Funny Summer

Funny Summer

Funny summer we have had this year
I don’t mean ‘funny’ in the amusing sense
Often these days brought little cheer
To lockdown we offered no defence

Since Spring, a new pattern to our daily living
Past freedoms steadily withdrawn
The rules were rather unrelenting
Prospects left us quite forlorn

Why let this ‘new normal’ dictate our mood?
For much in life we should be grateful
Adversity can still yield good
If to kindness we keep faithful

So throughout these long summer days
When daylight our paths illuminate
We give thanks for God’s abiding grace
Our hearts his spirit might still permeate

So as funny summer slips quietly away
As Autumn beckons have no despair
Confident address each coming day
With hope its challenges forbear

Ken Fisher

The Humble Tomato

The Humble Tomato

Fruit of the vine,
but yielding no wine
Some say it’s a veg
Resplendent in red
Not worth a dispute
Accept it as fruit
Tended with care
The branches thus bear
Kissed by the sun
Sprayed by the gun
In due time the reward
As the plant cedes it hoard
In salads regaled
Its merit revealed
In sauce or as juice
Its vigour let loose
No matter our devotion to the common potato
Its charms far outweighed by the humble tomato

Ken Fisher

 

 

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

*[See my previous poem: Social Kissing – A nightmare at New Year
Archives : Jan 2020]

It may just be that there is something I’m missing
But I’m perplexed by the rules of ‘social kissing’*
And since the lockdown when we must keep our distance
The rule-enforcers have been especially persistent

That hugging and kissing we should surely avoid
Our emotional displays must of these be devoid
But perhaps there’s a change in how we can behave
No longer to those rules should we be a slave

But at a distance of two metres how do we show affection?
While wearing a face mask to stop the infection
And if in only select groups can we ever gather
Not even consorting with one’s mother or father

So let’s hope that as restrictions are gradually lifted
And for chatting to others we will not be convicted
Some have suggested to avoid any trouble
We should stick to  a highly selective bubble

However don’t get carried away in expressing your passion
Maintain due decorum and act with great caution
Ne’er be tempted to kiss babies, just give them a smile
Emotion that’s masked must be your new style

Ken Fisher

Summer Solstice 2020

Summer Solstice 2020

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 this year of virus blight
We pray that prospects may be bright
Gradually those persistent fears subdued
Our hearts once more with hope renewed

Ken Fisher

Let’s Not Lose the Plot!

Let’s Not Lose the Plot!

Plotholders surely don’t want to lose their allotment
Which despite lots of hard work gives them great enjoyment
No matter the season there is always something to do
Useful tasks keep them busy all the year through

There is no fixed pattern, each will do their own thing
And to their site their bright ideas will bring
Some on the land construct an arable farm
Others think an orchard won’t do any harm!

But most plotholders respond to the challenge
To cultivate the earth maintaining a balance
Between flowers, fruit and veg in varieties galore
For immediate consumption or for winter store

Their hut is vital to the plot’s operation
For storage of tools to avoid transportation
But such cabins are useful for purposes social
To provide a gathering space at one’s disposal

Of course we cannot gather due to covid-19
And right now we hanker for what might have been
Meantime our endeavours are a solo act
As we don’t want to risk our respiratory tract

All plotholders want to preserve the environment
Taking into account all the enlightenment
We have received from those with concern for our globe
The warming an equal threat as that nasty microbe

So let’s continue to enjoy the fruits of the earth
And value our plots for all they are worth
And for natures’ gifts we would all give a thought
Whatever befalls let us not lose the plot

Ken Fisher

Spring Equinox 2020

Vernal Equinox

[Friday 20 March 2020]

 

Equinoxes occur 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 Spring Equinox
And our minds look forward to warmer days
And backwards, with gratitude for the receding of winter
We are filled with hope for the months ahead

An Equinox is perhaps an appropriate time to reflect
On all that has been good in life
To give thanks for its many blessings
For health and shelter and for companionship

As the buds form on the trees and plants sprout
Carpeting the land which has lain barren for long
We look forward in anticipation to burgeoning life
In field and tree, in gardens and on hillside

And these days of longer daylight hours
Afford us the chance to escape from our winter burrows
And breathe the more expansive air of the world outside
As our horizons are lifted to a wider vision

Mind you, this year the prospect has been somewhat dimmed
By the coronavirus which has cast a shadow over us all
Let’s hope that the brightening light might be matched by
A lifting of our spirits
And hopes for happier days to come

Ken Fisher

 

 

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