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 communion at Akbar
The Messhall was crowded with tough young troops
Of four Akbar Divisions hungering
To steal the New Cock's cob of bread,
His butter–grease, a carrot, Spam,
Cheese, or hot potato.
The noise at first was sheer cacophony
Leers, jibes, open threats to 'rip an ear off'
Came in all the dialects of Britain
Until the tight tough shape of 'Curly' Cahill Loomed in the Galley door,
Looked round the hall
His gaze steady as a Texas Ranger's.
Then silence fell as in a pre–dawn hush.
'Grace!' he said, and together the mobsters
lowered their heads,
Placed one foot forward, said:
'For what we are about to receive, may
The Lord make us truly thankful. Amen.'