Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

 

‘Thus, on the day o’ solemn things, The bell that in the steeple swings To fauld a scaittered faim’ly rings Its walcome screed; An’ just a wee thing nearer brings The quick an’ deid.’

These words from A Lowden Sabbath Morn – R L Stevenson

A long way we have travelled from these epic verses
The strictures of habit and belief cast readily aside
Church bells conveniently muted, sleep left undisturbed
The call to prayer a distant wistful echo in our ears

No longer do we acknowledge preachers’ admonitions
Or the authority of Sessions or Assemblies
Are we on a hand-cart to hell?
Rather than a golden chariot to paradise

But do we care? What of our inexorable progress
From the quick to the dead?  Has fear gone with belief?
Our confident exterior shows no sign of terror
And we fill our secular Sundays with worldly pleasures

And yet, and yet………..
Is there not still  some emptiness in our soul
Amidst the clamour of play and pleasure
Turn down the volume and we may yet hear
The whisper of that Still Small Voice

Ken Fisher

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?

What gain have the workers from their toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race
[Ecclesiastes Ch 3 v 9 & 10 Bible NIV]

Perhaps the life of faith and trust
Is for most of us simply too much
Submission to God’s sovereignty
Great strictures denying  humanity

Sufficient that we do our best
Without accepting His request
To live life by our God obsessed
Each moment by the Lord possessed

Those who labour in God’s garden
Shouldering a mighty burden
Toiling  for some heavenly gain
What earthly joy for all their pain?

And yet a life of dedication
Can provide true compensation
Extending love to one another
God’s face discovered in our brother

Ken Fisher

Punch & Judy Politics

Punch & Judy Politics

While watching a broadcast of Question Time
I wonder if your feelings are the same as mine
Must every session be a confrontation?
Why is there no room for moderation?

Of course politicians alone need not take the blame
Journalists are behaving just the same
Each interview used to debunk and deflower
Strip the MPs of all vestige of power

It seems a pity with so much at stake
Rational argument they seem to forsake
Of course they must not renounce the party line
Whose dogma all wisdom is said to enshrine

But this conviction rules out compromise
Even when events prove it would be wise
The result is that they simply harden their stance
Of rational thinking there is little chance

But in these days when there is no sign of unity
Our leaders should grasp the great opportunity
To draw us together, promote harmonious attempts
Rather than viewing each other with disdain and contempt

So my plea is cancel the Punch & Judy show
Drop dogged devotion to the manifesto
In the public discourse behave with respect
Then our precarious future we might yet protect

Ken Fisher

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

Election Over

Election Over

 

The Euro Election has come and gone
Some are pleased, others forlorn
Brexit party fired a huge barrage
Launched by smiling Nigel Farage

From the EU, Brexit wants us out
We must stay in, the Lib Dems shout
SNP say yes to Europe,  but in UK don’t stay!
Most other parties in complete disarray

The Tories have wasted almost three years
Infighting among their peers
Labour simply prevaricate
And now they’ve left it much too late

The Greens have gained a high profile
Something sure to make them smile
The planet is what they want to save
From a perpetual heat wave

In Europe itself there has been change
Centrist parties hit across the range
Europe’s voters are making different choices
Not a fact in which everyone rejoices

So there we are, the election’s over
New MEP’s will now take over
Who knows how that might make us feel?
Only the future will all reveal

Ken Fisher

Vacancy at Number 10

Vacancy at Number 10

 

There’s a vacancy at Number Ten
Open to women and to men
No need for you to be a snob
Just a Tory, to get this job

The money isn’t really great
Far short of a CA’s rate
Or even of some City clerks
But there are some quite good perks

At the start you get to meet the Queen
This might make your pals turn green
With envy at your new high status
In charge of such power legislative

But you have to toe the party line
Normally that would be fine
But no-one is clear what that’s about
To Europe are we in or out?

Facing the rabble at PM’s question time
Might induce you to commit a crime
On every side the baying mob
Your peace of mind they’re sure to rob

The press are bound to wind you up
And delight if they can trip you up
To them politicians are fair game
Unconcerned whom they defame

Eventually you’ll have no defence
Facing a vote of no confidence
Your promising career evaporated
And at the end humiliated

Having said all this it’s some surprise
So many seem to want the prize
Of occupying Number 10
It truly is beyond my ken!

Ken Fisher

Election Fuddle

Election Fuddle

Does anyone know how I ought to vote?
Hold on while I quickly take a note
Confusion abounds causing me such trouble
Who will release me from this gigantic fuddle?

Our esteemed politicians have not helped one bit
‘For purpose’ they clearly are quite unfit
At one time we thought they might provide a lead
But sadly in that duty they have failed to succeed

Every media debate seems to end in a fight
And the last thing that happens is increasing light
On the issues that concern the whole population
We only feel ever-mounting frustration

For we cannot see a clear road ahead
And conflict and division is so widespread
The prospect of uniting in one common view
The political classes certainly seem to  eschew

If only we could come to any kind of consensus
Some basic core ideas, nothing pretentious
Then we might be able to see the way forward
By which our future affairs may then be ordered

At the heart of it all is that one basic question
If answered we might clear the congestion
Do we leave or stay on in the European Union?
Do we hang on in there or opt for exclusion

The half-way house seems to please very few
Demanding compromise which would surely ensue
So perhaps someone will show how we get out of this bind
And tell us it’s time that we all made up our mind!

So as you come to vote in the impending election
When you finally have to mark your selection
Try to make it clear to the powers that be
Thus from fuddle and fog we might at last be free!

Ken Fisher

 

 

X Marks the Scot

X Marks the Scot

 

X Marks the Scot

 

I saw a chap today quite proudly besporting
A tee shirt indicating whom he seemed to be supporting
But I may be mistaken in making such assumption
Perhaps about his politics I have made a wrong presumption

Emblazoned on his chest like cattle being branded
The saltire sign displayed quite heavy-handed
But that white cross simply marked the spot
Which contained the ample torso of a plucky Scot

For it seems to me that the Nats have no real monopoly
Of what constitutes Scottishness as defined by anthropology
When you are casting your vote X might mark the spot
But surely not the totality of what we mean by Scot

It has been said that a true Scotsman can be identified
By up-skirting him when he wears his kilt with pride
But I doubt if this dubious procedure would really prove conclusive
And in these PC days would be considered most abusive

So the marks of the Scot, of either sex or none
Are not just a flag, however it’s homespun
It’s about an attitude of openness that welcomes all the world
Symbolised in that white cross when our flag’s unfurled

Ken Fisher

 

Anything Can Happen and Probably Will

Anything Can Happen and Probably Will

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Some say that life is full of surprises
Surely that is one of its greatest blessings
Where would we be if every day was predictable
And the element of surprise completely absent?

A heritage radio programme – Take it From Here
Used the catch phrase – anything can happen and ……..
The comedy show then showcased lots of skits
Where the unexpected added spice to the scripts

Mind you, there are those who would prefer a life
Where surprise was kept to a minimum
Perhaps they have lived through too much uncertainty
Their smooth passage interrupted by many incidents

Recently we moved house and are settling in
To our new home.  Quite a stressful transition
We had planned it quite well, but did not escape
Unpredicted collateral damage!

Often the best way of coping with the unexpected
Is to be prepared in advance for eventualities
Then when something springs up it is less of a trial
More an unexpected pleasure, something of serendipity

Sometimes we can deliberately seek out excitement
By exposing ourselves to the unknown, even the dangerous
From a simple mystery tour to a trek into the wilderness
From tourist to pilgrim, to nomad or adventurer

So why don’t we attune our minds to the possibility
That in life anything can happen and probably will
Because things do happen, no matter what
And our reaction may bring us grief or joy

Ken Fisher

 

 

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me
[Fear of Death Disturbs Me]

 

In days of yore when pupils at school were ruled with iron rod
When few would dare to question the reality of God
What might confront us when moved beyond the grave
Rarely could be swept aside, even by the brave

Fear of death was a powerful motivating force
Lest we find that by past deeds we are thereafter cursed
Reflecting on the hereafter would thus our souls perturb
Resolving that our conduct might ne’er God’s rule usurp

Today our mindset has cast aside that shadow
Death’s menace ignored with much bold bravado
Indeed death now rarely accorded even mention
Eternal life apparently the focus of attention

And yet we know that such a view is unrealistic
Life may be longer but still remains naturalistic
Indeed today perhaps our fear is not of death but living
Amidst the challenges of modern life which can be unforgiving

So what might be the Holy Grail, the nostrum for our age?
To help us navigate a course and all our angst assuage
That neither fear of death nor life might carry off our peace
And from all that would disturb we might duly find release

Ken Fisher

Brexit (Decision Time)

Brexit (Decision Time)

Perhaps we should ban the word Brexit
Tell it to head for the exit
For months on end we have discussed it
Everyone of us now quite disgusted!

You expect more of our politicians
Who perform smarter tricks than magicians
Surely they have had time enough to resolve
Manifold problems they had to solve

But we remain in great disarray
Observing with mounting dismay
Internal strife now quite a spectacle
As we marvel at this chaotic debacle

At the referendum the nation gave a decision
But on facts quite devoid of precision
Since then many months have elapsed
Yet we are feeling increasingly trapped

MPs in civil war are engaged
As voices become more enraged
And the public watches on quite aghast
As each other with rhetoric they lambast

The time has come to make up their mind
And without seeming to be unkind
The various factions must learn to concede
That in or out our great UK should succeed

It seems the mood of the nation
Is we have had enough prevarication
Our legislators might get a firm grip
Abandon the pointless brinkmanship

Doubtless this island people will survive
And next week we will still be alive
So let’s make up our minds, fix on one choice
And in either deal or no deal let’s rejoice

Ken Fisher