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Poem: "The Clockmaker's Country" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Clockmaker's Country"

This poem came out of the August 2, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette and Anthony Barrette.  (Hi, Mom & Dad!  *wave*)  They wanted to read about "government by committee," which meshed neatly with The Ocracies series I have going.  I managed to find a mode of government that seemed to fit, hamarchy.  Now ordinarily, committees tend to be a lousy way to run things; but this is partly because few people have the skill to do it right.  Add in some adept social science and you get the Hamarchy of Helgi...

The Clockmaker's Country


The clockmaker's country is quiet
until something needs to be said.
It ticks along smoothly and discreetly,
then shakes the air with a crescendo of bells.

The clockmaker's country is an intricate machine
made of a million tiny parts, assembled into structures,
each structure distinct and yet all connected
into a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.

The clockmaker's country is a living thing
in which two heads are better than one
and a committee becomes a body of collective wisdom
listening for the distant sound of bells.

The clockmaker's country is given to building
for its people like to make everything from equipment to cultures
and they have the physical sciences and the social sciences
to do it right and to tidy up afterwards.

The clockmaker's country stands behinds its work
so when you turn over the whispering vestwatch
and see "Hamarchy of Helgi" engraved on the back,
you know that the action will be everything that it should be.

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6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: August 4th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm.. I like that idea...

Edited at 2011-08-04 12:48 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 4th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad it works for you.

Also, I love your clockwork taijitu icon.
laffingkat From: laffingkat Date: August 4th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I like this! I had never heard of a hamarchy, but it's an interesting idea--nice if you have the will and the skill to do it right. I suspect I'd rather like this country. And I love that this series is exposing people to different concepts of government.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 4th, 2011 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>I like this!<<

Yay!

>> I had never heard of a hamarchy,<<

*laugh* Neither had I, although I've read many different terms for government. I searched through lists until I found something that seemed like a reasonable match for "government by committee."

>> but it's an interesting idea--nice if you have the will and the skill to do it right.<<

I know of two cultures possessing that level of social science: the Society of Friends (Quakers) and intentional communities. Some of the things they can achieve are mind-boggling. But you have to have the techniques, and people willing to work their butts off. It's not impossible ... just challenging.

>> I suspect I'd rather like this country.<<

I think I'd enjoy visiting it. Heck, I'd enjoy taking a tour of the whole area, going through the different countries.

>> And I love that this series is exposing people to different concepts of government.<<

Yeah, I got sick of McFantasyland being almost all monarchies with the occasional democracy or something else dropped in at random. Most people who write fantasy don't know a great deal about social studies. Me, I like writing sociological fantasy as well as sociological science fiction -- and a very few of my favorite fantasy authors have described different governments well.

One interesting thing for me: I bet these nations drive each other nuts. In our world, most neighboring countries have a similar political makeup. They may vary in detail, but they're usually on the same page. Frex, Europe is mostly monarchies or other aristocratic systems, now leaning towards versions that give the populace more influence and keep the royalty more as figureheads. But still. They're doing sort of the same things.

The Ocracies, however, are nothing like that. People don't have the same base assumptions about what society is for and how to run it. They have totally different ways of doing things. Trying to accomplish anything in cooperation with another nation would require dealing with people who have a completely different worldview, priorities, and processes. Plus the skill sets, social technology, material technology, and magic also vary wildly.
book_worm5 From: book_worm5 Date: October 24th, 2015 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Just started going through these thanks to the fishbowl, and I'm enjoying them so far. One bit of proofreading that seems to have escaped this one - "The clockmaker's country given to building" needs an "is" in it.
Anyhow, off to bed, but I will be reading more of these. :-)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 29th, 2015 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>> Just started going through these thanks to the fishbowl, and I'm enjoying them so far. <<

Yay!

>> One bit of proofreading that seems to have escaped this one - "The clockmaker's country given to building" needs an "is" in it.<<

Fixed.

>>Anyhow, off to bed, but I will be reading more of these. :-) <<

I'm happy to hear that.
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