Sin

Sin

 

 

Sin
A curiously old-fashioned word
Perhaps even an antiquated concept
The old adage – it is a Sin to steal a pin!
Who steals pins these days?

Sin
What is it?

Many things is would appear
From peccadillos to mortal offences
Insulting those we should revere
Crimes that merit no defences

Original sin in Eden perpetrated
Mankind’s innocence destroyed
From guilt no longer separated
Gone all goodness unalloyed

Lapses, faults, larceny, transgressions
Falling from grace, short of the mark
Sins of commission and of omission
Slanderous words, the unkind remark

And what of all those Biblical sins?
Lust and pride, envy and greed
Much worse than just a stolen pin
Gluttony, sloth not mere misdeeds

Sin abounds when we are tempted
By this world’s blandishments
Our resistance sorely tested
Disregarding punishment

Life needs sin to give it relish
From virtuous boredom be released
Its grey canvas to embellish
Peppered with impious yeast

Ken Fisher

The Tyranny of the Password

The Tyranny of the Password

To compare this with Covid may seem quite absurd
But I’m almost as scared of the missing password
When we cannot remember these numbers and letters
Our hands are tied as if by tight fetters

These digital door keys prevent interference
Meant to protect our bank balance from disappearance
To the hands of some hacker of ill repute
Intent on swiping away all our loot

So with every aspect of computer filing
Requests for a password sets us compiling
A secret code to keep data secure
Safely concealed there for evermore

It is then that we need to be quite inventive
Complex passwords can be preventive
Of those who would all our secrets expose
Our facts and figures that no one else knows

The names of long dead pets, or gran’s date of birth
That primary school teacher if we think she was worth
Of incorporation into a password obscure
A combination that might long endure

This all sounds fine as far as it goes
Except when we need to enter the password and letters transpose
Or worst of all we suffer from total amnesia
Our brain dormant as through anaesthesia

We try to recall where the password record is hidden
We search our machine but all access forbidden
The more times we try the wrong combination
Now struck by panic and mighty frustration

In the end we may have all hope to abandon
All this computing is far too demanding
Just keep all your records in a box under your bed
Where password tyranny can  no longer cause dread

Ken Fisher

Wokeplace

Wokeplace
[The Modern Workplace]

In the modern wokeplace I rather regret
You must watch what you say in case you upset
Your colleagues sensitive to today’s social issues
Non-PC opinions may make them reach for the tissues!

Of course few would deny that we must be aware
That society’s divisions are often unfair
And to promote justice we all should endeavour
That no class of people suffer disfavour

But I wonder if perhaps it has all gone too far
Historical figures removed from the repertoire
Of those who heretofore we all have respected
Their toppled statues lying there look dejected

The history books a rewrite require
Heroes to whose ideals we should no longer aspire
How have the mighty fallen the wokeists declare
Ignoring our pleas that this might be unfair

In the wokeplace there is a new atmosphere
Where any criticism may well induce fear
Woke opinions are strong on the concerns of today
We cannot ignore them or try to downplay

No doubt woke values deserve consideration
Race, sex, equality, slave-like  discrimination
Social media has ensured these issues prevail
Public reaction on a quite momentous scale

I simply make a plea for moderation
No knee-jerk reaction across the nation
Don’t vilify the pioneers of our great institutions
Or force us all living today to take their retribution

Ken Fisher

New Spectacles

New Spectacles

New glasses, new image, clearer vision, brighter prospects
First the eye test, now much more high tech
More an optical screening, retinal retinopathy testing
Did I come for an eye test or full medical MoT?

Mind you, we still have to identify the letters
In ever diminishing sizes on the distant screen
First with the one eye, then with the other
Did God not give us two to do the job properly?

Next comes the physical examination of each eye
Must eliminate macular degeneration, a scourge of age
Narrow torch rays, like lasers, beamed into the eye
Sudden burst of light to check reactions – total darkness
Did they intend to induce blindness?

Then we move to another machine when our response
To little flickers on the screen are measured
Click as soon as you detect anything. Don’t cheat, don’t guess
After this assault course we wonder if it’s specs or a white stick we need

Eventually we are released from the darkened chamber
We receive our prescription and it is time to choose new frames
It is then that we realize the NHS makes only a minor contribution
To our eye care. If vanity motivates us we are in for a shock

Of course there are some cheapo frames but most are not
If we are beguiled by designer names and fancy styles
Prepare to put your credit card into melt-down
But you convince yourself this is part of your image

Of course you have to get the vari-focal, anti-scratch
Anti-glare, versions. If they must be light-weight
You will need high-index plastics, and if UV light
Is a problem you will need polycarbonate lenses

It is then that you ask if they do mortgages!

In due time the frames arrive and they are checked
Are they aligned OK? Are they sitting comfortably on your nose?
Do they grip on your ears and prevent any slipping?
If they pass this optical MOT you are ready to face the world
Vision enhanced, bank balance diminished!

 

Ken Fisher

 

 

The News, Mostly, Is Bad

The News, Mostly, Is Bad [by Oliver Fisher]

The news mostly is bad,
And I butter my toast just the same,
When did dinner table chat,
Turn to facts and stats of shame?
When did he who says, step back?
And let this illness break and crack.
Plague and p-poison the population,
I see no light in blinding black.

Wet air scares me these days
And I turn to cloth for protection
But chafed ears can be no match,
To those who face eventual infection.
Surprise, surprise – Now sanitise.
Avoid all contact, even eyes.
Suited girls and suited guys,
Seem to now spout bumbling lies.

The reservoir of human spirit is desolate and dry,
Once valued friendships have now
Reduced, into distanced passers by.
In the streets, I lurk in shadows
And never let my face be shown.
Human embrace now means gloves, and
Cover ups and elbow bones.

The news, mostly, is bad-
I suppose I can take comfort in that.
Saving lives can be so easy-
When you stay at home, subdued gnat.
Chat online and exercise,
Too many food deliveries,
Zooming through the 2020s
With dates in mind and tiers and pleas.

Oliver Fisher

Woke World

Woke World

Woke: definition – Alert to injustice in society

Most might declare that speech should be ‘free’
But how far that should go you might not agree
Should we always consider the feelings of others?
How our words might affect all our sisters and brothers

And not just our words but our actions too
Our deeds that with meaning we therefore imbue
The words of our lips and our bodies’ exertion
Fruits of our efforts, our lives expressing

In recent times the concept of ‘woke’
Strong feelings of injustice now evoke
Not just wrong doings in this present age
But perpetrated by ancestors in our heritage

It seems that colonial conquests in far flung lands
Demand expiation by our modern hands
Historical ventures, voyages to discover
Require our atonement their status to recover

Modern ‘wokists’ alert us to time honoured street names
Derived from eminent citizens who’s worth we acclaimed
Their dark deeds now exposed brings them denigration
Complete overturning of their fine reputation

Politicians, Poets, Pioneers, Knights of the Realm
By their imperialist exploits the earth overwhelmed
Time now to do penance for world domination
Let’s all take the knee, this hubristic nation

We all must learn to be truly humble
Applaud as proud statues made to crumble
Slave traders rightfully vilified
Acknowledge the blood of all who died

Doubtless the intention of the worldwide woke movement
In rampant discrimination to secure much improvement
A worthy ambition in this modern age
But why of times past must there be so much rage?

To reappraise history a worthwhile endeavour
But must we take blame for all evil whenever?
Acknowledge what’s passed is the best we can do
A more honourable path in future pursue

Meantime help to build a world more equitable
Discrimination and prejudice no longer inevitable
Thus the woke movement will eventually achieve
The widespread acclaim that it yearns to receive

Ken Fisher

You’re Muted!

You’re Muted!

The dictionary defines “mute” as
Adjective:
Refraining from speech
or temporarily speechless

Noun:
A person lacking the faculty of speech
A device on a phone or TV or another appliance
That turns off the sound

But since the advent of the extensive
use of the Zoom app
Mute, has gained a whole
lot more significance

Thus:
You appear on our screens
Your frame illuminated
Moving lips can be seen
But all sound confiscated

Your body language is quite animated
Wishing the current topic to be debated
But no sound can be heard in our attentive ears
Your impact on us simply disappears

We know the problem of which you’re unaware
We all try to tell you with a waving fanfare
But all our signals somehow go unseen
Only silence emerges from your flickering screen

At last, bemused by our gestures you reach the conclusion
Between us and you there is some confusion
We all want to ensure that you participate
To achieve this your mike needs to activate

The penny then drops and falls down the chute
It dawns on you that you must simply un-mute
And to the cheers of all who anxiously wait
You click the icon to let sound emanate

And so at last we achieve that blessed concord
When we can see you and hear every word
Un-muting is vital for full participation
But only if the host grants that dispensation

Ken Fisher

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

FOMO
[Fear of Missing Out]

Apart from the dreaded virus
Is this the malady of our age?
FOMO Fear Of Missing Out

But what might be the missing items?
Could it be some of these?

When you are just a young girl or boy
You simply must have the latest toy
It’s no use being told these things are just trash
And your parents can’t afford to spend so much cash

As you grow into those teenage years
FOMO brings on some serious fears
Unless you can sport the trendiest gear
Your complete deprivation will bring on a tear!

You loudly declare that all of your in-crowd
Have smart phones and tablets of which to be proud
You have missed out in this tech revolution
And demand that your parents find a solution

After schooling’s complete you need to progress
A top university is bound to be best
But your school achievements are rather pathetic
No clear indication of the mind academic

In time you emerge with an unimpressive degree
To the working world you’ve been set free
But where is that promise of a future so bright?
I am sorry to say it’s nowhere in sight

Eventually you aspire to some modest employment
Into which your limited talents might find deployment
Job satisfaction is the least of your care
But the minimum wage you consider unfair

On somewhere to live you must not miss out
The old family home is no place to hangout
But the bank manager soon puts you into a rage
When he declares the cost of a mortgage

And so FOMO continues as you progress through life
Why so much pressure to find husband or wife?
There is nothing wrong with the single life
One way of avoiding continual strife

But if you do eventually tie the knot
Married or partnered it matters not
In due time FOMO might well arise
If no baby appears for you to baptise

Next, in your job, you miss out on promotion
This results in a display of rampant emotion
The world is patently unfair and unjust
Is there no-one left in whom you can trust?

And so as you go through all of life’s phases
You’re afraid you’ll miss something at each of these stages
You wonder if you will ever be set free from this tension
When at last you are granted the meagre state pension

What is the moral of this woeful tale?
You should not allow FOMO to be some kind of blackmail
You should completely expunge all these irrational fears
And Missing Out phobia will soon disappear

Ken Fisher

Tech Frenzy

Tech Frenzy

We have been forced to learn fast
‘Cause we need to survive
And new methods of working
We have all had to contrive

The office largely abandoned
For much of the time
Work geographically scattered
Is the new paradigm

Between every worker
Covid-19 demands enough space
All employees screened off
A mask on each face

Our home computer devices
Are working flat out
To keep up with demand
While office health is in doubt

All of us must improve our tech skills
This pressure puts many into a frenzy
Grasping the basics of Skype, Teams, and Zoom
A predicament few laymen would envy

Some say home working is just what they want
It gives them a freedom the office denies
But others claim that isn’t quite true
Monitored there by electronic “spies”

But it looks as if this is the new reality
Get tech savvy is the only road to success
Master the realms of cyberspace and the cloud
In all these techniques you need show your finesse

Ken Fisher

 

Stooshie

Stooshie

[An uproar or commotion, or a minor row of sorts]

Here’s a word of which the English may be unaware
One of those obscure terms which we might share
It’s used to describe a row or a commotion
An argument with signs of stirred emotion

It’s not quite as serious as all-out war
And any fisticuffs we would deplore
More like a skirmish of the verbal kind
Where opponents are readily maligned

Stooshies can arise at any time or place
Sometimes only two contenders face to face
At others the arena is on a grander scale
Unparliamentary language used opponents to impale

A cause celebre might well a stooshie generate
Or some long-held grudge cause others to berate
Or perhaps just even some minor irritation
The trigger for much unnecessary vexation

Stooshies, perhaps depending on the situation
May be of short or quite prolonged duration
Perpetual stooshies are really a vendetta
Likened to the plot of some tragic operetta

Stooshies, on the whole, are best avoided
Deep divisions thus remain unexploited
Endeavour to ignore all discourse acrimonious
Conducting your affairs with speech harmonious

Ken Fisher

Vaccination Frustration

Vaccination Frustration

Have you not yet had that call?
To turn up at surgery or hall
Ready with your arm laid bare
At your age It’s only fair

But are you waiting for the call?
Abiding by the protocol
Not trying to skip the queue
Stoical but feeling blue

The government tells us to keep calm
A short delay will do no harm
But even those who’ve had jab one
Demand jab two be quickly done

So all this amounts to much frustration
Pent-up demand throughout the nation
The powers that be do sympathize
Preferring we don’t criticise

But we are told to bide our time
Eventually it’ll all be fine
The experts know what they are doing
To avert the threats that might be brewing

No gloomy thoughts should dominate
Some slight delay should not frustrate
Don’t sit at home and darkly brood
Try to adopt a cool Zen mood

Ken Fisher

What does It Matter – Now?

What Does it Matter – Now?

 

What does it matter if you failed to win prizes
And never achieved even modest success
If your daily life produced no surprises
Few are the assets that you now possess

What does it matter if you gained no promotion
While others soared up to the giddy heights
You’re never aspired to swim the wide ocean
Or with the astronauts take a space flight

What does it matter if your artistic talent
Rarely succeeded the audience to thrill
No masterpiece came from your colour palette
No musical charms from your keyboard skills

What does it matter if you had no literary flair
Writing and poetry not your natural gift
Turgid plots, obscure verses simply made you despair
And to operatic arias you gave short shrift

What does it matter if you struggled with maths
History and geography left you equally cold
Failed to conquer science’s complex paths
And foreign grammar left you appalled

What does it matter if you never were famous
You didn’t progress to a dazzling career
People might claim you were rather aimless
A somewhat boring existence from year to year

Well this litany seems a little depressing
Life does matter, and we all must strive
To make the most of our gifts and our blessings
Above all the gift of this wonderful life

And we should not offer this lame excuse
That nothing matters in life when surely it must
Because we know in our heart that this is the truth
And to defect from that fact is a breach of our trust

Yes, it does matter, as we value each day
The moment provides us the opportunity
In small acts of love, and kind words we say
Together to build true community

And especially now in this pandemic year
As we mourn the loss of a settled past
Grant us the courage to set aside fear
Hold hope in our hearts to remain steadfast

Ken Fisher