(04 October 1943 / Germany)


What do we have
once kindness leaves?
Slips out the door
to find new shelter
and be replaced by
burning hate
which does permit
no other gods
and, like a cancer
grows and thrives.
And like the cell
that is immortal
and able to consume
with greed
its host, who thinks
with little wisdom
and quotes his bible
and his friends
to show the world
his clean-scrubbed soul.

Will you, Physician
take the plug
the tubes and other,
vital gadgets
away from even one,
a human
what will you tell your God,
and why have you
forsaken kindness,
do you not prize
all life or is it that
you price it?
Someone has to pay!
It won't be you
if you can help it,
perhaps the payout
of poor Terri
will leave a bit for you
as well, and now
I don't have time
he says to me,
discussions are
for futile moments,
must rush to fly
to Rome just now
a human of significance
has been recalled
to God himself.

It is so strange
that they forget
what that great Pope
had whispered when
his God had given
him one hand
they both do value
all that lives.

The little boys
who came with water
to sneak a drink
to well-parched lips
were taken in
their handcuffs gleaming
where were you, Doctor
did you eat?
Did you have water
or was it wine
that flowed
while Terri Schiavo died
and was the gist
of your discussion
the future of the
public pension?

Yes, you are private
like the Pope,
and all the oldsters
are a burden
to families
to teenage mothers,
we need to find
a way to end
their suffering, right
and that's a deal
they have no quality of life.

Yes, it comes down to
simple kindness
you either have it
or it's missing
I pray to God
that I encounter
no one like you
in my last hour.

User Rating: 2,4 / 5 ( 10 votes ) 5

Comments (5)

Your detractors be damned - I think this is a fine piece!
herbert i have given you a mark that shows the respect i have for you as a poet and a man, you have shown me what a friend is, and stuck by me when the chips were down, if i was in the trenches in the heat of battle i would rather have someone i could trust beside me and that would be you, then some of these so called men with no honour, and men who do not speak the truth Men of straw, if i was indian i would call them squaws, but then that would be an insult to woman, i want them to read this and dream about themselves what sad creatures they are, they must run with a lot of shame Warm regards Allan James Saywell
This is the Herbert I admire. No mud-throwing, no responding in kind...just a good serious analysis of an important ethical question.
as you say so well on your website Herb, you are a 'scholar and a miscreant'
This is very nice Herbert.....I thought perhaps you needed an emetic this evening and I figured my name would do 'just the trick'....hope I could help! ! mary