar
We see likenesses and differences in peoples’ faces

The architecture of Churches, civic buildings and habitations
Demonstrate patterns developed over historic time-scales
Piazzas, market squares, and hostelries distinctive of each nation
And many structures reflect the ideology which there prevails

But perhaps it is in meeting with the denizens of each location
That we may challenge our thinking and our attitudes
If only we could overcome our linguistic limitations
We can break the bonds of our insular solitude

And no matter that our sojourn in unfamiliar lands
Is bound to be limited ‘less time and distance be reconciled
There can be little doubt that our horizons will expand
Prejudice is challenged as by foreign lands we are beguiled

Ken Fisher

Forgiveness is the Threshold to Healing

Forgiveness is the Threshold to Healing

 

When we are stung by someone’s sharp rebuke
Their piercing words however unintended
The thoughtless gibe, unthinking sneer
That leaves our very soul offended

When those around apparently conspire
To thwart all our plans, our hopes and ambitions
How can be bring ourselves to readily forgive?
When our undoing seems the object of their mission

When in life we suffer losses and misfortune
Caused by others’ wanton actions or omissions
How can we cast aside our pain and resentment?
Absorbing all in self-deprecating submission

Of course we must attempt to stand up to the storms
And positively respond when confronted by adversity
Yet if our reaction is to meet challenge with aggression
Would not that alone simply be mean travesty?

We must find a better way to assuage our hurt
Not living out our days in pique and bitterness
But setting aside all past pain and suffering
Traverse the threshold of healing through forgiveness

Ken Fisher

Thought

Thought

Not animal, vegetable, or mineral
Sometimes fact, fiction or myth
As illusive as quicksilver
Unlike solid, liquid or gas

Who can define thought?
Or measure its power
To delight or scare or anger
An alchemy of energy

Would we be rid of this tyranny?
Which dominates our mind
Determines our deeds
And destroys our peace

Thought, intangible and unreal
Initiator of action from idea
By which we make a kirk or mill
From every brooding notion

And yet the delight of thought
The joy of inner anticipation
Treasured memories of happier days
All realized within that inward eye

Let’s rejoice in all that thought begets
In quiet contemplation or mental gymnastics
Find solace, peace, or ready stimulation
A memory bank and spur to this day’s living

Ken Fisher

 

Thank You for Your 10,000 Visits

Thank You for Your 10,000 Visits

Ten thousand ‘hits” is my reward
Ten thousand clicks my site explored
The oeuvre on the web dispersed
My views in simple verse expressed

Thoughts meant to stimulate the mind
Not politically aligned
Nor to any genre restricted
Or to unruly passion addicted

Statistics helpfully inform
That from this blogging platform
Visitors from all the world around
So many poems they have found

I hope the pictures have enhanced
As my regular offerings advanced
It’s not my intention to advertise
Just amuse, perhaps surprise

In these poems I encapsulate
A thought that could evaporate
And thus preserve its very essence
Before it sinks to obsolescence

Often set down in simple rhymes
Frequently in styles of various kinds
Of ways in which words to present
Your understanding to augment

These poems are not a bold campaign
No propaganda will on you rain
But rather some gentle musings
Perhaps novel, even amusing

Thanks many hundreds who came to visit
By exercising the clicking digit
I hope reward has come your way
My own pleasure I won’t gainsay

If you have had even momentary pleasure
It would please me quite beyond measure
That on your friends you might just prevail
To proclaim of The Bard Of Kelvindale!

Ken Fisher

THE BARD OF KELVINDALE

 

Umbrage

Umbrage

 

Whenever someone seeks to criticize
My words or ideas oh so wise
Umbrage is the first thing I take
As I simply find I cannot wait

I know I should stop and listen
And avoid the quite wrong supposition
That your comments are meant to wound
My knee-jerk reaction too finely tuned

Thus I have lost the art of conversation
Each dialogue becomes a confrontation
Unwilling to accept your point of view
I may be right but so might you

It’s funny how often I feel slighted
Temper’s fire quickly ignited
You only made a passing comment
But suddenly my mind’s in torment

I really must change my diet
Choosing things that won’t disquiet
Taking umbrage does no good
Tolerance a much better food

Ken Fisher

An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

 

I wonder how often the truth can be inconvenient
Just as the reality of global warming won’t go away
Plastic pollution another scourge we must prevent
But why can’t we put it off till some future day?

The state of the Health Service revealed in latter days
But those who are rarely ill prefer not to know
Why make us responsible for every national malaise?
Such awareness we would far rather forgo

And are we not well versed at ignoring harsh reality?
Not just near at home but all around the globe
The plight of so many living in abject poverty
Local beggars point to their lack of hope

In politics too, truth is often hard to find
Perhaps its concealment quite deliberate
Each party advocates a state of mind
Promoting their own reality in all debate

At the personal level are we too not duplicitous?
Often indulging in elaborate deceptions
Of others’ welfare allegedly solicitous
Much more concerned for our own satisfaction

Truth remains truth no matter how inconvenient
Not destructible by time’s effluxion or greater distance
Or by falsehoods spread as we may find expedient
Veracity stands firm against deceit’s resistance

Ken Fisher

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do You Ever Wonder?

 

Do you ever wonder if your Mum and Dad had never met
Would non-existence make you feel upset?
But they did meet and they got together
So little point in any wondering whether

Do you ever wonder if you had lived elsewhere
Would your life have been a quite different affair?
But you exist when and where your life was lived
And despite or because, you seem to have survived

Do you ever wonder about your education
Should you have had greater aspirations?
But you did your best with the chances that you had
Nonetheless it proved a steady launching pad

Do you ever wonder about your chosen career
Did it allow any hidden talents to appear?
In due time you had the chance to blossom
So your contribution may not simply be forgotten

Do ever wonder if you were a good husband/wife
Would you be faithful throughout all of life?
But you showed that by your loving concern and care
Loyalty brings its own reward as you travel life’s diverse ways

Do you ever wonder if your life has any meaning
A purpose behind all your doing and dealing?
Surely your investment in the service of your friends
Did yield for all a living dividend

Do you ever wonder if you would be missed
If from life’s stage you were suddenly dismissed?
Each and every one of us will have played our part
The loss of any player brings a void in the collective heart

Ken Fisher

This shouldn’t happen and ought to be stopped!

This shouldn’t happen and ought to be stopped!

 

Do you ever pause to think of things that happen that ought to be stopped?
For instance the winter this year which failed to come to an end
Or the old BHS stores we liked and should never have flopped
The strident on-line sales campaigns that insist we must spend

Or the enormous holes in the roads which the council ignores
And the continuing closure of many local bank branches
The interruption of TV shows by adverts we all deplore
Worse, unexpected bills which can ruin our finances

Special offers which only apply to the size we don’t choose
The exorbitant charges imposed at so many car parks
Failing to forget our troubles by taking much booze
And delays on our streets by never ending road-works

News bulletins demanding that we must take action
Tradesmen who promise but never appear
Media gurus who bully to get a reaction
And health warnings designed clearly to scare

And so it goes on, the long litany of woes
Wherever we turn there are things to be stopped
But who’s going to do it, nobody knows
Perhaps all our complaints will have to be dropped!

Ken Fisher

Hell Still Hovers

Hell Still Hovers

 

It has been stated that someone very high up
Has claimed that Hell’s time is virtually up
I don’t know where he got that idea
I wish it were true, but it’s wrong I fear

We are all quite happy that Heaven exists
And if Hell were gone it might not be missed
But it was handy to have a fiery sin bin
Where lifetime baddies their strife might begin

Thoughts of Hell remind us all we must behave
And never to vices should we become slave
Dante famously journeys through darkest Hell
Midst many trials ere he could bid it farewell

Jean Paul Sartre declared that Hell is really others
A somewhat low opinion of our sisters and brothers
But perhaps we too make hell for all those around
Less paradiso, more battleground

If Hell is abolished what of purgatory?
Where souls might rest while still transitory
No need for our prayers to aid early release
Subjected no more to the Church’s caprice

But does all this mean Hell cannot be real?
And Heaven is surely the only Big Deal
Perhaps both of these places exist in the mind
In the rich imagination of all humankind

So whether in fact or merely in thought
Regardless of what our life journey has wrought
If Hell’s dark spectre still hovers out there
It would be a sensible course if we could aim for elsewhere!

Ken Fisher