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

At the Threshold of the Year 2021

At the Threshold of the Year 2021

 

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 move on with trepidation
As 2020 brought challenges unprecedented
In 2021 our hopes rest in an effective vaccination
And that Brexit may not leave us discontented

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 2020)

“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

Winter Solstice with the Great Conjunction 2020

Winter Solstice with the Great Conjunction 2020

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

This year the great conjunction on us may shine
Jupiter and Saturn will close align
As our eye scans space afar
Redolent of Bethlehem’s star

In Covid’s year of 2020
Yet engulfed by gloom aplenty
We pray that with returning light
All our future’s may be bright

Ken Fisher

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Will God be impressed by this method prosaic
With the worshippers aligned in this little mosaic?
Will He incline His ear as we offer our praises
Watching our lips to catch all the phrases

When communal worship is now so constricted
By Covid rules all our freedom restricted
We still feel the need to sing and to pray
Of God’s gift to the world on that first Christmas Day

We recall how at the inn they could find little room
If they could fast forward the Wise Men would Zoom
The Shepherds too need not leave their land
As long as they use fibre-optic broadband

Back to today, what are the faithful to do?
To voice all the old favourites and some that are new
How might we this year lift up our hearts
In communal praises, each playing our part

The answer is that we must just do our best
Aware that God all our efforts will bless
So let’s Zoom all ye faithful, give thanks to our Lord
Assured that on high our song surely is heard

Ken Fisher

Remembrance 2020

Remembrance 2020

[Posted on Remembrance Sunday 2020
in an anxious yet hopeful world
facing huge challenges of political uncertainty,
threats from a global pandemic and climate change]

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Today is a time for remembering
Thinking back to those dark days of war
When life was uncertain for all
And for some, death was an imminent prospect

But few living today have much memory
Of the years of conflict when hostilities raged
And although warfare still encircles the world
Our experience of it is mediated by TV images

And yet we have an uncomfortable feeling
That despite efforts to unite the nations
There is a persistent climate of arm-wrestling
Between the great powers who eyeball each other

The Cold War brought with it the four-minute-warning
Not long to compose our minds for oblivion!
But presently, although we hope our future might stretch for decades,
We cannot quite eliminate the nagging uncertainty for our destiny

However, for today, we give thanks
For all those who bought our freedom
And pledge to strive to maintain
Such fragile peace as we possess

Ken Fisher

Halloween – 2020

Halloween [Saturday 31 Oct 2020]

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Trick or Treat I hear them ask – what should I reply?
As on the threshold of my door the guisers I espy
To ward them off I pay their price as if it were a ransom
With fruits and sweets and even nuts a gift that I thought handsome

But before I let my ‘guests’ depart I ask them in return
What entertainment will they provide, what act will they perform?
It is in times like these I find that suddenly they’re silent
Unable to convince me that Britain has still Got Talent!

However, eventually together they muster up some courage
One even recites a bawdy poem – not really with much flourish
Two more play on the ‘air guitar’ a stimulating riff
While others mouth imagined lyrics, standing there quite stiff

The performance duly over towards the door they shuffle
And in sharing out the Treats try to avoid a scuffle
It was then I notice their costumes quite exotic
Theatrical to say the least – some even psychedelic

These young celebrants in this ancient hallowed festival
Of evil spirits, ghosts and some things quite heretical
Are really just out to have fun with all their many friends
And despite their spooky garb they bring no ill intent

So when our doorbell rings with the challenge ‘Trick or Treat’?
Let’s welcome them with open heart – and with a smile do greet
‘Cause on the eve of All Saints’ Day it’s best that we been seen
To welcome visitors e’re so strange on this night of Halloween

But in this year of the ‘plague’ guising’s quite a task
How do you perform when your face is covered by that pesky mask?
Yet let’s not spurn all visitors amidst  threatening pandemic
Try not to make your welcome seem quite so anaemic!

Ken Fisher