It's Always Mealtime

N.T. Morris

Oh, they're queuing up for breakfast,
  they have rattled on the gong;
Hear the mess tins jingle-jangle;
  Let us go and join the throng.
There is porridge made from biscuits.
  There's a Soya for the fry.
There is tea that tastes of onions;
  there is bread that's rather dry;
And the cooks are looking browned off
  as they pass the grub along.
Oh, that look they get from cookhouses
  and drinking tea too strong.
Oh, it must be time for tiffin. 
  What d'you think it is today?
Well, there's fish and meat and pickle 
  mixed in some peculiar way.
There is yellow cheese as usual, and marg. 
  and that's the lot -
Oh, help yourself to biscuits, 
  'cos the weather's _______ hot.
And the cooks are looking browned off 
  as a dollop each one deals.
The look they get from arguing 
  and never eating meals.
You can tell it's time for dinner 
  by the fidgets of the queue,
And it's world-without-end bully meat 
  mocked up as pie or stew,
And if you're mighty lucky 
  there'll be flour in the 'duff',
But the chances are it's rice again, 
  and rice is ... rough.
So the cooks are looking browned off, 
  slightly woebegone and worn.
The look that comes from cards all night, 
  and lighting fires at dawn.
The Voice of War -- Michael Joseph Ltd (1995)

Editor's note: Written in the Western Desert. Morris, who was in the Royal Tank Regiment, survived the war and subsequently became a headmaster.