Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

Hermaphrodite - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It was a small and very fragile little thing,
of curious pink with shades of purple yet,
had left the underground to see the light of day
so full of thirst for water and the wisdom of new life.
The weeds had looked at first and then resumed disdain,
which does come natural to them and suits them well,
they whispered with sharp tongues that cut right through the shade,
and all agreed that this small loser would soon waste away.

The sun shone harshly through the fuzzy clouds,
all birds had sought quick refuge under sturdy leaves,
the little guy just stood and swayed in the new Hell,
it knew enough to hope for and to dream of rain.
Here in the desert it would always be a struggle so they said,
the tough would live while others had no chance at all,
as Nature in her wisdom, void of justice weaves
a net of huge dimensions where the meek may fret
and God leans back and draws new creatures, wearing shrouds
and wonders if each plant should have a wife.

As forty days approached, some desperation spread,
the little one had leaned against a rose,
by morning though the desert woke to count their dead
and God just sat there knowing nothing grows
without the kindness of his angels' tears,
the flowers could not wait until the Fall.

The little guy had seen a few, about a hundred drops,
had since just stood and waited for the hand of Nature's grace,
he dreamed a bit of lakes and rivers and of thund'ring weirs
and knew within his heart that life itself, it never stops.
He raised his head to show the Gods his small and shrivelled face,
and heard the words come drifting down from a Manuka tree.

It was an owl, a wise old bird, all things are known to owls:
'you're made of love and love will grow, for you it is to be
ordained and sealed, and as it turns, your destiny is free.
And so it flourished, grew so tall that it looked down on weeds
hermaphrodite, as it was known, a plant not made to plan
and for all time it dropped its seeds, for woman and for man.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 23, 2011


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