Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Class Excursion - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was the last and final day of their school year,
the atmosphere quite festive and excited.
And Christmas carols lullabied the ear,
when Mr. Gallus from his rooms alighted.
He was their teacher, into mostly Math,
wore horn-rimmed glasses and maroon bow tie.
A lisp, and in his music class said bath for bass,
but his authority and power made the pupils shy.
Today was field excursion and the 50 students,
had earlier prepared their knapsacks well.
Their mothers had then mentioned things like prudence.
Oscar was the student dressed like Wilhelm Tell.
Off they went by bus to Kruger Park,
and the teacher talked so he could teach.
'We will stay there until shortly after dark,
that will bring more learnings within reach.'
When the sun had seen enough of this
she left, darkness came, reflected by the river.
Lions roared and then a scary hiss
from right behind gave all the boys a shiver.
Two hours and they'd made it to the summit.
It was the Kruger Dam's Bridge, highest on the globe.
Just looking down one felt like instant vomit,
and teacher Gallus now took out his probe.
'As you can see here, boys and girls', he said,
'it is straight down, but darkness gives illusion,
and if we measured speed and fall and MET
we could reach some significant conclusions.'
'I propose that all of you prepare
as a test of character, no doubt,
for the free fall -this is not a dare -
and I'll tell you later what it's all about.
Though the light is dim you all must aim
in between the rocks, go for the waves.
That way, the touch-down will not be the same
as it would jumping into mountain caves.'
'And, at 90 meters it is clear,
that the faster that you fall
will be your speed - I'll watch from here,
timing all who jump and that is all.'
So, the biggest nerd stepped boldly up,
climbed on the railing and went on his way.
All his comrades watched him from atop,
when he hit the teacher said 'Okay! '
What that meant was number two was due,
and he didn't have to wait too long:
Another pupil, after taking off his shoes,
flew into nothing.Someone hummed a song.
Well, it took a while, they all jumped but,
and everyone had landed with a noise,
there was a boy known as the High School Mutt,
Oscar had never joined in much with other boys.
He plain refuse what madly had been asked
and told the teacher 'You go have the pleasure ',
to which he said that his important task
was to record and calculate and measure, measure, measure.

And, with a sudden move so quick it worked,
he grabbed the renegade by his lapel.
And heaved and strained and bucked and finally jerked
him over, kicking, screaming, with the loudest yell.
Now he had his data and he would
write a paper on it very soon.
Get rewarded for it if he could.
He looked down now as it was full moon.
There was movement down between the stones,
only feeble and no sounds came up.
He'd come back next year then to study bones,
and he - laughingly - considered jumping from the top.
Sadness now has filled the reader's mind,
the truth is always difficult to take.
But it may be quite impossible to find
any teachers that for science's sake,
would make their students jump into abyss.
However, if you're looking for a student
who would jump, please believe me
many do exist.


Comments about Class Excursion by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (12/7/2004 8:13:00 AM)


    Excellent excursion into subtle rhyme and powerful imagry. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (12/7/2004 5:44:00 AM)


    Nice point H, one should always lead by example: -) (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: teacher, school, christmas, believe, river, music, power, truth, song, moon, dark, sun, light, girl, work



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Poem Edited: Tuesday, December 7, 2004


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