Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew

Today we celebrate the Apostle Saint Andrew
Patron saint of fishermen, Scotland, and Russia
Brother of Simon Peter, and one of the first to be called
He in turn brought people to Jesus, not least the lad with the loaves and fishes

From Andrew we have an example of willingness to serve others
Today we might say he was a people person
In Scotland he is fondly remembered and his day celebrated
Not merely by nationalists for the saltire cross but by all who would give of themselves for the good of others

Ken Fisher

 

Remembrance 2022

Remembrance 2022

This poem was posted at the same time in earlier years
We hope that this year we might yet remain
optimistic about the future

Today’s a time for remembering
Thinking back to those dark days of war
When life was uncertain for all
And for some, death was an imminent prospect

But few living today have much memory
Of the years of conflict when hostilities raged
And although warfare still encircles the world
Our experience of it is mediated by TV images

And yet we have an uncomfortable feeling
That despite efforts to unite the nations
There is a persistent climate of arm-wrestling
Between the great powers who eyeball each other

The Cold War brought with it the four-minute-warning
Not long to compose our minds for oblivion!
And presently with the continuing conflict in the Ukraine
And other theatres of war in our troubled world
We cannot quite eliminate the nagging uncertainty for our destiny

However, for today, we give thanks
For all those who bought our freedom
And pledge to strive to maintain
Such fragile peace as we possess

Ken Fisher

Audi Alteram Partem

Audi Alteram Partem
[Hear the other side]

Audi Alteram Partem is a very worthy maxim
It seeks to keep an open mind thus avoiding bias
In every interview or debate let’s hear the other side
When hard decisions otherwise readily would try us

But one problem I can foresee in granting equal status
To either viewpoint regarding any proposition
Both sides may not have equal merit
Worthy of universal recognition

In courts of law there’s little doubt
To ensure that trials are fair
Prosecution and defence must state their case
With diligence and care

In football we have observed the arrival of VAR
Intended to eliminate a prejudiced decision
Cameras cover many angles of a shot on goal
Ascertain the true position

But perhaps we have stretched the principle too far
When every journalist’s interrogation
Must ensure that ‘for and against’ are aired
Lest there be discrimination

The advocates of any cause, ideal or belief
Will surely stress the merits of that enterprise
Their conviction dominates their view
No hesitation, vacillation, leads them to rationalise

Of course in our democratic nations
We believe in free and open speech
Audi Alteram Partem deserves respect
A noble rule we should not lightly breach

Ken Fisher

 

Clocks Go Back 2022

Clocks Go Back Oct 2022

 

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in
In no time at all we will arrive at Halloween
Darkness is descending, as we struggle through the gloom
Look out for the guisers draped in their costume

‘Ere we reach that ‘hallowed’ eve the clocks must be turned back
Between Saturday and Sunday an hour they give us back
For last Spring those same clocks were moved an hour forward
To rectify that change now the movement will be rearward

This year we’ve been distracted by extensive politicking
Let’s hope that none of this has stopped our clocks from ticking
Although the shadows lengthen we hope not so our mood
A new regime in Crown and Government may yet still do us good

The cost of living spirals and interest rates too high
Not easy to accept all this with a resignation sigh
But let’s not in the gloom get overly depressed
Why not pretend the future promises the best!

As of Autumn tints and falling leaves we are made aware
Perhaps the commanders of the nations will ensure they all play fair
In their deliberations may they reach a just solution
To tackle rising tides, melting ice, and poisonous pollution

So as now nights darken may we accept the changing of the light
Brighter in the morning, then earlier dark at night
Nothing’s really changed, it’s ourselves who’ve played a trick
Tinkering with the clock hands but letting it still tick

So with the changing of the hour we revert to Greenwich Mean
British Summer Time left behind till Spring’s green shoots are seen
But at least we know now where we are, the timing quite official
No fiddling with the hours of day or night, no changes artificial

Ken Fisher

 

The Massive Indifference of the Universe

The Massive Indifference of the Universe

One of Thomas Carlyle’s characters describes a
“Universe…..Void of all life, of Purpose, of Volition,
Even of Hostility………”

Have you ever thought whether the Universe cares
about us, or is massively indifferent to our plight
and predicament?

Of course you might respond by saying that
most of the time most of us humans
seem to be totally indifferent of the Universe

We might vaguely realise that here we exist on one
tiny planet, a satellite of our star the Sun, set within
our Galaxy the Milky Way whirling round within the
infinite void of space. But so what?

It seems to me that the issue of Indifference
is a human response. It signifies a lack of concern
or sympathy

Yet humans have indeed shown much interest in
the Universe – particularly through scientific
exploration or philosophical and
even theological musings
but have we noticed any reciprocal speculation
from the void?

So humans may not be totally indifferent but is
The Universe?

I suppose this matter of Indifference or concern
might be related to whether there is any Purpose
in the Universe. Why was it created [if indeed it
was actually created] and what is it for?

It seems to me that it is Humankind [in however limited
a way] which has taken the intiative to make sense
of what the cosmos is all about, and as a result
of such hypothesising has begun to wonder
what’s the point? Are we the only ones that care?

But humans don’t give up hope.

 

Ken Fisher

 

 

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

On Thursday of that Holy Week
The Saviour washed disciples feet
In humility we might imitate
His divine example replicate

Love one another His command
Responding to their outstretched hand
Turn not away what e’er the need
With listening ear the stranger heed

On Maundy Thursday the sovereign’s gift
May loyal subjects’ souls uplift
That they in turn show their compassion
In kindly deeds in similar fashion

On Holy Thursday the commemoration
Of our Lord’s supper the foundation
Henceforth recall His life and sacrifice
For human sin He paid the price

Ken Fisher

White Noise

White Noise

That mysterious hum
Is it from outer space?
Indeterminate
It’s source we cannot trace

Some say it’s what we need
A soothing calm vibration
Balm to the troubled soul
Removes all agitation

White noise apparently combines
All frequencies of sound
Blended thus emitting
‘Near-silence’ quite profound

Sometimes white noise
Signals an interruption
Connection lost, line gone dead
Zoom conference disruption

At other times this ‘absent’ sound
A very welcome aid
Its reassuring hum or hiss
Heartens those afraid

In theoretical science
And practical technology
White noise is multifunctional
Not least in space cosmology

White noise is so much more
Than something non-existent
That audible inaudible
Mystery quite persistent

Ken Fisher

Epiphany 2022

Epiphany 2022

Today is Epiphany – in Biblical terms
The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles
The Magi, guided by the star seek the Christ Child
But what is our epiphany?

To-day we often call it an ‘aha’ moment
A sudden revelation or insight
A new discernment, greater awareness
A flash of comprehension

Perhaps within the midst of the
Fogging of our thoughts,
The tedium and ennui of these dark days
We too might be galvanised by inspiration

Shake off the dolour and melancholy
Raise our vision to an emerging horizon
Enliven our perception, press on to
The sunnier uplands of 2022

Ken Fisher

Hands-On Philosophy

Hands-On Philosophy

Is there such a thing as
Hands-on Philosophy
Or is it all too airy fairy
Pie in the sky?

Who can make sense
Of the study of the
Fundamental nature of
Knowledge, reality, and existence?

Well that seems to be
The agenda for the
Aspiring philosopher
Mind blowing!

From deep thinkers of the ancient world
Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Every one had got the bottle!

To search for truth and understanding
Make sense of life
And all there is
St Anselm and God thoughts

And on it goes
The panoply of lofty thinkers
Through the Age of Reason
To modern times

In every decade
Philosophers exercised their minds
In wrestling with logic, free will
Happiness and conflict

But was any of this Hands-on?
No doubt it was brain engaging
But just as faith without works
Is said to be dead

So then philosophy
Without application and action
Is mere abstraction
Comfortable navel-gazing

So what, you might say
Can a thing, an idea, an object
Not simply exist for itself?
Surely that’s philosophy

Hands off!

 

Ken Fisher