Bill Meilen
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Akbar Songs
Introduction - 0
View from above upon arrival - 1
First Akbar door - 2
Gear - 3
Meeting the Division - 4
First Communion at Akbar - 5
Shepherd - 6
Lights out - 7
Vultures - 8
Get h’on Parade! - 9
Bandy - 10
Wakey–wakey! - 11
Smartening rig - 12
Economy Star - 13
Poetry Club - 14
The Writer - 15
The Skipper - 16
Boating - 17
Seamanship - 18
The Skipper's Kippers - 19
Moot Court - 20
Dirty Mary - 21
Cross–country - 22
Sailorboy - 23
Church Parade - 24
Fellini fragment on Jildy - 25
Deckscrap - 26
Cinderella Days - 27
Long Tom for 'Dead Men' - 28
Waiting for Podmore - 29
Akbar - 30
The Path - 31
First Akbar Door
The tall ship’s mast stood solid as a rock
Shrouded to concrete as preservative.
A lifeboat swung on davits by a pool.
A tiny merchantman lay moored in earth.
Down by the playing–fields, boys chased a ball.
Inside the mighty door a rating stood
Marched in before us to an office door
Bellowed “New Cock, Sir!” and stood aside.
There stood a man in naval uniform
Face fierce, beard blonde, eyes blue
as ancient ice—
Then the man smiled from his authority
Made the boy feel more certain of his fate,
Spoke to him kindly, made no cause for fear,
Read him The Riot Act the gentle way
Told him the first steps in a sailor’s life
Then let him loose into the zoo of youth.