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?