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

 

Clocks Go Back Oct 2021

Clocks Go Back Oct 2021

 

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

This year in Glasgow our minds have been distracted
To our city the whole world’s attention is attracted
COP26 will see global leaders now converge
We hope and pray that unity and accord will then emerge

As of Autumn tints and falling leaves we are made aware
Perhaps the commanders of the nations will ensure they all play fair
In their deliberations may they reach a just solution
To tackle rising tides, melting ice, and poisonous pollution

So as now nights darken may we 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

Ken Fisher

 

In relation to COP26 see my poem entitled: COP26

COP26

COP26

Civic Pride and Climate Prospects

The spotlight of the world is on us
Nations’ leaders great pow wow
Facing the looming crisis
Hope of deliverance, but we ask how?

With the passage of the years
Menacing threat draws ever near
Fire and flood and rising tides
And we reply – why should we fear?

Can’t we just kick the can
Down the old proverbial road?
Let the future generations
Fight the tide and bear the load

But that won’t do, our conscience says
Action now as ne’er before
Global strategy throughout this earth
If equilibrium we would restore

Let’s therefore hope the good and great
In this powerful congregation
Find unity of purpose and accord
Resolve and act for earth’s salvation

Thus may the Glasgow convocation
Begin to save this world that we must cherish
Like our own great city’s motto
May our globe then truly flourish

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Our World Our Future

Our World, Our Future

A poem written by my 11-year-old grandson DF

Smoke, children coughing,
People crying, water’s rising.
Pollution, many dying, others ill
Causing the icebergs to not keep still.
Fish being reeled in, like us
when world leaders tell us it’s OK to keep polluting.
Cars speeding at 100 miles per hour
Causing the animals to feel sour
Deforestation, trees fall like oxygen in our air.
And apes look agape
as their homes are destroyed by lumberjacks and foresters
Natural disasters, hurricanes taking your homes, fires taking
Lives.
But wait! I can hear an orchestra of bird song

Singing a song of hope
“We can still do this!”
If we stand together, raise our own voices and speak up –
“This is our world, our future!”

 

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

 

 

 

Equinox  – Autumn 2021

Equinox – Autumn 2021

This astronomical event occurs twice a year
When the plane of the Earth’s equator
Passes through the centre of the Sun
On this day the Sun shines directly on the equator
And day and night are approximately equal

Today is the Autumnal Equinox 2021
And our minds look back to warm summer days
And forward, with some foreboding, to approaching winter
And we are happy to say, for now, not yet!

An Equinox is perhaps a good time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for many blessings
For holidays, and travel, and time for relaxation

As the tint of the leaves turns and they begin
To flutter down to form an ochre carpet
Like the lowering of a flag at the end of a parade
We realise that gradual change must come

But shortening days and lengthening nights
Need not bring somber thoughts
Or fears of nocturnal terrors
‘Cause winter brings its own special charms

Family gatherings round the ‘hearth’
Bonfires and fireworks displays
Trudging home through deepening snow
To celebrate Christmas with those we love

And so we acknowledge the endless
Progression of the calendar
Through equinox to solstice
And solstice to equinox,
And again
An unending gyration

But this year things seem quite different
Covid -19 continues to cast its shadow over all that seemed ‘normal’
Since these previous verses were written
And yet we would remain hopeful
Just as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the Sun
As each season brings its own mood and tenor
Let hope remain, the best is yet to come

Ken Fisher

Kindling

Kindling

Kindling,
Seems like a rather old-fashioned word
Reminiscent of getting the coal fires lit
In days before central heating

Kindling,
Gathering a few sticks
And sometimes cheating by using paper
Or even firelighters to get the campfire burning

Kindling,
Might also be a metaphor
For planting some idea in your head
And providing the spark of stimulus

Kindling,
The promotion of some initiative
Combined with the oxygen of enthusiasm
It might burgeon
Impacting its own sphere

Kindling,
Without it the fire aborts
Tinder may start the fire
But kindling feeds the flames

Ken Fisher

Summer Solstice 2021

Summer Solstice 2021

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
Rejoice again 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

Yet in these years of virus blight
We pray that prospects may turn bright
Gradually those persistent fears subdued
Our hearts once more with hope renewed

Ken Fisher

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality
Sounds rather ominous
That strange name for a strange phenomenon
The shadow cast by the moon
As it shuts out the sun’s light
From striking the earth

This is a Solar Eclipse
And it happens today – 10 June 2021
It actually happens quite often
But total ones apparently only every 400 years!
Then darkness is cast over All the earth

But the idea of Path of Totality
Might be filled with foreboding
Some all-consuming threat
Dark menace encroaching

Totality excludes all else
Brooks no opposition
No rivals admitted
Defies competition

Totality’s path
A solitary track
A one-way route
No turning back

So what else in life
Might Totality imply?
From this exclusive sphere
Would our spirit fly?

Ken Fisher

En Plein Air

En Plein Air

En plein air describes outdoor painting
Famous French artists adopted this style
But not only art has moved into the open
Al fresco dining would all us beguile

The pandemic has taught us how to endure
Elemental forces while our hunger we sate
No rain or shine, icy blast or heat wave
Thwart gratification we eagerly crave

We have learned how to huddle tightly
Together at tables in any courtyard
Social distance breached despite the risk
Quite cavalier of this simple safeguard

All this in expectation of steady progress
When en plein air is no longer commanded
From threatening skies once more protected
Such pretence of comfort swiftly abandoned

Ken Fisher

Snow

Snow

Noiseless in the night
This crystal blanket falls
Carpeting wherever
Without discrimination

Roofs and gardens
Streets and parkland
Trees and plants
Offer no resistance

At first so pristine
Then humanity makes its imprint
Footsteps, tyre tracks, dog paws
Even brand new plastic sledge trails

Eyes screwed up against reflected sunbeams
Dark glasses donned out of season
Bodies enveloped in warm attire
Mufflers and woolly hats with pom poms abound

Children cavort
Parents compete
Snow balls, Snow fights, Snow men [women?]
Igloos and snow forts

A paradise for the young
A hazard zone for the elderly
The young pray that it lasts
The old pray that it melts

Snow will do its own thing!

Ken Fisher