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
The Path
These long years hidden under earth
Moss, grass, twigs and rooted gorse
Lies a path of varicoloured stones
Laid in a first try at crazy paving.
Four decades and longer proud memories
Remain of hard creative endeavour.
Still with memory's waves comes the feel
Of bare knees in soil, the smell of sand
The way I asked gentle moss to take root
Soften cracks, help complete the picture.
An open window, warmth, kindness returning
Of the Dep's lady wife and her fruitcake
Some tiny snacks served on a shining plate
Daphne divvying the Dep's Woodies in reward.
She spoke nicer English than anyone
I had ever heard—even Alvar Liddell
Or toffee–nosed grammar–teachers.
She taught me tabled logarithmic thought
Made me understand shapes geometrical
Meted out smiles to tip life's scales a bit.
Whenever I think of her crazy–paving path
North side of the Dep's quarters
I wonder about archaeologists wondering.
Wonder if when they uncover our creation
They will have any sense of what it means
Or of the many leagues
to which that pathway led.