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(04 October 1943 / Germany)

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Poem By Herbert Nehrlich

He crouched in front of all his books,
ten thousand and a few
he looked at his certificates
one hundred, none were new.
Remembered all his special honours
bestowed by envious peers
and wondered silently inside
was it just smoke and mirrors?
Sat on the floor, the crouching hurt
and cried a bit, alone
it was a shock when it occurred
to him that in his bone
a nasty parasite had lodged
who had an appetite
for living tissue as it dodged
the killer cells with spite.
What a caressing devastation
to find that all one knows
means nothing in the scheme of things
and that it simply shows
we humans, dumb and arrogant
pretend because we must
and turn into a sycophant
in desperado frust
So Papa started with the first
of all the hardbound works
and re-awakened his old thirst
and thought perhaps there lurks
the answer to his desperate plea
if not he would be doomed.
For many weeks he was engrossed
with all his dearest friends
he often wandered, became lost
and tied up old loose ends.
The memories of high school days
and then the cruel studies
came flooding back with old Hooray's
and like a bunch of buddies
the authors of so many books
who'd passed so long ago
had kept their bright and brilliant looks
and smiled their stern Hello.
And finally, he knew the answer
not one of them had lived
and many had succumbed to cancer
they would have been quite miffed
that all their learnings was no use
and even frank denial
was killing that great golden goose
with liquid from a vial.
He saw and welcomed his own end
stood up and tugged his tie
remembering every single friend
he then laid down to die.

User Rating: 3,2 / 5 ( 17 votes ) 20

Comments (20)

so touchy and telling. it moved from the inside. ten outta ten...........
This was a very touching poem Herbert.....Once we acept what will happen we become at peace with it.
Amberlee, I did put you on my list of very thin skinned poets. I think the French call it touché. It always amazes me when people get snappy the moment someone points out something they ought to have noticed in themselves. And probably did. H
Very well Herbert, sorry for the misunderstanding. Write in peace, you'll hear no more from me. Always, Amberlee
Amberlee. You are making the same mistake as others have. You r observation is sadly lacking. People do not have to vote. The entire issue was about cowards posting ONES from their dark corners and then run and hide. It never ceases to amaze me how loose people are with the truth. Me and the girl who started it? Who was that? If you would like to comment on my stuff or my ongoing 'battles' please call me by my first name (not an abbreviation) and please have your facts straight. I don't agree with you on the quality of the poem either but that's alright, Aunt Hulda said. Your comment today should an abysmal lack of care in the world of communication with others. H


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