Spring Forward at Blenheim Palace
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Spring Forward at Blenheim Palace

For John Richards: Clock Man Extraordinaire

The swinging of the pendulum exactly marks the time:
Precise, intense, immaculate, he checks the hour’s chime.
A second out? Two minutes on? Then something must be done
To sharpen up the reckoning until the battle’s won.

Today a pair of Blenheim’s hands will reach to alter time
Precise, intense, immaculate, it’s worth the slippery climb.
He nods approval, springs ahead to stroke another face:
Gold-plated bronze – that ormolu must win the beauteous race.

And yet he changes nothing for the chorus wakes at dawn
Whether or not the drawing-rooms tick matching. Swords are drawn
In time to fight another day. Church bells their peals ring
Spring forward must we anyway … and to our futures sing.