Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Cuckoo, Cuckoo! (Children) - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

There lives inside my cuckoo clock
a feisty cuckoo named Tic-toc.
We bought the wooden enchilada
when coming from the autostrada
and entering the Fatherland.

The makers of the clocks reside
in the Black Forest, where a guide
is used for navigation reasons
clocks can be bought in all the seasons.

We chose the biggest on the shelves
(they all are made by German elves) ,
and shipped the thing so it would get
home in one piece, we did not fret.

It took the best part of a day
to hang the clock so it would stay.
The biggest, cleanest strongest screw
was found and used, I'm telling you

it was a job but in the end
a visiting (and nosy) friend
remarked that he had never seen
a clock like it, and he was keen

to also travel overseas
to get himself, likewise a piece.
We went to bed that night content
but when at dawn my lady went

into the kitchen to prepare
the coffee she received a scare.
There on the stove sat a small bird
and mumbled just a single word.

It was a word that we had heard
but never from a little bird.
Heimweh he said, which is the same
as homesickness, which is a shame

because it leads to deep depression
and will require shrinko sessions.
My spouse who tends to jump the gun
since being married to a Hun

went to the cellar just in case,
turned off the gas for the whole place.
She figured that he would not know
too many other ways to go.

And no one has observed a bird
(perhaps it has, somewhere occurred)
to shoot himself or hang by rope
so we continued to have hope.

When I arose and then was told
I felt my bones, (I'm getting old) ,
and really wasn't in the mood
to be delayed, I needed food.

So I resorted to the tactic
that can for birds be prophylactic.
I asked him why he'd left his home
and who allowed him here to roam.

His facial feathers sagged right then
'I realise I'm not Big Ben,
but in the Forest with the elves
all little birds amuse themselves,

but if for you it's a disaster
I say to you, my treasured Master,
you make the laws and all the rules
for even us Black Forest Fools.'

It took six weeks to have him happy,
he grew on us, the little chappie.
The deal between the bird and me
was that he could fly out to see

the world inside our little home
he was allowed to freely roam
but when the time came to announce
the hour he would quickly bounce

back in to his well-furnished place
spruce up his wrinkled cuckoo face
and do what he was born to do
it is to sing cuckoo, cuckoo.


Comments about Cuckoo, Cuckoo! (Children) by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (8/7/2005 8:11:00 AM)


    HI HERBERT WE GIVE YOU TEN. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (8/7/2005 6:39:00 AM)


    Hard to think of criticism for this poem. The only thing I might venture to say is that maybe the language is too 'adult' to be harmonious with the 'childish' and 'playful' nature of the poem.

    ie. words such as prophylactic, shrinko and hun all have an adulterated theme and slightly hold back my willingnss to indulge in the fantasy 100%. In my humble opinion, this may be a minor issue which holds the poem back a little.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 7, 2005



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