Flexitarian

Flexitarian

 

What on earth is a flexitarian?
What is the meaning of this neologism
Perhaps I should ask my local librarian
Before my weary brain suffers a paroxysm

Apparently it’s related to our dietary choices
Where the zeitgeist dictates we make radical change
Responding to the many strident voices
Who warn of the fact we can’t stay the same

But it occurs to me this need for flexibility
For other aspects of life might be a wise prescription
Perhaps we should be enhancing our capability
To meet its challenges no matter the description

For instance in employment, the one job for life is gone
Serial careers, like serial marriage, is the modern way
No use hankering for the past, downcast and forlorn
We have to be prepared for living, come what may

Multi-skilling is the message, get it loud and clear
Hone your talents, boost your languishing CV
Step into unknown territory, eschewing all fear
Be ready to become the very best you can be

Go with the flow, catch that tidal wave
Ready for each original movement of trend
In music, or art, cinema or theatre
Ensure that novelty becomes your best friend

To the world of ideas extend your embrace
Let these your prejudices quickly displace
Politics, philosophy, perhaps even faith
In your pliable thinking accord them a place

So just as the flexitarian’s choices in food
Are no longer rigid and tightly constrained
Make open living promote what is good
A lifestyle which therefore is quite unrestrained

Ken Fisher

I Wonder, I Wonder

I Wonder, I Wonder

Have you ever stopped to speculate
Why humans often ruminate
Can’t we be like all other creatures
Where wondering is not a feature?

Do insects spend time trying to guess
Does thinking make a beetle stress?
About the future they have no care
Of politics quite unaware

The fish that glide through deep blue seas
Think nothing of the credit squeeze
Even less of the interest rate
Which makes no difference to their fate

Giraffes and monkeys stay quite composed
Neglecting threats to which they’re exposed
Their minds fixed on the present moment
No worrying thought disturbs enjoyment

So why must we spend time on anxious thought?
Our waking moments often fraught
By concerns for actions in the past
And future fears our mind o’ercast

It’s all because we have to wonder
With thinking, our consciousness encumber
Our minds filled with endless speculation
Our rational reasoning overtaken

Wondering is about imagination
Expanding horizons without limitation
Of new possibilities we become aware
Some will thrill, others scare

Yet we would not lose this wondering skill
Renounce the power to excite or thrill
But use this talent to reflect
Thus enhance the intellect

Ken Fisher

Obscurity Masquerading as Profundity

Obscurity Masquerading as Profundity

At the risk of appearing to be a philistine,
A man ignorant of the difference between
High culture and tasteless vulgarity
I venture to suggest that sometimes
The advocates of refinement in the arts
Might seek to present their case
Enshrined in obscurity masquerading as profundity

Have you ever sat through a classical concert?
Where the cacophony of sound
Became an assault to your ears?
But you nodded enthusiastic agreement
When asked to acknowledge your appreciation
Or, in attending a new exhibition of sculpture
Muffle your laughter at the ludicrous display

Similarly the ballet, although demonstrating
Physical virtuosity, and artistic finesse
Might tax our imagination as to what
We are meant to decipher from the
Intricacies of movement
And nuances of shape and form
Presented for our delectation?

And so I could go on
Paintings selling at million dollar
Price tags. Wrestled over by the mega rich?
Such works would be a credit to any playgroup!
And finally, what about some arcane poetry?
Utterly impenetrable, fundamentally meaningless
But here you are bound to say – what does he know?

Don’t  his verses also come from the nursery?

Ken Fisher

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