Social Kissing – a nightmare at New Year

SOCIAL KISSING – A nightmare at New Year

How to handle New Year’s greetings?

Unknown

 

It may just be that there is something I’m missing
But I’m perplexed by the rules about ‘social kissing’
For this without doubt is a real pressing question
And I would be pleased to hear your suggestions

For most of my life we controlled our emotion
Kissing reserved to show real deep devotion
For parents to children or husband to wife
But rarely to others in everyday life

But now that’s all changed and we kiss everyone
And I’m inclined to think it is much overdone
Not just our family or fairly close mates
Or young lovers embracing on their very first dates

No, today it would seem it is quite de rigueur
The habit ‘s almost become like a force majeure
No matter how casual may be the connection
We feel obligated to show our affection

But what is expected, a peck on the cheek?
Perhaps for many that may seem too weak
Go the whole hog, I say with a shrug
And grasp my victim in a mighty bear hug!

Then there’s the problem of which side comes first
Get it wrong and your sore head will need to be nursed
As your nose swipes across your acquaintance’s face
You will try to disguise the emerging grimace

The kiss straight on the lips might indeed satisfy
No doubt a technique that most bounders might try
But for those less red-blooded let’s keep it cool
Anyway, inappropriate kissing might prove you a fool

And now greeting each other in this a New Year
The procedure has assuredly filled me with fear
Back in the day we simply shook hands
Today full-hearted embrace is what custom demands

So where does this leave us, is there no protocol
For modern behaviour – no guidance at all?
Perhaps we should return to the well-tried handshake
And give all this kissing and hugging a break
Ken Fisher

 

[Original idea for this poem from the Daily Telegraph]

At the Threshold of the Year 2020

At the Threshold of the Year 2020

 

Time is sometimes called the Fourth Dimension
Length, breadth and height the other three
But time can fill our hearts with apprehension
No wonder that it’s often said to flee

‘Tempus fugit ‘ we plead as ready-made excuse
When everyday concerns and never-ending cares
A sense of guilt and failure does induce
Our quest for peace and freedom thus impaired

But time cannot be stalled; its steady progress will not falter
It’s march like Roman legions moving ever onward
Along straight roads, their fixed direction does not alter
The army moves in steps that take them ever forward

And so it is that in these dark fading days of late December
As we approach the threshold of yet another year
Thoughts filled with joy and sorrow as we remember
Hopefulness for days ahead but not without our hidden fear

What lies just beyond the gate of this New Year?
We’ve been warned: ‘the past no guide to future performance’
Would life be simpler if the way ahead was clear?
Why do we ever have to seek for reassurance

And this year we have reached the end of the decade
2020 vision implies our sight is sharp and clear
But would such clarity make us afraid
Expectation of the future raising only fear

And so as we peer into the void beyond this New Year’s Day
We simply must accept that unlike length or breadth or height
The realm of time brings with it ‘come what may’
Our prayer remains that faith and hope will bring us light

And so my friend step onward with a steady pace
Give thanks for many blessings in the past
Let love for life and all mankind your heart embrace
And to God’s providence our trust remain steadfast

Ken Fisher

 

 

God Surprises Earth with Heaven (for Christmas Day 2019)

“God surprises earth with heaven
Coming here on Christmas Day”
[Iona Community Carol]

God comes in a surprising way
As we awake on Christmas Day
He comes the gift we don’t expect
No more commanding our respect
We’ve grown world weary, cynical
Incredulous of any miracle
How can the gift of the Christ Child
Make God and man be reconciled?
Only in humble trust and expectation
For pride and conceit make expiation
Grasp the hand from God above
Here below, show forth his love
Thus heaven surprises here on earth
Confounded by an infant’s birth

Ken Fisher

Is Christmas really a time for Wanting?

Is Christmas really a time for Wanting?

Christmas is the time for Wanting
So at first light on Christmas morning
We will find goodies piled ever higher
Treasures to match our heart’s desire

Wanting, the driving force of our demand
The ‘must have’ toy, the glitzy brand
Advertisers lay on constant pressure
Without their wares you’ll have no pleasure

‘Everyone is buying this stuff’
Parents challenged by such bluff
Kids hold your feet to the blazing fire
Your prompt submission they require

Such Wants are given centre stage
Nothing can those demands assuage
Households forced into mounting debt
Approaching advent makes you sweat

But must Christmas only feature Wants?
Gifts, sumptuous meals in restaurants
Must all our Wants be quickly sated
When often we remain frustrated?

And well we know from past experience
Wants acquired make little difference
We thought of the object that we covet
No joy in life if we can’t have it

But that is so far from the truth
Dissatisfaction is the proof
We Want and Want and still Want more
Teach us this yearning to ignore

Our error is only Wanting for ourselves
Such motives thus our thoughts compel
What if we Wanted things for others?
By kindness we could work great wonders

We might then aspire to seek their good
Ensure their needs be understood
And then in actions great or small
Their suffering we might forestall

Wants are part of Christmas living
But of equal merit is the Giving
As we receive with thankful hearts
In generous Giving play our part

So as well as getting this Christmastide
In generous giving let us take pride
That Wants and Needs might coalesce
And mutual joy be thus expressed

Ken Fisher

Winter Solstice 2019

Winter Solstice 2019

The shortest day the longest night
Benighted souls seeking the light
The sun in deepest declination
Darkness shrouds the northern nations

The solstice marks a time of change
From the light we’ve been estranged
For longer days our hearts do yearn
Sunlight surely must return

For in due time by slow progress
Climbing sun will dark suppress
And soon its penetrating rays
Bring lengthening of each day

As the solstice now we mark
Entombed in gloom and shadows dark
Let’s look to brightening days ahead
As returning light becomes widespread

Ken Fisher

Christmas Is Coming 2019

Christmas Is Coming  2019

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

And this year, in the aftermath of the election
What about a goody for those feeling disaffection?

Lots of choices to entertain and amuse
Making it impossible for each of us to choose

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift still unwrapped I fear

The problem for me is you are so very generous
Thus I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
And my thank-youz for them are really little lies

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, even appalled

And how about a faux-fur dressing gown for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

Or this rather sick suggestion about a novel coffin
Called a “wooden onesie” you won’t use it very often!

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
Shops’ catalogues put temptation on every shiny page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

Ken Fisher

Clocks Go Back 2019

Clocks Go Back 2019

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in
In no time at all we will arrive at Halloween
Darkness is descending, as we struggle through the gloom
Look out for the guisers draped in their costume

‘Ere we reach that ‘hallowed’ eve the clocks must be turned back
Between Saturday and Sunday an hour they give us back
For last Spring those same clocks were moved an hour forward
To rectify that change now the movement will be rearward

It seems to me this time of year might make you feel depressed
And sometimes negative feelings can be manifest
Some people think this clock change is the harbinger of doom
And thoughts of hibernation fill their hearts with gloom

But most of us will soon accept the changing of the light
Brighter in the morning, then earlier dark at night
Nothing’s really changed, it’s ourselves who’ve played a trick
Tinkering with the clock hands but letting it still tick

So with the changing of the hour we revert to Greenwich Mean
British Summer Time left behind till Spring’s green shoots are seen
But at least we know now where we are, the timing quite official
No fiddling with the hours of day or night, no changes artificial

Of late there has been even greater pressure
Which amidst Brexit could cause great displeasure
Demands that we align with Europe using single and double BST
Unpopular notion for those who from continental shackles would us free

And this year, if politicians don’t somehow fix it
We are all confronted with impending Brexit!
You may not feel the same as me if we’re about to leave
But any firm decision might prolonged pain relieve

 

Ken Fisher

Climate Change

Climate Change

This is the challenge now we face
Suddenly it’s become a race
Against passing time and rising tide
The threat can no longer be denied

Young folks rise up in alarm
‘Gainst those who downplay the harm
Polar ice continues to melt
Effects around the world are felt

Island strands buffeted by tempests
Little defence against such impacts
Hurricanes wreak devastation
Carnage heaped upon these nations

Some delight in unaccustomed sunshine
But scorching heat is not benign
Forests burn ‘neath rays incessant
While we remain quite acquiescent

But perhaps some sign of hope we can discern
As in loud protest we hear concern
Expressed by thousands on parade
As their urgent warning is relayed

Ken Fisher

Summer Solstice 2019

Summer Solstice 2019

A glimpse of sunshine warms our heart
Flowers and leaves reflect the light
The gentle rays caress our brow
Our lips widen with a smile

For now the daytime stretches out
Filling each hour with gentle light
Dark days of winter long forgot
We rejoice in life outdoors

From this ‘crows nest’ of the year
We scan the horizon fore and aft
Behind, long hours of winter gloom
Then spring pregnant with promise

Ahead the prospect of summer warmth
And autumn’s gold and russet tints
But winter’s spectre lurks beyond
Vaguely threatening summer’s calm

Ken Fisher

Silent Sentinels

Silent Sentinels

 

Silent sentinels strewn across a barren moor
Giant windmills, blades turned towards the flow
Of air which thus provides the driving force
Breath converted into mechanical energy

Human intervention made redundant
In this inanimate workshop in the hills
Unattended machinery, autonomous devices
Whispering their subservience to mankind

Some protest against the presence of these sails
Scarring the skyline by their whitewashed towers
Others claim they are the enemy of birds in flight
Their mighty flails threshing them to early death

Advocates of green energy laud their contribution
To saving the life of our fragile threatened sphere
Renewable resources much more environmentally friendly
Sustainability is the watchword of these zealots

And as arguments rage and debate seethes below
These tall structures quietly spin their magic spell
As long as they have breath their duty to perform
We can live and work and play as they gyrate

Ken Fisher

 

Clocks Go Forward

Clocks Go Forward [Sunday 30 March 2019]

 

The days are getting longer, more light to bring us cheer
Threats of dark stormy winter nights, begin to disappear
Spring has come, our clocks must be advanced
At 2AM we lose an hour that our daylight be enhanced

The loss of that hour surely will be compensated
Afternoon pleasures not so readily truncated
Hobbies and pastimes in the great outdoors
Twilight no longer threatens, more leisure time is ours

As we follow the command that we all now Spring Forward
Just as in October we duly did Fall Backward
Let’s welcome the prospect of summer days ahead
And not regret the loss of one cosy hour in bed

The cycle of the year to our life brings order
Each season occupying its own allotted quarter
The changing of the clock part of that settled plan
Pity they don’t seem to tell our friend the Weatherman!

This year, despite the movement of the clocks Brexit has not advanced
And our politicians continue to wrangle and to rant
Will increased daylight from tomorrow shed more illumination?
And somehow bring consensus to this much fragmented nation

Ken Fisher

The Promise of Spring 2019

The Promise of Spring 2019


[for the vernal equinox]
 
Is it too good to be believed?
Windows still recovering from March gales
When hailstones stung our cheeks
Dark clouds shrouded the lowering sky
New shoots fighting for life
Ground yet sodden by endless rain
At last a brighter dawn emerges
For today is the equinox
A twice-yearly event
When night and day are of equal length
The day when the sun’s centre
Passes through the equator
The promise of more light and warmth
But above all this it is
‘The First Day of Spring’
Creatures stir from hibernation
The rebirth of flora and fauna
Perhaps new hope arises
In our weary souls

KEN FISHER