Why Feel the Need to Put It Right?

Why feel the need to put it right?

“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
   That ever I was born to set it right”
Hamlet – William Shakespeare

 

The world is all at odds and nothing’s right
From poverty to climate change we get it wrong
But why must I alone campaign with all my might
Why can’t I simply learn to play along?

Lambasted day and night by media strident
Eyes and ears assaulted by their calls to arms
With such extreme demands made more defiant
I yearn to dissipate their bogus charms

The time may be out of joint but what of me?
Has time’s passing left me out of touch with life
The modern world’s virtues I refuse to see
All novelty thus fosters angst and  strife

To right all wrongs is that my great ambition?
Are not countless others seeking the common weal
Must I be sole crusader on this conceited mission
No wonder this lost cause lacks all appeal

Ken Fisher

Is Thinking Good or Bad for our Health?

Is thinking good or bad for our health?
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
Hamlet  –  William Shakespeare

As eyelids open and consciousness returns
Befuddled mind once more becomes aware
Of issues, anxious subjects of concern
That burden the fragile soul with care

It is not thinking of itself that brings us harm
But doubts and fears arising from this cogitation
Mere reasoning ought not to spawn alarm
But minds whipped up in angst and agitation

Moments dominated by endless thought
Anxiety o’er past hasty words or foolish deeds
Fear of the future, a battlefield quite fraught
Doubts where the tangled paths might lead

We must set each thought into its context
Past assumptions so quickly become out-dated
Future plans should not our hearts perplex
Only the present should leave us animated

So what e’er comprise our everyday reflection
Let not our thinking the hope of fuller life impair
Flights of fancy amounting to mere speculation
Should not obscure joy abounding everywhere

Ken Fisher

Brexit Day

Brexit Day

No doubt some will shout bravo!
But others do not want to go
47 years the full duration
UK as one Euro nation

Freedom regained some will claim
But many think it is a shame
To break the bonds of these long years
And surely they will shed a tear

The pros and cons are balanced finely
Divorce will not be gained benignly
But from Brussels rule we will be free
The Eurosceptics wish to flee

But what of solidarity with others?
Continental sisters, brothers
Surely we can still be friends
When formal Union meets its end

Ken Fisher

Just As Soon As

“Just as soon as”

Why must we live life with the ever-present thought
Something will happen “just as soon as”
Just as soon as I have completed my education……..
Just as soon as I have got a good degree…………..
Just as soon as I land a rewarding  job……………..
Just as soon as my career progresses……………
Just as soon as I meet the right partner………..
Just as soon as I can afford my first home……..
Just as soon as I start a family………..
Just as soon as the kids grow up and leave home……
Just as soon as my divorce settlement comes through….
Just as soon as I can afford to retire……………
Just as soon as I escape all responsibility for anything…….

So life is a sort of local train chugging relentlessly along
As soon as we reach one station we must head on to the next
Never stepping off to enjoy the pleasures beyond the platform
And then at last, when we have fulfilled the timetable
We stagger towards the terminus – only to hit the buffers
What was that all about? We ask

Ken Fisher

Note: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) viewed the ‘just as soon as’
mentality as the most significant problem of Western Civilisation!
Mainly as a snipe against religion which promised ‘pie in the sky by and by.’

Existential Threat

Existential Threat

It is the season of year when thoughts become reflection
The darkness of the days shrouding our hearts in gloom
Musing over life’s purposes in maudlin introspection
A frame of mind where good cheer finds little room

At this time pundits give their prognostications
Experts on the media offer up predictions
What challenges and threats will face the nations
But what is fact and what mere speculation?

This New Year the future may seem bleak indeed
Ominous forecasts of the effects of climate change
Our confidence and hope now rapidly recedes
A dark and fear-filled abyss offered in exchange

Melting ice, rising tides, infernos fiercely blazing
Islands swamped, tornados wreak destruction
Forest fires whole communities thus razing
Advancing flames defeating all obstructions

And other threats to settled life, even our existence
Skulk on the landscape whose horizon we now scan
Consciousness filled with angst at their staunch persistence
Against the life of every woman and of man

From whence comes these other threats existential?
We thought the Cold War had become past history
But nuclear war by accident or design is once more potential
Led by zealots or by fools, determined to seek victory

Cyber crime has suddenly become a feature of our life
In times past straightforward fraud was for us sufficient
But nowadays not just theft but social media strife
Executed by perpetrators highly efficient

Centuries ago Rev Thomas Malthus warned of expanding population
He claimed that too many people would lead only to starvation
In modern times, family sizes fell in industrial nations
But elsewhere in our world today we see no limit on creation

And rightfully, many people aspire to improve the quality of living
So they seek refuge in other lands to find a better way
In this endeavour they face dangers unforgiving
The desire of their heart may never see the light of day

All this presents an outlook that offers little cheer
Is there no nostrum that might this angst assuage?
Must our hearts be filled with anxiety and fear
What remedy or cure might our minds persuade?

I think the best thought I can offer is that we must not despair
Trust in the human spirit that goodness might prevail
That collectively for each-other we might truly care
As on these global problems together we assail

Ken Fisher

God Surprises Earth with Heaven (for Christmas Day 2019)

“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

Santa’s Not Coming 2019

Santa’s NOT Coming

 

Santa’s not coming, I told you so
Reindeer and sledge will no longer go
He’s giving this year a body swerve
No present for us as we don’t really deserve

Like naughty children we have misbehaved
For this we can’t escape quite unscathed
During the year so much has gone wrong
And Santa’s not willing to just play along

The whole Brexit business is quite a disgrace
And from this debacle we’ll never save face
Politics has got us into such a tangle
As with fellow Europeans we endlessly wrangle

But now Boris has won we can steer a new course
The Tories returned in much greater force
But whether this means that we’ve lost many friends
Or does the whole fiasco not make any sense?

Then there is climate change which we tend to neglect
As with drought, flood and tempest we are now beset
But sooner or later we will need to take action
As melting snow and burning sun brings a reaction

Of course many think that we are doing just fine
And ask why the world’s problems are deemed to be mine?
If jobs are lost and people are on their beam ends
Surely they can call up a favour from friends

It’s a pity about the beggar on our local street
As he crouches despondent just at our feet
As we avoid eye contact and pretend he’s not there
We simply shrug and say “the world is unfair”

So I don’t see why Santa should go off in a huff
And punish us for all this nasty stuff
Why spoil Christmas, the time of good cheer
When we’ve all been so good throughout the past year!

Why is Santa not coming, it’s surely unfair
Do we have for others a ‘duty of care’?
Perhaps he will return if we stop to reflect
And then in love with others fondly connect

Ken Fisher

 

The Fever Has Abated

The Fever Has Abated

[Sequel to my earlier Poem – Election Fever]

Election fever has abated
Many pleased, some frustrated
The people made their choice
Some weep, some rejoice

Goodbye to Europe is the cry
Rule Britannia, do or die
But Scotland demands to break the Union
With the English cease communion

Is the future much more clear?
Is there nothing more to fear?
Seems no end to politicking
By ‘events’ we’ll still be stricken

Ken Fisher

Election Fever

Election Fever

On the eve of the election, events at fever pitch
Candidates praying erring doubters will not switch
The party faithful are not the real concern
It’s the floating voters whose support for which they yearn

Some former MP’s hope for a safe return
New aspirants desire their pleas we will not spurn
But this time everything seems in such disarray
Who knows who’ll emerge victor from this turgid fray?

It is suggested that many voters will act tactically
Hoping to secure their aim by means impractically
Thus by devious methods achieving what they want
And spike the guns of the candidates that they don’t

Brexit or no Brexit seems to have split the nation
And in Scotland we have the threat of separation
We have heard all the arguments, we’ve had it up to here
So much exposure, were almost reduced to tears

The broadcasters too have weighed into the fight
Much of their questioning seems simply spite
They rejoiced in making all their victims squirm
Any weakness shown they loved to reaffirm

Then the Open Forum TV extravaganzas
Were presented like an information bonanza
But as each participant talked across the others
Any clarification of views was thus quickly smothered

Truth and Trust seemed to be under examination
Politicians being asked to give their explanation
Each candidate quizzed if they could say why
Truth and Trust were now in such short supply!

Anyway, now it’s almost over – thank goodness we say
Tomorrow’s long hours will bring judgement day
So by Friday we should know the fate of the nation
In the meantime we must wait in quiet consternation

Ken Fisher

Advent-ure 2019

Adventure [To mark the 3rd Anniversary of moving, on the first Sunday in Advent 2016 ,  of Hillhead Baptist Church, Glasgow to temporary accommodation in a West End Hotel]

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This is the tale of our church that is now on the move
From the building which for years was the home that we loved
But time has come to embark on a venture
Which perhaps for many will prove an adventure

For long we have waited the signal to go
And with anticipation our hearts were aglow
At last it would seem the conditions are right
The congregation together will join in the flight

But we are not flying far, thank goodness for that
Just a few hundred yards to the Welcome mat
Of a local hotel with doors open wide
Happy to let us gather inside

On this first Sunday in the Advent Season
I think we will find there is every good reason
To look forward in joyful anticipation
Like the Shepherds of old, full of expectation

So let’s join the Adventure with no hesitation
No doubts in our hearts or prevarication
No matter the changes we’re sure we will cope
For trusting in God we truly have hope

As we depart from the Tryst and take to the road
To the place we have chosen as our temporary abode
This adventure is sure to bring us success
As by faith’s road we onward progress

And now three years on the congregation still waits
Although early building development we anticipate
In the meantime we all remain in good heart
Each seeking, with God’s help, to still play our part

Ken Fisher

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Political Inquisition

Political Inquisition

 

I am sure you must have noticed the sharp edge of the questions
The bullying approaches in the journalists’ suggestions
As they interview politicians on their published proclamations
Seeking to unmask all cant or prevarication

It seems there is a contest to ascertain the most aggressive
Among the broadcasting gurus who can display the most impressive
Credentials as tormentor of those who would seek the people’s mandate
By destroying reputations and thus their hubris would deflate

Any doubt or hesitation, any spending programme quite excessive
Any adherence to political dogma, plans that seem obsessive
Will be dissected line by line, each cherished hope will then be mocked
The intentions of the promoters are bound to be deadlocked

Candidates are subjected to demands to apologise without reserve
Told they should be ashamed to seek support they don’t deserve
One wonders if in any other sphere of human intercourse
Protagonists would be granted permission to use such unbridled force

The interesting point that strikes me is by what elevated authority
These inquisitors are granted the right to adopt a position of superiority?
The excuse they will advance is the ‘public right to know’
But does that mean all conventional civility they can overthrow?

Perhaps it’s not surprising that some politicians are running scared
Lest the inquisitor’s examination leaves their defence laid bare
Thus penetrating their facade of confidence and bluster
Producing a performance which is decidedly lackluster

Ken Fisher

 

Decision Time Is Looming

Decision Time Is Looming

As we steadily approach the twelfth day of December
I assume there is little prospect that you won’t remember
The General Election will demand the participation
Of every eligible voter throughout the British nation

Of course this time I think it’s fair to say
The endless debate seems like an affray
Where protagonists of every varied hue
Convinced of the virtue of their own view

Each broadcast debate or discussion
Sounding like the clashing of percussion
Strident voices raised their point to prove
Of every other stance they must disapprove

Truth seems submerged in exaggeration
All opponents will lead you to perdition
To make the choice we advocate
All wavering or doubt you will eradicate

But perhaps more so than in days of yore
When only leaflets popped through our door
Now by social media we are lambasted
Outrageous claims leave us flabbergasted

The fundamental problem seems to be
On basic issues no-one will agree
Brexit has cleaved the nation wide apart
Division of opinion piercing through the  heart

Of course the politicians draw to our attention
Traditional issues still bringing apprehension
Health, education, employment  – an extensive range
And more recently our response to climate change

So here we are heading towards the day of decision
Why can’t we set aside all insult and derision?
Among those who aspire to have our mandate
Pray civil discourse they might reinstate

And let us hope that when the result is declared
From further prevarication we are spared
By the final count the issues we thus arbitrate
All then willing to accept with equanimity their fate

Ken Fisher