I’m Absolutely Fine

I’m Absolutely Fine

When you’re feeling down
Your brow wears a frown
And you really just need to whine
You put on a brave face
Although you want to grimace
And say I’m absolutely fine

From the pressures of life
All its troubles and strife
When there’s never quite enough time
There is too much to do
And it’s all down to you
But still I’m absolutely fine

When it seems no-one cares
And you’re nearly in tears
You might even need to resign
But you just soldier on
When the others have gone
‘Cos your still absolutely fine

Perhaps you must learn
That the peace that you yearn
Which all your hopes will enshrine
You can only attain
When you learn to complain
Saying I am NOT absolutely fine!

Ken Fisher

Unwillingly to School [August 2019]

Unwillingly to School 

 

“And creeping like a snail unwillingly to school”
[The Seven Ages of Man]
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

All designed minds to expand
The curriculum thus duly planned
Presented with unending tasks
Where will it lead? Our pupils ask

Who says all this is democratic
Our elders remain quite emphatic
On opening day it’s back you go!
The reason why you need not know

Ken Fisher

The Redoubtable Ms Clarke

The Redoubtable Ms Clarke

 

They said at the start “It’s a position of trust”
And accuracy is an absolute ‘must’
Ms Clarke was aware of the need for discretion
They would not tolerate any transgression

Despite these quite rigorous stipulations
Perhaps even because she liked tight regulations
Ms Clarke was happy to work for that firm
And her acceptance of all she would gladly affirm

Her duties covered a significant range
Receipts and payments, often foreign exchange
Processing documents, checking the prices
Extensive use of computer devices

Payroll and wages presented no problems
Her awareness of tax was really quite awesome
Marginal costing, credit control, even VAT
To Ms Clarke a cinch, unlike you or me

Trial balance, profit and loss, bank reconciliation
All processed without the slightest vexation
The final accounts from these easily prepared
Her bosses, amazed, just stood there and stared!

Thus Ms Clarke was well on the way to a godlike status
As master of the whole admin apparatus
But then it became something of a surprise
To find in the ointment there was a small fly

For actual money handling there was little call
But in this obscure corner began Ms Clarke’s fall
Most firms still have need of some petty cash
And with that fund employees sometimes get rash

The amounts of money are merely a trickle
But nonetheless one might get into a pickle
The total fund is called an imprest
But these small amounts can herald distress

Ms Clarke somehow succumbed to temptation
Perhaps she thought she deserved compensation
Anyway by a relentless process of syphoning off
From her worthy employer she performed a rip-off

Gradually over many months and years
A large sum of money would disappear
But because the account was still called ‘petty’
Not large paper, more like confetti

But one day when Ms Clarke went off on vacation
The auditors expressed a little vexation
About lack of clarity in Ms Clarke’s account
Which spawned in their mind some significant doubt

So while Ms Clarke basked in the sunshine of foreign climes
It became clear she had perpetrated exorbitant crimes
Her petty fraud had resulted in a vast accumulation
Exposed by this somewhat belated examination

On return Ms Clarke became the subject of an inquisition
The result of which, an unwilling admission
That she had helped herself to what she believed she was due
To label her as a thief was not really true

But I am afraid the majesty of the law extended its arm
Claiming that to condone fraud would result in great harm
Ms Clarke was reminded of her position of trust
Where not only accuracy but integrity was clearly a must

Poor Ms Clarke found her freedom somewhat restricted
As of fraud our hero was duly convicted
The law was thus applied in appropriate measure
Detained for some years at Her Majesty’s pleasure

Ken Fisher

Home Again

Home Again

 

Click goes the key in the lock
A gentle push to gain re-entry
Home’s blessed sanctuary

It’s not that we didn’t have a good time
But somehow it’s comforting to return to base
With all its every day familiarity

Travel broadens the mind they say
And without doubt it forces our eyes open
But unless you venture far
Perhaps little dilation of the eyes
Or expansion of the intellect

Home, the arena of domestic life
Of events quotidian and surprising
Moments of joy and despair
Acted out within its walls

But no matter how exiting
Our extra-mural exploits
We still hanker for home
Where we can be ourself

So that key inserted in the lock
That crossing of the threshold once again
Brings relief for a journey now completed
Normality restored once more

Ken Fisher

Have a Nice Life

Have a Nice Life

“Have a nice day” our frequent  word of benediction
When splitting from our friends in every situation
But if this happens to be the final parting of our ways
Perhaps “Have a Nice Life” is what we ought to say

We often use words in a rather glib manner
“take care” we say, but does it really matter?
I suppose we utter phrases with the best intention
But life still happens without our intervention

In any case, we hope a lifetime will be long
To make predictions is indeed headstrong
So who knows if wishing for any kind of life
Could guarantee that it will turn out “nice”

Nice Day, Nice Life – what on earth does that mean?
Will the grass beneath our feet be forever green?
Shall good fortune always shine upon our face
In all our doings might we discover grace

So is there no point in offering felicitations
All our words just vacuous declaration?
No, if offered from the heart in all sincerity
Who knows, we might nudge the course of history

Ken Fisher

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect

A moment of respite
A reality check
Go into neutral
Take a deep breath
Time to take stock
Hold on just a minute
Let’s simply be
No need to do

Yet as each new day dawns
Challenges to meet
Opportunities to seize
Targets to aim for
Boxes to tick
The urge to compete
No time to be wasted
Success is our creed

Surely there’s more to life?
What’s it all for?
What really matters?
Who pulls the strings?
Find:
Time to pause
Time to chill
Time to ponder
Time to reflect

Ken Fisher

See also: Action & Reflection

Nodding Donkeys

Nodding Donkeys

Democracy is somewhat ineffectual
If voting is reduced to ritual
When electors vote as they are told
By the ‘party line’ they are controlled

Surely there is need to use our voice
And exercise freedom of choice
Secret ballots assure anonymity
Guaranteeing electors’ privacy

The problem is, even when considered
The need to choose leaves us bewildered
Zealots exercising all their might
Delude us issues are just black or white

But many of the problems of our day
Not black or white, much near to grey
Thus the need for consideration
Even measured deliberation

Not just in matters politic
The force majeure can simply trick
Us into decisions precipitate
Reasoning inadequate

Nodding donkeys we must not be
No longer ready to agree
To those who would life dominate
From their will we’ll deviate

Ken Fisher

 

What is the Point?

What is the Point?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself
Of anything, what is the point?
Perhaps we are too afraid to ask
As the answer might disappoint

So much in life we simply accept
And questions we rarely attempt
Some topics have somehow become taboo
And from challenge remain exempt

But habit can sometimes be a lazy thing
If we don’t take a moment to think
And tradition can make slaves of us all
When perchance we are being hoodwinked

So perhaps we should pause just now and again
To ask why some notions exist
Not simply be ruled by the status quo
And let sloppy thinking persist

So what are the concepts of which we might ask
“Please let us know what’s the point”
Religion and philosophy might fill the bill
What is their aim and endpoint?

And some may well claim that art seems ever so dense
For others all sport leaves them cold
And gardening while loved by quite a few
Leaves many quite unenthralled

In theatre and music some find their passion
But to many they make no sense
As for politics, ancient history and maths
Who is ready to advance a defence?

We could go through the wide gamut of human endeavour
Question  devotees and fanatics
Have they ever stopped to take time to reflect
Before adopting their stance quite dogmatic

Of course the danger here is we might over-react
Our rejection becomes unforgiving
Then we can find little reason for existence itself
Conclude there is no point in living!

Ken Fisher

Proximity Without Community

Proximity Without Community

Could it be that surrounded as we are
By thousands of our fellow human beings
Yet our heart cries out for companionship?
We have proximity but lack community

While sitting on a crowded tube train
Hundreds of heads clamped by earphones
Fingers tapping on smart phone screens
Perhaps community is in the ether?

Even while jostled in the rising lift
Our personal space acutely threatened
Proximity enforced upon us
A community manifestly silent

In the age of individualism, solo performance
highly valued, the allure of the selfie over all
Of course nominally we admire ‘team spirit’
But community consists of elite teams

In the pursuit of comfort and privacy
More than ever live as single occupants
So we become a community of persons
Living in proximity but in a soul-less community

In work we may be surrounded by others
But our freedom is regulated, our productivity calibrated
Together we are enslaved in the joint endeavour
But that common bond is very tenuous

And so we bob along like corks floating in a tank
Proximity demands that we impinge on each other
But in no way are we united in community
Perpetual drifting along together in independent flow

Ken Fisher

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Wise advice when we are considering some mad-cap enterprise
And yet if caution is our only compass what is the gain?
Sometimes we need to step out into the unknown
Take a gamble, be adventurous for once

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
If we are too timid to take that first stride, no headway
So why not cast aside all doubts and fears
To boldly go…………

But hang on a minute, do we need to burn our boats
Must we throw all caution to the wind?
Slam the door on past achievements
Eschew all that has given us comfort and security?

Surely there is a middle way, not stagnating
And yet not stifling all initiative, all creativity
Are we so confident in the need for change
That the decision to act can only be binary?

After all, when advised ‘not to give up the day job’
Isn’t there just a hint that others have reasoned
That, in the gamble we are about to take
The odds may be stacked against us?

The day job may seem tedious and tiresome
Characterized by boredom and routine
But at least it ensures that life is sustained
And others can still depend on us

But lest we think this view is a spoiler to all initiative
Many an enterprise has sprung from hobbies and pastimes
From the energy and enthusiasm of amateurs
Eagerly beavering away at moments snatched outside the day job

Ken Fisher

Public Intellectual

Public Intellectual

Acknowledged for their lofty thoughts
From whom doubtless we can be taught
Critical thinking, deep reflection
Hallmarks of such an esteemed person

Legions of experts proffer solutions
How to save the planet from pollution
No problem beyond their power to solve
When brilliant minds beomce involved

The public intellectual, wisest of all of these
Fame gained through demonstrated expertise
Consulted on perplexing issues of the day
Never reluctant to have their say

The luminaries are nothing if not highbrow
Common knowledge they simply disavow
On higher thoughts is built their reputation
To exercise our minds is their great aspiration

The influence of public intellectuals is widespread
Their quality of mind that of a thoroughbred
Thus we lesser mortals may feel second rate
Our simple musings made to seem lightweight

But in our world so complex and diverse
It would undoubtedly appear perverse
If in the realm of discourse and debate
Thoughts high or humble we can’t accommodate

Ken Fisher

Keep on Keeping On

Keep on Keeping On

Keep on keeping on! What do we mean by that?
Perhaps the persistent griping of a little brat
Enough to drive a parent to distraction
Prompting a less than generous reaction

Keep on keeping on! is often no bad thing
When by perseverence we find it brings
The fruits of hard work and determination
An end product yielding great satisfaction

When we are tempted to throw in the towel
In the heat of play, to simply cry foul!
Keeping on amidst dark discouragement
Casting aside all that brings impairment

In days when life seems to have no point
When things conspire to disappoint
Try not to give up midst the gloom
Keep on,  surely change must come soon

So what is the value of keeping on?
Hoping the victory can be won
Those who persist until the end
Justly deserve a dividend

Heed the message of that hare and tortoise
Tenaciously just hold that poise
Consistent all the way along
The prize assured for keeping on!

Ken Fisher