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 hostile 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Informing us their financial support has now been withdrawn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

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

A sojourn in the North
Broadens the mind
From the self-obsessed view
Of the Central Belt

Aberdeen must be distinguished
From the Shire
The City slightly careworn
It’s energy like its oil, degraded

The County offers open fields
And wide horizons
Verdant land and beefy livestock
Earth and sea happily combined

The strand of sunkissed beaches
Busy harbours
Vibrant boatyards
Burgeoning off-shore wind-farms

Country riverside rambles
The gentle ascent of Bennachie
Nature reserves teeming with wild flowers
Myriad Castles, the treasures of Haddo House explored

The Northern  Lights
Shine brightly, not just by solar wind
But by a country and a people
Still confident in life

Ken Fisher

E.S.G.

 

E.S.G. = Environmental, Social, Governance

E.S.G – may not mean much to you
But for companies quite significant
Important issues to consider
Of which they must be vigilant

In this modern woke world
When public much more aware
Of how firms are cherishing
This world for which we care

In the past, profit was the only aim
Must please rapacious shareholders
But what about the hard-pressed workers?
And other worthy stakeholders

For far too long Executive pay unbridled
They claimed huge bonuses, believed they were entitled
Now stakeholders shout ‘Out of Order’
When they create such world disorder

Directors must now consider
The company’s impact on nature
And all in the wider society
Expecting  governance more mature

So rich CEO’s and executives
Can no longer just ignore
The effect of their business activities
On this wide world’s poor

Climate change, pollution, corrupt practices
Have recently been pushed to centre stage
Good governance applied in all their ventures
From discrimination to the living wage

And in order to monitor progress on these measures
Companies coerced to report on these benchmarks
Scrutiny applied by Government and many other parties
Thus E S G become the acclaimed hallmarks

Culture in any organisation
Set by those at the top
But if the moral tone is right
That’s not where it stops

Ken Fisher

Ticking Time Bomb

Ticking Time Bomb

Ticking time bomb, ominous expression
Laden with foreboding
Signalling some impending disaster
Primed with inexorable doom

Who set the clock ticking?
Trigger to delayed destruction
How long the time delay?
Before the inevitable calamity

Too easily we assign ‘time bomb’
To some future assault to health or fortune
As if our actions or omissions
Must lead to inevitable tragedy

Thus politicians and power brokers
Have laid up the powder
For the ineluctable explosion
Heralding the slaughter of the innocents

All this seems a little over-hyped
Threat of ticking time bomb
Used to highlight our folly
Ignoring the supressed peril

So what should be done?
Stride boldly into the minefield
Sever the fuse, eliminate the menace
Or tiptoe through hoping to remain unscathed

Perhaps we might discover
The ticking time bomb
Is a mere chimera
A threat without substance

Ken Fisher

 

Browser

Browser

Your Gateway to the World

 

Before the digital age what was a browser?
A bookworm ensconced in the library shelves
Earnest students somewhat absorbed in themselves
But now a browser is seen as an essential tool
To plumb the depths of a bottomless pool

Of all the ‘bells and whistles’
Your computer may offer
No matter what other charms it may proffer
The browser is the greatest of all these gizmos
Every fact from ocean’s depths to infinite cosmos

Between our enquiry however recondite
In simplest terms the browser aids navigation
As through millions of web pages we seek direction
In microseconds to our obscure questions
A medley of equally arcane suggestions

Browsers have opened the gate to internet usage
And nowadays this space is filled with world-famous names
Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and others make claims
To circle the globe with limitless archives
Without which the tech world could hardly survive

Into the Web Browser the URL you insert
The HTTP sets up the communication to the server
Such codes are a vital necessary precursor
Click and the search engine obeys your command
The world of knowledge accessed, what’er you demand

Ken Fisher

 

Ode to the Banks

Ode to the Banks

A lot of money to the banks is owed
Huge sums from those who have borrowed
So this little ode is such a tribute
To acknowledge what the banks contribute

The banks take money from deposits
Holding it within their closet
Then much of it straight out they send
As we request that they might lend

Of course lending does not come free
Interest charged to you and me
The borrowing rate is somewhat more
The deposit rate is near the floor

In this way a profit’s made
And dividends can thus be paid
But bankers can not be sure
Those borrowers won’t turn poor

If this happens they might default
The transaction grinding to a halt
So before bankers hand us any cash
Must ascertain we won’t be rash

In days of yore the Manager you would meet
Nowadays only computers will you greet
An algorithm on you adjudicates
Digitisation of your fate

The banks do other things than lend
Our monthy payments they will send
And happily receive our pay
Holding it from day to day

Direct Debits, Standing orders kept up to date
Ensuring utility payments avoid being late
Contact cards and others we can swipe
Thanks to that magic magnetic stripe

Credit cards keep us afloat
As good as any old bank note
But this money does not come cheap
Costly spending for our upkeep

Cash machines are still a vital service
When we might need cash for any purpose
And others like to go inside, served at the counter
Where even now the bank staff we encounter

The strategic role of the banks is vital to the nation
With the Bank of England money kept in circulation
With guidance from the Treasury above
All banks work with them hand in glove

Mind you sometimes things go wrong
In the banking crisis some collapsed headlong
It’s then that Joe Public was asked to foot the bill
For all of us a bitter pill

But overall the banks have served us well
For them we shall not yet toll the knell
So for all we owe to the banks, this ode I dedicate
Their worth we ought not underestimate

Ken Fisher

Scrapes and Scratches, Bumps and Dents

Scrapes and Scratches, Bumps and Dents

When your new car suffers a bump or a dent
In your mind it becomes a major event
We know we really should not be so worried
But our pride and joy has somehow been sullied

Fortunately out there are experts galore
Whose websites are keen for you to explore
Offering to restore the car to perfection
Where all defects avoid any detection

But no matter how small the dent seems to you
Other panels, we are told, are affected too
So a tiny scratch or a minor scrape
Incurs a large bill that you cannot escape

So just take care when driving and parking
If unscathed by bumps you would be arriving
And thus you will avoid those scratches and dents
Which to the eye of the beholder can give such offence

Ken Fisher