Think Happy Thoughts!

Think Happy Thoughts

 

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What might be the cure for the doom and gloom
When joy in our hearts fails to find any room?
What can we do to expel doubt and fear
And fill once again our minds with good cheer

Some suggest we might resort to philosophy
To lift us up from the depths of despondency
By thinking great thoughts our minds will improve
Anxious worries may hopefully thus be removed

Other gurus, psychology would then advocate
Our problem’s with thinking and how we relate
The external world to our inner perception
Our concerns and issues are mere self-deception

Theology also should not be ignored
Surely faith’s realm might be duly explored
But perhaps religion might make us feel worse
And prove less of a boon and more of a curse

Positive thinking may yet give us a boost
Thus a happier mood might be quickly induced
Just such a message is proudly displayed
On these T- Shirts which surely might yet some persuade!

But to bring this poem right up to date
When Covid-19 might determine our fate
And happy thoughts may be in short supply
You must just ‘stay at home’ and put life on standby

Ken Fisher

 

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Have you ever heard the sound of silence?
Surely silence is the absence of all sound
But some proclaim that silence of itself can ‘speak’

Perhaps the sullen silence of when you have felt offended
By the harsh words and unkind sentiments of others
No word of defence is offered to this piercing tirade

The sound of silence might be heard
When there is nothing to be said in the
Face of sudden catastrophe or personal tragedy

The sound of silence  broods darkly in the air
In the aftermath of a lover’s tiff
Who will break the silence?  Not me

The sound of silence will resound on the hillside
As we stand awestruck at the beauty of creation
No words can do justice to that grandeur

The sound of silence found in God’s non-answer
To our petitions for the world and for ourselves
Why won’t He speak?   Must we listen out in vain

And yet perhaps silence is sound
As we quietly await a response
From the ether’s muteness
And deep in our heart the silence breaks

Ken Fisher

Why Feel the Need to Put It Right?

Why feel the need to put it right?

“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
   That ever I was born to set it right”
Hamlet – William Shakespeare

 

The world is all at odds and nothing’s right
From poverty to climate change we get it wrong
But why must I alone campaign with all my might
Why can’t I simply learn to play along?

Lambasted day and night by media strident
Eyes and ears assaulted by their calls to arms
With such extreme demands made more defiant
I yearn to dissipate their bogus charms

The time may be out of joint but what of me?
Has time’s passing left me out of touch with life
The modern world’s virtues I refuse to see
All novelty thus fosters angst and  strife

To right all wrongs is that my great ambition?
Are not countless others seeking the common weal
Must I be sole crusader on this conceited mission
No wonder this lost cause lacks all appeal

Ken Fisher

Is Thinking Good or Bad for our Health?

Is thinking good or bad for our health?
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
Hamlet  –  William Shakespeare

As eyelids open and consciousness returns
Befuddled mind once more becomes aware
Of issues, anxious subjects of concern
That burden the fragile soul with care

It is not thinking of itself that brings us harm
But doubts and fears arising from this cogitation
Mere reasoning ought not to spawn alarm
But minds whipped up in angst and agitation

Moments dominated by endless thought
Anxiety o’er past hasty words or foolish deeds
Fear of the future, a battlefield quite fraught
Doubts where the tangled paths might lead

We must set each thought into its context
Past assumptions so quickly become out-dated
Future plans should not our hearts perplex
Only the present should leave us animated

So what e’er comprise our everyday reflection
Let not our thinking the hope of fuller life impair
Flights of fancy amounting to mere speculation
Should not obscure joy abounding everywhere

Ken Fisher

Just As Soon As

“Just as soon as”

Why must we live life with the ever-present thought
Something will happen “just as soon as”
Just as soon as I have completed my education……..
Just as soon as I have got a good degree…………..
Just as soon as I land a rewarding  job……………..
Just as soon as my career progresses……………
Just as soon as I meet the right partner………..
Just as soon as I can afford my first home……..
Just as soon as I start a family………..
Just as soon as the kids grow up and leave home……
Just as soon as my divorce settlement comes through….
Just as soon as I can afford to retire……………
Just as soon as I escape all responsibility for anything…….

So life is a sort of local train chugging relentlessly along
As soon as we reach one station we must head on to the next
Never stepping off to enjoy the pleasures beyond the platform
And then at last, when we have fulfilled the timetable
We stagger towards the terminus – only to hit the buffers
What was that all about? We ask

Ken Fisher

Note: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) viewed the ‘just as soon as’
mentality as the most significant problem of Western Civilisation!
Mainly as a snipe against religion which promised ‘pie in the sky by and by.’

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