Out of Hibernation and Into School

Out of Hibernation and Into School

 

As we approach the opening of the new school year
Let us cast aside all doubts and fear
Which in our anxious minds may have arisen
As by Covid into hiding kids were driven

For several months pupils of our nation
Were subjected to forced hibernation
And despite their natural resistance
Had to maintain some social distance

A major aspect of this lockdown
Which to parents’ faces brought a frown
The closing of all schools and other institutions
To which educators had to find solutions

Thus home schooling became the norm
Mums and Dads were sometimes forlorn
They quickly had to learn new tricks
To the teaching problem find a fix

Not only that, parents also tried to work at home
As from the household few could roam
So new uses found for domestic premises
Overloading became the family nemesis

But thank goodness time will bring release
And hopefully a return to peace
When children once again head off for school
And order o’er our homes will rule

Let’s hope kids will be happy to return
When from this hiatus they adjourn
Ending these months of stifling frustration
Embraced by the blandishments of ‘real’ education

Ken Fisher

10,000 Steps

10,000 Steps

To this daily routine you have to commit
No feeble excuses to allow you to quit
10,000 steps are the target each day
From that objective we never must stray

Since lockdown imposed so many restrictions
We all must abide by these rigid conditions
But somehow we must seek our health to preserve
And reasonable fitness we would try to conserve

We are glad daily exercise is still permitted
So to a routine we have become committed
10,000 steps seems a worthy objective
Ensuring our frame might still remain active

But how do we count those 10,000 paces?
To ensure all our effort has not been wasted
By modern technology, that’s how we count
So that each day we know the total amount

The Fit Bit is best to act as a monitor
And your mobile phone contains a pedometer
Hence a record is kept of each active movement
Thus helping promote all this self-improvement

So when you’ve completed your daily routine
Just focus in on one of these tiny screens
The total pops up to reveal how you’ve done
Hoping that figure doesn’t spoil all your fun

The target we set we wish to achieve
By honest endeavour, we would not deceive
That 10,000 steps is our goal and our aim
Hurrah! We have got there, we proudly proclaim

Ken Fisher

Road Map for Life

Road Map for Life

You hear a lot these days
About a ‘Road Map’

Apparently it is a plan or strategy
Intended to achieve
A particular goal
 

So we may have ………

A road map out of lockdown
A road map for your career
A road map for peace
A road map towards independence
A road map towards buying your own home
A road map towards health and wealth

And so it goes on.  Especially ON
As the road moves onwards
So must we!

I don’t know if we can call the AA?
As we used to do when things went
Wrong on the road
But at least we will have
That Map to tell us where to go

Perhaps politicians
like road Maps
Because they suggest that
We are going somewhere
Even if we never quite arrive

Evangelists might hold up
A road map to heaven
The road may be long
But the prize is sublime

Financial advisers
Might dupe you with their road map
Using your money to bring about
Untold riches and ever increasing wealth
For whom? We might ask

Fitness instructors
Will draw up a road map
To bring us back to renewed
Health and energy

Some of these have echoes of the Funeral Plans
Tastefully marketed by the local undertaker!

You get the drift?
In every sphere of human endeavour

But now even the map has been superseded
By the GPS system that not only shows us the way
But tracks our progress every inch

Don’t you long for a world
Where maps can be ignored
Where you simply wander at will
And let the future take care of itself?

And as for all the grandiose plans
Of politicians, planners and pundits
Consign them to the file called ‘fiction’
Which contains all the flights of fancy

Ken Fisher

Smile! Smile! Smile!

Smile, Smile, Smile!

Don’t let the mask conceal your smile
Face covering cramp your style
Behind the cloth your joy express
The veil your spirit can’t depress

Dressed thus you seem anonymous
But you’re still yourself eponymous
Your name still known, you haven’t changed
From friends you have not been estranged

The mask a barrier artificial
The covering quite superficial
Underneath the guy we all know
Muffled so the breath can’t flow

So about the mask it’s my advice
No need that you stop and think twice
Just get it on and wear with pride
Do what the powers have specified

Ken Fisher

Joyless July

Joyless July

Joyless July?
Is that how you are feeling
The month normally dominated
By holiday escapades
Deprived of all adventure

Pristine summer clothes
Primed for action
Swimming trunks
Suntan lotion
Sunglasses
Passport
Don’t forget the Euros

But what’s the point?
Covid-19
Scuppered all prospect
Of sun, sea,
And Sangria!
Instead – Fish and Chips
Iron Bru
At Largs

The mind recalls
Lazy days
By Lake Como
Café culture in Nice
The Ramblas, Barcelona
Parisian boulevards

Never mind
It need not be
Completely joyless
Take comfort
In the weekly shop
The daily exercise
The Facetime chat
The Zoom assembly!

Don’t despair
Lifting lockdown
Will surely reveal
Wider horizons

Ken Fisher

BoMaD – Bank of Mum and Dad – revisited

BoMaD – Bank of Mum and Dad [Revisited]

Four years ago I penned the verses below
And I thought that by now the challenge might go
But Covid-19 has just made things more acute
On that property ladder to place the first foot

The problem it seems, jobs are no longer secure
That their earning power they cannot ensure
But to get enough mortgage to secure a first home
How on earth can these buyers take on a large loan?

On top of all this, family homes are overcrowded
Parents, by adult offspring, are once again surrounded
The plea we can hear, how can I break free!
Who will help me, this cramped refuge to flee?

…………………………………………

It would appear from press reports that if you’re short of cash
And trying to buy a house without the necessary stash
If you’re getting nowhere with the usual high street lenders
And chances of scaling the property ladder are getting ever slender

Then the best prospect for those who hold such aspirations
Is to maintain accord with your very close relations
Because it seems you will need to bring out that begging bowl
And ask your Mum and Dad if they will kindly you bankroll?

Costs of fleeing the nest seem to forever spiral
House price inflation having gone completely viral
So ‘baby boomer’ parents find that in this world gone mad
The desirable new brand is simply called BOMAD*

And offspring for sure are rarely being coy
As they latch on to this money-seeking ploy
As their elders have gained by rises o’er the years
And their bricks became a goldmine in common with their peers

So watch out all parents if you thought your wealth secure
You can’t ignore the pleadings of your kids who’re oh so poor
Cancel world cruises or a room in that care home
You’ll need to give your progeny more than chromosomes!

Ken Fisher

*BoMaD = Bank of Mum & Dad

Emblem: M&D from Shelter

Original version posted 3 May 2016

 

 

Socrates & Dionysus

Socrates & Dionysus

The unexamined life is not worth living
Socrates

To make your life worth living
Let’s have it examined!
Put it to the test
An MOT about me

Check for Virtue
The greatest good in life
The best of all possessions
Happiness guaranteed!

But not quite
Poor Socrates
Indicted for corrupting youth
Exit by the Hemlock door

But for Dionysus no introspection
No MOT needed
The examined life just withers
Under the microscope

Living is life
And life is for living
Be released from the bondage
Of prudence, caution and temperance

So wherein lies the truth?
The philosophers’ favourite poser!
Don’t expect a simple answer
Just get a life – put the examination
On hold

Ken Fisher

Nostalgia

Nostalgia

 

Locked up in lockdown
Our cell door might now be ajar
But not yet free to roam
Our mind rewinds
With wistful affection
To those visions of freedom

Forget the masks, the handwashing
The two-metre pirouette
Sidling past as we perambulate
Kissing and hugging taboo
Zooming and Skypeing
Facebook, but never really face to face

Nostalgia is not just
For days long gone
And childhood memories
But for four months ago
When movement incurred no sanctions
Nor deeds require a licence

Ken Fisher

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

Social Distance – Is It Shrinking?

*[See my previous poem: Social Kissing – A nightmare at New Year
Archives : Jan 2020]

It may just be that there is something I’m missing
But I’m perplexed by the rules of ‘social kissing’*
And since the lockdown when we must keep our distance
The rule-enforcers have been especially persistent

That hugging and kissing we should surely avoid
Our emotional displays must of these be devoid
But perhaps there’s a change in how we can behave
No longer to those rules should we be a slave

But at a distance of two metres how do we show affection?
While wearing a face mask to stop the infection
And if in only select groups can we ever gather
Not even consorting with one’s mother or father

So let’s hope that as restrictions are gradually lifted
And for chatting to others we will not be convicted
Some have suggested to avoid any trouble
We should stick to  a highly selective bubble

However don’t get carried away in expressing your passion
Maintain due decorum and act with great caution
Ne’er be tempted to kiss babies, just give them a smile
Emotion that’s masked must be your new style

Ken Fisher

Gossip

Gossip

Have you heard the latest…………..?
Wait until you hear this………………
Don’t you just love it
To hear something is amiss

Chimps indulge in grooming
To endear one to the other
Humans like to gossip
Telling tales of one another

The juiciest of gossip
Of faults and indiscretions
Of peccadillos, little lapses
The stuff of true confessions

It’s odd that gossip rarely
Compliments or praises
Says little of kindly deeds
Just scandal that amazes

Doubtless gossip has a purpose
That’s surely not malignant
And the hypocrite within us
Really ought not be indignant

I retail my tittle tattle
And you then reciprocate
Thus we bond together
As chimps might congregate

Ken Fisher

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

 Let’s not forget Fathers
They still have their uses
The nuclear family
Why make excuses?

Mums on their own, merit our praises
And such arrangements we don’t criticise
But to eliminate Dads from the family scene
We genuinely feel is not wise

Of household duties the Dads must remember
When rearing the kids to do their fair share
They can’t be secreted behind lame excuses
Such tactics they know are unfair

It is sometimes claimed that Dads tend to hide
Mums get landed with too much of the work
So come out of cover all Dads thus concealed
Join the front line – you’ve no right to shirk!

But surely it’s not all bad news
There is much that Dads can contribute
When Dad brings his manly talents and skills
For these gifts we would now pay tribute

So let’s on this day say thanks to all Dads
In households throughout our nation
We love you and praise you for just being you
Today is your celebration!

 

Ken Fisher

Summer Solstice 2020

Summer Solstice 2020

A glimpse of sunshine warms our heart
Flowers and leaves reflect the light
The gentle rays caress our brow
Our lips widen with a smile

For now the daytime stretches out
Filling each hour with gentle light
Dark days of winter long forgot
Rejoice again in life outdoors

From this ‘crows nest’ of the year
We scan the horizon fore and aft
Behind, long hours of winter gloom
Then spring pregnant with promise

Ahead the prospect of summer warmth
And autumn’s gold and russet tints
But winter’s spectre lurks beyond
Vaguely threatening summer’s calm

Yet in this year of virus blight
We pray that prospects may be bright
Gradually those persistent fears subdued
Our hearts once more with hope renewed

Ken Fisher