Thursday, February 1, 2024

Repairs - a poem

I came across this unattributed poem in Beam 11.2 (1979-80) I'm assuming it was written by somebody in the Lighthouse Depot, at the end of his tether trying to figure out what 'the yoke at the end of the yoke' meant.

 A Tale of Repairs

The P.K. gazed with heavy frown
Upon his diesel, broken down,
And hastened to his Radio Phone
            to get repairs.
He told the Mizen of his woe,
About the fog (he had to blow)
But not a number did he know
            nor seem to care.

"The part I want," he wisely said
"is hollowed out and painted red.
I had the number in my head
            but I forget.
It holds the thingimibob in place
About an inch from the long brace
That fastens to the big main base,
            and keeps it set."

"They'll surely know the part I mean,
It broke before on this machine.
The what-you-may-call-it is between
            and just behind.
The thing that moves along the slat
About as big as an old hat
Would be, if you could smash it flat,
            I think they'll find."

The D.M. sighed and shook his head
"I don't know what he means," he said.
"We'll have to search the old back shed
            so come along.
If he would only tax his brain
So that the number he'd retain
or send the old part in, 'tis plain
            we'd not go wrong."

From end to end they searched the bins,
Clawed over castings, bolts and pins.
They skinned their fingers and their shins -
            it made them cuss.
But still they searched, with sinking heart
(They had their other work to start)
And in the last bin found the part,
            'Twas ever thus.

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