Atoms Who Think About Atoms

Atoms Who Think About Atoms

How do humans differ from all else there is?
A rather tricky question if presented in a quiz
For in so many ways this two-legged animal
Is to all created things really quite compatible

Apparently everything there is is made of tiny particles
Things like rocks and trees and every kind of article
Metals and gases, fluids, cloth and chocolate bars
Packed tight with minute atoms no matter what they are

Everything in the world that we can recognize
Things in the depth of oceans or high up in the skies
Are neatly ordered atoms that we call molecules
That interact together following set rules

So objects inanimate like plastic and also things that live
Are all comprised of atoms extremely dominutive
But despite their throbbing nucleus they do not seem to think
And you won’t find a bright idea in cold custard or in zink

If we are looking for atoms which are capable of thought
It has to be homo sapiens who has risen to the top
Embedded in their cranium pulsates their wondrous brain
Inside this organ we find the realm of thought’s domain

And what do these human creatures think on most of all?
They wrestle with life’s mysteries in issues great and small
An endless quest to understand what other atoms do
Standing on giants’ shoulders to discover something new

Ken Fisher

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do You Ever Wonder?

 

Do you ever wonder if your Mum and Dad had never met
Would non-existence make you feel upset?
But they did meet and they got together
So little point in any wondering whether

Do you ever wonder if you had lived elsewhere
Would your life have been a quite different affair?
But you exist when and where your life was lived
And despite or because, you seem to have survived

Do you ever wonder about your education
Should you have had greater aspirations?
But you did your best with the chances that you had
Nonetheless it proved a steady launching pad

Do you ever wonder about your chosen career
Did it allow any hidden talents to appear?
In due time you had the chance to blossom
So your contribution may not simply be forgotten

Do ever wonder if you were a good husband/wife
Would you be faithful throughout all of life?
But you showed that by your loving concern and care
Loyalty brings its own reward as you travel life’s diverse ways

Do you ever wonder if your life has any meaning
A purpose behind all your doing and dealing?
Surely your investment in the service of your friends
Did yield for all a living dividend

Do you ever wonder if you would be missed
If from life’s stage you were suddenly dismissed?
Each and every one of us will have played our part
The loss of any player brings a void in the collective heart

Ken Fisher

Hell Still Hovers

Hell Still Hovers

 

It has been stated that someone very high up
Has claimed that Hell’s time is virtually up
I don’t know where he got that idea
I wish it were true, but it’s wrong I fear

We are all quite happy that Heaven exists
And if Hell were gone it might not be missed
But it was handy to have a fiery sin bin
Where lifetime baddies their strife might begin

Thoughts of Hell remind us all we must behave
And never to vices should we become slave
Dante famously journeys through darkest Hell
Midst many trials ere he could bid it farewell

Jean Paul Sartre declared that Hell is really others
A somewhat low opinion of our sisters and brothers
But perhaps we too make hell for all those around
Less paradiso, more battleground

If Hell is abolished what of purgatory?
Where souls might rest while still transitory
No need for our prayers to aid early release
Subjected no more to the Church’s caprice

But does all this mean Hell cannot be real?
And Heaven is surely the only Big Deal
Perhaps both of these places exist in the mind
In the rich imagination of all humankind

So whether in fact or merely in thought
Regardless of what our life journey has wrought
If Hell’s dark spectre still hovers out there
It would be a sensible course if we could aim for elsewhere!

Ken Fisher

Good Books for Our Companions

Good Books for our Companions

 

‘Take good books for your companions’ – helpful advice
Given by a friend commending the value of reading
Companions who can transport us into paradise
As in imagination we find our mind engaging

The world of books extends without constraint
The primary division being  fiction and non-fiction
Within these two, the range knows no restraint
Beyond all that’s needed to meet every aspiration

Fiction books are works of the imagination
The creation of the author who would tell a story
In novels a plot is woven full of complication
In time denouement resolves it in all its glory

Fiction is an extensive genre of writing
Romance, mystery, poetry,  even horror
Creativity challenging and exciting
Stirring emotions of joy or even terror

Non-fiction advances more serious companions
These books are primarily works of hard fact
Expounding some theory but rarely without passion
Their intention is didactic or to show us how to act

Non-fiction writing seems to know no bounds
Every sphere of knowledge comes within its compass
Thus expert authors will on their field expound
Utilised for study at home, in school, wherever on the campus

Libraries are the reservoir of endless stocks of books
Fiction and non-fiction occupy their ample shelves
Read biography, history, or instructions how to cook
Dictionaries or travel guides and all kinds of self-help

Crime writing and mystery we can easily access
Suggestions as to how you might improve your health
Even audio-books to make our language skills progress
And investment manuals promising great wealth

Of course in the modern age print books are under threat
By computer versions we can easily download
But the libraries have learned their bets to hedge
By importing the hardware they can become a node

In a literate world books are spawned in great profusion
Creativity abounds without limit or reserve
But the market wallows in confusion
As traditional sellers attempt their share to conserve

Anyway, no matter where you seek out your reading choices
There is no doubt that good companions they will prove to be
As you imbibe the precious written words, the authors’ voices
You will discover the power of literature to set your spirit free

Ken Fisher

Buy NONE Get One Free

Buy NONE Get One Free

Never mind those offers that say ‘Buy One Get One Free!’
Here’s something better which you really have to see
In this case you are placed under no real obligation
To entitle you to claim your free remuneration

Most of us are cynics and find it hard to believe
It sounds as if someone seeks the public to deceive
In these hard times surely we can get zilch for nothing
Clearly we expect to pay in return for something

In the tough world of commerce all things have their price
And often to acquire them we must sacrifice
It may take a lifetime for us to acquire
The countless cravings which are now our heart’s desire

Perhaps that is the problem, the endless stream of wants
We try to suppress them but still our mind they haunt
Of course we must strive our daily life to sustain
And those of our dependents we also must maintain

And thus the quest to maximize our gain
Achieve satisfaction yet minimize the pain
So what is this gift that comes completely free
No necessary purchase, no expensive fee?

Well the answer comes from an unlikely source
One perhaps long forgotten along life’s winding course
At the heart of the Bible’s message, God’s grace is offered free
This is the saving power quite free to you and me

Like me, you may think this an old fashioned claim to make
Maybe you’re too case-hardened this free offer to take
But perhaps we simply need to learn to accept it at its word
And in trust we may discover that it’s really not absurd

Ken Fisher

 

See Also: BOGOF

 

Christmas Gifts (2017)

Christmas Gifts (2017)

The Three Wise Men – is it them we should blame?
For starting this craze which can drive us insane
Each Christmas demands that we spend so much cash
As in our giving we are ever more rash

We know that it’s time that we all took a stance
And tried to control this needless expense
But somehow it seems we cannot reduce
As the desire to give still seems to seduce

We feel that it’s good to be kind to our friends
So to one and all our largesse extends
But we know that deep down their love can’t be bought
And much reckless spending is really for nought

And now it is easier than ever to spend
As some claim on-line shopping is such a godsend
But the real gift of God was his only Son
Who come down to our world, a gift to each one

So why don’t we reflect as did those Wise Men
Who sought out the Infant in far Bethlehem?
That gifts are mere symbols of their adoration
As to that Baby they bent in prostration

Now, as long ago, we need only one gift
As we too our faces to Jesus uplift
Just hearts filled with love for God and for man
Reflecting that glory whenever we can

Ken Fisher

 

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

A Christmas Carol for Party People [2017]

[A new version of a poem posted at Christmas time in the last two years]

[Sing this to the tune of ‘Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown’]

We left God alone with his throne and his crown
For we had little time to spare
We were too busy spending our hard earned cash
Buying gifts and grooming our hair
For it’s party time and let’s just be rash
As we’re all heading off to town

But then someone reminds us of that stable bare
With the Holy Child in the manger
And the ox and ass and wise men three
Then we thought of those living in danger
The sick and the poor and the refugee
And all those deserving our care

So that Baby of old and the twinkling star
Tells of God’s great love which came
Into the world to save souls in their need
By kindling that tender flame
So come dear Lord wipe out all our greed
With the warmth from that stable afar

God never says no when we celebrate
He is happy to rejoice with us all
So give thanks to God who loves each of us
He too will come to the ball
So come dear Lord, we won’t make a fuss
As again you with us incarnate

Ken Fisher

The Bible – A Guide to Life?

The Bible – A Guide to Life?

[A sonnet]

 

What is this tome revered from ancient days?
The story of mankind from Eden’s primal dawn
Law given to the tribes to guide them in their ways
God’s presence near at hand, at times withdrawn
Lives of Kings and patriots, prophets even slaves
Warfare, division and internecine strife
Trials by famine, pestilence and plague
Under God’s burning sun they lived out life
Tales of heroes, giant killers, suffering servants
We discover all that reflects humanity’s condition
Flawed leaders, faithful women, righteous peasants
God’s provision, eternal love, abiding protection
In testaments old and new His dealings are revealed
Breach between creator and created is thus healed

Ken Fisher

History

History – ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’

It was apparently Henry Ford who sagely declared
That “History was just one damned thing after another”
And I don’t think there is any way we can refute that
Because we think of history as moving with time

At school we were sometimes told that Geography is about Maps
And History was about Chaps
(Ignoring the enormous contribution of the female sex)
Anyway History is generally expressed as a reflexion of  peoples’ lives

Of course the timespan of human existence in terms of
The whole history of  the earth is limited to perhaps
About 200,000 years, and we don’t know much
Of the story of the very earliest chaps

But nonetheless it is a long time from 200,000 years ago
To our present day – a very large historical tome
would be needed to tell that story
And perhaps a little boring – let’s try it on Facebook!

But what did Henry Ford mean by just one damned thing?
It sounds as if he had a troublesome life
Well he was a brilliant engineering innovator
And his problems were more with the unions than engines

Anyway Ford, in using the epithet about History
Seems to me to have succinctly summed up
The nature of life and living down the centuries
Never easy for the human spirit, but triumphing through it all

But I wonder if we ourselves would put such a negative judgment
on our view of history. Some might prefer to say it was the constant
march of progress* down the years from the darkness of ignorance
and superstition to the light of knowledge and rationality

But this seems to overlook an endless succession of really damnable things!

Ken Fisher

  • Interestingly, I read that Marx took from Hegel the sense that
    progress is inevitable, and that history has a pattern and is 
    not just one thing after another.

Remembrance 2017

Remembrance 2017

A similar poem was posted at this time last year.
We hope that despite the restlessness among the nations
 we might still remain grateful for the past and
optimistic about the future
P1040594

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

Revolution [On the centennial of the Russian Revolution 1917]

Revolution

Today marks the centennial of the end of the
Russian Revolution – November 7th 1917

 When we sit cosily at home with our tea and scone
It seems incredible that peace might be overthrown
And in a world where communication is so all pervasive
Where words rather than weapons might be persuasive

Revolution implies the forcible ousting of government
By those who demand a new empowerment
That the existing order of society be cast aside
Usurped by a sea-change taken at high tide

Countries great and small lived through revolution
Accompanied by bloodshed and much persecution
In France, America, Cuba, and nation states world wide
Sometimes united in the cause, often fraught by genocide

Even today the  modern world of nations remains fractious
Made unstable by nationalism and diverse political factions
While adherence to religion still exerts a powerful force
Sometimes engendering unity, at others internecine divorce

So while we recall historic events of those days long past
Our plea is that our own fragile peace might last
That somehow the peoples of our divided lands
Might reach out to one another with open hands

It should not be beyond our wit to achieve an abiding solution
Which avoids the last resort of bloody revolution
That justice and equity be achieved without upheaval
A fairer society where all are treated equal

Ken Fisher

As a Revolutionary, Guy Fawkes was Relatively Tame (2017 version)

As a Revolutionary Guy Fawkes Was Relatively Tame!

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Who can doubt the treachery of Guy Fawkes in days of yore
As audacious as any revolt that had come before
To kill King James and those then sitting in Parliament
Was the purpose on which these bold plotters were bent

But the plotters were ‘foxed’ when the cellars were checked
And their malicious intentions did not go unchecked
Thus failed the plan to divert history’s direction
With the death of those who foment disaffection

Fast forward from those events of 1605
The desire for reform is still much alive
Perhaps gunpowder no longer the agent of change
Other forces at play can  our lives rearrange

Politics, the modern weapon whereby changes are wrought
Citizens express their desires through the ballot box
So elections now ignite the volatile spark
Resulting in changes that may be quite stark

The referenda can trigger demands quite explosive
As feelings are stirred making tempers emotive
Demands for freedom from the yoke of the oppressor
Those perceived of our rights to have been the transgressor

And so on the  European Question there was little doubt
Deeply divided opinion on whether IN or OUT
Brexit is bound to bring far-reaching change
Who yet knows if these will be losses or gains?

While at this time of year Guy Fawkes may be fondly recalled
By contemporary scandals we are not quite so enthralled!
But one thing is sure, changes will come, and we’ll have to cope
So keep your powder dry and don’t give up hope

It is odd to reflect that the prestige of Westminster
May be tarnished by the new sobriquet ‘sexminster’
Let’s hope MPs can revert to propriety
And I don’t simply mean maintaining sobriety!

Ken Fisher