Chuck'Nut Drive

Poem By Herbert Nehrlich

I, too regret the very day
they came, unbidden
with sound and lights
the fright of well-fed pets
in what is known simply
as Chuck'nut Drive.

It's where the cream retire,
payback, now called reward
for years of bumbling toil,
the art of quackery itself,
known to a few, of privilege
as watching out for God,
robbing apothecary bins
and practicing sly dyskinesia
to wealthy clowns and fools,
and call it esperance,
wearing the mask of Galilee.

I had, so many nights ago,
through journeys for the rich
to promised lands and seas,
lost what I found that vulgar day
when they placed cap and gown
upon a disbelieving lad.

Unlike the gray valise in Rome,
you never did return to me,
though well insured, it was not you;
deceived they were, the same as I.

I knew that Jack would be a mighty thorn
inside your baggy eyes, I knew.
Yet something deep inside, I swear
was well aware and kind for all these years,
it was my guide in a heroic quest,
an exercise in holy loyalty to you,
to find you there, inside the sturdy wall,
the hourglass, where shade was dark
supplied by paper squared in symmetry,
designed by Daniels' Jack, the gentleman
and tasted for the cream, now obsolete.

I never found you, love of younger days,
inside that sanctuary of silent myths,
though no one can accuse me of adultery,
I longed for you, and once I tasted you,
only to lose the scent when all was clear
as my command was a resumption of the curse.

Endless and lonely days, extended heavily,
without much fruitful thought into those nights,
when lights of one or two tall ships with sails,
reflected from the cliffs of Chuck'nut Bay.

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