Time and Time Again

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Time and Time Again :

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

By A. K. Ramanujan

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