Mythology and Reality

Mythology & Reality

Throughout history mankind has tried to make some sense
To tell the truth devoid of all pretence
Of how it all began from times primordial
In terms poetic or proverbial

Creation myths common and widespread
Arose from stirrings in the head
As humans exercised their mind
From whence came life and humankind?

How did it all begin they mused?
By divers notions thoughts confused
Who or what was the prime mover?
Their earnest hope this might discover

Each ancient civilisation in its time
Sought for some guide, some paradigm
By which they could make sense of their existence
And found in folk tales great persistence

Thus venerable beings the status of Gods attained
Over kingdoms and empires they did reign
Powers without end held in their hand
All lesser mortals subject to their command

Throughout the world creation myths evolved
The Greeks, Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Norse all involved
Chinese, Indian, African, indeed throughout the globe
These existential issues thinkers probed

Within the Judaeo-Christian tradition the Genesis story is foundational
In these hallowed verses on creation so inspirational
We are told of the uniqueness of God in creation
And the depth of man’s fall and need for salvation

These early Bible chapters allegorical
Whose language, revered and rhetorical
Mythical but for some quite literal
Formed the basis of their faith canonical

But how might myth and reality be reconciled?
Perhaps the modern mind by science beguiled
Need science and myth always stand in opposition?
Must one view dominate, the other concede submission

I think perhaps best not be too dogmatic
Neither sphere regarded epigrammatic
Let myth provide the nuanced view of history
Science bring reality to mystery

Ken Fisher

A Rock and A Hard Place

A Rock and a Hard Place

‘In Greek mythology, Homer’s Odyssey tells of Odysseus being
trapped between a treacherous whirlpool and cliff dwelling
man-eating monster’

I wonder if you feel you are trapped
By life’s forces been kidnapped
No clear road out, which way to turn?
Resolution you cannot discern

Prisoners all of this lock-down
Little wonder we wear a frown
Horizons mightily reduced
By isolation thus seduced

Would that we could break free
And from these bonds could flee
Casting aside all that would restrain
And liberty regain

But rocks are unforgiving
Hard places confine living
Acceptance we must learn
Our burdens must be borne

But time’s progress will bring change
Freedom for the cell exchange
Chastened by our plight
Emerge into brightening light

Ken Fisher

Algorithm

Algorithm

An algorithm as our route map to life?
As if every situation we meet
Is as simple as a T junction
Left or right – no in between

You might use
A robust algorithm for furniture selection
For buying a replacement light bulb
To choose a new insurance provider
For checking if it’s your turn to put out the bins!

As long as you can reduce every decision
To a straightforward binary choice
Yes or No, greater than or less than
If only one option of two leads on to another
You are directed down that route

Thus quite complicated situations
Are reduced to a series of logical steps
Ideal when performing calculations
Automated reasoning, data processing
Problems tackled in short coherent stages

But algorithms are now in the political arena
Blamed for the recent exam results debacle
What happens when the algorithm
For all its logic, doesn’t give the desired out-come?
Of course we scrap it

And resort to human sophistry
To bring us the result
That is expedient
That’s the realpolitik
Of modern life

Perhaps unsurprising in the midst of a pandemic

Ken Fisher

Post Truth Society

Post Truth Society

It has been claimed
That truth has gone
The victim of modern living
It no longer matters
What we say
The world will be forgiving

But not just in words
In actions too
In every task that we should do
With ease, who cares
We simply bluff
Our way right through

When truth takes flight
And fiction rules
No-one knows what to believe
No longer sure
Of falsity or verity
Duplicity designed to deceive

If truth is only relative
Dependent on the context
How then define propriety?
Fake news, white lies
Flights of fancy, the currency of
Our post truth society

Ken Fisher

Socrates & Dionysus

Socrates & Dionysus

The unexamined life is not worth living
Socrates

To make your life worth living
Let’s have it examined!
Put it to the test
An MOT about me

Check for Virtue
The greatest good in life
The best of all possessions
Happiness guaranteed!

But not quite
Poor Socrates
Indicted for corrupting youth
Exit by the Hemlock door

But for Dionysus no introspection
No MOT needed
The examined life just withers
Under the microscope

Living is life
And life is for living
Be released from the bondage
Of prudence, caution and temperance

So wherein lies the truth?
The philosophers’ favourite poser!
Don’t expect a simple answer
Just get a life – put the examination
On hold

Ken Fisher

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours
But we won’t be counting scores
In the spirit of generosity
Each acting with reciprocity

Do unto others as you would have them do to you
This is the hallowed Bible view
And in those words from God above
The essence of our mutual love

But should not our care have wider range?
Not simply the currency of exchange
Prepared to help where need is found
No demand that it redounds

Joy comes where mutual care is shown
Self-less love content to be unknown
Reciprocity implies some give and take
Gratuitous love does self forsake

Ken Fisher

The Status of God

The Status of God

Did God create man or man create God?
Believers might think that question is odd
They assert that all that there is, their God did provide
A conspicuous truth that can’t be denied

But others proclaim God is mere man’s construction
Of his fertile mind a brilliant production
By using his vivid imagination
The concept of God granted crystallisation

Of these two approaches to the status of God
Perhaps neither of them fundamentally flawed
One side says God existed ere the beginning of time
Others affirm God is man’s timely creation sublime

The faithful declare that from grace mankind did fall
That apple in Eden convicted us all
But what of the view Adam’s sin is not ours?
An unfair indictment, exploitative power

So if man created God, not the other way round
From original sin’s burden we are freely unbound
Yet if we reject God’s salvation by grace
Standing alone, this hostile world we must face

So perhaps the cynic might say we should hedge our bets
In the hope our choice won’t yield any regrets
To Father God hang on, however opaque
Espousing both the God who is true and the one who is fake

Ken Fisher

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither

Hoping, Helping, and Hingin Thegither
[What the Scots do amidst the pandemic]

What can you do amidst this pandemic
To prevent your thoughts becoming quite manic?
Better perhaps give heed to sister or brother
As the Bible suggests that we love one another

First of all we must not lose hope
Else we would find that we never will cope
Believe in the fact that all this will pass
A glimmer of light through today’s darkened glass

We might then consider those who are in need
Whose many problems their joy would impede
Weary souls whose lives are acquainted with grief
Bring meaningful help, and to sadness, relief

Perhaps we must simply be ‘hingin thegither’
Even if this means just having a blether
Reach out to each other as best we may
Bring light and blessing to each wearisome day

So let’s adopt those three simple deeds
To ease our own and our neighbours’ needs
Bring hope and help to those in despair
And hing in thegither thus our burdens share

Ken Fisher

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