Answers Poem by Herbert Nehrlich


Rating: 3.2

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.

dissatified exmember 09 March 2005

This is the truest reflection of life I have read. It is clear and precise and says it so well. Thanks Herbert for another outstanding piece of writing....10+ as usual Hugs Jan

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***** ***** 09 March 2005

Herbert, while I liked the poem but have not voted on it (because I feel too much currency is placed on votes on this site) I feel you cannot berate anyone for their opinion. This ego-drive defeats what a poetry forum is about. Should you not be happy that people see your work? The need for accolade is beginning to take away from the value of the poetry. Would you not agree? Surely negative comment (or indeed vote) would make a poet look closer at their work. Humility is the most valuable commodity of a poet. Just giving you my tuppence worth. S.

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Herbert Nehrlich1 10 March 2005

Sonja: Your statement that I cannot berate anyone for their opinion is, of course, correct.(I am on the receiving end of beratings as you must know and I do not mind the ones that don't threaten outright harm or slander) . Intimating that my ego-drive is getting in the way of what the forum is all about is a statement that has me quite puzzled. My need for accolade is no greater than yours and that of many others, given the small fact that my ego is in the healthy range. I am not begrudging anyone the right to critique what I write but I find it very strange that you would in fact cover for those who hide in the dark, contact their friends and then let loose a barrage of 'ones' to reduce the number rating of the poem. These cowardly and infantile boys or girls (or in-betweens) do not have the guts to come out in the open to accompany their 'opinions' by a comment in writing. THAT was my point and I find it disturbing that you would misunderstand me in such a manner.Perhaps you were having a bad day. Rich Hanson and Kelly Vinal made some very sensible observations about these juvenile acts and I am, frankly, amazed to read your comments. As to my 'need for accolade' beginning to take away from the value of the poetry'? I firmly believe that NOTHING can take away from that. And I also do not believe that humility is the most valuable commodity of a poet. So, you can see that I do not consider your observations value for money, not even tuppence value. Perhaps re-thinking what you said might be wise, as I had expected better from you. H

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Sandra Osborne 10 March 2005

Well, this as with all your work, is excellent and well said. a 10+. Now to address Sonja first. Sonja, all of us here welcome REAL critism, and discussions on our work. Several times Herbert and I have discussed 'bumps' in our poetry or lines that may be changed, etc. But simply rating a 'one' is not critism withouut an explanation, and I believe Herbert's poems are being read just fine, look at his ranking. Plus sonjs, you have left some pretty nasty comments on my work that I would not characterize as belonging in a 'poetry forum', they were in fact just mean and I ignored them. I have also noticed that you always have something negative to say even if it's just your notion of grammer. You, Poetry Hound and the like style yourselfs as great critics. Well, frankly you are not. Herbert is a very talented poet, so am I. It's not ego, we just get tired of being slamed out of jealosy. If we were indeed crappy poets we wouldn't be lister in the top 500 poets on this site day after day, week after week. The way it looks to me, you and your ilk are the ones with the egos.

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Pradeep Dhavakumar 10 March 2005

Very well written.Very touching poem.Loved it.Thank you.

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Delicate Heart 21 June 2014

so touchy and telling. it moved from the inside. ten outta ten...........

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Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari 13 September 2005

This was a very touching poem Herbert.....Once we acept what will happen we become at peace with it.

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Herbert Nehrlich1 17 March 2005

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

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Amberlee Carter 14 March 2005

Very well Herbert, sorry for the misunderstanding. Write in peace, you'll hear no more from me. Always, Amberlee

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Herbert Nehrlich1 11 March 2005

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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