By A.K. Ramanujan
Or listen to the clocktowers
Of any old well-managed city
beating their gongs round the clock, each slightly
off the others’ time, deeper or lighter
in its bronze, beating out a different
sequence each half-hour, out of the accidents
of alloy, a maker’s shaking hand
in Switzerland, or the mutual distances
commemorating a donor’s whim,
the perennial feuds and seasonal alliance
of Hindu, Christian, and Muslim –
cut off sometimes by a change of wind,
a change of mind, or a siren
between the pieces of a backstreet quarrel.
One day you look up and see one of them
eyeless, silent, a zigzag sky showing
through the knocked-out clockwork, after a riot,
a peace-march time bomb, or a precise act
Of nature in a night of lightnings.
Copyright © by owner. Provided for educational purposes only.
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