Unknown Unknowns

Unknown Unknowns

 

With the latest threat from Covid – Omicron variant
I am not sure if we are in the territory
Of the Unknown Knowns
Or the Unknown Unknowns

We have all grown a little weary
Of the dark menace of the plague
And we were beginning to get to know it
But now are we once again, in the land of the unknown?

We know this latest beastie seems to come with
Unknown features, which may also be unkind
It’s unknown if it is susceptible to a vaccine
And it’s unknown if it is more transmissible

On top of these unknowns which are presently known
I wonder if there are any other unknowns still unknown
Wouldn’t it be great if just a little more can be known?
Changing the unknowns into knowns

One other thing perhaps is still unknown
And that is what will be the reaction of the public at large
Who know what lock-down is like, but what we don’t know
Is will they resist such strictures this time?

It is not of course known how much comfort
All of us can take from all that is now known
From our knowledge of how to respond to a pandemic
But we do already know the effect on the economy
As reflected in plunging stock market prices

The sooner the unknown unknowns
Can be turned into known knowns
The better for us all
But we don’t know how long this might take
Does anyone know?

Ken Fisher

See other Poetry for the Pandemic

Dum Spiro Spero

Dum Spiro Spero

[While I breathe I hope]

A somewhat sombre motto
But while we breathe we can indeed hope
Of course the concern for breath
Has never been far from our mind
Throughout the world-wide pandemic
And the need for hope has coloured
Our thinking and attitudes
But while maintaining breath is one thing
Maintaining hope is quite another
Mind you, without breath we have little hope
But without hope is breath worthwhile?
Yet while we breathe I am reminded
Of the positive attitude embodied
In the sentiment which has sustained us
Namely let’s keep Hoping, Helping and Hinging
Thegither!

Ken Fisher

See that poem here:

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither

 

 

 

Sorry!

Sorry!

Sorry is not always an easy thing to say
Suggesting we might have gone astray
Done something wrong, or missed the mark
Kicked the proverbial ball outside the park

Saying sorry means we apologise
We wonder if this is always wise
Politicians rarely make such confessions
No hint of guilt in their expressions

Perhaps ‘sorry’ is somewhat overused
Leaving others quite bemused
Need we apologise for stepping first
With  others queueing  for the bus?

Some timid people’s whole appearance
Implies a lack of self-assurance
Sorry for their very existence
Pleading they should have kept their distance

On the other hand some will never apologise
Their arrogance more than life-size
They’re always right in their opinion
All life’s affairs are their dominion

Perhaps the middle way is best
Say sorry for things that you have messed
But don’t make life one long apology
Rationing ‘sorrys’ the better policy

Ken Fisher

 

Emotion’s Prisoner

Emotion’s Prisoner

By emotions do you feel imprisoned?
Those passions that incarcerate
Such impulses running uncontrolled
Peace of mind might liberate

Those thoughts that prompt rapid reaction
No time taken for reflection
Imagined threats to our esteem
Deserve greater circumspection

And anger, jealousy, disgust, frustration
All impose a custodial sentence
Paralysis denying mental freedom
Punishment demands repentance

But not all emotions would our soul confine
Love, joy, surprise, amusement, anticipation
Break the bonds, and lift the spirit
Bring blessings prompting acclamation

Sentiment, woven through the warp and weft of thinking
Emotion, hallmark of the human life
Feelings that govern every mood and action
Obsession in elation or in strife

From unwanted thought’s detention
Release our mind’s captivity
Float above preoccupation
Through serene passivity

Ken Fisher

 

Hands-On Philosophy

Hands-On Philosophy

Is there such a thing as
Hands-on Philosophy
Or is it all too airy fairy
Pie in the sky?

Who can make sense
Of the study of the
Fundamental nature of
Knowledge, reality, and existence?

Well that seems to be
The agenda for the
Aspiring philosopher
Mind blowing!

From deep thinkers of the ancient world
Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Every one had got the bottle!

To search for truth and understanding
Make sense of life
And all there is
St Anselm and God thoughts

And on it goes
The panoply of lofty thinkers
Through the Age of Reason
To modern times

In every decade
Philosophers exercised their minds
In wrestling with logic, free will
Happiness and conflict

But was any of this Hands-on?
No doubt it was brain engaging
But just as faith without works
Is said to be dead

So then philosophy
Without application and action
Is mere abstraction
Comfortable navel-gazing

So what, you might say
Can a thing, an idea, an object
Not simply exist for itself?
Surely that’s philosophy

Hands off!

 

Ken Fisher

 

Telescope, Microscope, Horoscope

Telescope, Microscope, Horoscope

 

 

The telescope is a vital tool of cosmologists who would reach for the stars
The microscope the choice of technicians who peer nearer rather than far
The horoscope essential for astrologers predicting forward not back
These wizards are deft at navigating cryptic signs of the zodiac

All these devices are the stock in trade of those who would aim to shed light
On phenomena, not immediately clear to our ordinary sense of sight
The first two of these were designed by applying principles of unalloyed science
More mystical formulae the basis on which astrologers place their reliance

Mind you in earlier years astronomers and astrologers seemed to tread similar paths
But with the passage of time the former gained prestige by flaunting a knowledge of maths
In the meantime the microscope helped speed advances in biology, geology and chemistry
Its magnifying power revealed fine details which hitherto had been a dark mystery

What more can be said about these three types of scope – are they each of equal worth?
There is no dispute on the advances to which the telescope and microscope have given birth
But the dubious horoscope regularly gets an outing in much of our daily press
And there can be little doubt this pseudo-science can a credulous public impress

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Ideas

Ideas

Ideas curated in the library of the mind
Thoughts form the basis of ideas
Ideas expressed in ideologies
About politics, beliefs and moralities

Ideas sometimes formulated into theories
Theories rooted in these notions
Signposting the quest to
Make sense of the world and our life in it

Ideas the platform of the imagination
The launching pad for great endeavours
Ideas the seed bed for ambition
Germinating the genesis of achievement

But ideas are not always benign
Ideas may foster the plot for evil intent
Ideas the planning forum for war or terrorism
Obsessive ideas multiplying, unbridled

Ideas heralding serenity
Ideas provoking despair
Ideas rarely ever neutral
Ideas sometimes best ignored

Yet without ideas there is no vision
Ideas, not merely flights of fancy
Without ideas there is little hope or aspiration
Let action fly on ideas’ wings

Ken Fisher

Does God Mess Up?

Does God Mess Up?

Some would say it’s sacrilege
Others claim poetic privilege
When a songwriter’s lyrics give us a heads up
By asking if even God can mess up?

But if God’s in control of all that happens
In this universe with all its billions of atoms
Then if things have gone wrong who takes the blame
I wonder whose head should hang down in shame?

Is it unfair to blame the Lord of creation
For every ill besetting the nations?
We were taught He is both God and Man
Perhaps like us humans, does the best that He can

But when we cast our wide eyes around
So many situations that do confound
Warfare, disease, disaster unchecked
Surely the mind of God is perplexed

Yet we are told, in Him put your trust
Unflinching belief is really a Must
There is little room for prevarication
True faith demands unswerving conviction

Wouldn’t it be great if the world was just perfect?
All sweetness and light with never a defect
But since the Garden of Eden when things went awry
Perhaps our good God looks on with a sigh

So where are we now, if it’s not too late?
For God and mankind to co-operate
Neither side messing up in this joint endeavour
Human and divine travailling together

Ken Fisher

Bubbles of Certainty

Bubbles of Certainty

 

Doubts assail the troubled mind
Yearns for peace, but cannot find
Longing for a calm safe place
Sheltered from life’s breakneck pace

Uncertainty at every turn
Disquietude we would spurn
Wrapped in our tight cocoon
Unperturbed in our lagoon

Bubbles help us be sure
Held within their round contours
What suddenly confronts our eyes
Heralds no menacing surprise

Bubbles exclude the unfamiliar
Challenges, threats or risks quite similar
Trapped amidst the commonplace
Enveloped in our own safe space

But could bubbles e’er be too restrictive?
Timorous living too prescriptive
Pierce the bubble’s protective skin
A life of freedom might begin

A I B U

 

A I B U?

Am I being Unreasonable?

Am I being unreasonable
When I ask what’s for tea
As I’ve had a large lunch
And a snack will do me

Am I being unreasonable
When I expect you to pay
I coughed up all week
And it’s your turn today

Am I being unreasonable
When I say put on a clean shirt
For the job interview
Surely that’s not going to hurt

Am I being unreasonable
When I say you’re getting fat
It looks to me you’re becoming
A bloated plutocrat!

Am I being unreasonable
When I say it’s my turn to choose
Which TV channel to watch
Without giving excuse

Am I being unreasonable
When I say your hair’s turning grey
We ‘re all getting older
That’s all I say

Am I being unreasonable
In whatever I say
Perhaps I should pipe down
And call it a day!

Ken Fisher

Blue Sky Thinking

Blue Sky Thinking

What on earth is Blue Sky Thinking?
Well, perhaps it’s not on earth at all
Rather it is more above the earth, than on it
High up in the clear blue yonder

Apparently it is a kind of creative brainstorming
The clash of minds sparking off each other
In some glorified group-think session
The hoped-for outcome a scintillating novelty

From the blue sky thinking, innovative visions
Inspirational ideas, novel solutions, ingenious products
Will scatter down in thought showers
To engulf the minds, and stimulate action

I am afraid that to me all this seems like
Management Speak spouted on  the scale of a
Modern day Pentecost –
Tongues wagging uncontrollably

However, all might not be lost
Sometimes we need to lift our eyes
To the blue sky, to penetrate the dull clouds of tedium
And motivate ourselves for daily living

Perhaps as we (hopefully) emerge
from the constraints of the pandemic
The shimmering blue sky will bring
New hope, new life, new beginnings

Ken Fisher

The Tyranny of Positivity

The Tyranny of Positivity

When you feel down, your spirits low
Friends say forget that negativity
A smiling face you need to show
The way of positivity

It matters not what be the cause
Of your deep dark emotion
Dolefulness gains no applause
Forget that wrongful notion

They rarely think what be the hurt
That prompts the heart’s malaise
The issues that so disconcert
Our peace of mind can faze

The world expects a smiling face
Keep calm and carry on!
Positivity you must embrace
No matter what’s foregone

Even when our heart is sinking
Midst angst and endless fear
That power in positive thinking
Will wipe away your tears

So positivity exerts its force tyrannical
The fragile soul yet insensible
Of such strictures puritanical
All weakness reprehensible

Let’s all learn a little toleration
Of those thus stigmatised
That for lack of affirmation
They no longer be chastised

Ken Fisher