Experiences on a Minesweeper

The ship’s rigged for sweeping,
And that it never does,
While up and down the coast
It’s throbbing engines buzz.

Patrolling and patrolling,
That’s the game it plays,
With aimless to’s and fro’s
It’s a sport which never pays

But it’s a jolly good feeling
To fool the chaps on shore,
When at anchor at Gwadar
Your course is two – five – four

Speed is ten with Pasni abeam,
While all the time you’re where
Those guys don’t even dream;
Just idling there in neutral gear.

Note: This poem was written in March 1973 as a midshipman on board PNS MUBARAK, a US- origin minesweeper. The ship, along with two other similar vessels, was regularly being deployed off our coast in those days as a deterrence against poaching and other illegal activities. The setting is real enough, the rest of it derived from imagination. Needless to say, the Commanding Officer, being an honourable man would never have condoned such a hoax.

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