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
‘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

Y O L O – You Only Live Once

YOLO  – You Only Live Once

Unless you believe in reincarnation
Perhaps even in resurrection
‘Life in not a rehearsal’ is what they say
So make the best of each new day

But that sounds fine until we reflect
How much of our life we are free to direct
For most  of our time is already prescribed
The pattern of years quite circumscribed

Society constrains the way we behave
Family duties and work readily enslave
Although these commitments may bring us much joy
The concept of freedom they surely destroy

But if Y O L O is true, and even if not
The notion should certainly prompt the thought
How best can we live out this tenure of years
Yielding contentment rather than tears?

Y O L O seems to exclude any afterlife
Perhaps therefore promote love rather than strife
So why not stick with the Golden Rule
Do to others as you would have them do to you

Ken Fisher

 

Do Grasshoppers Have Low Self-Esteem?

Do Grasshoppers Have Low Self-Esteem?

The Queen’s Speech to Parliament has made it quite clear
Some animals have emotions like pleasure and fear
So a new Bill will in due course be brought into law
Could mean a fine if you squash Fido’s paw

Apparently if your pet has a backbone
Its rights as a creature can’t be overthrown
It’s a sentient being, sometimes happy or sad
If we upset him he’s bound to get mad

This set me wondering if I’d come a cropper
If I was cruel to a resident friendly grasshopper
Would his self-esteem be deeply offended
If I swiped at him while quite undefended

This whole notion raises issues philosophical
Even of categories quite hierarchical
Are some creatures deserving of greater respect?
While others we can quite simply neglect

I wonder if all creatures have an opinion
As king of the jungle or just a mere minion
Does a snake have a grand conceit of herself
Or the hamster abandoned on  the pet shop shelf

Birds of the air and fish of the sea
For legal protection they might have a plea
The problem is to know where to draw the line
At the golden eagle or the sharp porcupine

I’m afraid these limits can’t be clearly defined
I’m content to accept that all humankind
Deserve our respect for their self-esteem
But for slugs don’t send us to jail, that’s much too extreme

One final point about the humble grasshopper
Its jumping performance is quite a show-stopper
It can spring to a height many times its own length
You have admit that must take great strength

Ken Fisher

P E S D – Post Election Stress Disorder

PESD – Post Election Stress Disorder

I am feeling a sense of disorientation
After the polls involving our nation
Many may claim they are so satisfied
Others think they have been sorely tried

Perhaps it depends on your expectations
Your fortunes are subject to fluctuations
Will the future bring you a bed of roses?
Or a much less optimistic prognosis

In Scotland the Nats are filled with glee
An all-tartan future is what they see
But Boris will say that’s no way to go
‘Cause many still want the status quo

The Greens everywhere are feeling proud
Planet saving message shouted loud
And Scottish Greens could well succeed
As Nats to their earnest pleas concede

Tories and Labour maintain second best
No wonder they are feeling stressed
Are their glory days now over?
How long before they can recover

In England it seems the former working masses
Prefer to join the middle classes
Labour Party too remote
No Unions to command their vote

A new breed of Mayors now arising
A phenomenon somewhat surprising
Champions of local fiefdoms they might be
Their vassals wait expectantly

So there we have the overview
Some things the same, but many new
Public marvel at this revamped order
Resisting Post Election Stress Disorder

Ken Fisher