GEOGRAPHICAL BACHELORS’ LAMENT
by David D. Hambleton
November, 2003 at Gaeta, Italy
In fond memory of the crews at Vic’s and Rendezvous
Missing our families who're gone 'cross the pond
Our loves of whom we're so star-stricken fond
We meet at the pub evenings, bachelors of need
From fetters of family unwillingly freed
We drink to our woes and to life's little glories
We drink to "No-Kidders," those true sailors' stories
Our talk is of football and of cars and of women
How she looks, how she sounds, and our fav'rite fender trimmin'
A great lot of providers are we, Geo-B's
We send checks and our love and prayers for grandma's knees
Knowing well our absence is crippling to our wives
We suppress that, ignore it, compartmentalize.
To the Mission, to God, and to Country we give now
Our needs matter less than the wake at the bow
We're men full of hopes and of fears and desires
And asked "How's it going?" we're consummate liars
"Tutto bene, all is well, I'm enjoying the freedom."
Are the lines we all wear like they'd mask our needs some.
No family to tend, to guide and to lead
Shepherds without sheep, we're sadly in need
Anesthetize the husbandman languishing on the front
Fowl overpopulate, moss overgrows the punt
Parked in quiet bower, the pitch requests tending
Small boat like big hearts in sad want of mending
Silly gooses wait for tickles knowing Daddy's duty calls
Bravely learn to recover without a kiss from little falls
Don't think it, fake a sneeze, Man, wipe that tear unsighted
Before the glass, game, girl, or sea-tale is blighted
Remember just a week or month to go 'til it's over
(And with those FSA payments we'll be rollin' in high clover!)
So toss one back and spin a yarn that'll keep us a-laughin'
We won't forget our wife though we be gawkin' and giraffin'
She's the one, moon and sun, forever-love and sweetie
It is she who appreciates that we're a little bit meaty
Long waits Princess Faire; for us here while she's there
Tending children alone, she drives the car, mends the chair
Her dolor'd break the spirit of any man heard the sound
Take a mighty warrior down, preventing him from higher ground
So tight-lipped wise woman holds her tongue, keeps her peace
Feeding the dogs and the kids and the blasted neighbor's niece
Stoically stoking the heating stove's fires
Fiercely denying those passionate desires
To give us her mind, both barrels, in a shout
Or just change the locks, let us stay moved out
"We're all good here" is more like what she will say
To bolster her sailor-man for fighting today
"Please hurry home, we miss you, Dear."
But she's heartsick worried, 'tween the lines we can hear
Will we come home… or will we not?
Our vow on the Tome… have we forgot?
Will she our heart's desire still be?
Will we show true fidelity? Will she?
Have we broken that good faith already?
And, for all the world, what about Naomi?
What about the waitress? Have we gone and looked?
(How out of proportion will that line get cooked?)
Homecoming will come and that none too soon.
For whom yellow ribbons 'round old oak trees croon
We're to be found wherever old sailors gather
Come hoist a pint cheerfully, down with the lather
Don't shed a tear for our strenuous fate
For there comes a time; Oh, we're marking the date
When we'll darken the door, come back from the sea
To nuzzle the baby and good husband be
When long time apart spent in anticipation
Comes home, married lovers share blessed elation
Our passion, for aging, more character gets
And makes rumpled bed sheets; we'll need one or two sets
Hey, let's make a magazine called Bachelor's Geographic
With push-pins in ports and Cousteau and all that shtick
And pictures and articles on football, cars and swimmin'
And a column for writing about your favorite whim in
One could ruminate for a frightfully long time
'Cause bored sailors rarely will run out of rhyme
Though after a while the pen-hand gets numb
"but honestly, Cap'n; ish not caused by the rum" (hic!)
Thoughts just like those keep us men-of-war chugging on
So we're almost never found mornings, asleep on the lawn.
Without further ado, raise a glass for a toast
To those women in whom we glory and boast
To those who keep the home fires burning
And inspire our hearts (and loins) to yearning
Who raise our children, keep them learning
And who hold our attention, heads a-turning
Although we're at opposite ends of the tides
May the Lord in His Greatness bless our Little Brides
Have you hugged a Geographical Bachelor today?