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
Lights Out
Lying in regulation beds
Neatly cornered with Dutch folds
Kit laid out in measured squares
The rough tough lads lie still and fear to dream
While the New Cock thinks of running bowlines
Bladderwrack dripping on an anchor–chain
Sunsets out on the open waters of the world.
He lies and loves the reek of Stockholm tar
Picks with his mind's fingers at rope oakum
Pours the hot pitch in pictures of his dream
Raises his heart at the clank of capstan
Dreams how the strong wind toys with sails
Catches and plumps the willing cloth—
Sails out beyond sleep's headland to raw seas.
Behind his dreamship floats a shadowed deck
A flotilla of boys who cannot follow him
Moored by their dearth of imagination.