Switch over

by Cedric Fox-Kirk

With a turn of my wrist the spring winds with a twist.
Figures of Saints and Apostles parade from door to door
While inside the clockwork dances a twelvesome reel,
Turning hands to tell the hours for those who mark them.
Church and Barony alike regard me with suspicion.
People gaze in wonder and in awe. I am the Magician.
With a flip and a twitch I flick over the switch.
Inside the boilers tamed fires burn, fed by deep-delved coal,
Then the great engine breaths steam, massive shafts revolve
And pistons hiss and thrust to drive the wheels of Empire.
I am fêted by the good and great; politician and peer
All admire my technical skills. I am the Engineer.
With a rattle of keys my applications release
A blizzard of code. Plug in the box, the screen, the mouse –
Electricity flows as do orders down the line
To digital slaves that run the turbine or the till.
Never used a spanner, nor ever used a hammer –
People take me for granted. I am just the Programmer.
No key, no switch, no wheel. Nothing to move or touch or feel.
The hum of countless connections controlling the universe;
Power without limit, from an isotope’s decay
Making, remaking all my material parts as need requires.
Created adamantine, ever to remain pristine,
I have no need of people for I am The Machine.