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
Poetry Club
Evening in the cosy atmosphere
of The Dep's Office
just off the Halfdeck.
A cluster of young men eager to hear
Tall tales of Kipling, Service,
Shakespeare, Yeats
Of jungles, deserts, freezing Artic nights
the howl of wolf and wind,
the rigging's creak
the evocations of
adventurous minds.
The Dep taps a Woodbine
hard on the desk
Engulfs it in his gleaming
Viking beard
Flicks it to smoky fire
by practised match.
His voice is resonant,
the room is warm
When in a dramatic pause,
sharp petards tear the air.
The Dep looks up benignly. 'Who did that?'
A nervous hand snakes up, a blushing boy
Confesses to the crime.
" Ten circumlocutions of the Deck"
The Dep declares.
As the boy leaves to run,
he wishes him,
" Fair wind behind.'