Trees

Trees

[A humorous glance at]

Trees.   There they are
But we don’t often think much about them
Not unless there is a mighty gale blowing
And we think one is going to fall on us
Or in a thunderstorm – don’t stand under
One or you might become a lightning conductor!

Trees are woody perennial plants
That have an elongated stem – the trunk
Below the trunk there are roots
Then branches and leaves
Reaching upwards [unless a weeping willow]
Ambitious creatures!

There are myriad different trees
Boy scouts used to learn their names
Then burn bits of them in the campfire
Coniferous – with cones – for Christmas
Deciduous – with leaves that fall
OK for logging and carpentry

When a tree is cut down
You can check its age by the rings!
Similar to an old man’s scrawny neck
[but don’t cut him down]
But mostly we just let trees get
On with life – they do no harm

Children of wealthy families
Can have a tree house
Where they can view their neighbours
From their lofty position
Not just physically
But socially

Trees evidently help the world to breathe
Which right now is especially kind of them
The technical term is photosynthesis
But let’s not worry about that
Simply stop destroying trees
And get planting – they take years to grow!

Apparently trees have lots of other uses
They stabilise the soil
They prevent water run off
They can cool our homes and streets
And if any tree is giving you a headache
Don’t forget aspirin is extracted from trees!

Ken Fisher

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves

Autumn’s gone, the fallen leaves a trampled carpet on the ground
Emblems of a life’s cycle now complete, colours faded, no longer vibrant
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 remains only a withered 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

Equinox – Autumn 2020

Equinox  –  Autumn 2020

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
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 has cast its shadow over all that seemed ‘normal’
When 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

 

 

Is Christmas Cancelled?

Is Christmas Cancelled?

As Autumn days come closer I’m trying to be brave
Ignore ominous warnings of a looming second wave
But this virus is persistent, this fact you must believe
It hangs on tenaciously determined not to leave

Recently we had hoped it might be getting bored
Of menacing all humankind, its options all explored
But regretfully this little beastie refuses to depart
So far all our strategies it can easily outsmart

As week follows week and still the battle rages
Statistics keep confirming just how readily contagious
Covid 19 is a threat to all of life’s enjoyment
To say nothing of the risk to income and employment

Now we are beginning to give thought to Christmastide
Normally a season of goodwill shown nationwide
But are all our festivities to be dampened down this year
As we hide in our bubbles paralysed by fear?

So let’s declare to all the world Christmas won’t be cancelled
The tinsel and decorations are not that easily dismantled
Even if hugs are out we can still show our resistance
By partying, and roistering while maintaining social distance!

Ken Fisher

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