Socrates & Dionysus

Socrates & Dionysus

The unexamined life is not worth living
Socrates

To make your life worth living
Let’s have it examined!
Put it to the test
An MOT about me

Check for Virtue
The greatest good in life
The best of all possessions
Happiness guaranteed!

But not quite
Poor Socrates
Indicted for corrupting youth
Exit by the Hemlock door

But for Dionysus no introspection
No MOT needed
The examined life just withers
Under the microscope

Living is life
And life is for living
Be released from the bondage
Of prudence, caution and temperance

So wherein lies the truth?
The philosophers’ favourite poser!
Don’t expect a simple answer
Just get a life – put the examination
On hold

Ken Fisher

Gossip

Gossip

Have you heard the latest…………..?
Wait until you hear this………………
Don’t you just love it
To hear something is amiss

Chimps indulge in grooming
To endear one to the other
Humans like to gossip
Telling tales of one another

The juiciest of gossip
Of faults and indiscretions
Of peccadillos, little lapses
The stuff of true confessions

It’s odd that gossip rarely
Compliments or praises
Says little of kindly deeds
Just scandal that amazes

Doubtless gossip has a purpose
That’s surely not malignant
And the hypocrite within us
Really ought not be indignant

I retail my tittle tattle
And you then reciprocate
Thus we bond together
As chimps might congregate

Ken Fisher

Unsuscribe

Unsubscribe

 

There is a new movie of this name
Which has rapidly shot to fame
It made me think of ‘unsubscribe’
Suggesting that I want to hide

Unsubscribe implies that we belong
And now want to escape from
Perhaps some ‘app’ we thought might do
To help explore a concept new

But as with many of these offers
We get deceived by what they proffer
The free version is a real temptation
Enticed to complete full registration

Then we find the basic model inadequate
To version two we must migrate
Alarmed to find the cost soon escalates
And we need to differentiate

If we take time to calculate
The annual charge a mighty rate
The benefits that would accrue
Far less than all that money due

So at that point if we are wise
Abort the process, unsubscribe
But then we seem to be ensnared
Making us feel really scared

But we must not be caught in a trap
By purveyors of this wondrous ‘app’
To escape, and from the deal thus flee
Hit unsubscribe to set you free!

 

Ken Fisher

The Status of God

The Status of God

Did God create man or man create God?
Believers might think that question is odd
They assert that all that there is, their God did provide
A conspicuous truth that can’t be denied

But others proclaim God is mere man’s construction
Of his fertile mind a brilliant production
By using his vivid imagination
The concept of God granted crystallisation

Of these two approaches to the status of God
Perhaps neither of them fundamentally flawed
One side says God existed ere the beginning of time
Others affirm God is man’s timely creation sublime

The faithful declare that from grace mankind did fall
That apple in Eden convicted us all
But what of the view Adam’s sin is not ours?
An unfair indictment, exploitative power

So if man created God, not the other way round
From original sin’s burden we are freely unbound
Yet if we reject God’s salvation by grace
Standing alone, this hostile world we must face

So perhaps the cynic might say we should hedge our bets
In the hope our choice won’t yield any regrets
To Father God hang on, however opaque
Espousing both the God who is true and the one who is fake

Ken Fisher

Pandemic Poetry

Pandemic Poetry

Verses obsessed by lowering threat
Invisible menace dominates
A world on the pause button
Imagination shackled by social isolation

Writer’s block ensnares the mind
Creativity contained
In the hard carapace
Imposed by Covid-19

What has happened
To humour,
To levity,
To prospects of delight ahead?

Life reduced to
The daily exercise
The weekly shop
The Zoom communion

But let’s hope
The new normal
Be reinstated to the old normal
And we will emerge

From this viral baptism
Appreciative as never before
Of the company of others
And our common humanity

Then poetry be no longer
Subjugated to the contagion
Once again
Thoughts let off the leash

Ken Fisher

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