Advent Calendar Makeover

Advent Calendar Makeover

Have you noticed how the Advent Calendar
Has evolved?
Less traditional ‘nativity’
Now involved

Gone are the shepherds
And the sheep
Of the Wise Men
Not a peep

Mary & Joseph gone A W A L
Baby Jesus escaped the stall
Even that twinkling star
No longer seen afar

The modern calendar you will discover
Given a radical makeover
Bethlehem now rarely features
Behind the doors quite different creatures

Each day your taste buds stimulated
Your sweet longings thus are sated
Miniature morsels in confection
Cheeses wrapped into perfection

Jewelled trinkets for the rich
Despite the cost, seem rather kitsch
Wine and spirits for the tippler
Mini biros for the scribbler

For those concerned about their looks
Opening doors in tenterhooks
May find something quite prosthetic
Amidst offerings cosmetic

And so on it goes, those daily treats
From micro gifts to tasty sweets
Until at last on Christmas day
We gasp at this endless array

And then we ask
What’s this all about?
Amidst cheap goodies
Don’t shut love out

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Dum Spiro Spero

Dum Spiro Spero

[While I breathe I hope]

A somewhat sombre motto
But while we breathe we can indeed hope
Of course the concern for breath
Has never been far from our mind
Throughout the world-wide pandemic
And the need for hope has coloured
Our thinking and attitudes
But while maintaining breath is one thing
Maintaining hope is quite another
Mind you, without breath we have little hope
But without hope is breath worthwhile?
Yet while we breathe I am reminded
Of the positive attitude embodied
In the sentiment which has sustained us
Namely let’s keep Hoping, Helping and Hinging
Thegither!

Ken Fisher

See that poem here:

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither

 

 

 

Hands-On Philosophy

Hands-On Philosophy

Is there such a thing as
Hands-on Philosophy
Or is it all too airy fairy
Pie in the sky?

Who can make sense
Of the study of the
Fundamental nature of
Knowledge, reality, and existence?

Well that seems to be
The agenda for the
Aspiring philosopher
Mind blowing!

From deep thinkers of the ancient world
Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Every one had got the bottle!

To search for truth and understanding
Make sense of life
And all there is
St Anselm and God thoughts

And on it goes
The panoply of lofty thinkers
Through the Age of Reason
To modern times

In every decade
Philosophers exercised their minds
In wrestling with logic, free will
Happiness and conflict

But was any of this Hands-on?
No doubt it was brain engaging
But just as faith without works
Is said to be dead

So then philosophy
Without application and action
Is mere abstraction
Comfortable navel-gazing

So what, you might say
Can a thing, an idea, an object
Not simply exist for itself?
Surely that’s philosophy

Hands off!

 

Ken Fisher

 

Anything to Declare?

Anything to Declare?

At Customs Desks there’s no evading
The essential interrogation
No bribery or glib persuasion
Averts our making declaration

Anything you need declare?
Uncompromising stark demand
Accompanied by a piercing stare
Authority’s dogged command

Not only when we’re on the move
Must we readily declare
All covertness remove
Honest intention thus laid bare

Need our life be so transparent
Others have no cause for doubt?
That our motives be apparent
Virtue evident throughout

Our words, our deeds, our whole demeanour
To the world a statement makes
Perceiving from our normal  manner
Judging whether true or fake

When we act as politician, evangelist
Or salesman trying to persuade
For that cause protagonist
Attempts your mistrust to evade

But sometimes there is contradiction
Between the image thus presented
The smiling face portrays a fiction
Concealment of the truth intended

What does your very life declare?
What is the essence that is you?
Perhaps the question’s quite unfair
You’re not a primate in the zoo!

Ken Fisher

Ideas

Ideas

Ideas curated in the library of the mind
Thoughts form the basis of ideas
Ideas expressed in ideologies
About politics, beliefs and moralities

Ideas sometimes formulated into theories
Theories rooted in these notions
Signposting the quest to
Make sense of the world and our life in it

Ideas the platform of the imagination
The launching pad for great endeavours
Ideas the seed bed for ambition
Germinating the genesis of achievement

But ideas are not always benign
Ideas may foster the plot for evil intent
Ideas the planning forum for war or terrorism
Obsessive ideas multiplying, unbridled

Ideas heralding serenity
Ideas provoking despair
Ideas rarely ever neutral
Ideas sometimes best ignored

Yet without ideas there is no vision
Ideas, not merely flights of fancy
Without ideas there is little hope or aspiration
Let action fly on ideas’ wings

Ken Fisher

Wheesht!

Wheesht!

Wheesht! A Scottish injunction urging silence
Wheesht! Sometimes colloquially expressed
As Haud yer Wheesht or hold your tongue!
It’s a verb, a noun, an interjection

How often have we wished that somebody
Would Wheest for a while?
The irritable baby
The whingeing toddler
The hectoring politician
The ranting preacher
The boring lecturer
The nagging wife
The bombastic father
The orgasmic cries of the sports commentator
The loud expressiveness of the over zealous actor

And it’s not only voices we wish would Wheesht
What about?
The thunderous traffic on a main highway
The cacophony of an orchestra wrestling with modern music
The defiant shriek of the flute bands of the Orange Walk
The throbbing of motor bikes at a veteran’s rally
The alarming siren sound of the ambulances and fire engines

But perhaps sometimes we would prefer the opposite
It’s not Wheesht we want it’s welcome sound of any kind
Like
The first words of an infant
The response of a person awakening from a coma
The “I do” at the altar on the Wedding Day
The let me help you – of a loving friend
The good news from a consultant after you MRI scan
The phone call to say – You’ve got the job!

Wheesht when you should but not for ever

Ken Fisher

Does God Mess Up?

Does God Mess Up?

Some would say it’s sacrilege
Others claim poetic privilege
When a songwriter’s lyrics give us a heads up
By asking if even God can mess up?

But if God’s in control of all that happens
In this universe with all its billions of atoms
Then if things have gone wrong who takes the blame
I wonder whose head should hang down in shame?

Is it unfair to blame the Lord of creation
For every ill besetting the nations?
We were taught He is both God and Man
Perhaps like us humans, does the best that He can

But when we cast our wide eyes around
So many situations that do confound
Warfare, disease, disaster unchecked
Surely the mind of God is perplexed

Yet we are told, in Him put your trust
Unflinching belief is really a Must
There is little room for prevarication
True faith demands unswerving conviction

Wouldn’t it be great if the world was just perfect?
All sweetness and light with never a defect
But since the Garden of Eden when things went awry
Perhaps our good God looks on with a sigh

So where are we now, if it’s not too late?
For God and mankind to co-operate
Neither side messing up in this joint endeavour
Human and divine travailling together

Ken Fisher

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Deck Chairs on the Titanic

What can we say to all those doom-mongers
Who keep warning us of impending disaster?

Every significant issue has become an Existential Threat

Let’s list a few:

[many of these seem more menacing than the
4 minute warning which hung over us at
the height of the Cold War in the ‘60s]

A mounting sense of global panic
Of threats which now seem catastrophic
Without doubt Covid’s still out there
And cyber scams seem so unfair
These arise as if by stealth
Draining us of hard earned wealth

What will we do when mineral resources are exhausted?
Our underground banks will then be busted
As water levels rise we’re inundated
Islanders’ future so ill-fated
Greenhouse gases perpetual warning
Of planet earth’s continuing warming

Some even suggest that Artificial Intelligence
Demands that mankind exert due diligence
Digital devices might soon out-smart us all
From supremacy we would fall
Machines henceforth would take control
For human power the bell will toll

From cosmic risks from outer space
Political turmoil between each race
Financial melt-down, hyper inflation
Discontent fomenting angst within a nation
Bioterrorism brings mass destruction
Disorder halting food production

How does this relate to the Titanic chairs?
Such tinkering amidst awesome affairs
What’s the point of mortal action
Yielding such futile reaction
But shifting chairs may signal hope
The human spirit may yet cope

Ken Fisher

 

The Tyranny of Positivity

The Tyranny of Positivity

When you feel down, your spirits low
Friends say forget that negativity
A smiling face you need to show
The way of positivity

It matters not what be the cause
Of your deep dark emotion
Dolefulness gains no applause
Forget that wrongful notion

They rarely think what be the hurt
That prompts the heart’s malaise
The issues that so disconcert
Our peace of mind can faze

The world expects a smiling face
Keep calm and carry on!
Positivity you must embrace
No matter what’s foregone

Even when our heart is sinking
Midst angst and endless fear
That power in positive thinking
Will wipe away your tears

So positivity exerts its force tyrannical
The fragile soul yet insensible
Of such strictures puritanical
All weakness reprehensible

Let’s all learn a little toleration
Of those thus stigmatised
That for lack of affirmation
They no longer be chastised

Ken Fisher

Mountebank

Mountebank

Mountebank is an old-fashioned description
Of a person we might view with some suspicion
Someone to whom the truth is a stranger
Disregarding whoever they might endanger

Yet some mountebanks receive our affection
Despite evident flaws and clear imperfection
In fact it seems their shortcomings and chinks in the armour
Enhance their charisma adding even more glamour!

And now you might ask who these mountebanks are?
I suggest you don’t need to cast your thoughts far
Certain politicians of cabinet rank
Well known for failing to always be frank

Without doubt politics requires the skills of a clown
Able to climb back up when you’ve been knocked down
Political debate filled with confrontation
Every exchange can become altercation

The mountebank is more than a simple buffoon
Whose behaviour will change any time soon
Their jocular manner, bright disposition
Means they achieve wide recognition

Mountebanks exist in other professions
Those holding high office in different vocations
CEO’s, judges, medics, architects, all expert contractors
Many seem to have been trained as comic actors!

So perhaps the mountebank should not be derided
Their eccentric personality not seen as lop-sided
There is no doubt virtue among all the vice
And a little clowning surely adds spice!

Ken Fisher

 

In Real Life

In Real Life

 

In Real Life
I wonder if there is
Any other kind of life?

I read the expression
ILR  ‘In Real Life’
Comparing office life
With WFH
(Working From Home)

Some workers seem to feel
Apprehensive about returning to real life
Will we remember how to interact
With others not framed by a tiny screen?

But apart from Zoom and Teams etc
I wonder how we might be
Living in a manner which is
Not real life

Perhaps our imaginings and dreams
Are not real life
Can we escape real life
To hide in fantasy?

Humans can have a life of the mind
Animals, only to a limited extent
I guess they are trapped in real life
We can enjoy or endure the unreal life

Many say this is the only life we have
That is the real one, the here and now

But surely the life of ideas
Embracing our hopes and fears
Our plans and strategies
Our beliefs and aspirations

Brings both joy and sorrow

A much richer journey

Let’s not Get Real too quickly!

Ken Fisher

 

Fiat Lux

Fiat Lux

[This poem is not about a small top-of-the-range
Italian mini car!]

Let There Be Light

Let there be light was God’s command
Ordained by His almighty hand
In those primordial days He spoke
Within creation’s masterstroke

And ever since the need for light
To bless humanity with sight
Was recognised by all mankind
Illuminating heart and mind

Light to shed on darkest mystery
Understanding gained through history
Of whom we are, how to survive
Sustaining life that we might thrive

From simple crafts and artifacts
Technology embracing facts
Enlightenment shed on our way
Progress the watchword of the day

In modern times let there be light
Penetrating all that would blight
Abounding threats to our welfare
Preventing freedom everywhere

Thus Fiat Lux become our plea
From tyranny that we be free
World poverty, widespread disease
Compassion’s light might bring release

Let light illumine every soul
Rational thought our minds control
The commonweal our deeds promote
Our attitude inspiring hope

Ken Fisher