Do You Ever Wonder?

Do You Ever Wonder?

 

Do you ever wonder if your Mum and Dad had never met
Would non-existence make you feel upset?
But they did meet and they got together
So little point in any wondering whether

Do you ever wonder if you had lived elsewhere
Would your life have been a quite different affair?
But you exist when and where your life was lived
And despite or because, you seem to have survived

Do you ever wonder about your education
Should you have had greater aspirations?
But you did your best with the chances that you had
Nonetheless it proved a steady launching pad

Do you ever wonder about your chosen career
Did it allow any hidden talents to appear?
In due time you had the chance to blossom
So your contribution may not simply be forgotten

Do ever wonder if you were a good husband/wife
Would you be faithful throughout all of life?
But you showed that by your loving concern and care
Loyalty brings its own reward as you travel life’s diverse ways

Do you ever wonder if your life has any meaning
A purpose behind all your doing and dealing?
Surely your investment in the service of your friends
Did yield for all a living dividend

Do you ever wonder if you would be missed
If from life’s stage you were suddenly dismissed?
Each and every one of us will have played our part
The loss of any player brings a void in the collective heart

Ken Fisher

This shouldn’t happen and ought to be stopped!

This shouldn’t happen and ought to be stopped!

 

Do you ever pause to think of things that happen that ought to be stopped?
For instance the winter this year which failed to come to an end
Or the old BHS stores we liked and should never have flopped
The strident on-line sales campaigns that insist we must spend

Or the enormous holes in the roads which the council ignores
And the continuing closure of many local bank branches
The interruption of TV shows by adverts we all deplore
Worse, unexpected bills which can ruin our finances

Special offers which only apply to the size we don’t choose
The exorbitant charges imposed at so many car parks
Failing to forget our troubles by taking much booze
And delays on our streets by never ending road-works

News bulletins demanding that we must take action
Tradesmen who promise but never appear
Media gurus who bully to get a reaction
And health warnings designed clearly to scare

And so it goes on, the long litany of woes
Wherever we turn there are things to be stopped
But who’s going to do it, nobody knows
Perhaps all our complaints will have to be dropped!

Ken Fisher

Hell Still Hovers

Hell Still Hovers

 

It has been stated that someone very high up
Has claimed that Hell’s time is virtually up
I don’t know where he got that idea
I wish it were true, but it’s wrong I fear

We are all quite happy that Heaven exists
And if Hell were gone it might not be missed
But it was handy to have a fiery sin bin
Where lifetime baddies their strife might begin

Thoughts of Hell remind us all we must behave
And never to vices should we become slave
Dante famously journeys through darkest Hell
Midst many trials ere he could bid it farewell

Jean Paul Sartre declared that Hell is really others
A somewhat low opinion of our sisters and brothers
But perhaps we too make hell for all those around
Less paradiso, more battleground

If Hell is abolished what of purgatory?
Where souls might rest while still transitory
No need for our prayers to aid early release
Subjected no more to the Church’s caprice

But does all this mean Hell cannot be real?
And Heaven is surely the only Big Deal
Perhaps both of these places exist in the mind
In the rich imagination of all humankind

So whether in fact or merely in thought
Regardless of what our life journey has wrought
If Hell’s dark spectre still hovers out there
It would be a sensible course if we could aim for elsewhere!

Ken Fisher

Ask Me No More

Ask Me No More

Ask me no more if with life I am content
No word or deed of which I now repent
No hasty action, no negligent omission
Rightly deserving others’ cutting admonition

Ask me no more if I have lived a virtuous life
Free from conflict, devoid of hostility or strife
For virtue is not simply some personal rectitude
But the moral life lived amidst the multitude

Ask me no more how happiness be gained
Does it demand all passion be constrained
But would such existence lose all humanity
Bound down by false notions or morality

Ask me no more if a conclusion I have reached
So many questions, I feel like a man impeached
Contentment, virtue, happiness, all three
Ask of me no more, but simply let me be

Ken Fisher

[First line each verse with due deference to
Thomas Carew – 1595-1640]

Good Books for Our Companions

Good Books for our Companions

 

‘Take good books for your companions’ – helpful advice
Given by a friend commending the value of reading
Companions who can transport us into paradise
As in imagination we find our mind engaging

The world of books extends without constraint
The primary division being  fiction and non-fiction
Within these two, the range knows no restraint
Beyond all that’s needed to meet every aspiration

Fiction books are works of the imagination
The creation of the author who would tell a story
In novels a plot is woven full of complication
In time denouement resolves it in all its glory

Fiction is an extensive genre of writing
Romance, mystery, poetry,  even horror
Creativity challenging and exciting
Stirring emotions of joy or even terror

Non-fiction advances more serious companions
These books are primarily works of hard fact
Expounding some theory but rarely without passion
Their intention is didactic or to show us how to act

Non-fiction writing seems to know no bounds
Every sphere of knowledge comes within its compass
Thus expert authors will on their field expound
Utilised for study at home, in school, wherever on the campus

Libraries are the reservoir of endless stocks of books
Fiction and non-fiction occupy their ample shelves
Read biography, history, or instructions how to cook
Dictionaries or travel guides and all kinds of self-help

Crime writing and mystery we can easily access
Suggestions as to how you might improve your health
Even audio-books to make our language skills progress
And investment manuals promising great wealth

Of course in the modern age print books are under threat
By computer versions we can easily download
But the libraries have learned their bets to hedge
By importing the hardware they can become a node

In a literate world books are spawned in great profusion
Creativity abounds without limit or reserve
But the market wallows in confusion
As traditional sellers attempt their share to conserve

Anyway, no matter where you seek out your reading choices
There is no doubt that good companions they will prove to be
As you imbibe the precious written words, the authors’ voices
You will discover the power of literature to set your spirit free

Ken Fisher

SKIN

SKIN

That delicate membrane between ourself and the world
This outer coating formed in our Mother’s womb
Smooth when a baby, in old age quite gnarled
Its has to serve us well from cradle to tomb

Skin is the subject of much speculation
Its colour from others can rarely be hidden
A primary indicator of our race or nation
So often prompting some pointless division

And yet under our skin we are all kith and kin
Our bones, muscles, organs, those obscure glands
Our blood vessels, tendons, and all else within
The same brain controlling our limbs and hands

Perhaps our most visible skin is the face we display
Here the world notices our outward expression
It’s what others encounter of us each new day
Registering moods ranging from joy to depression

Of course the skin sometimes has the power to excite
Especially when we decide to give greater exposure
On a shimmering beach or by soft candle light
Between consenting adults who lose their composure!

Adults are often concerned about their complexion
And spend collective millions to enhance their appearance
Others resort to surgery or weird cosmetic injections
For major reconstruction or minor ‘slum clearance’

Of course we all must remain sensibly vigilant
On the well-known dangers of the sun’s pervasive rays
Avoiding the temptation of the tanning lamp
Being unashamed of pale skin on our holidays

An aspect of skin treatment is the modern tattoo
Of which many men and even women seem proud
Words of endearment and designs like voodoo
A personal statement shouted out loud

Of course the cosmetic industry relies on our vanity
A business which seeks to enhance the world’s face
Some even claim it promotes health and sanity
Perhaps the skin we might all wish to embrace

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

Sleep Sonnet

Sleep Sonnet

[for World Sleep Day 16 March 2018]

World Sleep Day seems to have the wrong title
‘Cause is not most sleep enjoyed in the night?
But whatever the time surely sleeping is vital
Whether in the dark hours or snoozed in the light
Doctors advise that sleep is essential for health
To renew our bodies, restore our frazzled minds
Some even claim sleep can bring us more wealth
Preparing us for challenges of whatever kind
But the word sleep may not mean we are under the covers
Because it sometimes implies other affairs
As youngsters (of all ages) often engage in sleep-overs!
Happy together in all that they share
So let sleep be to you a boon and a blessing
As in his arms you find the god Morpheus caressing

Ken Fisher

Tired and Emotional

Tired and Emotional

“Tired and Emotional” is a well-worn euphemism
Used by the press to highlight the effects of alcoholism
Demonstrated in some of our erstwhile politicians
When subjected to their Star Chamber style inquisitions

But it seems to me that to be tired and emotional
Can affect us all, even those most stoical
Fatigue is found endemic in busy modern life
With emotional turmoil as we face daily strife

So many spend their days constantly being driven
Slaves to a work regime, quite often unforgiving
Heightened emotion a feature of our interaction
Prompting passion instead of calm reaction

So is it any wonder that all this is so draining?
A challenge to ensure our composure still remaining
Being tired and emotional becomes our default disposition
And our earnest wish is to change this dire condition

So is there any cure for this grim state of affairs
Any nostrum, magic formula to rid us of our cares?
Perhaps that other aphorism “Keep Calm and Carry On”
Might yet prove useful for us to ruminate upon?

Ken Fisher

Rewind

Rewind

If only, if only, we could hit the rewind
Swallow those words, rub out the lines
Take back what we’ve said in that moment so rash
Pick it all up, dump it in Trash

And not just our words, quite often our deeds
Ignoring others, only concerned for our needs
Blundering on with so little thought
Creating a climate ever so fraught

If only we might pause at that critical moment
And thus avoid leaving a hurtful endowment
Just stem the flow of unkind invective
Prompting regrets in the retrospective

It would be better if we could freeze-frame
Be mute for a moment before we declaim
Then ask ourselves why be so unkind?
And avert the need to beg for rewind

How might we avoid this need for regret
Praying that others will early forget?
Before every hasty word or precipitate action
Think first of others and their reaction

Let’s not forget that well-known adage
And thereby avoid unnecessary damage
‘It’s nice to be nice’ I am sure you agree
And from contrition you will be set free

Ken Fisher

Open Wide

Open Wide

To day I am heading for the dentist, not been there for some time
I will stand at the entrance and listen to the doorbell chime
I might even be tempted to turn on my heel and run away
But if I did so I would my trust in her betray

So through the door I will proceed and duly give my name
‘Not seen you for a while’, the receptionist will exclaim
I sheepishly apologise for my protracted absence
And hope that I am nonetheless still a welcome presence

I sit in the waiting room full of apprehension
Surely there is no need to feel such mounting tension
In due time the dentist calls me to the inner chamber
Up on to the sacrificial plinth I tentatively clamber

I have never met this new practitioner before
And she smilingly begins my oral cavity to explore
Mysterious numbers and codes are efficiently called out
Thank goodness the nurse seems to know what this is all about

I look up skywards into the bright searchlight
Hoping there is no need for me to feel contrite
And after a few moments of judicious prodding
She declares ‘some remedial work, and at least one filling’

I am much relieved by this judgment quite benign
And readily the treatment form I willingly just sign
Just two more visits will surely set me free
By then my mouth will have sailed through its M O T!

Ken Fisher

That was Then, this is Now

That was Then, this is Now

When we reflect on days gone by
We may recall with a deep sigh
Of customs we now disavow
But that was then, this is now

There never was a question whether
Before marriage you might live together
Social pressure would not allow
But that was then, this is now

Partners were business associates
Not sharing a bedroom with your mate
Today we won’t  raise an eyebrow
But that was then, this is now

Times past we blithely described something ‘gay’
Perhaps  bright flowers on a sunny day
Today gay means equal status we on all endow
Not like then, for this is now

On one thing for certain you can rely
Constant change you can’t deny
Thus we must learn to cope somehow
For that was then, and we live now

Ken Fisher

Photoshop Identity

Photoshop Identity

 

It has been claimed ‘the camera never lies’
And you simply must believe your eyes
But in this modern world, oh so high tech
That final image you should surely check

Because it’s now easy to manipulate
Thus unwanted features we obliterate
From those raw images once original
Captured by our lens then made digital

Snappers are happy with their efforts
Slight imperfections bring no discomfort
But experts feel the need to titivate
Thus post-processing simply cannot wait

So as soon as their images are downloaded
And the pixels have all been decoded
Photoshop software is called into service
Ready to work its transforming marvels

With a battery of tools ever so extensive
Its capability is most comprehensive
It can adjust exposure and colour saturation
Even straighten out chromatic aberration

It can zoom in and out and remove every blemish
Wipe out mysterious shadows which seem to menace
Pick out highlights and make minor corrections
And break up the image into multiple sections

By setting up layers it tackles each issue
Overlaying the problem with a distinct tissue
Making eyes sparkle ever so bright
Turning dark patches into clear light

It is even possible to switch someone’s head
And make people appear when you thought they were dead
Thus bodies and faces we can interchange
A practice that many will consider quite strange

This magic software uses a number of tools
Each one has to be used according to rules
You can paint bits of the screen with special brushes
Causing pallor or if needed, even hot flushes!

You can crop the photo or make it expand
A tiny image made really quite grand
There is an adjustment brush and a graduated filter
Help you sort things out if they all go out of kilter

You can apparently even decide to dehaze
And reorder items that get out of phase
Indeed there nothing impossible for this mighty edit
And we really ought to give the inventors credit

But there is one thing that concerns me and perhaps you
How do we know that the final image is true?
And while we may have claimed the camera never lies
Of the final production – can we believe our eyes?

Ken Fisher