One head, two head, three head, four.
Four head, five head, six head roll.
Buzzing, buzzing the heads they grow,
Unicorn horns with silver rose,
Rainbows in the dark which glow,
Planets hanging from elliptical bows,
Legs that limp,
Legs that float,
Legs that skip and legs that flow,
Rowing into the gates they roar.

Bang! Shuts the gate trapping those little crows.
“The batch is in”
Let the games begin
7 into 5 is 35.
Atom bomb dropped in 1945.
Lithosphere and atmosphere with hydrosphere form the biosphere.
The earth goes round and round and round the sun.
One a Penny two a penny hot cross bun.

“Don’t walk like that!”
“Don’t talk like that!”
“Don’t open your mouth and yawn, you brat!”
Stand up, sit down.

Sit down, stand up.
Rubber dolls with heads too big and ears too small.
Drop the string and down they fall.
Pull it up and lo and behold.
Tring goes the bell — eat, gulp, eat.

Tring goes the bell — books out, don’t speak.

Huffing and puffing.
It churns and turns,
Judges and trudges.
“Shave them horns!”
“Nope can’t wear those crowns!”
“Pluck those flowers too wild, too brown!”
“Make a bouquet of 2 red 2 yellow 1 white. Nice and mellow”.

Squaring the rounds.
Rounding the square.
Damaging in the name of repair.
Whitewashing the quirks,
Smoothening the twerks,
Wiping off the mirth.
Till the buzz becomes silent.
What remains is the bell ring,
Deafening and violent.

One tone, one pitch, controlled by one switch.
The eyes now shine with the same twinkle.
90° left of the right eye.
90° right of the left.
150 a year in batches they deliver.

The gates open at last.
The legs now move past.
One gait,
In lines no longer crooked but poker straight.
They walk the same and talk the same,
Their hands fly up as they yawn the same.
The notice outside reads
“The machines are up for pre-booking. Order online at www.machinemen.com now!
Extra battery for the bell is free for first-time buyers! Hurrrry it sells!”

Elia Jameel is lover of cats, freedom and democracy. History buff, wannabe poet, future inhabitant of detention camp. Not.

Featured image: MChe Lee / Unsplash