Free Range Poetry
2May/13

Lonesome George

Lonesome George was a lonesome man
lived life longer than most of us can
but he never had sons and he never said why
and he died of a broken heart.

Now Lonesome George made a stop by here
and I asked him to sit and I bought him a beer
And I asked if he'd tell of his life and times
before he went to ground.

Why were you lonesome, Lonesome George?
Why did you spurn your wives?
Other turtles were happy to meet some girls
But not you, for all of your lives.

I'll tell ya, says George, since I'm on my way
since you ask like that, I'll have my say,
before I climb down the Elephant's tail
and take my place in the stack.

I spent my days under island skies
Where the 'guanas perch and the booby flies
and the brave men come in their little brave ships
and they write down all that they see.

They all thought I was a hundred years old,
giving or taking a few
But I had to laugh, cause they were off by half,
and I'm couple years past two!

In '35, in September it was,
that I first met Charlie boy,
He drew my picture and he picked me up
and he called me his pride and joy.

Charlie became my lifelong love,
a man's man and all that
he brought me fruit and he fed me herring
and he told me tales of dash and derring
and I walked for ages with my sage of sages
on my beautiful Pinta beach.

For five short weeks, I knew such love
as a great mind like his can know
but the Captian hailed and the Beagle sailed
and my Charlie boy had to go.

And ever since then I've talked to men
and to turtles near and far
but I've never found one who could nearly ken
to my shining Charlie star.

And I heard long on that he wrote a book
and he made his name 'fore he slipped the hook
of this mortal carapace
and I'm glad he did, but I have to tell
that I'd give my tail and I'd give my shell
for one more measured pace
with my wonderful Charlie boy.

So they found me on Pinta, just across the blue
and they brought me over to Santa Cru
and they hooked me up, and they pimped me out
but those girls didn't care.

What did they know of nature?
Only sun and rock and sand!
And they talked a lot of loving
but what did they understand?
Beefy face and grubby hand...
Ha! What did they understan'?
No, they never knew my Charlie
'cause they never talked to Man.

So I'll take my leave of living,
and I'll climb down on that stack,
and I'll support that Elephant
with the world upon his back,

and I'll dream of seeing Charlie,
of talking to him once more,
and I'll learn more of Nature
on a far and sun-lit shore.

For I'll meet him once again, I'm sure,
my Charlie of great renown:
His world was round,
but where we're bound,
it's tortoises all the way down.

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