Our World Our Future

Our World, Our Future

A poem written by my 11-year-old grandson DF

Smoke, children coughing,
People crying, water’s rising.
Pollution, many dying, others ill
Causing the icebergs to not keep still.
Fish being reeled in, like us
when world leaders tell us it’s OK to keep polluting.
Cars speeding at 100 miles per hour
Causing the animals to feel sour
Deforestation, trees fall like oxygen in our air.
And apes look agape
as their homes are destroyed by lumberjacks and foresters
Natural disasters, hurricanes taking your homes, fires taking
Lives.
But wait! I can hear an orchestra of bird song

Singing a song of hope
“We can still do this!”
If we stand together, raise our own voices and speak up –
“This is our world, our future!”

 

In Real Life

In Real Life

 

In Real Life
I wonder if there is
Any other kind of life?

I read the expression
‘In Real Life’
Comparing office life
With WFH
(Working From Home)

Some workers seem to feel
Apprehensive about returning to real life
Will we remember how to interact
With others not framed by a tiny screen?

But apart from Zoom and Teams etc
I wonder how we might be
Living in a manner which is
Not real life

Perhaps our imaginings and dreams
Are not real life
Can we escape real life
To hide in fantasy?

Humans can have a life of the mind
Animals, only to a limited extent
I guess they are trapped in real life
We can enjoy or endure the unreal life

Many say this is the only life we have
That is the real one, the here and now

But surely the life of ideas
Embracing our hopes and fears
Our plans and strategies
Our beliefs and aspirations

Brings both joy and sorrow

A much richer journey

Let’s not Get Real too quickly!

Ken Fisher

 

Browser

Browser

Your Gateway to the World

 

Before the digital age what was a browser?
A bookworm ensconced in the library shelves
Earnest students somewhat absorbed in themselves
But now a browser is seen as an essential tool
To plumb the depths of a bottomless pool

Of all the ‘bells and whistles’
Your computer may offer
No matter what other charms it may proffer
The browser is the greatest of all these gizmos
Every fact from ocean’s depths to infinite cosmos

Between our enquiry however recondite
In simplest terms the browser aids navigation
As through millions of web pages we seek direction
In microseconds to our obscure questions
A medley of equally arcane suggestions

Browsers have opened the gate to internet usage
And nowadays this space is filled with world-famous names
Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and others make claims
To circle the globe with limitless archives
Without which the tech world could hardly survive

Into the Web Browser the URL you insert
The HTTP sets up the communication to the server
Such codes are a vital necessary precursor
Click and the search engine obeys your command
The world of knowledge accessed, what’er you demand

Ken Fisher

 

Gobbledegook

Gobbledegook

No matter how hard I try
To pierce the impenetrable
To fathom the who or why
Make sense of the unintelligible

The problem is language obscure
Using terms utterly recondite
Employed as if quite de jure
But devoid of any clear light

Gobbledegook is a device
Intended to increase prestige
So that when you get any advice
You will acknowledge true expertise

But the problem then seems to be
No matter how many the words
It sheds even less light for me
And you may find it quite absurd

Have you ever tried to make sense
Of a modern job application?
Terms defying all common-sense
No clue to the real occupation

Strategic plans are quite renowned
To result in much obfuscation
In management-speak they abound
‘Road maps’ with a vague destination!

All this clever sleight of hand
Spawned the profession of ‘consultant’
They have developed their own pricey brand
To make jobs for executives now redundant

In the world of the academic
It is vital to be thinking profound
In their lofty submissions polemic
Opacity with mystery compound

In every field jargon seems to triumph
Theology, Astronomy, Medicine, Mathematics
It sounds like some professional alliance
Our ignorance their intended contrivance

It would seem if they simplify
That the layperson might understand
Making sense of that who and that why
The giddy heights they’d no longer command

Thus gobbledegook has proliferated
Plain ideas wrapped up in disguise
Our plea is to be liberated
Then they might open our eyes!

Ken Fisher

The Painted Lady by Oliver Fisher

The Painted Lady by Oliver Fisher

On a walk to clear the mind,
Leave the kids, refuel on food.
Her bunnet slouches, kind of rude,
Cuff links cuffed and tie done up.

She bears a face-covering
That blankets the soul in this self inflicted
Unprecedented yet pre-predicted
Predicament she finds herself in

The boy next door is out of touch,
Clueless, dumb and unaware.
She paints her face and sternly stares,
Lying, in her underwear.

Her house is tatty, not a home.
Hollow hallways, stagnant air.
A dusty phone, nicotine stained,
Hasn’t rung and she doesn’t care.

In the mirror, facial warping.
Tears are falling upside down
And drowning in her dressing gown
Has got to be safer than walking.

If only she’d the luck of others,
Lucky them and their reflection.
Brittle brushes scratch her skin
And Mother’s hair fades thin in sections.

Her trolley trundles forward slowly,
Those coat pockets feel so cosy,
The boy next door is getting nosy
But bony bones make her feel lonely.

On a walk to break the mind,
Starving Mother, smiling child.
Her head is bald, bare faced grin.
Standing, naked, in the light.

Oliver Fisher

Indigo Dreams by Oliver Fisher

Indigo Dreams by Oliver Fisher

A moment, as tense as taught string,
Has passed in an instant, not worth remembering.
But am I forgetting? Or are dreams
Materialised in such ways that make them Immune to remembrance, in the first place.

To find a place and call it home,
Where sinking deep is easy but drowning people scream and moan.
The rippled water waits adjourned
And slanted paragraphs reborn
As we find home in place: unknown

My phone is loud and trees are sprouting,
Kids are shouting, people floating-
Yet no peace.
No sense of equilibrium restored,
Half the population bored
And everyday, children bored
From weeping mothers, bound by cord.

The way the world is run has changed,
Days that come are rearranged,
Familiar faces and places estranged
As those we know escape their cage

For-longing they were but
Time has passed,
Seas coagulate and congeal so fast
Brighter days don’t seem to amass
When in the shadow of God, we turn to crass.

So roots in grass lay still and flourish,
Duck the radar, eternal internist,
And if you seek then you shall find
And hold a place with me in earnest.

Oliver Fisher

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Oh Zoom All Ye Faithful!

Will God be impressed by this method prosaic
With the worshippers aligned in this little mosaic?
Will He incline His ear as we offer our praises
Watching our lips to catch all the phrases

When communal worship is now so constricted
By Covid rules all our freedom restricted
We still feel the need to sing and to pray
Of God’s gift to the world on that first Christmas Day

We recall how at the inn they could find little room
If they could fast forward the Wise Men would Zoom
The Shepherds too need not leave their land
As long as they use fibre-optic broadband

Back to today, what are the faithful to do?
To voice all the old favourites and some that are new
How might we this year lift up our hearts
In communal praises, each playing our part

The answer is that we must just do our best
Aware that God all our efforts will bless
So let’s Zoom all ye faithful, give thanks to our Lord
Assured that on high our song surely is heard

Ken Fisher

Reboot

Reboot

Have you thought
How handy it would be
If we could reboot our life?
Like we do when our computer
Crashes and we are all screwed up

Of course with our computer
We have the expectation
That all will be restored
And we can start again
But life is not quite like that

The past has happened
It can’t be wiped out
And do we want it to be?
But hang on. I said we had “crashed”
How do we deal with the detritus?

Let it settle
Let’s hope we have not hurt
Too many others
And now reboot
And restart

We are not sure if this
Applies to computer systems
(Maybe in future with artificial intelligence)
But we have the self-awareness
To use the lessons of the past for future success

Perhaps not only reboot
Restart
But also rebrand!

Ken Fisher

These Faithful Eyes – by Oliver Fisher

These Faithful Eyes by Oliver Fisher
[A reflection on Faith]

These Faithful Eyes

There’s light inside your old stone furnace. To feel and think and pray and see.
To learn and hope and live in earnest. I am him as he is me.
My self composed upon those values. Accept these praises from my heart.
Though I may be struck with poisoned arrows. My skin is left without a mark.
My palms connect, My head is bowed. Ascending gently towards your light.
Our words and thoughts, our bond is loud. Humbly, happily blinded by sight.
My power and reason, please guide me still. And keep these weary wanderers safe.
I may grow old and tired and ill. But I can’t be broken if I’m made of faith.
My sins and wrongs have fuelled devotion. For you I can, I will be true. 
Though many are called, few are chosen. For they are scared to come to you.
And in the end you shall decide.  Will I fall or will we rise?
My soul is weighed, I can not hide. It’s time to judge these ‘faithful’ eyes.

– Oliver Fisher

Zilch

0

Zilch is nothing and nothing is zilch
That’s what it means I’m told
The absence of anything, that’s what it is
Nothing that you can behold

What did you do today I ask?
Zilch was your prompt reply
Hours spent in tedious idleness
And assuredly time did not fly

Did you earn any money this past month
From your days of quiet contemplation?
Indolence rarely yields any cash
Paid zilch for your cogitation

On a strict diet zilch is all you can eat
Liquid supplements will have to suffice
These insipid drinks are all that’s allowed
Zilch tasty food seems the price

How many replies to your job applications
Have you received as you wait on the post
Zilch you admit, with eyes downcast
As your prospects are turned to toast

And so it goes on Zilch is rarely good news
In whatever context it arises
Except if zilch is your doctor’s reply
Saying your tests have shown no nasty surprises!

Ken Fisher

Algorithm

Algorithm

An algorithm as our route map to life?
As if every situation we meet
Is as simple as a T junction
Left or right – no in between

You might use
A robust algorithm for furniture selection
For buying a replacement light bulb
To choose a new insurance provider
For checking if it’s your turn to put out the bins!

As long as you can reduce every decision
To a straightforward binary choice
Yes or No, greater than or less than
If only one option of two leads on to another
You are directed down that route

Thus quite complicated situations
Are reduced to a series of logical steps
Ideal when performing calculations
Automated reasoning, data processing
Problems tackled in short coherent stages

But algorithms are now in the political arena
Blamed for the recent exam results debacle
What happens when the algorithm
For all its logic, doesn’t give the desired out-come?
Of course we scrap it

And resort to human sophistry
To bring us the result
That is expedient
That’s the realpolitik
Of modern life

Perhaps unsurprising in the midst of a pandemic

Ken Fisher

Curmudgeons Under Threat

Curmudgeons Under Threat

In the current emergency state
Apparently it’s the fate
Of all the women and the men
Having reached three score years and ten
To limit their mobility
Whatever their morbidity
Because the pundits have decreed
We are too risky to be freed

I don’t think that’s really fair
To be tied to our armchair
Because many are still quite spry
Unprepared to say goodbye
Why force us into jail?
Our activities to down-scale
And while we can still breathe
Don’t present us with a wreath

There is life in the old dog yet
Curmudgeons are under threat
So leave us free to roam
We can find our own way home
All we want is a little space
To wander from home base
A journey without any tension
To the Post Office for our pension!

Ken Fisher