Fiat Lux

Fiat Lux

[This poem is not about a small top-of-the-range
Italian mini car!]

Let There Be Light

Let there be light was God’s command
Ordained by His almighty hand
In those primordial days He spoke
Within creation’s masterstroke

And ever since the need for light
To bless humanity with sight
Was recognised by all mankind
Illuminating heart and mind

Light to shed on darkest mystery
Understanding gained through history
Of whom we are, how to survive
Sustaining life that we might thrive

From simple crafts and artifacts
Technology embracing facts
Enlightenment shed on our way
Progress the watchword of the day

In modern times let there be light
Penetrating all that would blight
Abounding threats to our welfare
Preventing freedom everywhere

Thus Fiat Lux become our plea
From tyranny that we be free
World poverty, widespread disease
Compassion’s light might bring release

Let light illumine every soul
Rational thought our minds control
The commonweal our deeds promote
Our attitude inspiring hope

Ken Fisher

Next Slide Please!

Next Slide Please!

I am sure we all view this man with affection
His cautious messages for our protection
Graphs and diagrams to keep us informed
Of threatening trends he ensures we are warned

He sometimes spars with the bold PM
Who this health hazard would roundly condemn
But Prof Whitty says we need play the long game
If this menacing beastie we hope to contain

This boffin is a statistician’s dream
Explaining what the baffling numbers mean
With line graphs and pie charts one thing’s for sure
The nation’s predicament is no longer obscure

With PowerPoint he has ably displayed
Hard facts that sometimes make us dismayed
But we would be wise to simply think twice
Before we ignore his prudent advice

As he progresses through his presentation
On nasty viruses’ latest mutation
He reminds us the battle’s not yet won
And the need for vigilance not quite done

The rate of vaccination should bring hope
Assuring us all that we are going to cope
The double jab is our route to salvation
From this pandemic still engulfing the nation

So let’s pray that in the course of time
The next slide might point to conditions sublime
When the graphs show the bugs almost disappear
And Professor Whitty proclaims we need no longer fear!

Ken Fisher

 

 

 

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality

The Path of Totality
Sounds rather ominous
That strange name for a strange phenomenon
The shadow cast by the moon
As it shuts out the sun’s light
From striking the earth

This is a Solar Eclipse
And it happens today – 10 June 2021
It actually happens quite often
But total ones apparently only every 400 years!
Then darkness is cast over All the earth

But the idea of Path of Totality
Might be filled with foreboding
Some all-consuming threat
Dark menace encroaching

Totality excludes all else
Brooks no opposition
No rivals admitted
Defies competition

Totality’s path
A solitary track
A one-way route
No turning back

So what else in life
Might Totality imply?
From this exclusive sphere
Would our spirit fly?

Ken Fisher

Fumbling With Your Phone

Fumbling With Your Phone

Your mobile erupts with its jazzy ring
Into action your fumbling hands spring
You would think it easy to receive a call
To grab the phone, not letting it fall

But the modern mobile is a complex device
Quite often you find you need good advice
Its switches and buttons to easily master
To effectively use, avoiding disaster

In the past you simply lifted the old handset
From its solid cradle where it was at rest
But the mobile immediately a challenge presents
With a menu filled with diverse contents

Am I meant to speak or read a new text?
The question leaves me quite perplexed
Or is it just one of those alarm beeps
To ensure that I am not still asleep

When you want to ring someone like your dentist
Retrieve their number from the contacts list
This should be easy they are all alphabetic
But your fingers require to be quite athletic

Then suddenly find it’s the wrong number you are ringing
The disturbed recipient makes remarks quite stinging
And if you wish to send a text to someone
Find your digits are fatter than everyone

Mind you the mobile helps in a variety of ways
With facilities that will really amaze
It counts the number of steps that you take
And its compass and map help avoid any mistake

Your phone is a camera for videos and snaps
Indeed an endless array of functions through apps
With QR codes you can buy goods, pay your fare
And the pious can look up that new day’s prayer

If while sitting in the bus or a train
You need to know something very arcane
Inside the phone you can find the solution
To the price of fish or foul air pollution

The phone can monitor your health
Keep regular checks on fluctuating wealth
Take selfies of those who are quite vain
Give daily forecasts of impending rain

Your mobile is no longer for just ringing friends
Its capabilities simply know no ends
So fumbling to use it is a small price to pay
For a multi-functional aid in your hand everyday

Ken Fisher

Open Wide!

Open Wide!

This morning at nine I am off to the dentist
This lady is long past being an apprentice
I’ll jump up on the chair, she’ll begin the task
Of course not forgetting to take off my mask

The lamp shines down to light up the scene
Showing the gaps where some teeth may have been
There is no point in treating those that are lost
At least they won’t be added to the final cost

Before my last visit a large filling fell out
That’s what my appointment is all about
Apparently I am going to need a new crown
The estimated cost has brought on a frown

Next I am told you need an injection
Not from Covid is this one giving protection
Two Astra jabs are equal to none
When it’s my tender gums they need to make numb

X-rays can see things that no-one else can
I am surprised they don’t ask for a whole body scan
And such oral techniques are a regular feature
I am unable to smile as my gaping jaws they picture

To do the job they must take an impression
To ensure the new crown fits in the depression
I don’t yet know what expensive stuff’s being used
And such technical detail just leaves me confused

Now her face takes on an expression of gravity
As drilling begins to gouge out the cavity
Suction is applied to keep everything dry
If my mouth wasn’t blocked you might hear me cry!

While the dentist wields those whining drills in motion
The nurse is busy preparing strange potions
Sometimes to my mouth pokes in strange things
Perhaps timers, that give an ominous ping

Dentistry now has gone all high tech
Which I suppose we should not regret
Their approach is much more sympathetic
To improve our appearance it’s considered cosmetic

So if you want to impress with your gleaming smile
Be prepared to submit to their charms for a while
When they say to you, please open wide
It’s  to your bank balance this request is implied!

Ken Fisher

Scrapes and Scratches, Bumps and Dents

Scrapes and Scratches, Bumps and Dents

When your new car suffers a bump or a dent
In your mind it becomes a major event
We know we really should not be so worried
But our pride and joy has somehow been sullied

Fortunately out there are experts galore
Whose websites are keen for you to explore
Offering to restore the car to perfection
Where all defects avoid any detection

But no matter how small the dent seems to you
Other panels, we are told, are affected too
So a tiny scratch or a minor scrape
Incurs a large bill that you cannot escape

So just take care when driving and parking
If unscathed by bumps you would be arriving
And thus you will avoid those scratches and dents
Which to the eye of the beholder can give such offence

Ken Fisher

The Tyranny of the Password

The Tyranny of the Password

To compare this with Covid may seem quite absurd
But I’m almost as scared of the missing password
When we cannot remember these numbers and letters
Our hands are tied as if by tight fetters

These digital door keys prevent interference
Meant to protect our bank balance from disappearance
To the hands of some hacker of ill repute
Intent on swiping away all our loot

So with every aspect of computer filing
Requests for a password sets us compiling
A secret code to keep data secure
Safely concealed there for evermore

It is then that we need to be quite inventive
Complex passwords can be preventive
Of those who would all our secrets expose
Our facts and figures that no one else knows

The names of long dead pets, or gran’s date of birth
That primary school teacher if we think she was worth
Of incorporation into a password obscure
A combination that might long endure

This all sounds fine as far as it goes
Except when we need to enter the password and letters transpose
Or worst of all we suffer from total amnesia
Our brain dormant as through anaesthesia

We try to recall where the password record is hidden
We search our machine but all access forbidden
The more times we try the wrong combination
Now struck by panic and mighty frustration

In the end we may have all hope to abandon
All this computing is far too demanding
Just keep all your records in a box under your bed
Where password tyranny can  no longer cause dread

Ken Fisher

Photo Album

Photo Album

 

Old photo albums
We miss them in the digital age
Those bulky dossiers
Dark coloured pages
Festooned with corner fixings
Holding our life history
And Large files of plastic folders
Stuffed with printed photos
Sometimes tidy
Often chaotic

And yet it’s all there
Baby Joan’s first tottering step
Tom and Ian cavorting in the paddling pool
“Our home” in the 1950’s
Looking ramshackle
But why did we ever leave?
Grandpa’s birthday
In his chair, a little tipsy
Time for a snooze
Caught him unaware

But times move on
Snapping no longer limited to
A Kodak or Ilford spool
Of 24 or 36
And then the glories of colour!
Almost dazzling
But you still had to wait
Until your creations
Returned from the processor
Unless you had your own darkroom

Now all this restriction and mystery is gone
Infinite snapping, instant results
Cameras now high-powered computers
Phones not just for your ears but for your eyes
Abundant selfies for the self-obsessed
But where are the photo albums of today?
Not in the book but in the cloud
More images than ever for the world to see
No paper corners to hold our prints
Our images released to all the world

Ken Fisher

New Spectacles

New Spectacles

New glasses, new image, clearer vision, brighter prospects
First the eye test, now much more high tech
More an optical screening, retinal retinopathy testing
Did I come for an eye test or full medical MoT?

Mind you, we still have to identify the letters
In ever diminishing sizes on the distant screen
First with the one eye, then with the other
Did God not give us two to do the job properly?

Next comes the physical examination of each eye
Must eliminate macular degeneration, a scourge of age
Narrow torch rays, like lasers, beamed into the eye
Sudden burst of light to check reactions – total darkness
Did they intend to induce blindness?

Then we move to another machine when our response
To little flickers on the screen are measured
Click as soon as you detect anything. Don’t cheat, don’t guess
After this assault course we wonder if it’s specs or a white stick we need

Eventually we are released from the darkened chamber
We receive our prescription and it is time to choose new frames
It is then that we realize the NHS makes only a minor contribution
To our eye care. If vanity motivates us we are in for a shock

Of course there are some cheapo frames but most are not
If we are beguiled by designer names and fancy styles
Prepare to put your credit card into melt-down
But you convince yourself this is part of your image

Of course you have to get the vari-focal, anti-scratch
Anti-glare, versions. If they must be light-weight
You will need high-index plastics, and if UV light
Is a problem you will need polycarbonate lenses

It is then that you ask if they do mortgages!

In due time the frames arrive and they are checked
Are they aligned OK? Are they sitting comfortably on your nose?
Do they grip on your ears and prevent any slipping?
If they pass this optical MOT you are ready to face the world
Vision enhanced, bank balance diminished!

 

Ken Fisher

 

 

You’re Muted!

You’re Muted!

The dictionary defines “mute” as
Adjective:
Refraining from speech
or temporarily speechless

Noun:
A person lacking the faculty of speech
A device on a phone or TV or another appliance
That turns off the sound

But since the advent of the extensive
use of the Zoom app
Mute, has gained a whole
lot more significance

Thus:
You appear on our screens
Your frame illuminated
Moving lips can be seen
But all sound confiscated

Your body language is quite animated
Wishing the current topic to be debated
But no sound can be heard in our attentive ears
Your impact on us simply disappears

We know the problem of which you’re unaware
We all try to tell you with a waving fanfare
But all our signals somehow go unseen
Only silence emerges from your flickering screen

At last, bemused by our gestures you reach the conclusion
Between us and you there is some confusion
We all want to ensure that you participate
To achieve this your mike needs to activate

The penny then drops and falls down the chute
It dawns on you that you must simply un-mute
And to the cheers of all who anxiously wait
You click the icon to let sound emanate

And so at last we achieve that blessed concord
When we can see you and hear every word
Un-muting is vital for full participation
But only if the host grants that dispensation

Ken Fisher

Tech Frenzy

Tech Frenzy

We have been forced to learn fast
‘Cause we need to survive
And new methods of working
We have all had to contrive

The office largely abandoned
For much of the time
Work geographically scattered
Is the new paradigm

Between every worker
Covid-19 demands enough space
All employees screened off
A mask on each face

Our home computer devices
Are working flat out
To keep up with demand
While office health is in doubt

All of us must improve our tech skills
This pressure puts many into a frenzy
Grasping the basics of Skype, Teams, and Zoom
A predicament few laymen would envy

Some say home working is just what they want
It gives them a freedom the office denies
But others claim that isn’t quite true
Monitored there by electronic “spies”

But it looks as if this is the new reality
Get tech savvy is the only road to success
Master the realms of cyberspace and the cloud
In all these techniques you need show your finesse

Ken Fisher

 

Winter Solstice with the Great Conjunction 2020

Winter Solstice with the Great Conjunction 2020

The shortest day the longest night
Benighted souls seeking the light
The sun in deepest declination
Darkness shrouds the northern nations

The solstice marks a time of change
From the light we’ve been estranged
For longer days our hearts do yearn
Sunlight surely must return

For in due time by slow progress
Climbing sun will dark suppress
And soon its penetrating rays
Bring lengthening of each day

As the solstice now we mark
Entombed in gloom and shadows dark
Let’s look to brightening days ahead
As returning light becomes widespread

This year the great conjunction on us may shine
Jupiter and Saturn will close align
As our eye scans space afar
Redolent of Bethlehem’s star

In Covid’s year of 2020
Yet engulfed by gloom aplenty
We pray that with returning light
All our future’s may be bright

Ken Fisher