Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Here’s a thing you did not know
And I assure you that it’s so
Legless turkey is being served
A phenomenon I have observed

As you see from this tasty plate
Who needs legs you might debate?
When stuffing’s there and so’s the meat
With sprouts and roasties, quite complete

It’s just that somehow one does wonder
Has the chef just made a blunder
Or have those legs now gone astray?
Their absence may cause some dismay

However, I really have to claim
Legless turkey tastes the same
And with the trimmings on display
Such a meal will make your day

One final thought about this dish
As we munch together I would wish
Despite not being the real McCoy
This legless bird might still bring joy

Ken Fisher

Hospitality

Hospitality

As we enter the season of advent, with its feverish activity
We hear distant echoes of Bethlehem, home to the nativity
And we compare our modern world of sumptuous hospitality
With the those far off rustic scenes of poverty and frugality

Hospitality given to strangers is a revered ancient tradition
To those who travel, driven on by a  determined mission
Pilgrims, intent on arrival at some holy shrine, their ambition
Travel weary refugees, claiming sanctuary is their petition

Hospitality today has moved far from simply the provision of a home
For Holy Family, shepherds and wise men beneath the celestial dome
In the dazzle of Christmas celebrations light is no longer monochrome
And to join in the fiesta no obligation on us to roam

Hospitality now manifest in food and drink and warmth and friendliness
A congenial welcome, a re-discovery of neighbourliness
An opening of hearts to show the milk of human kindness
So in our celebrations let love be the ever-present witness

But the spirit of advent exceeds mere hospitality
Or modern Christmas fun with tinsel and triviality
In essence it renews the desire for hope and peace and joy and love
Incarnate in that Infant come to mankind from God above

Ken Fisher

 

Light

Light

 

Mysterious alchemy
In its absence
All is darkness
Sight rendered impotent
Unless this radiation
Stimulates our eyes

Sunlight brings
Warmth and illumination
The nurturing of all life

Artificial light
Chases away the darkness
Defying its terrors
Allaying our fears

From guttering candle
To light gantries on stadia
Searchlights and dazzling TV studios

Spot lights, tube lights, headlights, side lights
Torch lights, lamp lights, street lights
Incandescent and fluorescent
Up-lighters, down-lighters
Fairy lights on Christmas trees
All conspire to dominate the gloom

Ancient light
A right to light
not to be obstructed

The speed of light
No matter can exceed

Light

Both wave and particle
The photon a quantum of
The unknowable phenomenon

Ken Fisher

Cautionary Sign

Cautionary Sign

 

A sign that brings us little cheer
Just apprehension, I still fear
It is crumbling at the edges
Like some approaching life’s later stages!

But perhaps this is a message too depressing
Life in old age not all distressing
Hopefully we enjoy the wisdom of the years
And happy memories dispel our tears

Content with the contribution we have made
The roles in life that we have played
In support to family and our friends
Who o’er the years on us depend

We pray for grace to demonstrate
In all of life, however late
The joys that can be ours each day
As we progress along its way

And even as this sign might crumble
Cautioning us to remain humble
It’s not a signal of despair
‘Cause true  hope abounds everywhere

Ken Fisher

Halloween 2017

Halloween [Tuesday 31st October 2017]

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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 ere All Saints’ Day it’s best that we been seen
To welcome visitors e’re so strange on this night of Halloween

Ken Fisher

 

Clocks Go Back 2017

Clocks Go Back [Sunday 29th October 2017]

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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 dark earlier 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

And on Tuesday 31st

Harvest Thanksgiving

Harvest Thanksgiving

I wonder if anyone, other than farmers, gives thanks
For the in-gathering of the harvest?
Yet it is that time of year again when churchgoers
Are reminded to be grateful for the yield of the earth
Perhaps we are so removed from it that pumpkins or pineapples
Flown in from China and Colombia don’t have the same impact

But we do realise that we all have to eat and it doesn’t
Materialize by magic on to supermarket shelves
Like sanitized meat portions of which we decline
To enquire further of their provenance, so too with the
Fruit and vegetables and everything else we consume
Our only thanksgiving is by paying the price demanded

Of course in the background we are aware that
all this is not achieved without multiple efforts –  physical,
logistical, technical and political – perhaps spiritual
if we credit God with any participation
And this may introduce a moral dimension as we consider
Climate change, migrant workers, and fair trade, even Brexit!

Of course our problem is that for most of us
We are remote from ever getting our fingers dirty
By the soil, or raising a sweat by physical labour
Perhaps our greatest suffering is backache caused by
Squinting at computer screens, and frustration
At slow down-load speeds and threats of hacking

And yet economists will tell us that all our efforts
contribute to the national ‘harvest’. Whether simply the classical
Factors of production – land, labour and capital
Or the new ‘knowledge economy’ which seems
To conjure wealth from mere ideas
And in the future will there be thanksgiving for
the robots who will take our work?

Ken Fisher

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

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Autumn’s going, the fallen leaves a trampled carpet on the ground
Emblems of life’s cycle nearing completion, shrivelled, withered, neglected
The naked branches of the trees look down on their abandoned offspring
In dormancy they hibernate awaiting Spring’s promise of new buds

As the years pass, so too with our lives, the fruit of our days
Eventually fades, a forlorn legacy of all our endeavours
The outcome of our activity becomes a clouded memory
The effluxion of time makes history of all our deeds

But we cannot deny this natural process, the eternal round
Of birth and life and ageing and death, eventually oblivion
All we can hope for is that, just as the leaves festooned the trees
So too our labours may have yielded fruit in our own time

Enough therefore that we accept the inevitability of decline
Not losing compassion amidst the passing of the years
And in due time face ageing with a gracious heart
And like fallen leaves accept that in our ‘ending is our beginning’

Ken Fisher

Autumn Fruits

Autumn Fruits

[Newly harvested from our garden]

 

Caressed by raindrops
Chilled by winter frosts
Kissed by sunbeams
Cooled by gentle breezes
Coaxed to maturity

Month by month
From bud to fruit
Bramleys burgeon
Until they can no longer
Defy gravity

And their goodness
Cascades down on us
To titillate the palate
In tasty tarts and
And crunchy apple crumble

Such joy!

Ken Fisher

 

 

September Moon

September Moon

September moon shines brightly in the sky
Heralding that Autumn time is nigh
Harbinger of harvest’s bounteous yield
From farmers’ labours in extensive fields

Moonlight illuminates the ripened crops
Nurtured by sun’s rays and soft raindrops
Then daybreak signals time to gather in
The just reward that their sore efforts win
 

Ken Fisher

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

[Monday 21 August 2017]

As we look up towards the skies
[And don’t forget to shield your eyes]
The moon will block light from the Sun
As its shadow will our globe o’er run

Not everyone will be in shade
So you need not really be afraid
But parts of the U S A
Will find that night replaces day

I think that those who will be in shadow
Won’t miss the daylight they must forego
Because if they observe with care
They might catch the Sun’s coronal glare

I suppose there is a kind of magic
To experience this shade fantastic
And all fear of the dark will be dispersed
As in the gloom they are immersed

Eclipses make us all aware
Of other objects ‘way out there
And just as shadows cross our path
We should not let them prompt our wrath

For the moon’s shadow will progress
Renewed light will its power repress
And in due time the sun’s bright rays
Will penetrate another day

Ken Fisher

Auld Claes and Parritch

Auld Claes and Parritch

 

Like all good things, it must come to an end
And there is no chance that it will extend
I mean those joyous six weeks of school holidays
When all thoughts of work just turn to play

Of course not everyone enjoys the interlude
But for most this break can change our attitude
Free from normal routine with its constraints
Most say that they have no complaints

Globe-trotters will have travelled to sunny shores
Others have found elsewhere to explore
For many it will have given a welcome space
Some new experience, new joys to embrace

Scholars may have studied and learned many facts
Others, perhaps more wisely, just took time to relax
Parents seeking with their kids a closer bond
While free spirits might have been tempted to abscond!

Holidays should have provided time to reflect
On aspects of living we tend to neglect
An opportunity to refocus and plan ahead
These weeks may even have been a watershed

So whatever the outcome of the annual vacation
Exotic overseas adventures or humbler staycation
Whether life enhancing or perhaps even menacing
Its approaching conclusion is often unsettling

But for most of us auld claes and parritch is the diet we face
Perhaps we simply yearn for the commonplace
‘Cause notwithstanding all the excitement and thrill
The ordered life, the common task, does yet fulfil

 

Ken Fisher