Larks and Owls

Larks and Owls

Some claim that humans come in two separate versions
And larks and owls are quite different persons
Up like a lark are those bright early risers
Dark shadows of night spur the owl colonisers

The larks above all are keen to get started
Whatever the task they won’t be diverted
Out of the traps at the very get-go
No plea ever made that they should go slow

But perhaps these larks might be somewhat too keen
On some occasions such speed is obscene
Their speech far too fast, their actions too hasty
They need to slow down for everyone’s safety

Then what of those owls perhaps stirring at dusk?
If wakened too early inclined to be brusque
It’s when shadows lengthen they come into their own
Alert to a world of adventures unknown

Owls work best near the end of the day
In the wee small hours they can still be at play
Unlike larks who by this time long tucked up in bed
Cosy slumber is what they long for instead

Perhaps some jobs suit owls rather than larks
The wrong choice of person would fall short of the mark
An early shift won’t make our larks scowl
The night club disco for our feisty young owl

But please spare a thought for those bright at midday
Neither larks nor owls, perhaps rather halfway
In what we now call core time is when they perform best
And for them early and late hours are rightly for rest

Ken Fisher

 

Black Friday 2021

Black Friday 2021

Black Friday has already dawned
Indeed it seems never to have gone
This mad scramble for bargains
Provokes wrestling matches in shopping malls
And melt-down on computer networks
As search engines and eager bargain-hunters
Hit the town centres and the web browsers

I wonder if this whole exercise has some cathartic purpose?
Pent-up emotions being released in some orgasmic frenzy
But who stirred up the desire in the first place?
Did we harbour some deep repressed longing to buy, buy, buy
Or was it the wiles and blandishments of the advertisers
On behalf of the retailers in their constant quest for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic?

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
The hope is that Friday will produce record-breaking turnover
Shops may be crammed with customers
And the on-line trade will ensure the white-van army
Of delivery agents will shift the goods from anonymous
Warehouses up and down the land, to your door and mine
And we will react in Pavlovian style at the ring on our door bell!

But again this year we are all still under the shadow
Of the dreaded Covid – not just at home but from lands afar
Thus our traditional retailers seem under further threat
Yet this annual rugby scrum of hungry consumers
May still bring comfort to those who our high streets would save
Remind the great shopping public that the internet offers no
Tactile experience as they wrest coveted goods from fellow buyers
Let’s hope it might maintain interest in the whole shopping experience
Heralding a rebirth as we celebrate traditional Nativity

Ken Fisher

Subject to Availability

Subject to Availability

Some things are no longer readily available
And no matter how coveted or desirable
The pandemic introduced restriction
And we must curb unrestrained addiction

‘Subject to availability’ flashes on the screen
As we browse the on-line market scene
No longer be granted instant satisfaction
Disappointment and frustration our reaction

We are obsessed by anticipation
Like Pavlovian dogs yielding salivation
Lured by market sirens so seductive
Any inhibition appears obstructive

For far too long we have come to expect
Our requests no purveyor would reject
So unavailability seems a tame excuse
Our loyal patronage to refuse

But we must learn we have no divine right
To demand that what e’er looms into sight
Might immediately become our manifest possession
No excuse for futile reactive depression

Thus if the object of desire is pro tem unavailable
Or perhaps our aims be totally unachievable
Help us to accept the fact with equanimity
Restore our agitated mind to calm tranquillity

Ken Fisher

 

See also this Poem

T & C’s apply

 

The Suit is an Endangered Garment

The Suit is an Endangered Garment

That favoured garb of office staff
Is now considered really naff
Formal dress is not required
Jeans and T-shirt more admired

In days of yore it was expected
Certain standards were respected
And suits were necessary attire
If approval you would acquire

But as office attendance has declined
For Zoom or Teams suits weren’t designed
Thus casual dress has been conceded
Smart formal suits no longer needed

It depends upon the organisation
And the degree of strong persuasion
But many firms allow casual wear
As long as clients it will not scare!

So all this has meant suits are endangered
Party dress or beachwear favoured
So perhaps this decline in things sartorial
Demands for the suit a two-piece memorial!

Ken Fisher

SPAM

SPAM

[Not the Computer kind]

Not quite described as haute cuisine
In posh restaurants rarely seen
But for me spam’s still a tasty treat
And with all others can compete

It soon became the subject of much chatter
This Scientifically Processed Animal Matter
And despite this rather dubious name
Throughout the war it gained great fame

Jokes about spam were often harsh
As food they thought that it was trash
Now unwanted emails hit the bin
Like the contents of the square spam tin

Despite it all the spam sales grew
Its popularity they can’t subdue
Gaining a world-wide reputation
This porky dish devoured by  nations

The years saw varieties proliferate
As different flavours reached our plate
From classic spam to hot and spicy
Chorizo, Turkey, and Pumpkin pricey

Spam products offer versatility
Long shelf-life, affordability
It can be cooked in various ways
Round the world we sing its praise

Even today in supermarkets
This revered icon excels sales targets
So to all those food snobs disdaining spam
Stretch out your hand and grab a can

Ken Fisher

Face Recognition

Face Recognition

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face”
A famous line from My Fair Lady
You’re in my database
Quite sure, I don’t mean maybe

In the world of digital devices
Without shame or inhibition
Images captured of all shapes and sizes
Snared by face recognition

We’ve entered the realm of biometrics
Machines scanning every feature
Fresh-faced youth or ageing geriatric
It knows what kind of creature

Human faces are apparently
Tremendously diverse
No end to the variety
A featured universe

But how do I know it’s you?
By your familiar countenance
Even the mask I can see through
With one quick furtive glance

With its limitless expressions
From wide smile to harsh grimace
Signs of joy or dark depression
Unspoken on your face

To the world, what face do we display?
Threat or fear or love shining from our eyes
Ready to meet life come what may
Not hidden by disguise

Just as face recognition provides the key
Our devices to unlock
Thus the face I proclaim as me
All barriers might unblock

Ken Fisher

How Was Your Journey?

How Was Your Journey?

How was your journey? The poster asks
As we peep over those tiresome masks
The bus company bosses want to know
Were we happy as we come and go?

In the modern world customer satisfaction
Relates to passenger reaction
So we’re asked to tell them how we feel
Little joy or a splendid deal?

To let them know takes no time at all
Get on-line or give them a call
Did all go well as they expected?
Or little gripes have been detected

One wonders if they pay attention
Listening with apprehension
Do they consider our reply
With joyful cheer or passive sigh?

Perhaps that’s why so few respond
No energy to correspond
We accept the deal that is presented
Conditioned just to be contented

Ken Fisher

 

Wake Up Call

Wake Up Call

You don’t need to be asleep to get a wake up call
Early in the morning, right through to dark nightfall
It’s a metaphor for a message that promptly galvanizes
The significance of which our mind sharply recognises

Like the canary in the coalmine or the flash before the thunder
Wake up calls are warnings that can smash our peace asunder
Just when we thought our lives were quite neatly sorted
Our happiness baby is peremptorily aborted

Wake up calls can come to us in various disguises
And almost every one harbours some surprises
A message from the bank about your account being overdrawn
Informing us their financial support has now been withdrawn

The failure to land a job we thought was in the bag
Our promotion prospects thwarted by this pesky red flag
A routine check at the doctor’s casting doubt upon our health
An unexpected setback which confronts as if by stealth

When you attempt to sell your house at a much inflated price
Lack of interest from buyers could cause much sacrifice
You will then wake up to harsh market fluctuations
Which may put paid to your lofty aspirations

Worse than all of the above is the threat of climate change
For this there is no solution we can easily arrange
From this scary wake up call none can simply hide away
And retreat into the shadows as on glorious Groundhog 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

Whatabout?

Whatabout?

Have you noticed how the unconvinced
Always have to ask – “what about”?
Their scepticism pervades all their thinking
They simply must find some flaw, some snag
Some doubt to cast on the validity
Of any proposal or plan or strategy

Perhaps they think they are being clever
In highlighting some omission or error
Which renders your suggestion untenable
What about the cost? The inconvenience?
The deconstruction of the existing situation?
Have you not considered the stumbling blocks?

Perhaps these naysayers might claim
They are only being prudent
That caution should precede action
That hesitation might be wiser than precipitation
They might even ask the complete showstopper
Whatabout doing nothing instead?

Enterprise is based on taking risks
Agreed that potential dangers should not be overlooked
But if whatabout is worth anything
We should reckon whatabout the failure to act?
Whatabout the missed opportunity?
Should we change the question from whatabout to howabout?

Then we might start living!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

Icon

Icon

You must have noticed how the word ‘icon’ is now much overplayed
In ordinary conversation we seem to hear it almost every day
Historically the word was used to describe a religious work of art
Nowadays it is applied to distinguish some object thus setting it apart

In the digital age icons are used to represent a useful ‘application’
Click on the app’s icon and its functions leap into action
So in this case the icon is a symbol representing a function
The symbol and the routine working in conjunction

Now we seem to have decided that anything exceptional is ‘iconic’
From a well recognized brand name to a modern health tonic
Thus everyday symbols like those for Apple or Dyson
Ensure in our minds a sort of anticipatory frisson

All this is good for the salesmen and marketing gurus
But I wonder if the label ‘icon’ they are inclined to abuse
Indeed we seem to hear the word so often these days
It begins to sound like a meaningless phrase

So perhaps we should give the word icon a rest
In trying to identify what we claim is best
And simply describe what the icon would typify
Instead of using a symbol as some false alibi

Finally, it occurs to me that when the term ‘logo’ is used
Sometimes with icon I get it confused
Companies use logos to symbolize their essence
And icons direct you to their nearer presence!

Ken Fisher

Hi Viz Vest

Hi Viz Vest

If your intention is always to be clearly seen
Not obscured within some devious smokescreen
Then the solution which undoubtedly is best
Is to make sure you’re wearing a Hi Viz Vest

Such a garment is not meant for showing off
Of Health & Safety measures you really must not scoff
The bright yellow colours help in your detection
Therefore providing the necessary protection

Apart from safety, other functions they fulfil
Sometimes they imply you have a certain skill
The uniform provides some guarantee
That on a building site you can be set free

This idea set me wondering if it’s the case
That others might use disguise by donning a face
Of apparent license to seemingly validate
A white coat, a name tag, thus might fabricate

Perhaps we should beware of authority ostensible
To check their badges of power might be quite sensible
Is the parking attendant, even our friendly copper
Simply a phoney acting out a monstrous whopper?

I am sure that most Hi Viz Vest wearers are not trying to deceive
The message of their bright gilets we can surely believe
And uniformed workers of whatever profession
Have aims other than this good life’s suppression

Ken Fisher