Herbert Nehrlich

Rookie (04 October 1943 / Germany)

No Asylum - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich

It is his mother,
holding a sweaty hand,
and trying to, again
look into his blue eyes,
those eyes that she has known
since that fat midwife,
the one who smelled of licorice,
stopped yelling 'push'.

Only today, since yesterday,
a world has shattered,
into a trillion little shards
of timeless quartz,
the faceless crowd of orderlies,
and arrogant white starchy nurses,
has taken him away,
to medicate,
perhaps the last of his,
and thus of their true bond.

They yell from down the hall,
and walk unreal rhythms
while whistling to the song
which has not been composed,
as yet, perhaps it never will.

He smokes incessantly,
and she is happy,
about the humanness of it,
a weakness of great promise,
he will return,
and soon,
God praise the competence
and its compassion
of Modern Medicine.

No more asylums,
sanitariums of gloom,
locked into kind despair
and catatonic smiles,
it is just Haloperidol
and bugger all Olanzapine,
no greater luck could come
to those who have been dropped
into the hole of no return,
and all of them will gain
the notoriety of
fulminating obesity.

It makes them cuddly, though,
and easier to take,
for those who care for them
without a care inside their hearts.

There used to be a stigma,
it was condemned
and universally subdued
through simple changes
in appearances,
today the stigma is,
for all of them,
the God who let it be.

Comments about No Asylum by Herbert Nehrlich

  • (9/11/2005 5:09:00 PM)

    Of course, beauty is a relative term. I find this to be beautiful - and sad....but life is fair amounts of both...with the lines often blurred...I know many people who are plagued with schizophrenia...some of the chemical kind...and others who were created to be that way, in the RD Laing-ian sense. Wonderful job, Herbert! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/11/2005 7:55:00 AM)

    A very sad poem.....so true though. (Report) Reply

  • (9/11/2005 7:45:00 AM)

    Very interesting poem Herbert. You paint a very sad life here. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 11, 2005

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]