Monday, January 12, 2009

Wednesday 18th August 1943

Yesterday morning I killed one bug only. In the drawing room, ¾ of the time was occupied with cleaning up, 1/8 with drinking tea and 1/8 with drawing (poetry in my case) Although armed with two chits – one signed by a Major and one by a Sister – it was officially impossible for me to go off parade to the Occupational Therapy Dept., because a third chit should have signed,addressed, to the Sergeant i/c Parade.
Eventually I filed off parade secretly, in best Almaza manner, just in time to avoid being sentenced to stone picking.

Today, by some miracle of organisation, I was officially on the OT roll... The morning parade is a ghastly business. Listless squads of men stand wearily waiting, while roll-calls are examined and sergeants peer in note books vaguely. Best not to dwell much on that... Half-way through the parade a squad of us was marched raggedly (for exercise) through the camp. A party of lunatics taking the air, watched with interest by Italian prisoners and Arab workers.

The quaint thing is that I actually did write a short poem yesterday. It only took 10 minutes! Today I polished it and entered it in my book. “Wake not the Night.” 4-4 line verses. A song of praise for the day of peace – when it comes!

Wednesday 7p.m. Morning – parades and fatuous routine to dread, afternoons – the wind, roaring in the open windows, creating small typhoons in every corner. There is no escape, morning or afternoon. And always the drab vista of flat ground, dust, uniform buildings and barbed wire.

Tomorrow I am to be interviewed by the Ward Psychiatrist – my second interview since coming here. Since last February, four different doctors have explored all the places of my mind, and examined my life story searchingly. Now, it seems this is to happen a fifth time. It is an exceedingly depressing thought.


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