Municipal Sound Media Time Measuring System
Chapter 1, Getting Started
Congratulations on your having chosen
to live here in our modern little town
where the city council’s wisely frozen
time itself in the plaza’s church’s crown
to help you order all your earthly hours
and, by implication, all your life.
Please read each chapter carefully to learn
how to get the most from hearing bells
whose two-and-seventy pleasant patterns
make more sense than many ever know.
Of the fourteen Ones all but two mean quarter past
and the second One’s precisely one o’clock
and the One two minutes later echoes that.
The Twos begin at thirty after midnight
and except for the fourth that comes at two-oh-two
the remaining twelve are markers for half hours
except the third one: it tolls two o’clock.
There are just two Five’s and the first is five o’clock
and the second follows it two minutes on.
First Eleven plays the hour before noon
and fifteen seconds after thirteenth Four.
The second Eleven plays two minutes later.
Of the fourteen Threes they’re two as you expect
reserved for chiming three o’clock. Yes, twice.
And the others; that is, not the fourth and fifth,
all share the meaning of a quarter to.
Most of the Ones, as you now know, are fifteen’s.
Most Twos are thirties, most Threes forty-five.
Some users are surprised to learn the score
of a dozen Fours is nothing; and they’re more
surprised to learn they’re also sixties, each
and every of these dozen Fours is live
with revolutionary zeal and endless means.
Which leave two Fours. It’s interesting the fifth
is the only number sandwiched in between
two of its own kind: the fourth Four and the sixth.
To guess two Tens should take as little art
as knowing they are minutes (two) apart.
Which leaves our hands at nothing or at Twelve
of which, it follows, there are only two,
one two minutes after every midnight
and one to close this system every noon.