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Friday 19 August 2011

Post Cards from Camp


This to say we're in.
The camp Napoleonic;
a fort - dining room of brick,
ablutions cut into the chalk,
ridge tents on concrete bases.
(We're sharing with school leavers.)


High spirits last night - too high!
"Commander" John went outside,
raincoat folded on his arm.
"That boy there!" he yelled,
paused, whacked the coat like murder.
Silence from then on.


Explored the chalk escarpment.
The boys' route being waymarked,
we sent them down the valley,
watched them from the ridge,
called out to them a few times.
Our voices did not carry -
though we heard them, every word!


It's a long walk to the loos.
Heavy rain last night.
Eerie sounds from dripping trees,
so the big lads stayed at home -
until they were mob-handed.
(Our youngsters thought it funny.)


The camp fire sing-song
and a ghostly figure comes
draped in long white sheets,
beneath which strong lights flicker.
Great excitement - then he falls:
Our "commander" John.


A day-long ramble.
Jim badgers Frank the whole way.
Frank's turn to serve the supper.
First up: mugs of ox-tail soup.
Jim's mug is full - of oxtail.


Last night: traumatic.
A stranger opens tent flaps
inviting boys to join him.
Police in non-attendance -
say they know the man:
"harmless", "miles away by now"!
Coming home to-day.


Misterio Vida said...

wow...very nice depiction of the camp ...such vivid scenes... loved it :) keep going dave :)

Mary said...

You have made the experience come alive through your words.

Windsmoke. said...

Being a boy scout in my younger days i can relate to camp fire songs :-).

Dave King said...

Appreciate the comment. Thanks.

That's a great response to get. Thank you very much for it.

Ah, I never was one. You have me there!

vivinfrance said...

vivid, fun, a Hello Fader Hello Moder kind of a poem. Great stuff.

Dave King said...

Hi, yes, thanks for that. that's just about what I'd intended it to be.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,
You happened to wander by my blog, and I figure I'd take a little trip over to yours to return the favor. Been quite enjoying my little romp through your words, and this piece I quite enjoyed. I never went camping as a boy, but this definitely captured that experience (also the format was well done). You certainly have a new reader. Namaste.

Dave King said...

Hi Matt, good to have you visiting. I was most impressed by your blog and shall be returning anon. Thanks for coming over and for the comments. I, too, didn't go camping as a boy, but then did later during my teaching career: a couple of times canoe camping and a couple of times like the one featured here.