New Every Morning (in Unsettling Times)

New Every Morning (in Unsettling Times)

When I stir from fretful sleep, thoughts churning at the opening day
How quickly does my mind recall the worries, fears along the way
Which pained my heart the night before and readily did steal my peace
And from this turmoil of the mind no easy flight or cheap release

And yet as I wake and come again to consciousness
I realize that this new day is given by God who richly promises
That every thought and deed may His good gifts reflect
He grants us life and health and all our ways affects

And as the hymn enjoins us to recall, the trivial round, the common task
Hallowed by His love is all we ask
The opportunity to show forth by our deeds
Our love for others, gracious care for each one’s needs

So each new day let’s make it our resolve that every care
Each task, each duty prompt our earnest prayer
That thus our lifetime’s daily story
May reflect on our Lord and bring Him glory

For life is lived in steps of one brief day
Thus we progress along our chosen way
So as each day provides a chance anew
Lets walk with God who can make all things new

Now in these days of tight confinement
While virus threat persists malignant
Let not our thoughts become obsessed
Ensure that hope is still expressed

Ken Fisher

Log-on All Ye Faithful

Log-on All Ye Faithful
[Easter worship during social isolation]

Easter, a time for reflection and celebration
The cross held high and the empty tomb
But this year the observance of our nation
Bound by the confines of our room

Meeting together as part of the church
By the virus put into suspension
Through the ‘chat room’ your presence we search
Would grasp again that eternal dimension

So may the message of Easter still resonate
God’s love shown for all on the cross
As on Easter morn we would celebrate
His rising, defeating all loss

So as each of us gather in our little cell
Denied being just one congregation
May we be assured that all will be well
Faith overcomes separation

Ken Fisher

Think Happy Thoughts!

Think Happy Thoughts

 

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What might be the cure for the doom and gloom
When joy in our hearts fails to find any room?
What can we do to expel doubt and fear
And fill once again our minds with good cheer

Some suggest we might resort to philosophy
To lift us up from the depths of despondency
By thinking great thoughts our minds will improve
Anxious worries may hopefully thus be removed

Other gurus, psychology would then advocate
Our problem’s with thinking and how we relate
The external world to our inner perception
Our concerns and issues are mere self-deception

Theology also should not be ignored
Surely faith’s realm might be duly explored
But perhaps religion might make us feel worse
And prove less of a boon and more of a curse

Positive thinking may yet give us a boost
Thus a happier mood might be quickly induced
Just such a message is proudly displayed
On these T- Shirts which surely might yet some persuade!

But to bring this poem right up to date
When Covid-19 might determine our fate
And happy thoughts may be in short supply
You must just ‘stay at home’ and put life on standby

Ken Fisher

 

Broadband Church

Broadband Church

[The response of the Church to viral induced separation]

We know of many ‘broad’ churches in this our homeland
But now the church is re-invented as it goes broadband
No longer can the people gather as a congregation
As coronavirus risk demands a degree of separation

But many preachers will exercise their initiative
Ensuring the message to their flock they can still give
They have come up with this ingenious solution
Offering prayer and comfort, perhaps for sins even absolution!

So on Sundays you don’t have to attend the local church
No longer for a service do you have to search
Instead the message will be beamed direct to you
No more shuffling along in the old church pew

So all you need to do is check out the local press
And in there you should find the web address
Worship will be streamed in a variety of ways
Facebook and YouTube, even Zoom will bring you praise

So keep in touch with God in this time of isolation
Don’t let lack of human contact spread across the nation
The broadband church can still keep us all united
Ensuring hearts and minds will not be benighted.

Ken Fisher

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Have you ever heard the sound of silence?
Surely silence is the absence of all sound
But some proclaim that silence of itself can ‘speak’

Perhaps the sullen silence of when you have felt offended
By the harsh words and unkind sentiments of others
No word of defence is offered to this piercing tirade

The sound of silence might be heard
When there is nothing to be said in the
Face of sudden catastrophe or personal tragedy

The sound of silence  broods darkly in the air
In the aftermath of a lover’s tiff
Who will break the silence?  Not me

The sound of silence will resound on the hillside
As we stand awestruck at the beauty of creation
No words can do justice to that grandeur

The sound of silence found in God’s non-answer
To our petitions for the world and for ourselves
Why won’t He speak?   Must we listen out in vain

And yet perhaps silence is sound
As we quietly await a response
From the ether’s muteness
And deep in our heart the silence breaks

Ken Fisher

Is That All There Is?

Is That All There Is?

 

Do you ever find yourself taking an unexpected pause
And in that brief hiatus, the enigmatic question arises
“Is that all there is?”

Most of the time we are propelled along by what has often been called
The daily round, the common task
The quotidian episodes of everyday living
Which maybe in themselves are meaningful enough

Perhaps it is fortunate that existential reflection
Is something for which we can find little time
And probably consider pointless anyway

However, every now and again we feel the need
To step off the treadmill, turn our back on the clamour
And ask ourself – what’s the point?
What’s driving us on – and where to anyway?

Throughout mankind’s seven ages
There is always something to do
Goals to reach, achievements to accomplish

Each age hallmarked by forward momentum
Growth the watchward of that decade
Until, bloated by the indulgence and excess
We grind to an undignified conclusion

And even after amassing some success
Of worldly goods, respect, perchance esteem
We yet remain unsated by it all

What was the point?
Wherein that illusive satisfaction
“is that all there is?”
The question still hangs poignantly

 

Ken Fisher

 

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