Sin

Sin

 

 

Sin
A curiously old-fashioned word
Perhaps even an antiquated concept
The old adage – it is a Sin to steal a pin!
Who steals pins these days?

Sin
What is it?

Many things is would appear
From peccadillos to mortal offences
Insulting those we should revere
Crimes that merit no defences

Original sin in Eden perpetrated
Mankind’s innocence destroyed
From guilt no longer separated
Gone all goodness unalloyed

Lapses, faults, larceny, transgressions
Falling from grace, short of the mark
Sins of commission and of omission
Slanderous words, the unkind remark

And what of all those Biblical sins?
Lust and pride, envy and greed
Much worse than just a stolen pin
Gluttony, sloth not mere misdeeds

Sin abounds when we are tempted
By this world’s blandishments
Our resistance sorely tested
Disregarding punishment

Life needs sin to give it relish
From virtuous boredom be released
Its grey canvas to embellish
Peppered with impious yeast

Ken Fisher

Modern Job Titles

Modern Job titles

 

I am tempted to say ‘you can’t be serious’!
When I hear of new jobs with titles mysterious
‘Chief Impact Officer’ for our Royal Prince
So lofty a role, it’s bound to convince

I suppose if your’re no longer an HRH
You need something to put ice on your cake
And there is little doubt he’ll consider the fact
That somehow he still needs to make real impact

While trawling articles in the national press
I came across job titles that are bound to impress
But the meaning of these seem rather obscure
What the holders actually do I am quite unsure

I am hoping that someone out there can make clear
The vital role of the new ‘Happiness Engineer’
And if the ‘Brand Warrior’ looms into sight
It does not signify we are in for a fight

Some businesses employ an on-board psychiatrist
But a new version has emerged – the ‘Dream Alchemist’
Corporate fluffery uses different approaches
Providing work for those gurus – ‘Lifestyle Coaches’

Virtue signalling is apparently all the rage
In woke capitalism, the spirit of the age
Hence the departure from jobs with any real work
Demanding graft that really might hurt

Perhaps it’s just me but I like to know what is meant
By a job specification full of puzzlement
The terms should be devoid of opaque illusion
Thus removing  all doubt and confusion

Recruitment agencies must now be creative
Inventing job descriptions quite innovative
Coaxing clients to apply for roles enigmatic
Success only assured to the most charismatic

Ken Fisher

Woke World

Woke World

Woke: definition – Alert to injustice in society

Most might declare that speech should be ‘free’
But how far that should go you might not agree
Should we always consider the feelings of others?
How our words might affect all our sisters and brothers

And not just our words but our actions too
Our deeds that with meaning we therefore imbue
The words of our lips and our bodies’ exertion
Fruits of our efforts, our lives expressing

In recent times the concept of ‘woke’
Strong feelings of injustice now evoke
Not just wrong doings in this present age
But perpetrated by ancestors in our heritage

It seems that colonial conquests in far flung lands
Demand expiation by our modern hands
Historical ventures, voyages to discover
Require our atonement their status to recover

Modern ‘wokists’ alert us to time honoured street names
Derived from eminent citizens who’s worth we acclaimed
Their dark deeds now exposed brings them denigration
Complete overturning of their fine reputation

Politicians, Poets, Pioneers, Knights of the Realm
By their imperialist exploits the earth overwhelmed
Time now to do penance for world domination
Let’s all take the knee, this hubristic nation

We all must learn to be truly humble
Applaud as proud statues made to crumble
Slave traders rightfully vilified
Acknowledge the blood of all who died

Doubtless the intention of the worldwide woke movement
In rampant discrimination to secure much improvement
A worthy ambition in this modern age
But why of times past must there be so much rage?

To reappraise history a worthwhile endeavour
But must we take blame for all evil whenever?
Acknowledge what’s passed is the best we can do
A more honourable path in future pursue

Meantime help to build a world more equitable
Discrimination and prejudice no longer inevitable
Thus the woke movement will eventually achieve
The widespread acclaim that it yearns to receive

Ken Fisher

Gobbledegook

Gobbledegook

No matter how hard I try
To pierce the impenetrable
To fathom the who or why
Make sense of the unintelligible

The problem is language obscure
Using terms utterly recondite
Employed as if quite de jure
But devoid of any clear light

Gobbledegook is a device
Intended to increase prestige
So that when you get any advice
You will acknowledge true expertise

But the problem then seems to be
No matter how many the words
It sheds even less light for me
And you may find it quite absurd

Have you ever tried to make sense
Of a modern job application?
Terms defying all common-sense
No clue to the real occupation

Strategic plans are quite renowned
To result in much obfuscation
In management-speak they abound
‘Road maps’ with a vague destination!

All this clever sleight of hand
Spawned the profession of ‘consultant’
They have developed their own pricey brand
To make jobs for executives now redundant

In the world of the academic
It is vital to be thinking profound
In their lofty submissions polemic
Opacity with mystery compound

In every field jargon seems to triumph
Theology, Astronomy, Medicine, Mathematics
It sounds like some professional alliance
Our ignorance their intended contrivance

It would seem if they simplify
That the layperson might understand
Making sense of that who and that why
The giddy heights they’d no longer command

Thus gobbledegook has proliferated
Plain ideas wrapped up in disguise
Our plea is to be liberated
Then they might open our eyes!

Ken Fisher

Hail to the (new) Chief

Hail to the (new) Chief

 

The trumpet sounds across the pond
Echoes redound far beyond
The world’s eyes focus on the States
As relieved citizens inaugurate

A new regime is ushered in
A different era thus begins
Farewell to number forty-five
Forty-six will surely strive

To bring health amidst so much distress
Renewed concord to express
Bind up the wounds of four years passed
Speeches that would flabbergast

Let the tone be moderation
Action to unite the nations
Amidst a world beset with strife
Policies to enhance all lives

Hail to the Chief on this great day
May you be blessed, come what may
Expectantly the world awaits
Direction from United States

Ken Fisher

What does It Matter – Now?

What Does it Matter – Now?

 

What does it matter if you failed to win prizes
And never achieved even modest success
If your daily life produced no surprises
Few are the assets that you now possess

What does it matter if you gained no promotion
While others soared up to the giddy heights
You’re never aspired to swim the wide ocean
Or with the astronauts take a space flight

What does it matter if your artistic talent
Rarely succeeded the audience to thrill
No masterpiece came from your colour palette
No musical charms from your keyboard skills

What does it matter if you had no literary flair
Writing and poetry not your natural gift
Turgid plots, obscure verses simply made you despair
And to operatic arias you gave short shrift

What does it matter if you struggled with maths
History and geography left you equally cold
Failed to conquer science’s complex paths
And foreign grammar left you appalled

What does it matter if you never were famous
You didn’t progress to a dazzling career
People might claim you were rather aimless
A somewhat boring existence from year to year

Well this litany seems a little depressing
Life does matter, and we all must strive
To make the most of our gifts and our blessings
Above all the gift of this wonderful life

And we should not offer this lame excuse
That nothing matters in life when surely it must
Because we know in our heart that this is the truth
And to defect from that fact is a breach of our trust

Yes, it does matter, as we value each day
The moment provides us the opportunity
In small acts of love, and kind words we say
Together to build true community

And especially now in this pandemic year
As we mourn the loss of a settled past
Grant us the courage to set aside fear
Hold hope in our hearts to remain steadfast

Ken Fisher

Thinking

Thinking

 

Thinking
Blessing or curse, this cerebral faculty?
That power of reasoning
Taking us beyond other sentient beings
Imagination opening vistas of joy
Or reminiscence of past nightmares

Thinking
Granting us the capacity to calculate
To build models of reality in our head
Perception prompting motivation
Cogitation before engagement
Reflection after commitment

Thinking
That power to recall fond memories
Of family life with all its blessings and burdens
Of working life with all its strivings and frustrations
Of social life enhanced by common interest
Of spiritual life and the domain of contemplation

Thinking
Domicile of the theoretical
Habitation of the speculative
Residence of abstract thought
Cathedral for religion
Library for literature

Thinking
The arbiter of mental well-being
The warder of imprisoning phobias
But also the herald of anticipation
The lovers’ beating hearts
Visions of united bliss

Thinking
Blessing or curse, this cerebral faculty?
Vanquished only by dementia or death
In life, no escape from thought
Neither sleep nor meditation
Can purge us of this turbulent force

Ken Fisher

Rhetoric, Spin and Bluff

Rhetoric, Spin and Bluff

Rhetoric, spin and bluff
The stock-in-trade of politicians
Do they really think we will be convinced
By their spurious arguments, distorted statistics
And biodegradable promises of utopia?

It doesn’t seem to matter whether their
Pronouncements are made during the hustings
At the Party Conference, or in a duel on TV
With arrogant political journalists
Determined to draw blood

Why cannot political animals
Ever depart from the Party line?
Are they standing on the brink of deselection
If they were to concede any good in the opposition
Turn their back on received dogma

As Maggie said U turn if you like
“The lady is not for turning”
Thus setting the standard of orthodoxy
Intransigence the greatest virtue
Open mindedness mere surrender

But sometimes ‘events’ are overwhelming
U turns become the necessary fashion
Even di rigueur in times of crisis
And then rhetoric, spin and bluff
Employed in instant justification

Perhaps this sophistry is not
The sole province of parliamentarians
Preachers too, when cornered by the awkward question
Quickly resort to formulaic responses
To justify God’s unexplained absence!

And maybe we are all just the same
We use rhetoric to pump up modest achievements
Spin to explain why you must buy the latest toy or gizmo
And bluff, disguising a brand of white lies
When we are really strangers to the truth

Ken Fisher

God Surprises Earth With Heaven (for Christmas Day 2020)

“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

An Alternate Path – by Oliver Fisher

An Alternate Path by Oliver Fisher

What if some how? Could you see
A different side, of what could be.
A separate road with roots the same
But wind and time have lost its name

And time and choice will testify
This is the path. Its dest-deny
But out afar, on fields of plains
You are playing different games

If I wasn’t so, then you would be
And we would be. If we were so
But I wasn’t and now I am and you are you
I fantasise.

Long lost prophecies, which soothsayers
Swore to be true. But my hands bear the scars of a player, not a winner.
I realise.

Our winding roads may meet again
To tangle and mix and dilute again
For now I forget you exist again
You are you and I am me again.

Remembrance 2020

Remembrance 2020

[Posted on Remembrance Sunday 2020
in an anxious yet hopeful world
facing huge challenges of political uncertainty,
threats from a global pandemic and climate change]

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