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

Apocalyptic Headlines

Apocalyptic Headlines

It seems news can only be news
If it is apocalyptic

Around the globe this is what we read:

Inundated by floods
Engulfed in uncontrolled grass fires
Ravaged by a rampant epidemic
Swallowed up by erupting volcanoes
Drowned by tsunamis
Devastated by earthquakes
Unrelieved angst about climate change
Civil unrest and international warfare
Corruption abounding
Life cruelly halted in multiple motorway pile-ups
Overwhelmed by economic disaster
Impoverished by hyper inflation
Scourged by widespread unemployment
Imprisoned in over-crowded housing
Education that pays no ‘dividends’

Depressed and despondent mental states
Poor health and short life expectancy
Inadequate health service provision
Loneliness and isolation
Trapped in elderly care provision
A society which has lost faith in anything

And right now (here at home)

Disgust at the antics of politicians
Longing for a Brexit solution
But unconvinced that the election will bring release

But surely there must be something
To bring a little levity to the headlines?

One Press Cartoonist today has said

“At least a December election  will put
a stop to all that ‘Season of Goodwill’ nonsense”

Ken Fisher

Shehovah

Shehovah

If God is a woman how would we feel?
Would that idea have great appeal?
Would traditionalists be thrown into confusion
Or accept it as an advance in social inclusion

For a few this proposal is somewhat heretical
Contrary to earlier pronouncements prophetical
Where God as a man is always depicted
His gender thus never been contradicted

But others might say that God need not be man
Being all-powerful, to change he certainly can
And if to trans to a woman is the preferred choice
At least half of creation might well rejoice

After all in this age of universal equality
We need not be concerned with causality
If God has decided that he is a she
We must accept it I’m sure you’ll agree

Of course a womanly God can bring advantage
There are few things a lady can’t readily manage
I know an omnipotent God can multi-task
And being female could cope with whatever we ask

So if God is a woman let’s not be upset
A lady-God is as good as you’ll get
Let not male pride send men into despair
Male or female this God will still surely care

Ken Fisher

Dithering

Dithering

The kindest thing I can say right now
Is that politicians don’t seem to know how
To make up their minds on the Brexit issue
Leaving them all in one unholy dither

You would have thought they have had enough time
To somehow arrive at a common mind
The public outside are completely frustrated
And even further delay makes them more aggravated

Why doesn’t someone bang their heads together
As opinions change as much as the weather
Get on with the job, you’re under a delusion
The pubic are anxious that you reach some conclusion

Enough is enough, you’ve had so much  time
Get the job done, or just all resign
Like ourselves, our European pals are really quite sick
So stop dithering now and get it done quick

Ken Fisher

The Rule of Law (2019)

The Rule of Law

[As Brexit looms larger and  when Law is being challenged at the highest level
this may may be worth some further reflection]

Who needs lawyers? You may well ask
To give an answer, quite a task
The law seems a profession quite lucrative
Its rewards are clearly remunerative

But the Rule of Law is much more than lawyers’ pay
About precepts that control our every day
Our freedom, our rights and our obligations
Legal rules forming society’s foundation

If people wish to live together in community
In ordered peace, and with impunity
From the imposition of others’ aggression
Their rights protected from transgression

They therefore need rules imposed by state
Which in disputes will arbitrate
So when crime is committed or contract broken
Justice will not simply be forsaken

Through history, law has come from many sources
The Common Law and Equity, followed by the Statutes
Rules made by Parliament to govern our affairs
Intended to ensure that common life is fair

Judges too have played their part
As legal interpretation turned to art
Laying down new precedents
With which lower courts must be content

Some European laws are imposed on our nation
These are Directives and Regulations
This may change in double quick  time
If Brexit becomes the new paradigm

[Indeed politics and law are now in conflict
Politicians resent the law that might restrict
Their power our future to determine
This question they would re-examine]

Then there are local rules and even byelaws
Devolved legislation for simple causes
Thus we are enmeshed on every side
We must conform or woe betides!

The Rule of Law requires the Courts
Wherein the lawyers do besport
Judges and juries all required
That true justice ne’er be denied

And then we have our worthy police
Maintaining order, even peace
The Rule of Law they will enforce
That’s what their duties will endorse

Thus a whole apparatus is put in place
That the Rule of Law might be manifest
But above all the population must agree
That justice is what they want to see

Equality under the law is fundamental
Exceptions would be detrimental
To its strictures we must all comply
Even sometimes with a sigh

International law seeks to see fair play
Holding nations in its sway
Maintaining law where’er it can
Seeking justice for every land

In the end we have to have the Rule of Law
Or nature prevails, raw in tooth and claw
And to obey the law is surely wise
To sustain a world more civilised

Ken Fisher