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 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.