(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Immortality

My name is Carcinos, I am immortal.
Come from a proud tradition
of noble blood.
It was an ancestor of mine
who, being so clever
that he tore down
one of the pillars of all life.

A Mr. Hayflick,
some would call him Doctor,
declared toward the end
of studied days,
which were his life,
that every cell
in our universe
that laid a claim
to be a living entity,
would have to yield
to his new law.

He called it, arrogantly,
the Hayflick Limit.
And what it means
is simply that,
just like the number
of good beats
that will be given
to each new human,
before he's born,
all cell divisions
will come to end
right when they get
to the so-called
and oh, so final
end of life.

But, not so hasty,
Hayflick, though you have
come to YOUR limit
and we've seen your grave.
What would you say
to find we have,
all courtesy of my own uncle,
the great Malignus,
completely overcome
all those restrictions?
We are decoders of
the best that Nature can produce.

Yes, we do need food,
mostly it's sugar,
but - hey - we melt
and tear down walls
between the cells,
from room to room we wander.
And eat all the supplies,
we squat where things are pleasant,
it's not, I say,
with due respect,
a life that has
too many worries.
And, after all,
when we wake up
well into morning,
look at each other,
there never is,
not even once,
a single one
of our folks in true absentia.

No one dies,
so you can see
that clever thinking
has its rewards.
How would you like
to be in our eternal shoes?
But, not a chance,
we do not share,
and really we
don't even care.
We kill you
where and when we can.
Not suddenly,
for we are mean,
as our uncle named Malignus
has stated
many times before:
First we attack,
then we make symptoms,
and when the smallest worry comes,
we pounce and pummel
them we glee
and scare the living
and the dead,
the utter daylights
out of them.

We are immortal,
we neither share,
nor shake the hand
of living matter.
We never die,
need only food,
so we must eat.
And in due course
we'll get to YOU,
when your time comes.

by Herbert Nehrlich

Comments (1)

herbert is the small brain(1) man active again he must be a sad case i wish i had his photo i have plans for it i supose it is a vote Warm regards AJS