Get Out Your Pen; Ditch the Keyboard

Get Out Your Pen; Ditch the Keyboard

[for National Handwriting Day 23 Jan 2018]


Perhaps it has become a forgotten art
Being viewed nowadays as somewhat quaint
Technology has certainly played its part
But I am not sure to whom to complain

For each of us in early school days
Many hours were spent in learning to write
Each letter shaped in its own special way
All endeavours aimed at getting it right

We dotted the I’s and stroked all the T’s
Tried to ensure the words were all clear
Thus we shaped the letters with loops you could see
Gradually improving our style every year

Practice gained in notes and compositions
Eventually we achieved considerable skill
Some even entered writing competitions
As their aspirations they tried to fulfill

But then came along the computer revolution
The use of the pen soon became redundant
The keyboard for data became the solution
QWERTY suddenly appeared quite abundant

As well as the keyboard we have the touch screen
And sensory devices the data to capture
The old fashioned pen is now rarely seen
With so many alternatives input to gather

We have taught our computers to hear our voice
And mouse clicks replace the stroke of the pen
Indeed there is now an infinite choice
To feed in data again and again

So what of the diminishing art of writing?
Well perhaps there are still times it can play a part
When we wish to ensure a personal greeting
On a generous cheque or a birthday card!

So my plea is get out your pen; ditch the keyboard
Jot down a few lines, straight from the heart
That biro or fountain will bring its reward
And for one brief moment restore the lost art

Ken Fisher

Poetic Opacity

Poetic Opacity



‘Opacity is an intrinsic characteristic of some poetry.
It simultaneously enables and complicates reception’
‘As much as we might have enjoyed reading (and writing) poetry when we were children, in school we are taught that poetry is inherently “difficult,” and that by its very nature it somehow makes meaning by hiding meaning.’    Matthew Zapruder (2017)

I wonder if a poem can only be a poem if it’s meaning is opaque?
Anything which is more straightforward is something of a fake
I don’t wish this comment to appear anti-intellectual
Perhaps my simple verses are really somewhat ineffectual

The use of English language, plain,  uncomplicated
Where each word and line of every verse is quite clearly stated
With a minimal use of tropes, metaphor or simile
Helps to convey the meaning with very little difficulty

But lack of figurative language, leaving all things quite literal
Ignores deep emotions, which ‘true’ poetry renders visceral
Thus the absence of oxymoron, hyperbole and allusion
For which bland literalism is no good substitution

But some might claim this is simply all far too transparent
Demands nothing of the reader to plumb its depths inherent
A true poem should stretch the questing mind
To open the eyes which otherwise stay blind

So poems where at first the meaning seems opaque
Where we must wrestle hard thus the hidden code to break
When we are challenged by obscure ideas and expressions
In the end the aesthetic reward is seemingly more precious

I suppose I do not wish to argue the validity of the case
In favour of poetic opacity, which doggerel might debase
But simple words conveying ideas quite transparent
I am still convinced might your close attention warrant

Ken Fisher


See also: In Praise of Poetry    Anatomy of Poetry

If Typists Were Poets

New Beginnings

New Beginnings


[A sonnet for the New Year]

Another day, a brand new year, we pledge a fresh beginning
Forget the past, it can’t be changed, it’s now gone forever
For our dark deeds we hope you yet will be forgiving
Let our resolve to make amends be the only measure
Yet how often in past days have we promised to reform?
But ere the first month of the year has run its course
No evidence of change that we claimed would be the norm
Somehow we seem a victim of a strong external force
So at the start of this new year let’s wipe the old slate clean
And with firm resolve act without further vacillation
That in all our words and actions prove we truly mean
To live out our promises, more than mere aspiration
Give thanks for new beginnings at this threshold of the year
Confronting every challenge, overcoming all our fear

Ken Fisher

See also:

300th Poem

300th Poem [Published on my website]



Poems about people, poems about places
Poems about gadgets and modern living
Poems about planets and the moon’s phases
Poems about a treadmill, quite unforgiving

Poems about philosophy rather high-minded
Poems about gardens and plant cultivation
Poems about history of which we are reminded
Poems about politics affecting our nation

Poems about health and our well-being
Poems reflecting contemporary issues
Poems about concepts we have difficulty seeing
Poems that are so sad we resort to a tissue!

Poems about commerce, banking and trade
Poems about geography and environment
Poems about materials and how things are made
Poems that commemorate some special event

Poems that recall peace and strife
Poems trying  to make some sense of society
Poems about the useful Swiss Army knife
Poems on religion that advocate piety

Poems written about yearly times and seasons
Poems about weather forever changing
Poems written to appeal to our reason
Poems that just ramble and are far too wide ranging

Poems about insects and our friendly birds
Poems about clocks and old radio sets
Poems on obscure topics rather absurd
Poems about the credit crunch and paying our debts

Poems about holidays and time spent away
Poems about the media and all things artistic
Poems about churches and ancient abbeys
Poems for the present day and some futuristic

Poems about rail travel on the continent
Poems on photographers and the paparazzo
Poems about housing and the high cost of rent
Poems that urge you to get up and go!

Poems that reflect on industrial decline
Poems that explain about our Parliament
Poems that declare everything’s just fine
Poems about devices that people invent

Poems that try to show a keen sense of humour
Poems about architecture and building design
Poems that aim to inform the naive consumer
Poems best accompanied by a glass of wine!

Finally there are poems about poetry which I try to write
Explaining blank and free verse and meter and rhyme
I am unsure if these efforts will ever delight
But there is no one to blame as they are all mine

Well I think that’s enough to explain the wide choice
Among these three hundred poems I’ve put on display
I hope that with me, you too might rejoice
‘Cause all this is for free, you have nothing to pay!

Ken Fisher

Three Simple Pleasures

Three Simple Pleasures


Returning to the reassuring comfort of
your car after a long walk in the countryside
The clunk of the door closing
The magical response of the engine
as you fire the ignition
Your re-entry to your own private capsule
Fully insulated from a threatening world


Squeezing the toothpaste tube
Extruding the minty snake on to your brush
Attacking your teeth with that serried rank of bristles
standing in line to do their duty
Vigorous massaging of teeth and gums
And then the rinse to wash away any detritus
The virtue of a mouth so clean and pure

[Let’s hope our words match it]


The wicked pleasure of a sticky iced bun
Sometimes called a Chelsea bun or even Belgian
No matter what the label may be
Your villainy is chastened by having to
get your fingers covered in goo
What can match the sensuous pleasure
of biting into its spiral coil shot through with cinnamon?

Simple pleasures – surely life’s real treasures

Indulge them!

Ken Fisher

200th Poem

200th Poem

This is the 200th Poem I have published on my website


What was the reason for my turning to verse?
So many thoughts I have tried to rehearse
Words about persons and things all around
A wide range of topics where variety abounds

Poems for the seasons forever changing
Poems about nature, ever wide-ranging
Poems about places throughout our land
Poems on all topics – nothing was banned

Poems on deep points of theology
Poems on obscure and opaque philosophy
Poems on movement and locomotion
Poems on ideas that can cause a commotion

Poems on food that may cause indigestion
Poems on the Bible which oft raised a question
Poems about work and earning a living
Poems about duty – oft unforgiving

Poems on themes of faith and matters moral
Poems on clashing ideas that may make us quarrel
Poems that are prayers offered to God
Poems that His spirit be seen abroad

Poems that sought to explain complex terms
Poems that our ignorance seemed to confirm
Poems that dealt with our changes in mood
Poems that probably did little good

Poems on funerals and occasions quite sad
Poems with nice pictures for which we were glad
Poems whose rhymes don’t easily fit
Poems with points quite hard to transmit

Poems on the city and our great nation
Poems on politics and the election
Poems noting the result of the referendum
Poems that praised our United Kingdom

Poems that attempted to explain astrophysics
Poems as obscure as vague metaphysics
Poems about money and the great credit crunch
Poems on our leaders – an inspiring bunch!

Poems that noted our life’s brief span
Poems to urge us to live as well as we can
Poems pleading that you be fully mindful
Poems that warn us to never be spiteful

And so you can see in my versification
My inner thoughts given verbalization
I hope all this effort has not largely been wasted
And some of its flavour you have joyfully tasted

Ken Fisher

In Praise of Poetry

In Praise of Poetry

[Prompted by the celebration of National Poetry Day 6th October 2016]


From bard of old to modern scribe
Folks from their clan or ancient tribe
Set down their thoughts on love and life
Of peaceful days or times of strife

Primitive symbols on cave walls
Or ancient tomes kept in great halls
Retold their tales of days of yore
Of battles, feuds, and much spilled gore

Throughout the history of their land
In metropolis or island strand
In each succeeding generation
Poets speak out for every nation

As they recount in verse and rhyme
Acts heroic in their time
Myths and sagas thus survive
And old traditions kept alive

Poetry upholds a nation’s pride
Expresses feelings deep and wide
That tell of our own situation
Our joys, our hopes, and life’s frustrations

And in the words of rhyme and prose
The poet seeks to thus compose
A tale that touches deep the heart
Reflecting life like every art

But in that special written form
A poetic voice can thus transform
Emoted by some word or phrase
We shed a tear or shout in praise

Ken Fisher

Anniversary of Web-Site Launch

Anniversary of Web-Site Launch

The Bard Of Kelvindale


It’s time to celebrate because one long year has passed
Since the Bard of Kelvindale decided to broadcast
To an unsuspecting world his poetic compositions
Which was until that time an unfulfilled ambition

It all began with birthday rhymes for the family members
So that these festive days would not go unremembered
And then moved on to verses about the every day
Events that happen to us as we work or play

Writing of the poems themselves was not the only trial
To gain confidence in WordPress also took a while
The magic of this software needs seen to be believed
And even now my competence shows how little I’ve achieved

However, I did (word) press on and to spice up the mixture
I added to almost every post a captivating picture
From time to time I have changed the template that I used
I really hope that my readers have not thus been confused

You may have seen the scope of work is really quite extensive
And the range of themes is certainly not exclusive
The poems on the website can be searched by category
Each section highlighting a different kind of story

Some of you dear readers have sent comments oh so kind
If they had been different, I don’t think I’d really mind
The statistics seek to show how the Bard has performed
And these results ensure I am kept informed

So thanks to all you browsers who have duly sought me out
More than 750 individual ‘visitors’ managed to turn out
And altogether over 5,900 ‘views’ of my poems were seen
Not a bad achievement since first I hit their screen

I know that some of you might feel the rhyming style I use
Is somewhat contrived, sometimes even abused
The meaning might be lost just to complete a verse
Enslavement to rhymes can become a curse

I would accept that comment but ask you to forbear
Not all my rhymes are so contrived, you really must be fair
And many of the poems are blank verse or even verse that’s free
Take a closer look, a longer browse, and this you’ll surely see

As well as the poems themselves the site has other useful information
About myself, some life events, worthwhile communication
There are also links to other sites which might yet stimulate
Just click on these, as each is waiting to amuse or educate

So finally my friends thanks for your faithful dedication
I hope my writings have caused you no frustration
The flag at the top of my site claims ‘Poems to Stimulate the Mind’
And that was my intention when the blog was first designed

Ken Fisher

The Anatomy of Poetry

The Anatomy of Poetry

[Free verse, Blank verse, and Rhyme]


It has been said that my poetry might really be improved
If from the tyranny of rhyme it simply could be moved
Why must I always seek to find an ever ready rhyme
Unable to complete a verse that lacks a matching line?

Dispensing with demands that words be cloaked in rhyme
Would much reduce my efforts and doubtless save me time
Thought could float more freely, words less deliberate
Such freedom surely would my thinking liberate

So what is the choice if rhyme is lost and poetry is set free?
Apparently the principal alternatives amount to simply these
Free Verse is one – which truly lets us go where’er we choose
And Blank Verse is the other – still free but less loose

Free Verse is poetry which as such has no rhyme scheme
Thus it can shift as poetic thoughts drift as in a dream
In Blank Verse the words in every line display a steady beat
Though rhyme has gone the impression is still for us quite neat

Blank verse is commonly recognized by iambic pentameter
Ten syllables per line is best in this regulated meter
Free Verse knows no such rules or very tight constraints
Poetic metaphors are its best choice, its images to paint

So here we go – discard the rhymes and let’s make all things Free
Or even Blank, if that’s your choice, perhaps you will agree
That it takes a little time to get used to these modes of thought
I hope you feel there is some gain, or was it all for naught?

When poetry is free, thoughts can range both far
And wide, according to the whim, of writer
The reader then must be prepared
To cast aside all ideas of regular shape

Or form, and open up the mind
To concepts not previously considered
Thus finding a new stimulus from
An unfamiliar literary landscape

Blank verse presents its stanzas within an ordered frame
They need not rhyme but you might still discern its steady beat
It sounds as if the clock is marking every crafted line
And it all seems quite structured, a life that’s in control
Blank verse can be demanding, requiring tonal change
And freedom gained by loss of rhyme demands new artistry
Thus freed, the poet no longer needs to seek for obscure rhymes
Thus drama, raw emotion, philosophy, give colour to his palette

Ken Fisher




Sticking Plaster Solutions

Sticking Plaster Solutions


When problems confront us in our daily life

Issues, concerns, can sometimes be rife

No matter how firm be our resolution

We sometimes resort to the easy solution


Some problems are simple and readily solved

The direction of travel quite quickly revolved

But many things in life are not easy to change

Unlike books on a shelf that we rearrange


Bad habits can sometimes become our stern master

Which we hide from ourselves by a ‘sticking plaster’

But such self-deception is simply a lie

Not quickly resolved the harder we try


It is better by far to get to the root

Of any issue before the pain gets acute

Not pretending its solved by a sticking plaster

Thus averting what might become a long-term disaster


Yet perhaps there are uses of Elastoplast

When by life’s little grazes we are harassed

But deeper wounds are not so easily healed

By leaving the blood till it has congealed


So this tale concerns more than First Aid

I hope your thoughts by it might be swayed

Being open and honest is the heart of the matter

Not hiding the truth beneath a cheap plaster


  Ken Fisher


Brighter Prospects

Brighter Prospects


In this dark month of Janus, the herald of new beginnings

and transitions, we discern the prospect of better things

But presently, shrouded in cold and damp, we find little

To bring us cheer or even hope of change


The signs of spring still well concealed beneath,

Tiny shoots not yet daring to raise their spears

Above the sodden earth, under the skeletal trees

The ground a wasteland bereft of life or spirit



But if the earth’s faithful calendar remains true

Its progression round the sun will surely bring

A daily change to our allotted portion of the light

And daylight hours will steadily extend


Then doubtless spring will waken all of life

From deep winter’s restoring hibernation

Flora and fauna each in their respected realm

Stretch stems and limbs, escaping from the night


And in due time we pray the sun’s caressing rays

Will invigorate the whole created world

Thus brighter prospects fill our hearts with joy

Sustaining us amidst this winter gloom


Ken Fisher