Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

My Black Beetle - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

A hand reached out
something inside prevented
the kindly act intended.
The beetle, he continued though,
with frantic, futile moves
yet it was not to be.
Flat on his chitin back,
shiny and smooth, too smooth,
forever rolling, and sometimes sliding,
now making tiny noises, of incongruity.
I wished him then, quite fervently,
an obstacle which would permit
by inborn true stability of character,
the rescue so essential for survival.
The minutes passed, the sun
now having lost all interest
in watching fruitless struggle,
soon took the evening's leave,
a frigid wind with promises of rain
swept leaves and dust
in endless circles to and fro,
I thought of Anton Mesmer
and his silly passes, both arms
he used them with such earnestness,
first drops fell from a neutral sky
where masters of the universe reside,
yet one black beetle still remained,
left to his own incompetent devices.
You'll drown, an inner voice began to chant,
to him as well, he knew about his fate
life-giving drops would fill his belly soon
and like a bomb he would explode
leaving a mess of jellied black
and not a single memory behind.
Decision made, I reached
into this low-life's mad inferno,
when, with a vulgar shriek
a gust, with leisure on its wings,
raced through as on a mission,
upright, exhausted legs alive
he stood and looked me in the eye,
with tears of gratitude as if to say
perhaps I will, one day repay the deed,
it must have been the blindness
of capitulation, a pinhead brain
committing all resources to the end.
If Gods are willing, may there be
a helpful hand, if not a friendly breeze
for all the beetles in their time of need.


Comments about My Black Beetle by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (5/1/2006 11:37:00 PM)


    Herbert, as one who feels momentary pangs of guilt every time I wash ugly cockroaches down the plughole, I did appreciate this clever poem. Beautifully written. lol Alison (Report) Reply

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  • (4/30/2006 9:31:00 AM)


    Having come straight from 'Moose', Herbs, I wasn't expecting such a tender and touching message...but it was nice to see one all the same. I particularly like this bit:

    'the sun
    now having lost all interest
    in watching fruitless struggle,
    soon took the evening's leave, '

    Now listen to me Herbs: make the next one HAPPY! ! !
    Love,
    Gina.
    (Report) Reply

  • Charles M Moore (4/29/2006 9:59:00 PM)


    Brilliant poem Herbert kept me interested and wondering to the end. (Report) Reply

  • (4/29/2006 8:51:00 PM)


    A very heart touching moment Herbert. Reminds me of when Todd came to me a couple weeks ago and said he thinks his hunting days may be over....he found himself ''saving'' worms from the puddles that the rainstorm left. He was at work and noticed himself grabbing the worms from the puddles and tossing them into the grass ''so they wouldn't drown''. Tender hearts are such a thing of beauty! I believe you have that tenderness too, very nice poem. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 29, 2006



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