Unwillingly to School

Unwillingly to School

“And creeping like a snail unwillingly to school”
Shakespeare – As You Like It

Spare a thought for our kids today
As once more they join the fray
Wave adieu to days of freedom
As to learning they are ransomed

Knuckle down to discipline
To instruction they must listen
Co-operate with earnest teachers
Help to build a brighter future

Parents too will find relief
Saves them from a lot of grief
As they despatch their young offspring
Called to classes as bells ring

Ken Fisher

Home and Away

Home and Away

 

It is that time of year of the great escape
Abandon the treadmill of the daily round
Head for the shore, seek a wide landscape
Everyday worries we strive to confound

Yet the exodus is not without its own travail
Would that we could be transported without stress
That in our moving calm might still prevail
No anxiety inhibit our hopeful progress

And on arrival at our chosen destination
Perhaps perplexed by things quite unfamiliar
Still we lack that sense of jubilation
And disappointment creeps in to bewilder

Our holiday should bring us rich renewal
The impact of unanticipated surprise
The involvement in exploits quite unusual
For jaded body and soul a treasured prize

But when excitement slowly ceases to amuse
And thoughts return to comforts of our home
The novelty of absence becomes diffuse
And we find little pleasure as we roam

It is then that home seems more blessed than away
The solace of the familiar brings reassurance
No longer the impetus for us to stray
Prolonged absence would be mere forbearance

Ken Fisher

Attitude

Attitude

 

This may sound like platitude
And can’t be claimed with certitude
If only thoughts might be imbued
With thankfulness and gratitude
Those lurking doubts might be subdued
And confidence once more renewed
Banishing disquietude
By choosing the right attitude

But what attitude should we exude?
What is bad and thus not good
We must speak truth and not delude
What virtues should then be pursued
To others demonstrate solicitude
Eschewing all  turpitude
Forgiving to the multitude
Our love shown in magnitude
Surely the right attitude

Ken Fisher

Bubble Wrap Society

Bubble Wrap Society

[A protective sonnet]

I read somewhere, the other day
We are far too protective
Kids no longer out to play
Of dangerous risk obsessive
Of course there are a lot of threats
Lurking in places unexpected
Harm and loss brings much regret
And should never be neglected
You will have heard of the GDPR*
All-pervasive in its intentions
We may have gone somewhat too far
In cyber crime prevention
A life cocooned thus saved from all mishap
Enveloping each and all in swathes of bubble wrap!

Ken Fisher

 

  • General Data Protection Regulation

A Broader Mind?

A Broader Mind?

Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

 

Having just returned from a mini version of the Grand Tour
Travelling by train and coach and occasionally by boat
Through parts of northern Europe with much allure
New vistas are to a parochial view a strong antidote

In the passage through towns and cities unfamiliar
Observing the lives of others lived out in far-flung places
Noting phenomena sometimes appearing quite peculiar
We see likenesses and differences in peoples’ faces

The architecture of Churches, civic buildings and habitations
Demonstrate patterns developed over historic time-scales
Piazzas, market squares, and hostelries distinctive of each nation
And many structures reflect the ideology which there prevails

But perhaps it is in meeting with the denizens of each location
That we may challenge our thinking and our attitudes
If only we could overcome our linguistic limitations
We can break the bonds of our insular solitude

And no matter that our sojourn in unfamiliar lands
Is bound to be limited ‘less time and distance be reconciled
There can be little doubt that our horizons will expand
Prejudice is challenged as by foreign lands we are beguiled

Ken Fisher

Forgiveness is the Threshold to Healing

Forgiveness is the Threshold to Healing

 

When we are stung by someone’s sharp rebuke
Their piercing words however unintended
The thoughtless gibe, unthinking sneer
That leaves our very soul offended

When those around apparently conspire
To thwart all our plans, our hopes and ambitions
How can be bring ourselves to readily forgive?
When our undoing seems the object of their mission

When in life we suffer losses and misfortune
Caused by others’ wanton actions or omissions
How can we cast aside our pain and resentment?
Absorbing all in self-deprecating submission

Of course we must attempt to stand up to the storms
And positively respond when confronted by adversity
Yet if our reaction is to meet challenge with aggression
Would not that alone simply be mean travesty?

We must find a better way to assuage our hurt
Not living out our days in pique and bitterness
But setting aside all past pain and suffering
Traverse the threshold of healing through forgiveness

Ken Fisher

GDPR

GDPR

The latest challenge to face our British nation
Is the General Data Protection Regulation
Now we must comply with detailed rules
To help us, some guidelines are useful tools

Curiously it is Europe who commands we comply
And Brexit appears to offer no alibi
In the UK the Information Commission
Demands our complete and ready submission

It would appear all these changes come in the wake
Of frequent liberties that intruders may take
With our personal data which we let others hold
As in on-line processing we have entered so bold

Big Data is the feature that might fill us with fear
As facts known about us break every frontier
Thus personal data ascends to the cloud
And lands where we surely would not have allowed

So all these new rules have been devised
To ensure of our data use we keep appraised
Above all, our privacy must be secured
And of that fact let us all be assured

Businesses, charities and all kinds of organisation
Will find they must meet their new obligation
To ensure that they comply with GDPR
Whose ramifications stretch both wide and far

One aspect of GDPR that surely will scare
Are the punishments if firms seem not to care
And it’s best that all submit to the ICO Regulator
Who is the ulitimate judge and arbitrator

So I hope all goes well in data protection
And miscreants will soon suffer detection
But don’t let all your links to others be lost
A price we may think is too high a cost

Ken Fisher

Umbrage

Umbrage

 

Whenever someone seeks to criticize
My words or ideas oh so wise
Umbrage is the first thing I take
As I simply find I cannot wait

I know I should stop and listen
And avoid the quite wrong supposition
That your comments are meant to wound
My knee-jerk reaction too finely tuned

Thus I have lost the art of conversation
Each dialogue becomes a confrontation
Unwilling to accept your point of view
I may be right but so might you

It’s funny how often I feel slighted
Temper’s fire quickly ignited
You only made a passing comment
But suddenly my mind’s in torment

I really must change my diet
Choosing things that won’t disquiet
Taking umbrage does no good
Tolerance a much better food

Ken Fisher

Hiding Under the Duvet

Hiding Under the Duvet

Too much to do, too little time
But too timid to resign
Must I pretend to run the nation?
Living, one drawn-out obligation

Is this how to make life fulfilling?
Ever the need to “show willing”
Too weak to lower my eyes
Avoiding pleas that I oblige

So I have created my own prison
Destined to serve time with no remission
Freedom glimpsed through duty’s bars
Liberty tempts but from afar

Where might refuge be discovered?
Tucked warmly beneath the covers
The duvet gives shelter from the storm
Secreted from pressure to conform

Ken Fisher

Let’s Iron Out These Wrinkles

Let’s Iron Out These Wrinkles

Where would we be without this useful device
That ensures all our clothes are kept looking nice?
The washing’s complete but still in a crinkle
Time to eliminate those creases and wrinkles

In days of old we put the iron next the fire
To get it warm enough for what we require
But sometimes this resulted in far too much dirt
Which was quickly transferred to our lovely clean shirt

Eventually the iron was given its own water tank
An improvement for which we all give thanks
Because this meant it could retain its heat
As in its reservoir it did hot water secrete

In due time further changes evolved
Ensuring all ironing problems were solved
Thus pressing of clothes duly came on stream
Achieved by expelling jets of hot steam

The electric iron of today boasts a great range of options
Some offer anti-scale, easy glide, in such modern contraptions
Even safety controls to ensure the machine wont overheat
Indeed no ironing challenge can these marvels defeat

So if you are looking for ways to smooth everything out
This household wonder without any doubt
Can kill off those wrinkles at remarkable pace
But be warned it must never be used on an old care-worn face!

Ken Fisher

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

How often do you feel left to do it all?
The heavy lifting, I mean
Of course they all pretend to be concerned
But there is always a convenient get out

There are domestic heavy lifters
Caring 24/7 for ageing relatives
Single parents bowed down in their isolation
The partner of the unrepentant alcoholic

There are industrial heavy lifters
The factory fodder on the minimum wage
The wage slaves in flooded car-washes
Or seedy nail bars or all-night greasy spoon cafes

There are commercial heavy lifters
Keyboard slaves handling millions of transactions
Of which their share will be infinitesimal
Clerks waiting to be swallowed up by automation

Social heavy lifters propping up suffering humanity
Nurses on night shifts, social workers, paramedics
All these strain their muscles to uphold our burdens
But do we care? After all someone has to do it.

And higher up the tree there are others who know they
do the heavy lifting that we all fail to recognise
The loyal servants of companies and institutions
The office holders in churches, clubs and voluntary organisations

But do we really ever think of the injustice suffered
by the heavy lifters? Or do we just think – hard luck
Why don’t they just get over it?
If they all decided to give up one day – where would we be?

But we know they wont

Ken Fisher