Poem By Herbert Nehrlich
First light of dawn, just out of bed,
the scorpion sharpens all his claws.
He lives inside the shearer's shed
here, in the land of lucky Oz.
When Cecil, armed with sharpened shears
arrives to cut the wolly fleece,
still overhung from all those beers
that every night, for stress release
he and his mates consume with noise.
A shearer's life will sort the men
from poofters and from scrawny boys,
and, on a scale form one to ten
you must be nine to make the grade.
Or - if the work is not enough,
the temperature, which in the shade
will be near boiling. Only tough
and hardened Aussies will succeed,
no Chinamen or pale-faced Krauts
can fill the shearer's boots indeed.
So Cecil thinks of all those shouts
and dozens of the amber schooners,
he flicks the switch to the old clipper
to get the show in motion sooner.
But fails to notice that his zipper
is quite ajar and boxer shorts
of floral pattern, shyly flashing,
(that's what they wrote in their reports,
the coroner and helpers dashing
to ascertain the cause of death) .
'Cause Cecil had sheep number eight,
when with a drink came little Beth
and as she entered, closed the gate,
she noticed Cecil's odd behaviour.
He clutches his crotch and staggered wildly,
so Beth said 'Lemonade - Your saviour',
she knew that heat, to put it mildly
could kill a man in sunburnt land.
He grabbed the lemonade and spilled it,
the liquid swallowed in the sand,
so quickly Beth took and refilled it,
when Cecil fell hard to the ground.
And on his back, with jeans wide open,
he grunted, snorted, then no sound.
Wide-eyed his wife, now only hoping,
she kneeled beside him, took his hand.
And then she saw the strange protrusion,
like Custer's proud and final stand,
it was familiar, no illusion,
stood to attention, pointing up.
But what disturbed her was a thing
which was attached, right at the top.
She knew it was the king of sting,
presiding over his erection.
Poor Cecil's eyes had gone to sleep,
and through the lengthy vivisection,
the sound of melancholy sheep,
who, thus conveying their deep sorrow
about their master's rough demise.
They would acquire by tomorrow
a boss like Cecil, all those guys
were much the same, they used the clipper
all day and drank their beer at night.
One thing did change, that is the zipper:
All shearers kept their pants shut tight.