No doubt you have heard of dyslexia
But I doubt you know of dyscalculia
The former the scourge of the aspiring reader
The latter hinders any mathematical cheerleader

We are told to stop thinking that maths is quite scary
High intelligence needed for its mastery
The subject has been shrouded in a kind of mystique
Lesser mortals retiring in a fit of pique

Of course this suits those who find maths a cinch
No complex formula would ere make them flich
This allows them to take a superior stance
At our puerile attempts they just look askance

But the solution is not to simply give in
But start at the basics, that’s where to begin
With tiny steps the tough subject attack
Upwards and onwards, no glancing back

From simple arithmetic we might proceed
Not allowing problems progress to impede
Gradually attacking the language algebraic
Geometric shapes which are somewhat archaic

And so at last as our knowledge expands
We learn to tackle all the subject’s demands
Until all its mysteries we have expelled
Our dyscalculia completely dispelled

Ken Fisher

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Do you ever stop to consider
The next Big Thing in your life?
Be it joy all the way
Or trouble and strife

Perhaps you’re content
To let things take their course
Accept as they come
Events simply endorse

Or feel reassured
By having a plan
Just for next week
Or all of life’s span

Or are you happy-go-lucky
You can go with the flow
Even under dark shadows
You catch the rainbow

Well I have no prescription
As to what may be best
Quite free and easy
Or future obsessed

But whenever you discover
The next Big Thing you need face
Accept that’s just life
With resilience embrace

Ken Fisher




Unexpected hospitalisation
Two weeks of incarceration
Not readily anticipated
My mind profoundly agitated

The frailty of human flesh
Dark thoughts soon the mind depress
But initial pain was unremitting
All rational thought quickly outwitting

Ensconced within the institution
Trusting they can find solution
In the meantime to their regime submitting
My own impotence admitting

That behemoth
Combining art and clever science
On which we patients place reliance

In due time a diagnosis
Less precise, ultimate prognosis
But in their nostrums I place trust
All settled life paths readjust

Remedies demanding my obedience
Accepting change as is expedient
Emerging from the mentoring ward
Coping strategies explored

Giving thanks for love and care
Determined not my soul despair
Together facing future days
Battling my vague malaise

Ken Fisher

Mission Statement

Mission Statement



Catchy slogan
Or something more
Let’s you know
Our inner core
Defining the why, the who, the what
Who we are and what we’re not

Mission statements
Encapsulate our brand
In lucid terms
Use nothing grand
In simple claims
Divulge our aims

Mission statements need not only be
For mega-corporations
The United Nations
Charities can also find them useful
All should ensure that they are truthful

Churches try to be ‘missional’
Concerned for justice and compassion
Reaching out to those in need
Ensuring they receive their ration
Of the world’s bounty they deserve
Willing help without reserve

And what about an MS that is personal
Declaring my purposes and my goals?
A guiding principle to follow
My words and actions to control
Emblazoned in my life’s CV
Lived manifest for all to see

Ken Fisher

The Statutory Presumption of Senility

The Statutory Presumption of Senility

I wonder what you think about old age?
Or rather the progressive on-set of age
Do you assume that it is a downward spiral
From rationality to senility

At what age do we observe such change?
Does the receipt of your pension
Herald the beginning of decrepitude
Or is the pension the springboard to freedom

None of this seems sensible
As for some, the planned-for receipt of the pension
Might happen in early middle age
For others, less fortunate, on the brink of their dotage!

In today’s world many cannot afford to retire
State Pension age stretches into the distance
Affordable mortgages need maximum tenure
Divorce, subsidising offspring and care in old age

All these make cosy retirement a modern-day chimera
Who can afford this nirvana?
An extra 25pence per week at age 80
Will hardly meet the challenge!

Senility is both triumph and defeat
Defeat because we can no longer cope
Triumph because it brings escape
Let the world take care of itself!

But let us not judge all those of mature years
As incapable or incompetent
They bring the accumulated wisdom of their age
And with luck, we might share in their inheritance

Ken Fisher



Breaking News

Breaking News

Breaking News
Two words we don’t want to hear
But cannot ignore

What now? We wonder
Are we not already punch-drunk
With the latest tidings
Of disaster, tragedy and death

Breaking News
Here we go again
As the little siren caption
Runs along the TV screen

Demanding our immediate attention
To some gut-wrenching catastrophe
Another addition to the stockpile
Of the world’s tribulations

Breaking News
Don’t they know we have enough
Trouble just coping with daily life?
It’s not that we just don’t care
We do – but how?

Breaking News
Perhaps the media moguls
Should be forced to ensure
There’s some good news too
Breaking News that won’t
Break our hearts

Ken Fisher

See also my poem: Unfettered Catastrophising

Still In Limbo

Still in Limbo

Apparently Limbo is the very edge of Hell
And that’s our world’s new perch
Hovering o’er that deep abyss
As for peace so many search

As weapons clash and innocents are slaughtered
The sound of warfare continues unabated
Who will bring peace, end all this strife?
The conquering lust be sated

Each new day we wait for news
That peace might be restored
Pray that weapons be laid down
But justice ne’er ignored

And so in Limbo we still wait
Amidst lives and homes laid waste
The trappings of our civil world
Shattered and debased

Ken Fisher

Don’t You Wish It Wasn’t Happening?

Don’t You Wish It Wasn’t Happening?


Don’t you wish it wasn’t happening?
That somehow it’d go away
The not-so distant noise of battle
We wake up to each new day

Switch off the media
We’ve heard quite enough of that
The sound of gun-touting soldiers
Drowns out the diplomat

We stand on the sidelines
Impotent to save
Gazing at the newsreels
As innocents face the grave

Don’t you wish it wasn’t happening?
Can we turn back the clock?
Renew the uneasy peace
The shelter of deadlock

Of course we wish it wasn’t happening
But we are now where we are
A desperate prayer for peace with justice
Ere all mankind has gone too far

Ken Fisher


The Wrecking Ball

The Wrecking Ball


The wrecking ball has struck our lives again
‘Midst cherished hopes of a world at peace
Invasion on Europe’s eastern flanks
From tyranny a prayer for release

The wrecking ball swung with relentless force
Who can this weighty pendulum  resist?
Appeals to reason or appeasement unavail
Might and justice fail to coexist

Will this wrecking ball sound the death knell
Of post war tenuous years of truce?
A renewed Cold War the best we can expect?
Living precariously with this new truth

Ken Fisher


Keep the Heid and Haud Yer Wheesht

Keep the Heid and Haud Yer Wheesht

When by world events you’re overwhelmed
By screaming kids you’re round the bend
Inside, you’re begging ‘gie me peace’
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

When you’re caught up in argy-bargy
Any concession rather tardy
No forgiveness not the least
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

When all around is gloom and doom
For happy thoughts there seems no room
Inside you’re pleading for release
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

When politicians shout and squabble
TV debates become a rabble
With little light and too much heat
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

When ranting preachers point the finger
Our pleasures they would surely hinder
From protestation be released
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

With all that would our lives disturb
Knee-jerk reactions we should curb
A moment’s thought might tame the beast
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

Such approach no cowardly plea
Perhaps more a pause to wait and see
E’er retaliation is unleashed
Just keep the heid and haud yer wheesht

Ken Fisher






Tombstones and Snowdrops

Tombstones and Snowdrops

Ominous rumblings
Of invasion and war
As the nations emerge
From pandemic peril
Peace once again shattered
By belligerent power

It seems crisis is
Forever endemic
Tombstone memorial
Looming over bright hope
In this new year’s
Burgeoning snowdrops

As the world holds its breath
May the light of hope
Escape from under
The tombstone’s shadow
Tiny white flags, not of appeasement
But of justice and peace

Ken Fisher


Toxic Positivity

Toxic Positivity

Do you ever feel the challenge to be Positive,
To look on the Bright Side
To Smile through it all,
Sounds like a prescription gone Toxic?

Echoes of the careworn nostrum
“the Power of Positive Thinking”
A bad case of bloody-minded joy
Replace sadness with gladness

What’s wrong with low mood?
Feel guilty admitting it
Pretend everything is hunky-dory
When it is nothing of the kind

How about a little honesty?
We are all human
Not robots with no emotions
Zombies devoid of feelings

Mind you there might be
A Toxic Negativity
Unable to delight in anything
Denizens of a dystopian world

So how do we strike the balance?
Sanity perched between spurious positivity
And synthetic euphoria
A precarious equilibrium

Perhaps that’s just the human condition
We must learn to ride the crest of the wave
And swim back up from the trough
Like emoticons for smiles and tears

😀   😢

Ken Fisher

See similar sentiments in this poem: The Tyranny of Positivity